Monday, November 15, 2010

Kinks in the Transcription Flow

Save yourself from transcription headachesWe read comments from transcriptionists all the time about how much they love Express Scribe transcription playback software. It gives them complete control over the transcription process: slowing down dictation playback to a speed transcriptionists can keep up with, system-wide hotkeys so convenient shortcuts (such as timestamp) are only a couple of keystrokes away, a convenient file-management system to help keep track of which transcriptions are priority, and much more. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

A few years ago, Olympus introduced the proprietary file format ds2. The move put a kink in many a transcriptionist’s work flow. In order to use the ds2 format freely, one has to be in possession of Olympus software: either with their transcription kit (but you already have a transcription kit—headphones, pedal, software, right?), or with their software that can convert the files (about $100).

The least expensive solution takes the control out of the hands of the transcriptionist, by simply asking the person making the recording to set their recorder to ‘Classic Mode.’ This will ensure the recordings are saved in dss format, a format recognized by Express Scribe. To assist the person creating dictations, DictateAustralia put together the following video tutorial: How To Set Classic Mode For The Olympus DS-5000 & DS-5000iD Digital Dictaphones. This should work for all DS-3400, DS-5000, and DS-5000iD dictation recorders.

Recording in classic mode is the ideal solution, but might not always be possible. For the times a transcriptionist receives dictations in ds2 format, they will need to convert the file to a format recognized by Express Scribe. There are ds2 converters available (not through NCH software, sadly), and many come with a free trial so you can test the software on your files before you commit to buy.

Unfortunately, at the moment we can't say for sure whether we will be able to add support for the ds2 format. But we do hope you continue to take advantage of Express Scribe in the meantime, whenever you possibly can. Additionally, we have other typing tools to help speed your transcription process along. Some are free, and all are useful.

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