5 2014-08-28 10.00.54 am



personal assistant

info@helenjohnva.co.uk  |  01733 342131  

By Helen John, Jun 15 2016 11:00AM

I suspect a lot of you know how transcription works but if not then what I do is I listen to sound and visible recordings and type up the results in a readable format on my computer. There are a few pieces of equipment I can’t do this without.

Olympus DSS

This is my favourite software mainly because I used this when I was employed as a PA and at that time had never heard of Express Scribe. This supports audio formats such as DSS, DSS Pro, WMA mp3, mp4 and Windows Media files. It also works in conjunction with my foot pedal unlike other media players and you can slow down or speed up the voices.

Express Scribe

I started using Express Scribe purely because a client used a pocket dictate mobile dictation recorder which was compatible with this software. This supports audio and video formats such as mp3, mp4, wav and Windows Media files.


You could simply hear audio through your computer’s speakers, but I prefer to wear headphones to help shut out any external noise and this focuses my attention more and I’m less likely to miss out audio where the sound may dip or the speakers voice is a little bit “mumbly” or quiet.

Foot pedal

I can use this to play, rewind and fast forward the audio I am listening to, which enables me to concentrate on the typing aspect of the job, which is the most important part of the transcription – definitely an essential tool of the trade!

By Helen John, Oct 20 2015 12:00AM

A transcriptionist is a qualified experienced audio typist specialising in your industry; a typist who transcribes letters or other documentation from recorded dictation using a voice recorder such as; an Olympus Dictaphone or smartphone. For example, our expertise of the surveying background has a specialism of transcribing Building Survey’s, Homebuyer’s Reports, Schedules of Condition and Schedules of Work. Once the author has completed the dictation, the sound file is simply uploaded onto the author’s computer via a USB cable and this is sent to the transcriptionist by the use of email of Dropbox.

The audio typing is undertaken by the transcriptionist using a headset and foot pedal to transcribe sound files which are loaded onto software such as Olympus DSS or ExpressScribe. The headset is used to receive the author’s voice from the sound file and the foot pedal incorporates two main buttons; play and rewind which very simply control the software on our computer. We can transcribe from most audio file extensions including MP3, DSS, DS2, WAV, WMA, WAV/AIFF. We can also transcribe from the old mini cassette recorders, although these are not generally used as often as digital files.

The professional industry standard allows ONE hour to transcribe 15 minutes of clearly recorded speech. Therefore, it takes a MINIMUM of 4 hours to transcribe a one hour tape. It can take as long as 6 or 8 hours depending on the quality of the recording and the speed in which you type.

A good, clear recording results in accurate and fast transcription.