Archive for June, 2012

19
Jun
12

The Transcription Job

In transcription, the things that you should be concerned about are:  audio, format, style guide and deadlines.  These are the things you should consider once you and your client have agreed to the rates you’ve given.   Remember not to price so low if you can send back quality transcripts.  $10 per audio hour is a big no-no.

Audio.  Once things have been settled between you and your client, you have to download the audio and check if it’s clear, doable and the exact length your client specified in an email.  You can listen to parts of the audio and see if you could still enhance it in Express Scribe, Audacity or in any software that you use for transcription that could help you make the audio clearer, if it’s not that clear or audible.  If there’s no way to enhance it, you can inform your client that it’s impossible to work on as soon as you can so that the client will know how bad it is.

That is, hoping that your client is online all the time to answer your queries.

Format.  This is also important.  It’s a guide for you how to type the transcript.  Always ask your client how he/she would like his transcript to look like.  More often than not, clients prefer a certain format for the transcriptionist to follow.  This has to be strictly followed or else you’d lose your client.  Or most of the time, the client has his/her own template and a sample and they will send it either with the audio link or in a separate email.

Be sure to check your emails carefully for these or you might start from scratch.  You wouldn’t want that, would you?

Style guide.  A style guide is the rules of how you will approach the audio and start transcribing.  Without it, you’re at a loss.  You’d have to contact your client again and again if he/she doesn’t have a clear guide as to how he/she wants the audio transcribed.  I always ask my client if I would have to include the uh’s, uhm’s, uh-huh’s, wanna, gonna, kinda, you know, I mean, like, so, et cetera.  I’m lucky if those are not needed.  Those are really a bunch of useless words to me.  Or ask if you could start the sentence with ‘And…’  as most speakers do that.

The style guide is just to make things clear about a lot of things that’s why it’s part and parcel of any transcription job.  There are clients that are meticulous when it comes to their transcript.  There are times they would require you to include the time stamp every 5 minutes or so, which is also tedious for me.

Deadlines.  Now, this is the crucial part of the job.  If the client says, “I need this by 12 noon tomorrow,” make sure you complete the task by 12 noon the next day.  You’re lucky the client gave you a long turn-around time or TAT, in transcription lingo.  Usually, clients would want a shorter TAT for a certain audio and that is a rush job.  We can talk about that in another blog.  That’s a whole ballgame altogether.

As long as you and your client agree on the terms, conditions and the things you have to do on an audio, that’s fine.  But always ask your client if you still have something to clarify.  That way, the client will know you want to make your work as perfect as you can.

Good luck and love your job!

19
Jun
12

Those Kodak Moments in the Times of Your Life

This is like the getting-to-know-you stage of a relationship, between me and WordPress.  I have to get used to this so I will use it more often.

Today, there was news about Kodak losing out to other companies in the digital arena. I sure am quite disappointed about this because I pray that someone will continue the legacy that Kodak has started. If only I had the money, I’d buy the company and just upgrade all the cameras to better ones and incorporate the lenses into cellphones or something, to keep up with the competition. Or better yet, turn those cameras into cellphones with cameras and keep upgrading the technology.

But there’s always a reason why things happen. Just like what people say that when a door closes, another one opens.  I just hope so. There’s going to be something better that awaits most of us.

I have this to say to Kodak:  I grew up on Kodak films, magic cubes, flash bulbs, photo paper, developing and printing. Sooner or later, all these will just become a memory because of the entry of the digital darkroom in our midst. Photos now have become easier to delete, edit, tweak, or what have you. But nothing compares to a photo straight from your darkroom into someone’s hands. Photos are forever. Those Kodak Moments will always be there, imprinted in our minds, in our photographs.

Kodak Moments will always be with me until the day I close my eyes.