Posts Tagged ‘touch typist




Once I’ve settled with my client, he/she would send me an e-mail that would contain where I could find the file that I would have to transcribe. It usually comes through my e-mail as an attachment or as a file or a link where I could download it from and save it into my computer. The audio file could have the filename extensions such as WAV, MP3, WMA or an MP4.

To play these files I had to download Express Scribe, a transcription tool. It was one of the requirements that a client would also ask of me.

Using Express Scribe (ES) made my life easier if I get those files mentioned above. I learned to transfer the file into ES and then start transcribing. I didn’t need to have a foot pedal since I was used to using the ‘hot keys’ faster since I am a touch typist.

Coming from Windows Media Player (WMP), which I used when I was just starting, that was a 360-degree turn for me. Imagine, if I didn’t use ES, I would have to press pause on WMP, move the slider then play the audio. That was time consuming, I tell you. The slider wouldn’t go right at the spot where you actually stopped the audio. It would but you’d have to try it many times, in my experience.


When I applied as a home-based legal transcriptionist, I was again introduced to another software. But this time, it played videos and it had a transcription pad where you could type in text. It’s called Inqscribe.

My client would send me big files of videos for me to transcribe. Sometimes, it’s one hour or one-and-a-half hours in length. I would download the video first and I would open it in Inqscribe. It already has a player, volume, and a typing pad. Additional features of Inqscribe are putting in time stamps, choosing hot keys for easier play/pause/rewind of the video, and a host of other things.

Tips for Working on Audios:

1.) For starters, use Express Scribe as your first choice for working on audios sent through your e-mail.

2.) For videos, I can suggest using Inqscribe, the free download, but as always, it’s for a limited time only. After two weeks or a month, Inqscribe would remind you to get a new license key for you to use it again.

3.) Ask your client how long the audio is so that when you download it, it’s the number of minutes that your client said it was. Just to make sure.

4.) Once you’ve downloaded the audio, check the audio out by listening to it by segments, if you are going to work on something longer than 15 minutes or so, just to check the quality of the audio.

5.) If the quality of the audio is really bad, you can tell your client that you can’t do it because of poor quality – lots of background noise, the speaker isn’t heard or what have you. That way, your client will know that the audio he/she sent isn’t workable and cancel having it transcribed or give you another audio to work on.

That’s it for THE AUDIO FILE(S). Next up will be using Express Scribe or Inqscribe. Just some tips you could use if you’re a beginner in transcription. Thanks for reading.


Meet the TAT

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.

Remember this paragraph from The Transcription Job post?  Now, I’m talking about it in a new blog.  The turn-around time or the TAT, as we transcriptionists call it, yes, our jargon.  While I was starting out as a transcriptionist, I had no idea what that was all about.  Now, it’s my time to share it with you, in case you’re interested to be a transcriptionist one of these days.

It’s basically a deadline, in layman’s terms.  The time that you can deliver the transcript – clean, edited, reviewed – and you’re confident of what you’ve done.  Then, you’re ready to send it to the client.  Once you hit the send button, there’s no turning back though.  No regrets whatsoever.  Once it’s been sent, it’s already right at your client’s mailbox or inbox.

Now that you know what the TAT is, I can discuss the types of TAT that you need to work on.  Back then, I didn’t know what my TAT would be for a 40-minute audio.  I’ve done my assignment, don’t you worry.  I’ve calculated my TAT several years ago.  Haha, age shows?

Kidding aside, I present myself to clients as a fast typist or a touch typist (someone who doesn’t need to look at the keyboard when typing, thanks to our typing classes back in high school, another topic to write about), I can transcribe certain accents in a certain amount of time.

Okay, my batting average comes to about one hour of transcription for a 10-minute clear, one or two-speaker audio.  So, doing the math, that comes to about 4 hours of transcribing for a 40-minute audio.  That’s actually not that fast, but faster than a beginner.  Someone who has just gotten his/her first client would usually finish an hour of audio in eight hours or so, considering the typing speed and the audio quality.  That’s typical for a beginner.  But as you go along and get used to these, you’ll get faster.

There are people who could do an hour of audio in four hours, tops.  Yes, I know, they’re what we call “monsters.”  Haha.  But let’s just hope their quality isn’t sacrificed, right?

At this point, I not only have discussed the deadline, I’ve also covered typing speed and quality.  Two points to consider when the TAT is mentioned.  When doing a transcription job, speed is one factor that your client would love you for, especially if your client is someone who wants things in a jiffy.

Quality is more often than not one of those considerations of clients when they ask you to transcribe for them.  This is where those rates come in.  You can price yourself so low and yet the quality has been sacrificed.  Or you can price yourself just right with speed and quality are both present in your work.  Then, you can set a price for your work when other clients come in.

When your clients see that you’ve done a good job, they’ll praise you and they’ll keep you working for them, give you assignments to work on.  Those are the perks as long as you meet the TAT, speed and quality in mind.

Before I forget, there are different kinds of TATs to consider.  There’s the 12-hour TAT or the 24-hour TAT.  It could also go up to a 48-hour TAT or even a 6-hour TAT.  Usually, the client asks you how long would you be able to finish such a task.  You can tell your client you will check the audio quality and from there, you can judge if you can make the TAT or not.

Just be sure to inform your client if you can or cannot work on it or else, you’d lose that client.  You wouldn’t want to be just bumming around the whole day, would you?

Also, if a client wants a rush job, that’s a different rate, especially if the audio is quite tough to handle and yet you chose to work on it.  I would raise my rate higher than my normal rate to compensate for the difficulty of the audio and if the client wants it pronto.

For those of you who are new to this, finding clients that give long TATs are good finds.  Just remember to keep this in mind:  Longer TATs, not-too-high rates with speed and quality.  Shorter TATs, higher rates but still done with speed and quality.

Now, can you tell what your TAT is for an hour of audio?