Transcriptionlive Blog - Articles, Tutorials, News

Digital Transcription and File Formats

The advent of digital technology has tremendously simplified the transcription process. Digital transcription has limited the physical interaction between the client and service provider to the online environment. It has also quickened the process of getting the source material to the service provider. The client simply sends the digital recording via secure online channels and the service provider instantaneously receives the material for a quick turnaround.

The security which digital transcription provides is one of the main reasons why it is favored more than the old fashioned transcription methods. The first step is to make sure that the digital recording gets to the service provider in the accepted format. It is also important to have in mind the digital form of the end product, which should allow you to access the file immediately without the need to use additional software.

Digital transcription and text formats

  • .TXT files are the simplest file formats sent to transcriptionists and they often contain minimal formatting. Most OS (operating systems) can access these types of files without encountering any compatibility issues.
  • .RTF (Rich Text Format) can be accessed through most word processors, dependent on the version. Compatibility issues are encountered and this type of file is commonly used when exporting or importing digital transcripts.
  • .DOC (document) is a word processing document file extension and the file format is available in several variations. Compatibility issues may be encountered when using newer versions of word programs and older software versions. However, these types of files can be accessed using a variety of software including Google Docs, Open Office, Abiword, IBM and Lotus.
  • .PDF (Portable Document File) is a file format which represents documents independently, without the support of an OS or publishing software. Transcripts are commonly presented in this file format because it is easy to lock, encrypt and secure PDF documents. Compatibility and formatting is never a problem encountered with this file format.

Deriving transcripts from source materials

Transcripts can be derived from a number of video and audio digital file formats. Professional transcriptionists are often well-equipped with the necessary media software to accommodate different digital file formats. Some of the common video and audio files accepted by transcriptionists include OGG, AVI, AAC, MOV, WMA, MPG, MP3, WMV, WAV and FLV.

Digital transcription is sourced by a wide variety of professions and for personal use. Online digital transcription has greatly improved the efficiency of the transcription process. The digital video and audio files are uploaded by the client securely to the transcription service and the transcript is downloaded by the client via the same channel.