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Summary Details

Query:   Transcription of Digital Audio
Author:  Susan Gehr
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Language Documentation

Summary:   Regarding query:

I had asked a multi-part question about the tools used to transcribe
digital audio. In the course of my question, I asked for

1. help identifying a foot pedal that I could attach to my computer (a Mac
running OS X Panther) to transcribe digital audio files.
2. help opening files with Express Scribe.
3. general input on the technology people are using to transcribe digital
audio & video files.

I haven’t decided what I am going to do yet with all this good information,
but I wanted to give a timely summary of all the responses so generously
sent to me.

Galina Bolden of UCLA mentioned that the one setup she had tried with a USB
foot pedal had a delay that was unacceptable. Instead, she uses some
scripts she has written for QuickTime for transcribing digital audio.

Bill Weigel of UC Berkeley and the Nuumu Yadoha Language Program referred
me to two transcription programs, Transcriber and ELAN Carolyn O'Meara of the Department of
Linguistics, University at Buffalo also suggested the software program

Bill prefers ELAN in part because it is better documented, as it comes with
a 100 page user’s manual.

He hasn’t yet tried a USB foot pedal, but was able to identify a model for

Prof. Peri Bhaskararao, Ph.D. of ILCAA, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
gave me some helpful technical support for using Express Scribe, which inspired me to try the program again.
My previous problem was that I could never get a sound file to load.

What I didn’t know until now was that I needed to go in to the Incoming
panel of the preference settings and designate a folder where I would put
the sound files, designate how I want the files to load and what file types
I wanted it to load. This requirement wasn’t mentioned in Express Scribe’s
help files, nor when I posted my problem to their message boards.

Carolyn O’Meara also suggested the Marantz line of digital solid state
recorders. Product information can be found at

Jean Louis-Valero, not a Linguist List member, but the developer of a
transcription program, LoopyLoop X, suggested the
Vpedal at, which he himself is going to order and
test with his software.

Additionally, I recently learned that the software being promoted for use
by the master-apprentice language learning teams of the Advocates for
Indigenous California Language Survival (for which I am a mentor) is Final
Cut Pro, Apple’s professional audio/video editing software.


LL Issue: 16.1172
Date Posted: 13-Apr-2005
Original Query: Read original query


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