General discussion

using MP3 players for transcription

I'm doing fieldwork in Mozambique and need one or two cheap MP3 players for my assistants to use while transcribing field recordings, mostly voice/speech. My question is if it's possible to forward or reverse within the same recording or 'song'. That is, can one listen to the same 10-15 seconds, i.e., phrase or sentence, over and over? I'm particularly interested in the Sony NWZ-B105F (2GB, black) MP3 Flash player or the 1GB model in the same series. Thanks

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I do not see such a feature in these MP3 players. However if you can copy the MP3 recording back to a PC you could try

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using MP3 players for transcription

thanks R., do you know of any MP3 players that might have this feature? Otherwise, as you suggest, I might have to edit the recordings into manageable transcription chunks before giving them to my assistants.

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MP3 Transcription


I would like to second the use of audio scribe -- an excellent pieces of software for MP3 Transcription. You can set up "hot keys" with this transcription software so the MP3 recording of the interview can skip forward and back.

It might also be worth investing in an external microphone and make note of the recording conditions when recording an interview (there are so good tips on recording here ).

The last thing to consider is that transcribing an interview can take a lot longer than you think, there are some basic guidelines that London Transcription Services are using as ground rules for setting transcription service fees.

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transcription mp3 player=search terms. this page=4th hit.

I don't know any range of commercial software productions, so I can't compare any.

I'm on a mac that comes with garageband which will get the job done.

First you need to get the audio into garageband. That can be a fraying hack bureaucracy pandering exercise. The only way I know of getting a computer's audio output channel into garageband, "soundgarden", is buggy, because if I want to change audio input channels after enabling soundgarden for some reason I need to utterly delete soundgarden from everywhere on the computer (library addons extensions deleting-ferreting etcetera); even though the sound input pop up menu includes other audio-ins. Getting audio into garageband is something I need tech support with.

If you get your audio in garageband on a track, you can use the "loop button" with the yellow slider to select regions for constant replaying. Keep on advancing the yellow loop region while the thing plays back. But you have to manually use your mouse for that.

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