Home | About Me | Services and BLOG | Newsletters | Confidentiality | Value-Added Transcription Services | Contact Me | Fees | FAQs-Transcription | Links | Etc. and More
Frequently Asked Transcription Questions


Q: What digital file formats do you accept?

A: I accept most common electronic formats including dss, wav, mp3, real audio and quicktime to name a few. I can also transcribe cassettes -- standard-sized being preferable because of the quality over micro-cassettes. However, micro-cassettes are gladly accepted. Transcripts will be completed in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect formats. Documents will be e-mailed back to you, or if hard copies are desired, they can be delivered to you.

Q: What is your turn-around period?

A: Depending on the size of your project and with advance notice, I can generally get your project returned to you within three business days. For large projects, I send you completed work in piece-meal portions.

Q: I already have an office staff, why do I need your services?

A: Whether you are a sole proprietor or a corporation, transcription takes time and cannot be done efficiently with interruptions. Transcription is a specialized skill and takes special equipment.


Q. So do you only accept digital files and/or cassettes?

A: No, I accept handwritten copy or marked up hard copy that can be scanned and e-mailed or faxed.

Q. So what is the best format to use for recording?

A. The state-of-the art BEST, in terms of clarity, is digital. Although, CD/DVD videos are a close second, as I can watch the body language and use emphasis in the transcript as appropriate. Audio on standard-sized tapes is far superior to that of microcassettes. I don't accept mini-cassettes (slightly larger than micros, but quite a bit smaller than standards). The most important factor I consider when it comes to audio quality is the speed with which it was recorded - PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T SET THE RECORDER ON LP (LONG PLAY) 1.2 SPEED -- although the long play speed allows more audio on the tape, the slower speed that the tape moves, drastically degrades the audio quality -- resulting in a transcript with numerous [inaudibles] or [questioned ??] words as to what might have been said. Transcribing a LP cassette usually results in twice the length of time to complete -- making it a much more expensive transcript.

Q. I have a 40-minute one-on-one recording. I only need five minutes transcribed. Is that possible?

A. Unfortunately, no. The certification I provide with all transcripts states that the transcript is true and complete. A five-minute portion is not complete. Additionally, a 'hit-and-miss' attempt to find a certain portion of audio actually takes longer than listening/transcribing from beginning to end.

Q. I need to make arrangements for you to videotape a deposition transcript. Can you do that?


A. No. I do not perform the actual videotaping -- you might try contacting a court reporter. You do not have a transcript until the spoken words are typed on paper. A recorded video by itself is just that -- a video.  


Q. What about confidentiality and privacy?

Twenty plus years' legal experience has taught me the importance of attorney-client privilege/confidentiality. 

If I'm not working on the document, I DON'T keep any client file on my computer hard drives.  When not working on them, files are downloaded to zip drives, CDs, DVDs, and/or diskettes and locked in a fireproof box. 

I have locking filing cabinets and my office is locked when I'm not working.  I also have two firewalls. 

If client does not want drafts returned, they are CROSS-SHREDDED. 

All client material is returned and no hard copy is kept. 

Client documents NEVER end up at the curb waiting for the weekly trash pickup until cross-shredded.


Q. Are you hiring?


A. No. I perform all the work myself and don't sub it out to contractors.

True verbatim transcription is an art -- the transcriptionist must have an ear for it. Everyone hears, but there are very few that listen. It is essential that legal transcripts are true, complete and accurate. Every sound and every word must be put down on paper exactly as it was spoken.

General correspondence and memo transcription is grammatically correct and normally not typed verbatim. Police interviews, interrogations, witness statements and phone conversations are not necessarily grammatically correct -- it is imperative that they are typed exactly as spoken. The subject matter can be hard to stomach, and the majority of the words are four-letter -- again, the reason verbatim transcription is not for everyone.

Horizontal Divider 14

Differences between a letter and a transcript

Value-Added Transcription Services

What Price Tag do YOU Place on a Brain?

A service vendor should not be chosen on price alone. I don't openly advertise my rates on my site because I feel that verbal communication between myself and client and/or perspective client is needed in order to discuss exactly what is needed, and what is expected. With that said, the first query I normally get is "how much do you charge per page?" without first telling me anything about the audio/video. ...(click following link to continue reading)

The basis behind my charge rates

How Fast Do You Talk?

I recently received an inquiry from someone with a recorded telephone conversation lasting 56 minutes and wanting to know how long it would take, and my fee to transcribe.

After asking a few basic questions of my own, i.e., “Is it a conference call with multiple speakers?—How many speakers?—How was it recorded?”— I go on to explain that if the quality of the recording is not “top notch” to begin with, that with each “re-recording” the audio quality is further diminished and transcription time increased.

I always begin with my typing speed of 120 wpm; however, there are too many variables to “quote” a final fee without first hearing the tape. The caller’s immediate response was “so you can type it in less than an hour, right?” Yeah, right – NOT!

For anyone thinking along these lines, be advised:  

One hour of audio can take as little as three—or as many as eight hours to transcribe.

Out of curiosity, I did a quick Google search and found the following speeds:

Presentation speed
 145-160 wpm

Friendly conversation
110-150 wpm

Books on tape
 150-160 wpm

 250-400 wpm

Average reading rate
 200-300 wpm


Your Documents are Your Reputation ...
Making Them Look Good is Mine!©1992-2016 Carolyn Bodley

Copyright ©2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 by Carolyn Bodley. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this website, or any portion of it, without first obtaining the express WRITTEN permission of CAROLYN BODLEY, may result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent under the law.

Copyright Infringement of a Website

Protected by Copyscape
                  plagiarism checker - duplicate content and unique article detection software.

This site  The Web

Hosting by Web.com