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Many industries rely on transcription, in which a recorded message or hand-written notes are typed into a computer document so people can read it rather than listen to it, or read it more easily. There are a few pieces of transcription equipment necessary for this service, with a computer and either a cassette tape player or Internet connection being the most basic kinds of transcription hardware. Aside from these items, one of the most important types of hardware is a transcription recorder, which records the spoken word. To transcribe this into the written word, a transcriptionist uses a headset so he can listen to the message. At this point, a foot pedal is used to scroll through the recording at an appropriate speed during the transcription process.
Transcribing written notes merely involves the paper and pen with which the notes are originally made and a computer. While there are a few other options for handwritten notes, computer transcription is the most common in the early 21st century. These kinds of notes are typically transcribed to be put into a standard format or simply to be written more clearly.
As for voice-to-computer transcription, there are two main types of recorders, with the traditional kind being the analog recorder. This type of transcription hardware requires that users place a small cassette tape inside it, which means the length of the message is limited to how much the tape can hold. The tape then needs to be given to the person who will transcribe it onto a document, which means it has to be mailed or picked up in person, and then played on a cassette player. A digital recorder does not use a tape, which means the message can be much longer in most cases. The recorded message can then be sent to a computer through a cord and emailed to the person who will transcribe it, which is why many people find this type of recorder more convenient than the analog kind.
For the transcriptionist to listen to the message, he typically wears a headset. This type of transcription hardware is usually considered better than a speaker for this purpose, because it can isolate the message from background noise, making it clearer. A transcription headset can be hooked up to a cassette player if tapes from an analog transcription recorder are used, or it can be attached to a computer if a digital recorder is used.
A foot pedal is another common type of transcription hardware. When a cassette player and tapes are used, a foot pedal is usually necessary to stop and start each tape so the hands are solely used for typing. A transcription foot pedal also can rewind or fast forward through tapes. This piece of transcription hardware also is often used with digital recordings, with the same purpose of maneuvering through the recording without having to stop typing. Analog foot pedals usually plug into the tape player, while digital foot pedals plug into the computer.