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What Is a Transcription Recorder?

Andrew Kirmayer
Andrew Kirmayer

A transcription recorder is usually a device, but in some cases software, that is used for recording speech. Transcription works in a way similar to the job of a stenographer, a person who writes down words as they are being spoken. Often used for medical and legal transcription, an electronic recorder generally minimizes errors that can be made when information is written down. A digital transcription recorder may include voice activation, internal memory, and sometimes the ability to mark places to return to. Software for voice recording can be installed in computers for use at business meetings, for example.

In the past, a transcription recorder was typically mechanical and stored audio on a cassette tape. Such a machine sometimes worked with a foot pedal to stop and rewind the tape; the device often allowed a user to slow down the playback speed as well. Digital transcription equipment can also be used with a foot pedal that connects to a computer. Many handheld devices can store voice recordings as digital files. They often have multi-gigabyte memory capacity and editing functions, while some models include speech recognition software.

Cassette players are sometimes still used for transcribing audio into text.
Cassette players are sometimes still used for transcribing audio into text.

Software programs can have transcription recorder functions as well. Many of them include the basic functions such as play, stop, rewind, and pause. Functions such as slowing down the audio can be included as well. Often linked to a word processing program, such software can be compatible with foot switches or even keyboard commands for control. These programs can often be used with common operating systems, so they can be integrated into either home or corporate computers.

A transcription system, whether it is a handheld digital device or software, can be used in a business or government meeting to record significant details. It is often beneficial for medical professionals in various fields, including surgery. Another benefit is that a transcription recorder can be used by someone who wants to work in his or her home. One can take classes in the subject, as well as transcribe text, on his or her computer while working for profit.

To find the right transcription recorder, an Internet search is often sufficient. There are many suppliers of such equipment that sell various transcribing products online. Transcription services are often available online as well. Employees of these businesses typically benefit from modern recorders. The devices and software, therefore, have come a long way from writing long and often complex documents based on dictation.

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    • Cassette players are sometimes still used for transcribing audio into text.
      By: Stepan Bormotov
      Cassette players are sometimes still used for transcribing audio into text.