Transcribe: Great Free Web app for Court Reporters

The Chrome Web Store rolled out a free web app back in August 2012 called Transcribe.  It’s a nice little program for some to use, but your Louisville Kentucky court reporters, Taylor Court Reporting KY, needs more. We like Transcribe for its ability to import MP3 and WAV files for proofreading our deposition and arbitration transcripts.  The free version of Transcribe offers five useful shortcut keys:

  • Esc: pause/resume
  • F1:  slow down
  • F2:  speed up
  • F3:  rewind 2 seconds
  • F4:  forward 2 seconds

You can purchase the Transcribe Pro version, also available at the Chrome Web Store, with a few upgrades.  The upgraded Pro version works on a cloud platform so you can work at any computer from home, the office, or on the road.  Pro allows you to upload multiple audio files and export your transcripts as doc files. This pay option will save you from having to copy and paste as you do with the free version.

Transcribe Pro has several different plans. You can choose the Solo plan at $19.00 a month. The Solo plan comes with 8 hours of audio and 20 documents.  You can get the Premium Plan for $29.00 a month and it will give you 14 hours of audio and 30 documents.  For the casual user that needs a little more, there is a pay-as-you-go plan that comes in at $3.00 an hour for audio with 10 documents.  If you want a time code showing the current audio position and have the ability to import WMA files, you’ll need the Pro version.

An iOS app became available in November of 2012.  The iOS platform allows you to record audio directly to your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and you can then upload the files automatically to your Transcribe Pro account.  You’ll manually have to transfer the audio to your computer with the free version.  (What a great back-up audio option for deposition court reporters.)

Visit the Chrome Web Store to download either the free version of Transcribe or Transcribe Pro, the paid version.  You can also download Transcribe and Transcribe Pro from the Taylor Court Reporting Kentucky website, just go to the Clients section and follow the Downloads link.

If there was anything we would like to see improved on the free version, it would be an “always-on-top” option and the ability to reassign the hotkeys.  With those two caveats in mind, Taylor Court Reporting, your Louisville Kentucky Court Reporters, can give the free version of Transcribe for Chrome users two thumbs up!

Read the reviews.

Kentucky Court Reporters Support Kentucky Justice Association at State Fair

The lazy days of summer are winding down as the kids start back to school. It’s August in Kentucky, the temperatures are still rising, and it’s Kentucky State Fair time.  Ah, the State Fair, with its novel gastronomic adventures, corn dogs, deep fried Girl Scout cookies and hamburgers served between two Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts.  It’s also time for the Trial by Jury, put on each year by the Kentucky Justice Association with the help and support of the Kentucky Court Reporters Association.

Fair-goers get the chance to get out of the heat and take a seat on a jury, where they learn the value and importance of a citizen’s right to a trial by a jury of their peers and the responsibility every citizen shares to insure that right.  Once jurors are selected and seated, they listen to the case presented by attorneys.  They hear testimony, objections, and rulings by the Court.  They learn what it means to be on a jury.

As they listen to the proceedings and ponder the evidence, from time to time their eyes wander to the court reporter sitting behind the steno machine, fingers flying while intently listening to each word spoken.  Every once in a while they notice the reporter’s eyes glace at her computer screen and they wonder, “What’s she looking at, and whatever happened to the paper that comes out of that machine?”  After deliberations, their work done, the verdict is read.  The jurors feel the weight of their decision and are glad to talk to the attorneys a bit about their experience.  A few jurors inevitably wander over to the court reporter to see what exactly she does during the trial. 

Participants L to R: Attorney Jay Prather, Bailiff Nick Smith, Court Reporter Linda Taylor and Judge James Brantley, Attorney Andrew Downey (not pictured)

Now, with just a few people milling around, the court reporter explains the role she plays in depositions and trial.  She explains that as an impartial officer of the court, she is charged with taking down verbatim notes of the proceedings and transcribing them for interested parties. She explains the changes in technology over the years, how our writing style has gone from using paper and dictating machines to using computer technology that can produce an instant readable translation of the spoken work.  

Someone always asks for a demonstration and we are happy to show them how the steno machine works and how it can be connected to a computer for a realtime readout of the proceedings. We explain how that can benefit the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and how lawyers and judges use the instant translations to impeach witnesses or mark important parts of the testimony.

“How do court reporters know what keys to push if they aren’t marked?  How long does it take to become a court reporter?  How much money does a court reporter make?”  We answer all the questions we’re asked, but can’t help adding how much we love this profession of court reporting, the freedom of a deposition reporter’s schedule, the people we meet, and the stories we hear. 

Everyone walks away having learned something by participating in the Trial by Jury.  If you ever find yourself looking for something to do in August, head on over to the Kentucky State Fair and get involved with the Trial by Jury.  Meet a lawyer, talk to a court reporter, a judge or a bailiff.  It’s fun, air conditioned and, best of all, it’s free! 

Linda L. Taylor

Photography by Jessie Taylor



Personal Dictionary Building a Must for Busy Court Reporters

Make Time for Building and Maintaining Your Personal Dictionary

Obtaining and maintaining a good personal dictionary is an ongoing process, one that pays off not only in great satisfaction, but additional income, too.  In the world of court reporting, the faster you transcribe, the faster you get to bill, and the faster you get to bill, the faster the money comes in.  The building blocks of this principle begin with “the faster you transcribe,” and that begins with a good personal dictionary.

Doing your own transcribing is probably the best way to build a good personal dictionary, but there are other ways a busy reporter can achieve a good dictionary.  Making time on a regular basis for dictionary entries and cleanup is a must.  Whether I’m sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee, or on a plane, or train, traveling to a deposition, it’s during these quiet times I’ll pull out my laptop and enter new words, word groups, and find new ways of writing words that have been in my dictionary for years.

Some pundits suggest deleting words and phrases from your dictionary that you no longer want and then re-enter these words and phrases in a new way.  I disagree with that method.  I prefer leaving the old words and outlines in my dictionary while adding the new ones.  I leave the old words and outlines for when I’m rushed and have to think about what I’m writing and how to write it.  If I write it the old, familiar way, it’s there and it comes up nicely, but if I take it out of my dictionary and write it the old way when I’m rushed, it now comes up as junk.  I prefer to leave the old, add the new, and concentrate on drilling on the new way of writing until it becomes second nature and my rough transcripts come up cleaner with time.

Remember, personal dictionary building and improvement is like the story of the tortoise and the hare:  slow, consistent and methodical behavior wins the race.

Linda L. Taylor