For many years, analogue recording systems, particularly tape recorders, were the only options available to anybody wishing to commission a transcript of their interview, focus group, conference or dictation. In recent times, however, digital recorders have quickly overtaken tape recorders as the predominant professional audio recording device. There are numerous advantages to clients in switching to a digital recorder for all transcription needs. And it has never been easier to make the switch.
Why Go Digital?
There is a long list of advantages to adopting a digital dictation and transcription system, some of which include:
1. Stability and Integrity of Audio Files.
One great benefit of digitally recorded audio files is their durability. While cassettes can physically break and often suffer from twisted or mangled tape, digital files can be stored for decades with none of these problems. The audio quality of digital files does not decline over time or when copies are made. While tapes are usually limited to 60 or 90 minutes in duration, digital files can be of any length. The Philips range of Professional Dictation Recorders all have superb audio quality, easy-to-use large, colour interface and a wide range of features.
2. Versatility – Better and Faster Access to Audio.
Tapes must be physically transported from the attorney to the transcriptionist for processing. Digital files are transmitted electronically, thus allowing much quicker turnaround time. If the attorney has dictated something while out of the office, the file can be sent by email to the transcriptionist, rather than waiting until the attorney is back in the office to hand the tape to his or her secretary. Likewise, files can be transmitted over the firm’s network from attorney to transcriptionist.
3. Insert/Overwrite Capability.
Analogue tapes only allow attorneys to dictate in a linear fashion. In other words, if the attorney dictates Paragraph 1 onto a tape, then Paragraph 2, but later decides that he wants to edit or add something to the end of Paragraph 1, it is impossible to go back and add that audio at the appropriate point. Instead the attorney would have to append the taped audio, with instructions to the transcriptionist as to where they want that audio inserted. It is far easier to edit digital files and to add in precise timestamps for parts which are inaudible or unclear as digital recorder allow an attorney to insert or overwrite within the audio, thus making for a much more versatile dictation process. With digital dictation and the scenario above, the attorney could easily hit rewind, return to the end of Paragraph 1 and then insert the audio desired. Paragraph 2 would automatically be moved forward within the audio file.
When sending files to a transcriptionist for completion, it is possible to attach priority information to the file. So if the transcriptionist has 10 files in her queue to be transcribed, she is automatically alerted as to which file has the highest priority and needs to be done first.
The audio files are organized in her queue according to priority, regardless of the order in which they were dictated. Attorneys may easily check the status of their dictation, recall dictation, and re-route their dictation to other transcriptionists. If their normal transcriptionist is out sick or away, sending it to another secretary is as simple as one or two clicks.
Many law firms both in South Africa and overseas are discovering the benefits of digital dictation once making the change from their old analogue systems. Documents are produced at a much quicker rate and with better accuracy – thanks to the superior sound quality offered by professional digital recorders. Transcriptionists also prefer that they can stop a dictation, rewind and go to a specific area more easily without a lot of searching.
So what are you waiting for?
The Philips range of professional dictation recorders and transcription kits will transform the productivity levels in your firm, saving you time and money. Philips also has a Smartphone recorder which allows you to use your smartphone as a dictation device when you are out of the office or traveling. The files can be easily transferred via our secure server to your secretary, making sure that even when you are away your work can continue.