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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

An Introduction to Video Transcription Players

Video transcription, much like transcription itself, can mean many different things. Depending on the subject and content matter of video transcription, you could be doing anything from simply transcribing something that happens to be video rather than audio-only all the way to a combined continuity/dialogue and spotting list for major motion picture or television show. We will go into the different kinds of video transcription and what they entail in future posts.

Before you start video transcription of any sort, you are going to need a transcription program able to play video. Three popular choices are: TheRecord Player, Inqscribe and Start Stop PowerPlay. Each player will play video and incorporate the use of a foot pedal; however, the features are different for all of them.

TheRecord Player is a free player that can be downloaded from For the Record. You are able to use the video software with a foot pedal, and it will work nicely if timestamping video is something you don't do much of. One drawback of TheRecord Player is the inability to timestamp with hot keys, as the other two players below can.

Inqscribe has many features that can be useful at times, including the ability to timestamp directly the transcript using a hot key of your choice. It also allows you to set the start time to match the video runtime that is displayed on the screen, and you can also choose the format for the timestamp. One drawback is that you have to type directly into the Inqscribe screen and cannot type into another program such as Word, Word Perfect or Excel. Inqscribe is available as a single-user license for $99.00 that allows you to install the program on two personal computers. Additionally, discounts are available for academic personnel and students.

Start Stop PowerPlay is the most expensive of all three video transcription players at $175.00. Included in the price are several features that the above two players do not have. Not only can you timestamp directly from the video runtime, but you can also timestamp directly into your word processor. You can set PowerPlay to enter timestamps into the document at certain intervals without you having to do anything, and you have the option of adding video thumbnails to be pasted into our document as well. Included in the price of the product are free upgrades of the software for life. This can be very valuable in video transcription and increase your productivity.

Obviously, your personal needs as a transcriptionist are what is going to be the deciding factor in determining which player is right for you. Hopefully, you have found this information helpful as you look for the player to suit your needs.