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Pacific’s Quote Calculator App Gives Clients Greater Control

pacific's quote calculatorPacific’s new quote calculator is an easy-to-use app which lets research clients enter their specific transcription requirements to produce an accurate estimate of costs.

By providing this quote calculator app to researchers Pacific enables researchers to have more control over their transcription requirements by streamlining the procurement process – saving researchers precious time and money!

The Quote Calculator app is easy to use and is accessible to all research clients who have a secure client login with Pacific.

Pacific's Quote Calculator

Save Yourself the Stress – Use Pacific’s Quote Calculator!

quote calculator for research clients is easy to use!quote calculator for research clients is easy to use!How does the Quote Calculator app work?

Data is entered into the quote calculator app, which uses a clever algorithm to automatically calculate the cost of transcription.

Depending on the method used to create a quote, data can be either automatically drawn from audio files, or manually entered by the client, to populate the quote calculator.

The type of data used to create the quote includes audio file length, audio type, number of speakers, and turnaround options.

A running Estimated Price is automatically generated at the top of the screen, so you can see how your service selection options impact on price.

Once you’re happy with your service selection, click Save and Download Quote. A PDF is generated and downloaded to your computer, for future reference.

Make sure you upload your audio files and if you haven’t’ already, and contact the Operations Team to confirm your requirements. The Ops Team will then add your files to the transcription queue, ready for transcription.

When does my quote become a transcription job?

A transcription job is created when your audio files are uploaded to your secure client account and you have confirmed with the Operations Team the specifics of your transcription job, such as turnaround, audio quality and use of templates.

At all times after an audio upload or change to quote requirements, you will receive popup prompts which let you know what you need to do in order for the transcription job to be added to the transcription queue.

In most cases Pacific will NOT proceed with a transcription job unless the client has first confirmed their requirements. The only exception to this is when an existing client upload audio files, and their audio file requirements do not diverge from the pre-existing requirements already confirmed with Pacific.

This streamlined process works well for our existing clients as it eliminates the need for them to constantly reconfirm their audio file requirements when they have not deviated from the standard arrangements.

What information do I feed into the Quote Calculator to get the most accurate estimate possible?

To get the most accurate estimate first upload your audio files to your secure client login. In Current Audio Files, select the audio files you wish to include in a quote. Click the Quote Selected Files button. This button takes you to the New Quote page, and at the same time starts to populate the quote with information (data) about the audio files you have selected.

Next, select the number of speakers in each file and the type of turnaround you prefer. The majority of our research clients choose our Standard turnaround. If you have more detailed specific requirements, such as sound check, converting or speaker identification, select the Additional Information button located under each listed file and select the specifics.

Click the More Options button to select job-specific requirements such as prepayments, automated file archiving and posting invoices.

You’ll notice the Estimated Price at the top of the screen changes each time you enter more information. This is a great way for you to try out a few options, to make sure you get the service you want, within your budget constraints.

You will also find helpful popup prompts which provide further information to you throughout the process.

What if I change my mind and want to amend the quote?

No problem. Just open the original quote, select the audio file you wish to amend, and under Additional Information, enter your changed requirements details. You can even remove a file if you no longer wish it to be included in the quote.

Of course, the quote calculator provides an estimate only, based on the information entered into the quote calculator. If you are unsure about any details or wish to discuss your transcription needs further please contact our helpful and friendly Enquiries Team for assistance.

Pacific’s Quote Calculator has been designed specifically for our Research clients. No matter how simple or complex the job is, the quote calculator will help you refine your requirements.

Take the guess work out of transcription costs and use Pacific’s Quote Calculator, for accurate estimates, provided at a time convenient to you.

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About Pacific’s six “tried and tested” methods of receiving audio for transcription

Many transcription companies have a number of ways that clients can provide audio for transcription, but not all methods are as secure as they could be. Pacific Transcription offers six “tried and tested” methods to clients, providing greater flexibility, enhanced accessibility and improved security to clients in how audio is supplied for transcription.

 

But first, what is transcription and how does it help me?

Transcription is the process of converting recorded audio into written text. Pacific has a variety of methods at our disposal to make the supply of the audio for transcription easy as possible for clients.

Once the audio is received we allocate that audio to our specialist transcriptionists, who listen to the audio and type a transcript of the recording. The transcript passes through our thorough quality assurance process, and the final transcript is returned to the client.

If you are a medical or legal specialist who dictates, a researcher who conducts interviews or focus groups, a media or finance company which needs transcripts of press conferences, or a business owner who requires records of business meetings, then you need a professional transcription company to help you with your work.

Pacific's tried and tested methods for audio provision

How do I get the audio to Pacific Transcription?

There are many methods which clients can use to supply their audio for transcription to us. The most common methods are to upload audio to a client login, or to dial-in to dictate for direct upload. Pacific does not encourage the transfer of audio files via email or file sharing services as the security over these methods is controlled by a third party.

Method One: Upload the audio to your secure client account

Many of Pacific’s clients record their audio using a digital recorder or dictaphone, mobile phone app or computer recording software with microphone. The client saves the audio for transcription to their computer and then uploads the audio to Pacific’s password-protected secure client account.

The audio is assigned to our team of transcriptionists, who then listen to the audio and type into a text document. The final quality-assured document is uploaded to the client’s secure account, ready for downloading.

Method Two: Dial-in to dictate for direct upload

This options forms part of Pacific’s suite of direct dictation options, which are used by clients in the medical and legal fields who dictate. Using a dedicated dictation phone number, a client “dials-in” and dictates their letters and reports.

The audio is recorded directly onto our secure dictation server, our dedicated transcriptionists listen to the audio and type what they hear, and the final, quality-assured document is uploaded to the client’s secure account, ready for downloading.

Method Three: Dictate into a specialised dictation app for direct upload

Legal and medical clients use a specialised dictation app on their mobile phone, such as Dictate + Connect iPhone app, or Winscribe smartphone app and license, to record their dictations. This direct dictation option suits clients who dictate medical or legal notes, letters and reports, and want the flexibility of using their own smartphone. (Note: this option is not suitable for clients who record focus groups or meetings).

The dictations are dictated directly into a specific phone app which then sends the dictations to our dedicated dictation server, as audio for transcription. (For further details on Pacific’s direct dictation options, please request our Direct Dictation Services brochure.)

Method Four: Save audio files to a USB or burn to a disk, and post to Pacific

Sometimes clients struggle to upload audio for transcription to their secure client account because of poor internet service or other technological problems. We understand these situations can be very frustrating, and so we provide a service to clients so that they can post their USB or burned CD/DVD’s to us, and we will upload the audio on the client’s behalf, to their secure client account.

Method Five: Provide a YouTube link to the webcast

This option is particularly useful for media and finance clients who have fast turnaround requirements, and are time poor. Simply email us the link to your webcast and we will download the audio for transcription for you, and upload to your secure client account.

We will then allocate the audio to our team of dedicated transcriptionists, who will turn the audio into a quality-assured word document, which is then uploaded to your client account, ready for downloading.

Method Six: Access the audio from a live stream, or record the event in real time

Pacific’s real time recording facility is perfect for media and finance clients who require transcriptions from recordings of press conferences or media events. Our recording staff remote in or dial in via phone to record the proceedings. Although a highly specialised option, recording an event in real time enables Pacific to fast-track the quick return of files using this method.

To use any of these methods you must have a secure client account login with Pacific Transcription. Many of these options are highly specialised and time intensive, and as such may attract surcharges.

There are many ways clients provide good quality audio files to Pacific Transcription, for transcribing. Ask our helpful Enquiries Team for assistance if you have any queries about the best method for you.

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Olympus DS-9500 and Philips DPM8000: A Comparison of Two Leading Digital Dictaphones

Since its initial release back in 2013, the DPM 8000 has remained as Philips’ flagship offering in the field of professional dictation devices.

Now, with the recent release of the DS-9500, Olympus aims to set the industry standard in professional dictation. But how do these two devices compare?

DS-9500 versus DPM 8000 a comparison

Perhaps the most noticeable element when first comparing these devices is the striking similarity between these two offerings. Both feature 2.4-inch displays of identical resolution, slide switches for ease of use when recording and reviewing dictations, and a row of three function buttons directly below the display.

Prior to powering on the devices, the only major difference appears to be the housing for each device, with the DPM-8000’s impressive brushed stainless-steel standing in contrast to the more lightweight plastic of the DS-9500.

Once the devices are in use, more distinctions become apparent. The Olympus DS-9500 exhibits a much more minimalistic and elegant layout on its default screen and menus than both its predecessor in the DS-7000 and its counterpart in the Philips DPM-8000.

This ease of use is further enabled by additional function buttons below the display. This minimalism comes with a trade-off however, as the more tightly filled display on the Philips model packs in more information that may be relevant to the user, such as the current date and time.

Furthermore, in a bid to make their device more user-friendly to those who may be making the jump from an analogue dictation device, Phillips’ DPM-8000 offers a ‘Classic’ appearance mode that features a more pared down display in the style of a cassette tape recorder – quite fitting from the company that originally invented the compact cassette.

Under the hood, the recency of Olympus’ release starts to become apparent. In an effort to streamline dictation workflow, Olympus have fitted the DS-9500 with Wi-Fi functionality, allowing the user to immediately send dictations directly to the dictation module software or a chosen email address, without the need to connect the device to a PC via a cradle or USB cable.

This is not to say that the DPM-8000 is without its own set of unique merits and utilities. Most notable of these is the voice activation mode, by which a user can leave the device set to record and end up with a dictation that has only recorded when they speak, with any gaps or lengthy pauses being effectively trimmed out. Prospective users should note that while this mode is reliable in a quiet setting, the microphone will pick up background noise above a certain volume and activate the recording.

Most crucially, potential users can be reassured that both of these devices record audio in crisp, full, and clear sound. The DPM8000’s 3D mic technology holds up well against the DS-9500’s omni-directional dual mic setup, with both devices performing admirably in a series of tests conducted in quiet and noisy environments, and at different volumes of speech and ranges from the microphones.

One final observation on these devices that may influence the prospective buyer is the difference in their internal storage, or lack thereof. Olympus have fitted out the DS-9500 with 2GB of internal storage, with a SD card slot allowing for up to an additional 32GB of storage. The DPM-8000 does not come with this onboard storage, however Philips includes a 4GB memory card in the box to make up for this.

With these latest entries in the dictaphone market, both Olympus and Philips bring forth the most up-to-date technological and design advancements, to create devices that are reliable and practical. Functionally, both these devices can be trusted for the working professional. The decision will ultimately come down to either the slightly more robust and polished look and feel of the DPM-8000, against the more accessible and easily readable display and added buttons on the DS-9500.

Written by guest blogger: Alex Letts

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Clients Reap the Benefits of Pacific’s Regular Internal Audits

For anyone who has been involved in attaining and maintaining certification of an international standard, such as Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001), they’d be very familiar with the need for internal audits.

Internal audits are a necessary and essential part of any certification attainment and maintenance process.

Continuous Improvements, Internal Audits

Yesterday I attended a workshop on internal auditing, with five of my esteemed colleagues. A key learning I took away from the workshop was the direct and measurable positive impact internal audits can have on improving the quality of service delivery to clients. Clients DIRECTLY benefit from internal audits. The correlation couldn’t be clearer.

I found myself pleasantly surprised as what I thought would be fairly dry content turned out to be highly relational, interesting and informative discussion on why we conduct internal audits, and how to structure internal audits to benefit the core business objectives.

It was great to see that if a business has its clients at its core (which Pacific does), then it is those clients who are the biggest beneficiaries of the improvements to quality of service delivery. It’s a win-win!

What’s more, by participating in this workshop and developing a deeper understanding of the quality standard, it became abundantly clear that Pacific’s internal auditing schedule needed to change. The changes Pacific is now implementing to the internal audit process will ensure Pacific is even more responsive to client feedback, more responsive to market changes and trends, and more responsive to client needs.

When Pacific first decided to go for the internationally recognised ISO 9001 Quality Management System (QMS) standard, the key driver was to have mechanisms in place which enabled Pacific to monitor, measure, improve and report back to our clients on the quality of delivery of services.

Three years on and Pacific has successfully maintained ISO 9001 certification. Over this time Pacific has heavily invested in ensuring the whole of staff body is engaged in the process of continual improvement. We’ve grown and matured as a company, and as staff members, by being actively engaged in this process.

What’s more, Pacific’s clients have been the main beneficiary of this effort and investment, as they are the recipients of continual improvement in the quality of delivery of services.
Achieving and maintaining ISO 9001 certification has made a huge positive difference to how Pacific demonstrates and effectively communicates continual improvement of quality of service delivery to clients.

Maintaining this standard also enables our clients to have confidence that Pacific is not only committed to delivering the best possible services to clients but is actually delivering the best possible services to clients.

The topic of internal audits may be considered dry at the onset, but after exploration, it becomes abundantly clear that an internal audit programme is an essential component in ensuring Pacific’s improvement of quality of services is successfully delivered to clients.

For more information on how Pacific’s ISO 9001 certification benefits clients please contact the Pacific Enquiries Team.

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Comparing the Olympus RM-4010P and Philips SMP3700 Desktop Dictation Microphones

In the field of desktop dictation microphones, the ubiquity of Philips’ range of devices is most readily apparent in the eponymous use of the term ‘SpeechMike’ when referring to any kind of desktop dictation device.

This proprietary eponym has long favoured Philips in this field, and with good reason. Their line of SpeechMikes has consistently delivered high quality performance and utility, and this high standard continues with the recent release of the Philips SMP-3700.

RM-4010P versus SMP3700 comparison

This release is of particular significance as it coincides to some degree with the release of the rival Olympus RecMic II series. Long left out of this monopolised field of desktop dictation devices, Olympus’ previous desktop dictation device series (the DR series) struggled to gain significant traction commercially.

The new RM-4010P from Olympus looks to change this. It inherits many of the design elements of its predecessor, while at the same time innovates in a number of key areas.

At first glance, these two devices do appear remarkably similar, with nearly identical key layouts, strikingly similar form factor and shape, and the same USB cable connectivity. The only noticeable difference appears to be Olympus’ retention of the trackball from their previous models, instead of Philips’ touch sensor.

For many, this may seem a negligible difference, however in my time with these devices, I found myself gravitating much more to the tactile precision and dexterity afforded by the RM-4010P’s trackball. That being said, opinions on the trackball versus the touch sensor were split when showing these devices to my colleagues. Ultimately this will come down to personal preference.

Plugging in and configuring these devices for use showed up further disparities. Central to Olympus’ marketing strategy for the RM-series is the device’s “plug and play” feature – promising prospective operators of the device unparalleled ease of use.   The RM-4010P automatically switches between four different configurations: Dragon Speech Recognition mode, Windows Speech Recognition mode, ODMS mode, and custom mode, depending on what application it is interacting with at any given time.

When compared to the SMP-3700’s two modes (event mode and keyboard mode) this added functionality seems quite exceptional. Furthermore, any additional adjustments required for the RM-4010P can be configured either by pressing the right combination of keys, or, for those looking to further customise any or all elements of this device’s operation, by opening the RecMic Configuration Tool software.

The Philips Device Control Centre does feature a similarly extensive list of customisation and configuration options; however, I found this to be more of a necessary step for using this device, rather than an added extra.

I was also impressed by the device’s seamless integration with the Olympus Dictation Management System. Upon first plugging the device in, I was immediately taken through a short series of step-by-step questions which asked how the device will be used and in what kind of audio environment. These settings largely focused on the variability and directionality of the RM-4010P’s microphone, allowing the user to optimise the microphone for the kind of audio environment they will be using it in.

SMP3700 floating mic

Philips SMP3700 SpeechMike

Pleasingly, both devices performed exceptionally well when put through a series of recording tests, ranging from perfectly quiet to quite noisy environments. With Philips’ decoupled “free floating” microphone in the SMP-3700 and Olympus’ dual omni-directional microphones in the RM-4010P, background and intrusive noises are ignored, as the microphones are aimed directly towards the speaker.  Both devices produce clear and audible dictations, even in noisy environments, and the built-in pop filters featured in both devices help clean up any additional unwanted noise.

RM-4010P directional mic

Olympus RS-4010P USB Microphone

Recordings can be reviewed without the need for an additional headset or set of speakers, as both devices are fitted with on-board speakers that do not disappoint in terms of both clarity and volume capabilities.

Ultimately, both of these devices can be trusted for anyone looking to dictate directly into dictation management software on their computer. Olympus’ innovations with the “plug and play” usability will not go unnoticed by those that choose this device. These innovations show great promise for Olympus’ future in this field of desktop dictation devices that has for so long been dominated by Philips.

Readers will be pleased to know that both these devices are now available for purchase through the Pacific Transcription online shop.  The Olympus RM-4010P, and the Philips SMP-3700 can be yours today for around the $400 mark.  Pacific also offers the current generation of Philips SpeechMikes in the wireless pushbutton (SMP-4000) and slider versions (SMP-4010).

Please feel free to speak with our helpful staff at Pacific Transcription on 1300 662 173 or via products@pacifictranscription.com.au if you require assistance choosing the right product for you.

Written by guest blogger: Alex Letts

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Top Transcription Tools for Typists

Professional transcriptionists have an array of transcription tools which help them work smarter and streamline their daily workflow.

In the professional transcriptionist’s toolkit you will often find any or all of the following: a transcription foot pedal, transcription software, text expanders, a good quality headset, a list of most commonly used hotkeys, and a selection of audio file converter software apps.

Transcription Tools for Typists

Save Time with Text Expander Apps

For those transcriptionists who are not so fleet-fingered on the keyboard, but who love all things technology-related, try any one of the clever text expanders available on the market.

Text expander apps work a little bit like predictive typing or auto-complete on your phone – they take short abbreviations that you have previously programmed, and expand them into larger phrases or “snippets” of text, which are activated when typing.

Text expanders help you type more with less effort, thereby reducing the pressure to improve typing speed and accuracy.  Some of the transcriptionists who contract to Pacific use text expanders such as Breevy, PhraseExpander, and AutoHotkey.

Add Transcription Software to your Typist Toolkit

Transcription software is an assistive tool used by typists to play and listen to audio and video files, which the typist then converts into a written transcript.  Many typists who use transcription software also use a transcription foot pedal, to control the playback of audio.

Key features of transcription software include the ability to speed up and slow down audio speed, easy import and play of most common audio and video formats, customisable hotkeys, and compatibility with a transcription foot pedal.  Many transcription software apps also have the ability to insert timestamps, which is essential for typists who transcribe for research clients.

Some common transcription software apps are NCH Express Scribe Professional, Audiotranskription, Olympus ODMS, Philips SpeechExec Professional, For The Record (FTR), Gearplayer V4, and QuikScribe.

Free Up Your Hands for Typing by Using a Transcription Foot Pedal

Transcription foot pedals, also known as foot switches, are designed to be used with compatible transcription software.  When paired with suitable transcription software, foot pedals enable typists to control the audio using the pedals, rather than hotkeys or the mouse.  Most foot pedals and transcription software are configurable, so you can determine which pedal performs which function.

The use of a foot pedal frees up your hands so you can concentrate exclusively on typing.

Use Hotkeys to Cut Down on Time Spent Performing Repetitive Functions

Keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys are not in the exclusive domain of online transcriptionists.  Gamers, web developers, script writers, accountants, almost anyone who uses a keyboard in their daily work also uses hotkeys.

Hotkeys can be created with most word processing programmes, and similar to text expanders, allow the typist to customise their keyboard function keys to create one-stroke commands.

Many of the most commonly used hotkeys are already set as defaults, such as CTRL-F for Find, CTRL-C for Copy, CTRL-V for Paste.  A comprehensive list of hotkeys is easy to find online, as are instructions for configuring your own hotkeys.

Audio File Converter Software Apps can help with difficult file formats

Not all audio and video formats can be played by all transcription software apps.  For example .ds2 files (a proprietary format) are not supported in Express Scribe Professional, one of the most popular transcription software apps used by transcriptionists across the globe.  This is where audio and video file converter apps become indispensable to the professional transcriptionist.

Audio and video file converter apps (and some transcription software apps) convert the file into a more playable format.  Popular converters include Switch, Goldwave and iTunes, and there are many more file converters available online, both free and paid versions.

Having access to software which can quickly convert uncommon or problematic audio and video formats to more playable formats is an essential tool in every professional transcriptionist’s toolkit.

A Good Quality Headset Makes Life Just That Little Bit More Comfortable

It can’t be too greatly emphasised; a good quality, comfortable headset can make even the most difficult audio more manageable.  Even though individual preference trumps design every time, do consider the following common characteristics when choosing the right headset for transcription:

  • noise-cancellation,
  • comfort of design and fit on the head (especially if wearing glasses),
  • weight and size,
  • style (in-ear, buds, bandeau), and
  • method of connecting (Bluetooth or tethered).

A good quality headset which is comfortable and can be worn for hours on end, puts less stress on your listening skills, and makes your work as a transcriptionist easier.

(For more detailed discussion on choosing the right headset for you, read our blog article.) 

Top Transcription Tools to Try Today

From transcription foot pedals to text expanders, audio converters, headsets and transcription software, there are many tools which professional transcriptionists rely on to help them cleverly deliver superior transcripts to their clients.

If you are new to the world of transcription, try one or all of these top transcription tools today! 

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Why disclosing the nature of audio files to your trusted transcription company is important

From time to time researchers approach us asking whether we would like to be informed about the nature of their audio files.  The answer is a resounding yes.  Why?

Having information about the content of the audio helps our typists to more fully contextualise the content, thereby reducing the chance of errors and ultimately producing a highly accurate transcript.

If we know that the speakers in an audio file will be discussing, say, energy use in inner-city office buildings, then we will allocate those files to our typists who have an in-depth knowledge and background in the building, construction and sustainability sectors.   The provision of a list of common acronyms being used in the audio is also helpful.

Then there are added layers of complexity and nuance which, while at first glance may appear subtle, can have lasting consequences, if not addressed.  The disclosure of sensitive or disturbing content is one such issue.

Being responsible with audio file content is important.

Similar to court interpreters, lawyers, people in the helping professions and the armed forces, the issue of typists being exposed to vicarious trauma is real and potent.  The nature of transcription, that is, requiring a written transcript of the spoken word, means that there will always be circumstances where the content is difficult, disturbing and deeply uncomfortable to hear.

Transcripts with difficult, sensitive and disturbing content are used in areas such as court proceedings, mental health assessments, medico-legal documents and a wide array of research projects.

A transcript is still required and a person must still type from the audio, regardless of the nature of the conversation or interview.  However, if made aware of the sensitive and possibly disturbing content of the audio, steps can be put in place to ensure typists are cared for in the most appropriate manner.

There are many steps Pacific takes to ensure our duty of care to our typists and our clients is fully met, especially in relation to audio content that is sensitive or disturbing.  I’ve listed three strategies we take, below.

Planning – To be forewarned is to be forearmed

One important step is planning.  Knowledge in advance enables one to be prepared.  As a part of Pacific’s standard practice, the strengths, skills and experiences of each typist is collected and stored in a secure and password-protected database.  Information such as formal qualifications, previous work experience and areas of expertise can be useful when assigning audio with specific content to typists.

Further, a part of the recruitment process is asking typists to nominate any content they would prefer not to cover.  While these areas can sometimes be quite vague, this information is nevertheless useful.

Knowledge is Power

Client disclosure: As a part of the file upload process we ask our clients to provide notes on the audio, including a brief outline of the file content, where relevant. Clients are encouraged to phone us when they want a more “hands on” approach.  We are happy to talk with clients about their specific needs, particularly in relation to difficult, sensitive or disturbing audio content disclosure.

Typist disclosure: Throughout their time working with Pacific, typists regularly “check in” with the HR Manager and Operations Team.  From time-to-time particular circumstances arise in a typist’s life, and a typist may not be able to type certain content.

A quick word with the Operations Manager or HR Manager is all it takes to ensure a typist does not receive audio files with trigger content, for a period of time.

Share information for greater accountability and transparency

Open Lines of Communication is Key

Although a simple opt-out works in some circumstances, regular communication with the Operations Team and Human Resources Manager and typists remains a helpful method of keeping communication open and making sure we know “where people are at”.

Pacific is committed to meeting and delivering appropriate duty of care to our typists and clients alike.  If you have any questions regarding disclosure of audio file content, our duty of care to you as a client, or other matters relating to your audio files, contact us today. 

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Pacific’s Three Direct Dictation Methods – At Your Fingertips!

Direct dictation eliminates the need to manually upload audio files to an individual’s secure client transcription account, which can be time consuming.  Pacific Transcription offers medical and legal clients three direct dictation methods which make dictating safe, secure, easy-to-use and legally compliant.  

three direct dictation methods

What are these three direct dictation methods?

The three direct methods of dictation are:

  • Dial-in dictation,
  • Direct dictation using the Professional Mobile dictation app with a Winscribe licence, and
  • Direct dictation using the Dictate + Connect dictation app (iPhone only) and a secure online transcription account with Pacific Transcription

About the three direct dictation methods

Method #1: Dial-in dictation

Dial the dedicated dictation phone number from any phone to record your dictations directly onto Pacific Transcription’s dedicated dictation server.

Method #1: Dial-in DictationTo access this service you need a four digit pin (Author ID and Security Code).  Just contact Pacific Transcription to secure your dedicated pin.  Pacific staff will also supply you with Pacific’s secure dictation services brochure, which includes handy dictation hints and a step-by-step guide for dictating, including dictation keypad commands, and the phone number to use.  Once you have this information, simply dial the dictation line and start dictating!   It really is that simple.

When you end the phone call the dictation file is automatically and immediately queued to be typed.  For information on transcription costs please ask our friendly staff for a copy of Pacific’s Professional Rate Sheet.

Method #2: Direct Dictation using the Professional Mobile dictation app and a Winscribe licence

Use the Professional Mobile dictation app with a Winscribe licence to record your dictations and send them directly to Pacific Transcription’s dedicated dictation server.

The Professional Mobile dictation app can be downloaded from an app shop (i.e Google Play, Apple’s App Store, or a third party app store).  This app is designed for use on most smartphones, and on iPad and Android tablets.  While the app is free, it will not be connected to our systems until a licence is purchased.

You can purchase a Winscribe licence from Pacific Transcription’s online shop, or phone Pacific to make the purchase and to obtain instructions.

Method #2: Winscribe licence and app for direct dictationOnce the app is installed and you have purchased a Winscribe licence you will be supplied with an Author ID, password and URL setting.  Enter your unique Author ID, password and URL setting in the “Settings” area on the app.  Once you’ve entered this information and checked the network connection, you are ready to dictate!

Use the dictation app as you would a handheld dictaphone, to dictate.  The dictation app has all the functions of a top end dictaphone, including overwrite and insert, edit and review dictations, setting a job priority and changing the job type.

Once you’ve finished dictating, just click the send button and the job is automatically uploaded to Pacific’s secure dictation server, ready for typing.

What’s more, the Winscribe licence is perpetual.  This means you only make a once-off payment to have access to Pacific’s dedicated dictation server.

For transcription pricing, please ask Pacific’s friendly staff for a copy of the Professional Rate Sheet.

Method #3: Direct Dictation using the Dictate + Connect dictation app (iPhone only)

In 2012 Pacific Transcription teamed up with Jotomi, the creators of Dictate + Connect, to launch a third direct dictation option for Pacific clients.  The introduction of this option meant every Pacific Transcription professional client who used their iPhone or iPad to dictate could access a seamless direct dictation to transcription process.

More than five years later and with a growing number of Pacific’s medical and legal clients using this direct dictation method, the Dictate + Connect partnership with Pacific means we’re on the ball so our clients can keep ahead.

Method #3: Direct Dictation with Dictate + ConnectIt’s easy to get started with Dictate + Connect.  First download the paid version of the app from the Apple iStore.  The paid version costs less than AUD 30.  Make sure you already have a secure account with Pacific.  If you don’t, simply self-register as a New Client to obtain your Pacific username and password.

In the Settings area of the app, select Pacific Transcription as your “sharing destination” and when prompted, enter your Pacific Client username and password.  Now, start dictating!

Once you’ve finished dictating click the send button, and your files will be automatically uploaded directly to your secure Pacific client account, and Pacific will transcribe the audio for you.

Like the Professional Mobile dictation app, the Dictate + Connect professional dictation app has all the key features of a sophisticated dictaphone, including rewind, overwrite and insert.

To obtain a copy of Pacific’s Professional Rate Sheet for transcription pricing, simply log into your secure client account and download the latest version, or contact our friendly staff for a copy.

From dictation to transcription – a seamless process

All the direct dictation methods described include automatic addition to Pacific’s transcription queue, ready for typing.  Once the dictation files have been typed and passed the quality assurance process, the completed transcripts are uploaded to your secure client account, or zipped and emailed to your preferred email address.

Pacific Transcription’s Professional Rate Sheet lists the costs for transcription pricing.  Ask our friendly staff for a copy of this rate sheet, or log into your secure client account to download the latest version of the rate sheet.

Pacific’s three methods of direct dictation cover all contingencies.  Whether you are a first-time dictator or a seasoned dictation professional, Pacific Transcription’s suite of dictation methods ensures your particular dictation needs are met.  For safe, secure dictation services at your fingertips, try one of Pacific’s top three direct dictation methods.

Posted in Dictation, Healthcare, Mobile Dictating, Transcription | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How Pacific’s Transcription Quote Calculator Helps Australian Researchers

As the end of the year fast approaches researchers are reminded that their grants must be acquitted, budgets balanced, tight time frames met and allocated resources put to good use.

Pacific Transcription helps researchers meet these demands in a number of ways. The first step is to provide researchers with an accurate quote for transcription costs. Pacific has developed a specialised online quote calculator which is flexible enough to cater to specific transcription requirements, without losing accuracy when quoting on price for service.

Jacarandas in bloom signals it's time for researchers to acquit their research grants.

Pacific’s Quote Calculator

Clients upload their files to their secure Pacific online account and provide details of the files via the account’s “Notes” button (in the account), or via email. A Pacific enquiries team member listens to a portion of each file (to assess audio quality), and inputs the file details into the quote calculator.

Details may include:

  • Length of each file, in audio minutes,
  • Number of speakers in each file,
  • Audio quality (poor, good),
  • Audio format (Pacific has a long list of preferred audio formats, and at an extra cost, can convert and transcribe non-preferred audio formats),
  • Specific formatting (Pacific offers four NVivo formatting styles, and also offers formatting to suit many qualitative analysis software requirements),
  • Specialised templates,
  • Speaker Identification (files with more than three speakers attracts a speaker ID surcharge), and
  • Any other specialised or specific requirements, such as timestamping/timecoding.

This information is fed into the quote calculator, and an accurate quote is generated, which is specific to each client’s individual requirements and their file details. The quote calculator provides a highly accurate assessment of the cost of each transcription batch.

Sometimes an accurate quote is all that is needed to keep accounts departments happy; however this is not always the case. It is at these times that many researchers request Pacific’s prepaid transcription service.

Pacific’s Prepaid Transcription Service

Pacific’s prepaid transcription service is an excellent option for researchers who still have interviews or focus groups to record, but also need to expend their grant within a tight timeframe. The prepaid transcription service is easy to use, and can last for up to two years.

Clients purchase a “block” of prepaid transcription. Blocks can be purchased in lots of $100 or lots of $1000, or just contact us if you have a specific amount in mind. Once a block has been purchased, Pacific issues an account statement to the client which displays the amount of credit on the account.

Should final transcription costs come in under the purchased credit value, Pacific will issue a refund for the remaining credit at the end of the project.

This option is a great way for researchers to ensure they have access to transcription services and can meet this cost – when they need it.

If you need a quote or wish to purchase prepaid transcription, contact the enquiries team at Pacific Transcription for more information, and to create your secure client account.

NOTE FROM THE PACIFIC ENQUIRIES TEAM: At the moment Pacific’s online quote calculator is only available to Pacific staff, who gather the information from clients to formulate an accurate quote. Soon the online quote calculator will be available to clients also, making it easier and quicker for clients to obtain accurate projections of transcription costs. Watch this space!

Posted in Focus Groups, Qualitative Research, Transcription | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Foot Pedal Compatibility – Introducing the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool

Since embracing digital technology in daily workflow, transcriptionists across the world have been grappling with dictation and transcription software and foot pedal compatibility.  Traditionally transcriptionists working within legal, medical, accounting and insurance professions have used the same brand of software and hardware as the dictators’ dictation devices.

There have been a number of compelling reasons for this, the most critical being the opportunity to eliminate potential software and foot pedal compatibility issues.  Other reasons have included improving workflow integration, brand loyalty, and possessing historic familiarity with the brand product.

Foot Pedal Compatibility

Times have changed and attitudes have shifted.  While manufacturers worked at finely honing proprietary components (consider the collaboration between Olympus, Philips and Grundig in developing the most widely used digital audio file format, the proprietary .DSS), end users, such as transcriptionists, clamoured to have their voices heard.

Transcriptionists wanted something simple, inexpensive, and effective; something which would work across multiple and disparate platforms, reflecting the changing nature of their work in today’s fast-paced and multi-faceted environment.

Olympus Logo

Introducing the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool.

Enter the Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool, probably one of the most useful apps in the transcriptionists’ professional typing arsenal. The Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool (FTSW Tool) enables an Olympus RS-28H or Olympus RS-31H foot pedal to be compatible with most third party applications.  Foot pedal compatibility is now a thing of the past.

If your application supports control via keyboard commands, then you can use the RS-28H or RS-31H foot pedal for hands-free control.

Foot pedal compatibility with transcription software is no longer an issue.

What’s more, the RS28H and RS31H, in conjunction with the FTSW Tool, can be used with third party applications in both Windows and Mac environments.

Olympus Foot Switch Configuration Tool

Transcription software such as NCH’s Express Scribe Professional, Philips SpeechExec Pro and SpeechExec Standard, Winscribe, For The Record (FTR) and Karisma, can all be used with an Olympus RS-28H or RS-31H foot pedal, in conjunction with the FTSW Tool.

The release of the new Olympus foot pedals and the free configuration tool has fundamentally reset the transcription software and foot pedal compatibility dynamic. 

The question is no longer “which foot pedal is compatible with my transcription software”, but rather, “which software application is NOT compatible with my Olympus foot pedal”.

Olyjmpus Foot Switch Configuration Tool Icon

The FTSW Tool is not just for transcription applications.  The FTSW Tool can be used with most apps which support control via keyboard commands, enabling hands-free control.

These apps include:

  • Multimedia apps (Windows Media Player, iTunes),
  • Word Processing or Document Management apps (MS Office Suite including MS Excel and MS PowerPoint),
  • Photo Capture, Editing or Manipulation apps (Olympus Capture, Adobe Photoshop), and
  • many Computer Gaming apps (i.e. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare).

The Olympus RS-28H and RS-31H foot switches, via the configuration tool, have two operating modes, “Olympus” mode and “Keyboard” mode.

For use with most non-Olympus applications, the configuration tool is simply set to “Keyboard” mode. 

If you want a foot pedal which is compatible with most third-party applications, is simple to use and configure, inexpensive and robust, then look no further than the Olympus RS-28H or RS-31H foot switches.  They will revolutionise, AND simplify your world! 

## NOTE:  We’ve had mixed success in using the RS-31H with Express Scribe Pro, and in light of this would recommend avoiding the RS-31H foot pedal, if you plan to use it with Express Scribe Pro.

Posted in Dictation, Transcription | Tagged , , , , , , , | 14 Comments