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Transcription File Types/Formats and
Associated Software

 File Types/Formats & Associated Software
(Windows Media Player)
WAVEform Audio is a common file format and was one of the first audio file types developed for use with the PC. It is lossless, but generally very large. N.B. Not all .wav files are the same! Although they all end in .wav, depending on the recorder, the transcriptionist may need a special ‘codec’ to play it back. An example is the Sanyo recording system, which records specifically Sanyo .wav files. You should check that your transcriptionist has the ability to transcribe Sanyo .WAVs. If not, Sanyo may oblige by sending out the relevant codec on CD, for a charge. Alternatively, you can convert the .WAV file to an .MP3 file with 
MPEG/.MP3 (Winamp, Download Free ) winamp274_full.exe MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 is a compressed WAV file often used in music. Many digital recorders will also record MP3 or allow you to record WAV and then compress to MP3. The compressed files will be around a twelfth the size of WAV files. However, should you want to replay this file in >MP3 format, go to and download the converter.
(Windows Media Player)
Windows Media Audio was developed for Windows Media Player, which is bundled with all Windows-based PCs these days. It is even more compressed than an MP3 - to about one thirty-sixth the size of a .wav - and smaller to send than a .WAV file, there is a considerable loss of sound quality.
(Olympus Professional,
Olympus Light)
Digital Standard Speech. The .dss file format was developed by Olympus, who also provide playback software for this format via
DSS files are usually only 1/12th to 1/20th the size of conventional WAVE files.
.DCT Encrypted dictation. Often used for medical transcription requiring confidentiality. The recording is encrypted at the recording end and needs to be decrypted on receipt. A wide variety of playback software will deal with these files.
True Speech TrueSpeech, from the DSP group, was designed for personal computers and personal communications devices. It has very high compression ratios ranging from 15:1 to 27:1 and is not a good format for interview/focus group recording.
.CDA CD Audio File. These files are standard recordings onto CD, and are generally the file type of music files bought on CD. Most transcription recorders will not record CDA. If you are having a professional recording made of a conference or series of lectures, for example, you may well find yourself with CDA files. Most transcription software will not play back CDA format, although it is possible to convert the audio file to a .WAV file by downloading converter.
Sound Editors

SoundEdit PRO


Polderbits Sound Editor

If a file to be sent via email is too large or the recording needs to be broken up into sections for other reasons, sound editor software, (examples of which are listed here), will do this with ease.
Transcription Playback Software
Express Scribe (Free) This computer transcriber application features variable speed wave playback, foot pedal operation, file management and more. This program will play back most audio file formats, including encrypted dictation files.
Olympus Lite
Olympus Professional
Olympus software has been specifically designed for audio files recorded on Olympus digital software.
Sending Sound Files as an Attachment
  • Switch on Recorder
  • Click the Recorder into the cradle or fit cable directly to the Recorder
  • REMOTE should be displayed on the Recorder (if not re-boot PC)
  • DSS PLAYER 2002 will automatically be displayed on PC screen
  • Followed by the Download Tray screen (below)

Sending digital audio files










The Sound Files must be copied from the Device Manager to the
Download Tray in order to send as email attachments.To copy a Folder

  • Click on Download in the Menu Bar
  • Click on appropriate – Download Folder A – E

To copy Sound File(s)

  • Go to the Device Manager section
  • Click on the Folder to display the appropriate Sound File(s)
  • Select the Sound File(s)
  • Go to Download in the Menu Bar
  • Click on Download Selected Files
To copy all Sound Files in all Folders
  • Go to Download in the Menu Bar
  • Select Download All

Note: We have used the word 'copy' to indicate that the Sound Files remain in the Recorder until deleted there.

To check that Sound Files have been copied from Device Manager to the Download Tray simply click on appropriate Folder in the Download Tray.

Downloading Sound Files
‘Example’ Copy and Paste
  • Select the appropriate Sound File(s) in the Download Tray section

To select an adjacent group of Sound Files hold the Shift key
down and select the first and last files using the mouse
To cherry pick Sound Files from a folder hold the Ctrl key down and select the individual Sound Files with the mouse

  • Go to Edit in Menu Bar and click on Copy
    or use Keyboard shortcut by holding down the Ctrl key and click on C
  • Open email system
  • Set up new email message
  • Go to Edit in Menu Bar and click on Paste
    or use Keyboard shortcut by holding down the Ctrl key and click on V
  • The Sound File will appear in your email attachment section.
  • Send the email to the appropriate pa-services-direct mailbox
  • Drag and drop - With both DSS Player 2002 and your email programs open – minimise these to display both windows on screen - drag and drop appropriate sound files from DSS Player 2002 into your email.
Further information on Audio Recording & Transcription Tips

The above information has been put together by some of our members and is published here for your help and advice. To find a transcriptionist, please click here

The co-founders would like to thank the following for all their efforts:

Anne Carroll (AC Business Support) for researching and putting the following document together.

Additional material by Irene Boston (IB Transcription Services), Anne Gerrish (Penguin Office Services), and Diane Jones (PA Services Direct)

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