How to do transcription from video
Thread poster: Samuel Murray

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Jul 21, 2005

G'day everyone!

I know there is free software for transcribing audio tape (I think), but a client now wants me to transcribe a video tape.

Assuming I can figure out how to get the video tape onto electronic format, is there any software you can recommend (free if possible)?

If all else fails, then I'll simply extract the audio from the video and make sure I watch the video separately.

Also, what are the best formats for this type of thing? And... how long does it take to transcribe 1 hour of tape (assuming the sound is professional broadcast quality with a perfect accent)?

[I posted this question on Lantra-L as well.]


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Piotr Sawiec  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
English to Polish
+ ...
equipment Jul 21, 2005

Hi
before we start talking about converting the film from video to a digital form, there is a question what type of tape you have. If it is a VCR tape that you will need some additional equipment to make such a conversion. You will either need a TV-card with input socket (quite bad quality of the resulting file) or a video card, which can be quite costly but will give you best results.
If you are lucky enough to have a digital video tape (miniDV or digital 8) you need a computer with a FireWire socket, and than you can use just a built-in videomaker in Windows (very user friendly although do not expect sophisticated options).
The resulting file will be .avi, a huge one. One hour about 4GB. You can then convert it to e.g. mpg or wmv file or divx(xvid).

and time: downloading the film to the computer is usually done in real time if you have the equipment. Conversion to a smaller file will depend on the CPU you have, but it is quite time consuming.

If you do not have any of the equipment I wrote about, I am afraid that conversion to a digital format will not be possible.

good luck

Piotr


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Video to PC via camera with DVD writer Jul 21, 2005

Piotr Sawiec wrote:
If it is a VCR tape that you will need some additional equipment to make such a conversion. You will either need a TV-card with input socket (quite bad quality of the resulting file) or a video card, which can be quite costly but will give you best results.


The client doesn't sound too clued up either, so I suspect it'll be a VHS video tape. My brother-in-law has a DVD video camera and he says that you can copy the VHS onto DVD using the camera plugged into a VCR, and then rip the DVD to a video file. If the resultant sound quality is poor, I can always try to tweak it using Audacity's noise removal feature.


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:09
French to Spanish
+ ...
Let's see... make it simple. Jul 21, 2005

As Piotr says, it looks to me quite complicated to convert VHS into digital format... I never do this.
What I do (for translation AND time coding):
Just put "play" to your VTC, listen, and write it down! Stop the tape, rewind it a few seconds, play it again, check down what you just wrote and listen to the next 2, 3 sentences...
I would do it simply in Word with these suggestions:
two columns, one to indicate who is speaking, the other with the text.

Peter (o Man) Hi, there, how are you?
Susan (o Woman) Fine, and you?
Voice off, over Peter and Susan met in a cafe.

And so on.

It'll take you 30 to 45 minutes work for 10 minutes of tape. It all depends if there is a lot of dialogues, of course, and difficulty level.
Hope it helps, and please be indulgent with my poor english writing.
Luck.


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:09
Swedish to English
+ ...
Overestimate how much time you think it will take Jul 21, 2005

I've just done this for wmv files (translating as well as transcribing) and it each 20 minutes took about 2.5 hours, which was slightly more than I'd bargained for! It did include a certain amount of messing about with the technical side of things though...

Having done that on my PC, I'd much rather have had it on VHS and sat in front of the TV with my laptop and the remote control for the video. The simpler you keep it, the less things can go wrong!


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Piotr Sawiec  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
English to Polish
+ ...
conversion Jul 21, 2005

OK, if you have access to a DVD camcorder this should be fairly easy to make your VHS digital. As you were advised record it via a cable from a VCR to this camera, you will get a DVD. With DVD it is much easier and faster to "rewind" than with a VHS tape, but a file is rather huge and operating such a huge file uses many system resources, so you can convert it to a DivX (Xvid) file using a software GordianKnot (freeware). With a small divx and many freeware players that have keyboard shortcuts (VLC media player for example that I use) allowing you to go back 5 or 10 seconds at a time, which I think will be very useful when transcribing.

recording a DVD is made in real time, conversion to Xvid/DivX if you have a fast computer will be 2-3 hours. If Gordian Knot is difficult you can try DVDShrink, but I have no experience with it and I don't know if you can make a DivX. Another software (shareware but you can try it) is Dr DivX, one of the simplest I have heard about.

Piotr


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:09
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The free software is called Express Scribe Jul 21, 2005

Samuel Murray wrote:
I know there is free software for transcribing audio tape (I think)...


A Lantran just told me the name of that free software I was mentioning. It's called "Express Scribe", and here's the URL:

http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/

It and runs on W95+ and OSX+. The install file is 350 kb. One advantage of using Express Scribe is that there's no need to stop and start all the time, because you can set the speed of the speech so that you can actually keep on typing while the speech is taking place. It does take a minute or two to get used to listening to v-e-r-y s-l-o-w s-p-e-e-c-h with a very low pitch, though.


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 05:09
English to Spanish
With fils is easier, faster and whatnot Jul 22, 2005

Clare Barnes wrote:

I've just done this for wmv files (translating as well as transcribing) and it each 20 minutes took about 2.5 hours, which was slightly more than I'd bargained for! It did include a certain amount of messing about with the technical side of things though...

Having done that on my PC, I'd much rather have had it on VHS and sat in front of the TV with my laptop and the remote control for the video. The simpler you keep it, the less things can go wrong!


My experience runs completely opposite. I became way, way, way, way more productive when I could afford a video card about two years ago and started digitizing my video work. It also became less dreadful, with no teeth-gnashing incidents common with my former VCR-based workflow. It's like day and night.

Granted, I am knowledgeable with A/V and PC stuff but don't let that stop you from doing the jump. It's not really difficult. You'll never go back!

Get a Hauppage 150 and convert to MPEG-1.


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Paulette Chartrand
Canada
Local time: 06:09
English
+ ...
Codecs for Express Scribe on Mac OSX Oct 28, 2005

I am a transcriber usually working with DSS - Olympus which can't read .wav files on the Mac. I downloaded ExpressSribe and bought a Vpedal to be able to work with .wav files. So far so good... but ExpressScribe does not load "all" .wav files because of missing codecs. Someone knows how to resolve this problem?

Samuel Murray wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:
I know there is free software for transcribing audio tape (I think)...


A Lantran just told me the name of that free software I was mentioning. It's called "Express Scribe", and here's the URL:

http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/

It and runs on W95+ and OSX+. The install file is 350 kb. One advantage of using Express Scribe is that there's no need to stop and start all the time, because you can set the speed of the speech so that you can actually keep on typing while the speech is taking place. It does take a minute or two to get used to listening to v-e-r-y s-l-o-w s-p-e-e-c-h with a very low pitch, though.


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:09
English to Swedish
+ ...
More software suggestions? Aug 7, 2006

Hi all,

I wanted to revive this thread, and hear what software video players you guys and ladies are using on your computers.

We get a lot of video files in different formats and I'm sick of having to install QuickTime, WMP, RealMediaPlayer etc.

Some of you mentioned VLC and Express Scribe, which seems to be a great all-in-one solutions, but are there players that have other benefits for transcribing purpose, the more formats covered, the better?


/Jan


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