It might seem surprising in 2016, but at TTP we still periodically receive cassette or microcassette tapes containing audio for transcription.
On the surface, this may not seem like much of a problem, however the reality is that it presents us with challenges around processing the audio into a usable form for our transcription team to work with. Because our process is now fully digital, it is necessary to first convert the contents of the tape into a digital (.WAV or .MP3) format before we can transcribe the resultant file.
The actual method to complete the transformation is simple enough, albeit time-consuming. We load the tape into a standard cassette or microcassette player which has its headphone jack attached to the line-in port on a PC, and then record the audio as it plays, using tools such as “Golden Records”, “Audacity”, or “Windows Sound Recorder”. For those without access to these tools, a simple way to do it would be to place a phone or tablet with audio recording enabled next to the cassette player, in a quiet location, which should also create a satisfactory digital conversion. Once the file has been played in this manner (recording in ‘real time’), and the quality of the digital recording checked against the original, we can then assign the file to a transcriptionist for processing. Such additional handling, cost, and delay in transcription can be readily avoided by making the move to an affordable, good quality digital recorder. At TTP we recommend Olympus brand recorders.