FTW TranscriberAs a journalist, you lead a busy life, rushing from place to place to catch up with interviewees, and in order to meet tight deadlines you need every time-saving idea you can think of.  The very last thing you want to do is waste time.

That’s where the FTW Transcriber can help.  You need to get your recorded interviews into written form as swiftly as possible, and the FTW Transcriber is the fastest way to do that.

FTWT, as it’s usually called in the transcription industry, works on both desktops and laptops, so can be used for transcription “on the go”.  You can record your interviews straight onto your computer hard drive (or else use a handheld dictaphone and transfer the recording to your computer), and FTWT will open it instantaneously (it plays a huge range of file types).

From there, you press play, stop, rewind and forward, as you might expect, using on-screen buttons or hotkeys, or even a foot pedal.  But FTWT comes with another innovative and unique feature that will really save you time, namely, it automates the adding of timestamps.

In case you don’t know what timestamps are, they’re a way to look at a phrase in a transcript and quickly find the corresponding place in the recording, which can be a great time-saver.  For example, if you want to make sure you’re correctly quoting one of your interviewees, you’ll need to refer back to the appropriate place in the original recording.  To make that search a quick one, the best method is to add timestamps when transcribing, in other words, to note the timings in the transcripts.  So if John says “Hello” three minutes into the recording, you type something like this:

“John    [00:03:00] Hello.”

Except that with FTWT, you don’t need to type all that.  FTWT can add the timestamp automatically, without you even needing to press a hotkey.  Timestamps can be added automatically every few seconds, and/or at the start of each new paragraph – a great time-saver!

FTWT also allows you to play and transcribe a recording that’s “in the cloud”, i.e. sitting on a server, so you don’t even need to download it.

Lastly, a tip.  Remember the old joke about the film director who shoots a fantastic and unrepeatable scene, only to be told by the technicians that they forgot to put film in the camera?  Don’t be the journalistic equivalent!  You don’t want to reach the end of your interview with the president only to find that your digital recorder ran out of memory, so record using two devices – use two digital recorders, or use a digital recorder plus your laptop or mobile phone.

The FTW Transcriber is available for free download at TheFTWTranscriber.com.