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There are several options available when searching for free transcription software.
By far the most popular is
by NCH Software. Pioneer Transcription Services uses this software mostly for .dss files and we
can highly recommend it. Most foot pedals work with it seamlessly. The
only file extensions we have not been able to play with Express Scribe
is the new DS2 files recorded by Olympus digital recorders, which is a
proprietary file type. There is an easy setting for the person using the
digital recorder to use that eliminates this problem. The newest
version of Express Scribe includes an option to play and transcribe
video, which is quite a good enhancement for transcriptionists over
their previous versions.
For the Record, also known as FTR, is frequently used to record court proceedings. The Record Player is a free software download which allows you to play audio files created by For the Record. The website also has a free forum section, which is helpful in troubleshooting any issues. We use this when we receive audio files from a court or attorney that can only be played in the FTR software. The sound quality is usually quite superb.
The FTW Transcriber is from Tyger Valley Systems and plays all files that Windows Media can play. It also plays video files with the visual displayed. It works with both hot keys or a foot pedal and is very similar to Express Scribe. The one caveat is that ads do appear in the interface. For $7.00 you can get a customer version with no ads. They have been adding features to it and it is fast becoming our new favorite. I truly believe the sound quality is better than Express Scribe, which when we are in the transcription business, sound quality is everything!
Pedalware is a foot pedal software that allows you to control other software that runs on your computer. It isn't a transcription software program that plays audio files, but rather works with Express Scribe and other programs. It has nice features such as automatically inserting frequently used texts at the tap of the foot pedal.
Winamp Media Player is a powerful program with lots of features. Pioneer Transcription Services has not yet utilized this program, so we don't know what all you can do with it. We did a search on their forum and learned that it should work with the V-Pedal foot pedal when you use the RM-X plug-in.