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Digital Oral History: Audio Transcription Software: Home

A course guide.

A Free, Cloud-Based Approach to Audio Transcription

Convert Your Audio File to a Different Format? --

  • For example, among many others: convert AIFF, WAV, or WMA to MP3


Transcribe Your Audio File? -- oTranscribe

  • Puts audio file and transcription in one window; no need to switch between windows
  • Playback audio file at slower/faster speeds
  • Hot keys to rewind and fast forward
  • Option to input timestamps
  • Continuous word count and timer to orient you while you transcribe
  • Download transcription as .txt file and/or export to Google Drive


Format Your Transcription?

  • Provide the full names of the interviewer and interviewee at the start of the transcript. If someone is unknown, identify them as such
  • From that point onwards, name them by initials
  • The transcription resembles a script format courtesy of Oral History in the Liberal Arts website:
    • NB: Hello. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.
    • XC: You're welcome. I'm really happy to do so.
      • If XC laughs/coughs/sneezes/makes a big gesture, indicate it in parentheses but ignore anytime they say "um":
        • XC: This interview should be fun, but (laughs) I'm nervous and a bit under the weather (coughs).
  • Example transcription available from Kenyon College via Oral History in the Liberal Arts website


Need Audio Recording Devices?

  • AV equipment at Lilly Library -- includes links to audio recording device manuals
  • If you're using a Zoom H4n, do the following before using it:
    • Check the batteries AND/OR connect the H4n to a power source
    • Format the SD card in the device:
      • Select MENU button on right side of device
      • Use scroll button on right side of device to scroll down to "SD CARD" on the menu
      • When "SD CARD" is selected on the menu, **press** the scroll button to select "FORMAT"
      • When asked, "Are Your Sure?" **press the scroll button to select "YES"

Research Help

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Earlham Librarian

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095