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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Home / 2012 / December

Choosing the Right Transcription Foot Pedal… Cont’d

In the second part of the article, we look at a few more popular models of transcription foot pedals:


  1. Serial Pin Transcription Foot pedals: Most laptops and PC’s that are manufactured these days do not come with a 9 pin or 15 pin. However, many old models come with at least one serial pin although they may not have many USB ports. If yours is one such laptop or PC, don’t think about chucking it away just to make room for a system that has enough USB ports. Opt instead for a serial pin transcription foot pedal which comes with a serial port adaptor at one end which can be easily plugged into your computer. Such foot pedals have the same kind of controls as other newer models including the ability to accommodate any shoe size.
  2. Wireless Foot Pedals: Willing to really spend on a classy transcription foot pedal? Then don’t think twice about investing in a wireless model. But be warned: these are rather expensive and are worth the buy if you travel a lot and still want to work on transcriptions. All wireless models can be plugged into a USB port in your laptop or desktop. Remember that since it is a wireless model, your speed at typing and knowledge of keyboard commands is also very important. Amateur transcriptionists may feel that such models actually slow down the pace of work overall as unlike other models, you cannot fast-forward or rewind easily unless the appropriate keyboard shortcut or command is used. Although wireless foot pedals vary in terms of the wireless range, most models offer up to 3 meters and require just a set of batteries to get started. The additional wireless facility gives experienced transcriptionists the chance to sit and relax in better comfort while working at the same time.

In the article, we take a look at some of the best-selling units and brands for each of the foot pedal models highlighted in this 2 part segment.

Choosing the Right Transcription Foot Pedal

Transcribing with ease definitely takes a lot of practice, but you’re certain to log in more hours at work with a little bit of help from the world of technology. As a transcriptionist, you’re lucky if you are transcribing audio files in which the speaker articulates each word carefully and slowly. It allows you to type fast and reduces the possibility of errors as well. In reality however, most medical practitioners do not really have the time to dictate slowly but the onus is still on the transcriptionist to deliver an error free transcript. That is precisely why a foot pedal becomes a highly valuable piece of equipment.


A foot pedal allows the user to pause, play, stop, rewind or fast-forward an audio file when it is being played. For a beginner, it means that it is also easier for a user to go back to a certain portion of the file and to check if all the recorded words have actually been typed out. In fact, doing so before a new paragraph or topic begins is beneficial, because it reduces the strain on the transcriptionist who would otherwise have to proof-read the entire document in one go alternatively. There are so many types of foot pedals available in the market and  spending some time to understand which one works best for you is important. In this article we take a look at the USB Foot Pedal:


USB Foot pedal:

Probably the most commonly used transcription foot pedal, you’ll find plenty adaptations of this one model at any good store. Older models will come with software which you need to first load onto your desktop PC or laptop but new models these days are simply ‘plug and play’ versions which are hassle free. Simply plug the foot pedal into one of the USB ports on your system and you’re ready to use your new investment. You also need to set up the required backup parameters for further use but it doesn’t take much time to do so. Don’t worry about having to change your computer’s basic OS because the latest software is sure to recognise the new hardware once it is plugged in. If you still have concerns, check the unit specifications that are normally indicated on the box itself before making a purchase. And no, you don’t have to buy any specific kind of footwear either, because the pedal buttons are large enough to accommodate shoes of any size.


In the next part of the article, we take a look at two other foot pedal models which are also handy for transcription purposes.

Digital Recording Devices – Edirol R-09HR

In this article, we take a look at the Edirol R – 09HR audio recorder which has been built for the customer who isn’t into heavy duty gizmos but who would still prefer to rely on a recorder that covers all the basic functions and won’t let you down. It may be old-fashioned in a way, if you compare it to so many other recorders that combine multiple functions in one, but it does the job quite decently.


For starters, yes, it does look like the shaver you were going to gift dad for Christmas, but the Edirol R- 09HR fits snugly in your palm and thanks to the rubber casing, it gives the user a firm grip. So, you’re less likely to drop it even if you have sweaty palms! The little buttons in the control panel may be a tad difficult to work with at first, but their layout makes it very easy to use as well.


If you take a look at the other accessories that this recorder comes with, you’ll find that this is one of the very few brands to include a wireless remote control and even a stand. The presence of the remote indicates that you don’t have to be sitting right next to the speaker in order to hear what is being said, or to control the unit by yourself. You now have the option to walk around in a room and use the wireless remote for any main operation which also includes controlling the volume, rewinding, playing and even stopping. Users will also find that this machine can last for at least 5 hours even when something is being recorded. Unlike other brands, the battery slot and the USB port are easy to find and use as well.


The stereo mic in the Edirol R- 09HR is seriously good and users will also appreciate the fact that there are quite a few recording resolutions available to suit any type of recording as well as a larger memory capacity. Retailing at a minimum of 250 GBP, the Edirol R- 09HR wins a thumbs-up from us because of its overall performance and features.

Digital Recording Devices – Livescribe Echo 8 GB Smartpen

In the second part of our article, we take a look at the Livescribe Echo 8 GB smartpen which not only makes you look sleek no matter where you are but is a great example of technology meets style. Where else can you find a pen that actually records everything you speak and write yet still looks so stylish in your pocket or even on your folder?


Meet the Livescribe Echo 8, which takes the ordinary handheld pen to a different level altogether. Imagine this. With this new smart piece in your hand, you can:

  1. Transfer any notes or audio files to another device within seconds. All thanks to the small neat micro USB connector slot embedded in the base which can also charge your pen when you’re not using it.
  2. It has a microphone in it which makes mono recording a real pleasure. Just the thing for one on one meetings, lectures, conferences or even interviews.
  3. And no, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll get a crystal clear recording or a fuzzy one because the built in speakers take care of the sound quality for you.
  4. It has a standard 3.5mm jack which lets you listen to your own recording using a pair of headphones.
  5. An 8 GB pen can easily hold up to 800 hours of recorded audio. If you don’t want to invest in the 8 GB version, you could always opt for the 4 GB version as well.
  6. The ink cartridge is replaceable just like in an ordinary pen so you won’t have to throw away the entire pen just because of a used up cartridge.


The presence of an infrared camera at the tip of the pen actually does a fantastic job of taking upto 70 images per second of any movement you make on paper. The pen also gives the user a firm grip thanks to the soft rubber and is light to hold as well. Overall, the pen is quite comfortable to use and definitely eliminates the need to carry external recording equipment or devices. It makes sharing and uploading docs that much easier and can also support Google Docs. However, at a minimum cost of GBP 180, it still is quite an investment to make. Plus, you would have to use the pen for some time to get used to the way it works. But overall, it’s still worth the investment made.