The Importance of Time-codes in Transcription

Time-codes, or as they are sometimes called, Timestamps, are an important part of a Transcription. These are simply the time of a certain point in the recording that is written within a transcription. They identify an exact point in an audio recording where the written text was used. Usually time-codes are introduced using the format [00:00:00] indicating are hours, minutes and seconds from the beginning of the audio file. This is the format most transcriptionists use.

The time can be put into the text at regular intervals or at any point where something specific happened. This could be when a new speaker talks or when deals are made for instance.

These codes are especially useful if there is a part of the audio file that is incomprehensible. The transcriptionist will write something along the lines of; unintelligible/inaudible at 00.01.23. This lets the client go directly to that place and listen to the recording. In many cases the client was present at the event and can remember what was said during the interview or meeting. The same applies if multiple people were speaking at the same time or any other odd or strange happening. Timestamps simply send the client straight to the point in question without wasting time.

Another reason that makes it important to put in the time, is to let the client go straight to a certain point to listen to the tone used. Sarcasm and joy indicate differing attitudes, so sometimes a simple ‘yes’ does not convey the real meaning behind the statement.

You can ask the client if they want a time stamp with every speaker, every paragraph, or at other times.

Many transcription software programmes and apps offer the possibility to insert timestamps at different intervals. Transcriptionists can also do this manually too, although that can have a slightly higher cost if clients require very frequent timestamps.

London Transcription offer many different time-code alternatives, so please contact us if you have specific requirements as we do custom ones too.