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My own thesis required that I transcribe 16 hours of a call-in radio show, and eventually I threw up my hands, so to speak, and did it manually.

It's the accent thing that frustrates it all, and this call-in show had plenty from the deep south, amidst all the others. I think it's all too idiosyncratic to leave the interpretive parts of the brain out of it.

Now, there are transcription machines on the market - basically sophisticated cassette players with deluxe speed and rewind controls - running usually at around $300, which, if I had to do it again, I'd buy in a flash. As it was, I bought a $10 walkman and hit rewind and play a lot between typing. Took me about a year. Yes, I'm kind of stupid and stubborn. Sure got to know the material, though.

Digitally, more options seem available. Something like The Amazing Slow Downer can be got readily enough, which will bring the speed down as far as you like without affecting tone. I'll be curious to know how you deal with this, SM.

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Good on you to maximise the number of copies around (I was downright paranoid about that). What's the program exactly that you're using? I remember one bonus to the transcription machines which I forgot to mention was that they had foot pedals for stop/play/rewind, to free up the hands for typing. Having things like digital counters are awfully handy.

What is your research on, Megs? I'm guessing it has something to do with India and (Hindutva?) politics, and am eager to learn more. My own I dread thinking about too much again! It was a Conversation Analysis study of a mid-afternoon evangelical talk radio show out of Buffalo (WDCX FM), which ran from 1994-99. It was pretty big in its day, carried from the east coast all the way to Colorado, and drawing some of the biggest names in that world for guests. I was more interested in how the routine callers were handled, and how the host and guests managed their power, what unspoken assumptions were in play for different topics, etc. Again, all very interesting (I suppose!), but I developed allergies to it after being so immersed in it for so long. I guess I'd still rather know what I now know than not; it's not like it's all gone away or anything (in fact the evangelical world seems stronger in the US now than it's ever been). Apparently someone did eventually pull it out of the stacks at U of T and read it, and I hope someday to meet that person ;).

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maybe software like Goldwave has speedup and slowdown features. There's no way in hell you could buy something that will transcribe the text 4 you. I think the CIA may have something to transcribe terrorist chatter, but I think that's top secret.

Microsoft's voice to text is garbage and even Dragon won't help you out too much as all this type of software needs many many hours of trainign for it to get results that are close to being accurate.

You'd spend alot of time reviewing what this software did in the end anyway. Hire a student!

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