I have posted this question on other forums, but I have not received a satisfactory answer.
What is the difference between scoping for machine reporters vs. voice writers? As I understand, the voice writers also create a written copy. The difference is how each reporter creates that document. Am I not understanding correctly? I am interested in expanding my client base, so would appreciate comments on scoping for voice writers.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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What is Transcription Buddy? How do reporters get the audio to you?
TB is just another software product to play audio files. I usually receive files via my T3 account, but SendThisFile is another option. For T3 there is a cost to add a reporter, however SendThisFile is free. T3 is just a bit more robust and secure, developed by court reporters. It also tracks reporter upload, scopist download and returned jobs.
Voice vs Steno: In my opinion the only difference would be the method of taking the record--voice writing or steno writing. Having had the experience as a scopist and a transcriptionst; as a steno writer and currently working as a voice writer, the steno writers have their paper notes as the official record; and voice writers' spoken voice is the official record.
There are four sectors on a tape--whether the recording device has two channels or four channels--the first sector is the voice and the other channels are the backup, provided everything is operable. If anything happens; for example, a bad tape--backup didn't pickup--the voice that is recorded on the first sector is there--you don't loose that--the record.
As for as the steno writer reporter, the scoptist would go to the steno notes and/or backup recorder or audio sync to check whether a word or phrase was translated or globaled correctly; as the transcriber or transcriptionist would go to the reporter's spoken words (which is the official record) on the recorded sector of the tape in producing the transcript.
The product is the same--the transcript. If the paper notes of the steno writer is shadow or misstroked the scoptist would either mark the place in question and have the reporter check that spot.
As for as which software is to be used, I would say since technology has changed to be more usuer friendly, court reporters' software or voice reporters' software could be used interchangeably if it's saved as an ascii file, etceterra, etceterra--in most cases.
WOW, Vicki, you know your stuff!! The software from AudioScribe, Transcriptionist, sounds awesome! I've been asking for something like that for years!

Do you know the difference between ViaVoice and Dragon. I'm on Procat software and they only use ViaVoice (testing Dragon). I'm not a big fan of ViaVoice and I'm curious what kind of recognition your reporters are getting on Dragon.
Do you use the cheaper version, $200, or the expensive one that's almost $1,000? What's the difference, if you know?
The ViaVoice is better than the Dragon. I have both and I like the Procat better.
Thank you very much for taking the time for such a detailed explanation. I knew there was some part of the whole concept I was not grasping. Like most things, it is not as simple as it seems on the surface. Several months ago on another forum there was a discussion about beta testing a new SRE interface for to be used to scope for voice writers. At the time I was unable to commit to it, but it sounded interesting. Is this with the gal in Louisiana?
Yes, that is the one!
Hello, Vicki.

I did not see your post before I wrote my own about voicewriting. So some of my post echoes what you've said.

I remember that as much as 15 years ago, I said that "scopists" would someday be working at home, using voice recognition software to produce a final product -- whether dictating from a raw audio recording, or listening to AudioSynch in a steno-produced transcript, and filling in that way.

At the risk of being pubicly flogged, I will also say that ER reporting may someday be done by someone who is a notary, listening to testimony from someone a thousand miles away, by phone, and producing a deposition which is perfectly legal and acceptable to courts all over the country. (We have a way to go on that one, I'm well aware.)

One point of confusion: It is my understanding that a scopist who already has Eclipse software, for example, and works for steno reporters, can use that same editing software to scope for voicewriters. Do you know if I'm correct about that? It seems that a voicewriter could send the same raw text you refer to for use in Word to a scopist using any CAT editing program, and they would import it as .rtf or .txt, just as they do when working with a steno reporter who is using a different CAT program than they are.

The question is whether that raw text created by a reporter using Eclipse VOX can be imported into the Eclipse editing program used by Eclipse steno reporters.

I'll be on the phone tomorrow with Eclipse to ask that, but if you know ....

Transcriptionist sounds like an exciting new addition to the range of software programs available to those who would do scoping/transcription/document creation from an audio source. I wanted to beta test it, but am just too busy. Your input will be interesting.

Judy Barrett
Scoping Training Consultant
Hi Pamela,

If you are needing some help, I am a professional scopist looking to work with another reporter or two. I have ten years combined experience in legal transcription and scoping. My rates are extremely affordable and my turnaround times are flexible. I use CaseCAT, DigitalCAT, Word, WordPerfect and Express Scribe. I am a perfectionist who always strives to exceed reporter expectations. I complete the first ten pages free of charge. Please take a look around my web site and let me know if I can be of assistance.


Hi, All.

I have been too busy to be active on this really nice forum, but I saw this (Hi, K.C. :) ) and thought I would put my two cents in.

The whole idea of voice writing has a certain mystique that makes people kind of wary about what it's all about. For years, voicewriters were called "stenomaskers" because they were in court or deposition talking into a mask (they still do that) and it was even more off-putting to those who didn't understand it than that mysterious and funny-looking machine that some court reporters use! :)

As some of you have described here, most people who have worked for voice reporters in recent years are basically doing transcription. They listen to either a recording from a room microphone or to a recording of the voicewriter repeating back into a microphone (in a bit of a whisper) everything they are hearing -- while inserting speaker identifications and other instructions as they can, "on the fly."

But things they are a'changin'. Voice recognition has arrived, and it is a highly workable thing. Most of us are familiar with what happens when machine steno writers "do their thing." They write in steno, the steno is translated (for good or for ill) by software into English, and the scopist gets a translated but not-yet-edited transcript to scope (edit).

With voice recognition software, the same idea applies, but the software is translating from the spoken word into English, and the scopist gets a document that is (hopefully) mostly English, and instead of globalling steno which didn't translate into English, they are editing material that requires them to spot check audio, or listen to full audio -- depending on the quality of the translation -- and edit the document just as scopists do for machine writers.

It's really kind of ironic that I have many times heard steno reporters bristle at the idea of voicewriting ("They're after *my* job" is usually what's behind it. :) ), declaring that it just doesn't work! But anyone who has ever tried to do scoping for a steno writer who isn't a very good writer could look at the translated (kind of) end result of steno to English and say, "It just doesn't work."

So with voicewriting and the use of VR software, just as with steno writing and CAT translation software, the quality of the *input* defines the quality of the *output*!

I attended an online webinar with the renowned voicewriter, Betty Keyes ,a couple of months ago. She was doing realtime voicewriting, using Eclipse. I watched in surprise as she dictated really precisely, using a lot of voice macros that she has developed, and by golly, the translation was incredibly fast and accurate. She's the author of a book about voicewriting, and is a top performer in that arena. So she's living proof that voicewriting with voice recognition works.

Just as in every field, there are those who are superior performers in their field, for one reason or another. Some steno writers just never make the grade for many reasons. Sometimes they just don't have the manual dexterity to achieve a reliable output that *anyone* (including themselves, sometimes) could possibly be able to decipher and edit. Same thing with those who try VR with voicewriting. Some people are able to train the speech engine (Dragon Naturally Speaking or Via Voice) to a point where they get outstanding results. Others just never achieve that kind of output, and simply rely on recordings and someone to listen and type.

I have long earned my living as a scoping trainer, teaching people to read steno and work with steno reporters. But I think the matter of audio is going to having a continuing impact on our field, and we will see many chages. We already have AudioSynch with steno reporting, and there is a major controversy these days about reporters relying too much on a scopist to listen to full audio and fill in the blanks.

So to define terms again: A scopist is someone who either receives a document that has been tra
Hi K.C., Voice writers speak into a mask which they train the computer to recognize their voice and then the computer translates that into a transcript. If you get a reporter who is very good, like I had at one time, who then gave it up, it can be easy, but if you've got someone who doesn't translate well, it will take forever. Any other questions, let me know.


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