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A videographer gave me 77 -- no, it's not a typo -- I repeat, seventy-seven (77) MP3 audio files at the end of a depo when I opened his digital audio folder. I asked which file(s) was it. He pointed me to the folder. I said there were too many files, so which one(s). He said ALL of them.
I've been reporting for 12+ years now. The most audio files I have ever gotten from a videographer were probably five to six files. He said that is how most reporters want them. Again . . . seriously???!!! It wasn't a daily. It wasn't being sent off to scopists or anything. I prefer one to two files: morning and afternoon.
IF I need the audio, I would have to spend all that time to convert every single one of the 77 MP3 files into a WAV file so it could be synced in Eclipse. THEN I would have to repeatedly try to find/match the time code to the audio file to the transcript. I wouldn't be able to get this job out for six months.
Reporters: Have you ever gotten this many audio files at YOUR request? Or has any videographer EVER given you this many files to ONE video job? If so, why?
free trial but it's $35 or some such reasonable price. The keystrokes don't interfere with Catalyst. I'd be lost without TB.
You can download "For the Record" software for free and use a foot pedal with it and to play back lots of type audio files. It's really good software with different volume controls to to adjust.
ExpressScribe is through a company called NCH Software. You can download free software that has limitations, and the professional upgrade is $30-$40. It's a software program for transcribing digital files, any digital file in any format mp3, wav, etc. When used with a foot pedal, it makes listening to a video depo a breeze, because you don't have to take your hands off the keyboard to start and stop or go backwards.
I have the free version of ExpressScribe. You can use it without a foot pedal too. There are hot keys in the program that rewind, start and stop using the Function keys. Again, I only use these programs if my AudioSync has failed because when I hook the videographer directly into my computer, the audio syncs with Eclipse and the audio quality is excellent.
I am running into the situation with videographers lately where they don't provide audio backup. If you need it, they have to send it to you next day or in a few days. Not sure why other than they don't have a digital recorder.
I've had many videographers tell me they only provide this service as a "courtesy" and they're not required to give us anything. I rarely take them, but it's nice to know they are there if you do need the backup.
Well, they provide this as a "courtesy" now because I know of one firm that has told them they no longer have to provide it unless asked. I don't know why the firm has decided that. Other firms, it is a requirement of the job for the videographer to be able to provide the audio at the conclusion of the deposition, same day.
It's like what one exceptional interpreter told me years ago when I complimented him on what an incredibly competent and professional job he was doing and how he is so much better than the rest, and I named a couple other interpreters that I thought were excellent. He told me: "Yes, you have named some of the very best in the industry. Do you know why you know they are good?"
Me: "Because I've had some who are not so good?"
He smiled. "Exactly."
I do have to say that over the years there are about five videographers that I have become very close to because I've worked with them for over eight years. I invite them to my parties and they are good friends. I really enjoy their company. It's like in any field, however; you're going to ge the bad apple that is bitter and hates their job. It is just going to happen.
You can only hope they find another profession and leave us reporters to enjoy the really good videographers that are definitely out there. I've worked with the same group of vids for a long time and when they show up, I just know I'm going to have a great day; they make me laugh and are just super fun to be around. I wish all of my jobs were videotaped with these gentlemen. True professionals.
There is even one videographer that looks up all names for me on the Internet and gives me a list at breaks. Who does that? He is amazing. Some of my jobs are seriously stressful and technical and Sean makes my life so much easier. He's a true friend and professional. I do not hesitate to say their names: Sean Grant and his partner Ramon Peraza; they are the best and I welcome them on all of my depositions.
Amazing, Kelli. I've worked with terrific VAOFRs but no one has ever sat there whiling away their time by listening carefully for words & names and compiling that unbelievable word list. Wow. You are VERY VERY LUCKY!!!
Small audio files can be stitched together using audio editing software. Or simply call the videog and tell him you want one file per DVD and he can easily pull them from his video and upload them to a sharing site like Google Drive or Dropbox for you to download.
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
Phone: (770) 355-5379
I need them sometimes for mumbly, soft spoken witnesses or mumbly objections that are long and you can't hear.
That is ridiculous. As a videographer for 12 years, you always want to help out the reporter/scopist and not add additional work to their workload.
I abandoned audio tapes in 2006. I now offer the court reporter either a (1) direct feed from my mixer to their laptop or digital recorder (2) wav files (huge size) (3) mp3. Wav files and MP3 are delivered at one per tape that we record. It is generally no more than 5 or 6 for a full day. The videographer should be able to simply rip them off of their DVD recording ( My backup is a DVD). Takes about 5 minutes per DVD. I don't mind doing it at all.
I will send them through something like YouSendIt.com or HighTail.com so they can be downloaded at any time.
We're all in this together to keep happy clients, right? If the firm you are working for has its own in-house videographers, the workflow process needs to change for the better and everyone needs training. If it an outside vendor such as myself, the scheduling department needs to make sure the videographer can handle this before booking.
I've had that before. Had a VAOFR break the files into 5-minute segments. Not sure why but I thought it was ridiculous. Also received cassette tapes several times. Amazing!