Don’t thank me for this post, thank my boyfriend, who is a genius.
This innovation actually changed my life. As a linguistics student I’ve done A LOT of really complicated transcriptions over the years, and I’ve done many many hours of simple transcription as a paid transcriber. My set-up used to look like this:
I imagine that looks familiar – you can quickly access the media player to stop and start it and if you’re doing a simple two-person transcript you’ve done what you can to make everything quicker. But you still have to waste time taking your fingers off the keyboard to click between the two programmes and manually start and stop the audio. You might even be clumsily clicking the bar on the audio player to skip back to listen again.
Now my set-up looks like this:
No media player. And you don’t need a laptop with built in media controls to make this work. If you use VLC (which is free to download and has a lot of great features) you can configure the global hotkeys so that you never have to click back and forth again!
Go to hotkeys. You will see two columns ‘hotkey’ and ‘global’. Hotkey will only work when VLC is the active (selected) programme. Global will work from anywhere, e.g. from Word, if you’re browsing the web etc. The settings you want to create are global ones. Your global column should currently be blank like mine. This is what you need to do next:
Double click in the ‘global’ column on the setting you want to change, I clicked on ‘play/pause’
1. You can easily remember mean ‘play/pause’
2. Are not another shortcut
E.g. don’t pick ‘p’ as every time you type the letter p during transcription, your audio will stop or start. I choose shift+right arrow, as this combination is easy to press and isn’t already used as a shortcut/hotkey in Word:
These are the four hotkeys I have programmed specifically for transcription (image below). I find they are enough and make the whole process easier, the slow down command is especially useful when people are talking really fast! You can even slow down the audio so much that you can type as fast as the speakers are talking, but this can make the sound pretty distorted.
When you’ve chosen all your commends, you will need to press ‘save’ then exit VLC completely and restart the programme before the changes will take effect. There is no need to restart your whole computer. When VLC is restarted, you should find you can use almost any programme while listening to VLC and control the audio remotely without having to click onto VLC to make the change.