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The compressed files will be around a twelfth the size of WAV files.  Windows Media Audio .wma  Windows Media Audio .wma was developed for Windows Media Player which is bundled with all Windowsbased PCs these days. It is even more compressed online transcription services than an MP, to about one thirtysixth the size of a .wav, but apparently retaining the original audio quality. I have to say that in my experience of transcribing I am not sure whether this has always been the case.  Digital Speech Standard .dss  In my experience, most playback software used for transcription will play .dss files. If not, there is a free download available on the Olympus site.


I believe .dss was developed by Olympus and almost all, but not all, Olympus recorders will record .dss files. Lanier and Grundig recorders also generally use .dss. The file size is reduced by twelve to twenty times, as compared to a WAV file, and is ideal for transcription services as it is small and easy to email.  DVF  This is Sonys answer to the .dss file. It is a very highly compressed file, but fine for voice, and its small size makes it very easy to send by email.  Encrypted dictation .dct  Often used for transcription, which requires very high confidentiality, these recordings are encrypted at the recording end and need to be decrypted on receipt by the transcriber. 


A wide variety of playback software will deal with these files.  TrueSpeech from DSP Group  TrueSpeech, from the DSP group, was designed for personal computers and personal communications devices. It has Spanish transcription very high compression ratios ranging from  to . If you are able to record this format it is probably best restricted to use with dictation or onetoone interview in a quiet environment. It is online transcription probably too lossy for focus groups etc.  There are a whole host of other file types available so dont worry if the type that your machine produces is not listed above. Contact your VA and she will probably be able to assist you, or at least point you in the right direction. 


These files are standard recordings onto CD, and are generally the file type of music files bought no CD. As I understand it not too well the CDA is actually just a sort of cover file that says this is a file on a CD, and the underlying file is probably a wave file or one of the other file types listed above. Most transcription recorders will not record to CDA but if you are having a professional recording made of a conference or series of lectures, for example, you may well find yourself with CDA files. Most transcription software will not work with CDA format.


There are a number of ways to convert CDA files but these can be expensive andor time consuming. Transcriptionists specialising in digital transcription will probably be able to transcribe these files but you may be charged a surcharge for the time taken in converting them to a useable format. There are a variety of converters available, but one that I have used successfully, and that provides a trial version, is Easy CD Ripper, a shareware with a fully functional trial version audio transcription that can be downloaded from various places including  You will probably have only a limited range of file types available for your transcription, depending on your recording equipment, but any equipment should provide you with a range of options depending on your needs.

Posted Mar 22, 2017 at 10:28am



Posts (1)

  • General: Transcription Services

    The compressed files will be around a twelfth the size of WAV files.  Windows Media Audio .wma  Windows Media Audio .wma was developed for Windows Media Player which is…

    Mar 22, 2017

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