Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Make The Switch To Digital From Cassettes

Still using audio tapes to dictate? 

Thinking about switching to a digital recorder or call-in system?

Top 10 reasons why you should make the switch:

  1. Tapes easily become lost or misplaced, resulting in wasted time and productivity. When a digital audio file is sent for transcription, a copy can be sent and a copy kept for a period of time (for redundancy purposes).
  2. Tapes wear out and recording quality degrades over time, resulting in wasted time and additional costs. Digital audio files do not contain any actual moving parts and cannot be “eaten” by a recorder.
  3. Tapes are normally recorded with multiple reports on them, which means the transcriptionist receives these jobs all at once. The moment a digital audio file has been dictated, it can be sent–thus the MT receives the dictation more quickly and turnaround time improves.  Stat dictation can be transcribed immediately.
  4. It is only possible to record onto tapes using “overwrite” mode. This means that if you need to add additional audio to a file, you have to append the additional audio. With most digital systems, it is possible to insert audio mid-file, which means if you need to add an extra paragraph, you can.
  5. Tapes are physical, meaning that a tape recorded in Timbuktu cannot be transcribed in Topeka within the same hour. Digital audio files are not geographically constrained. A digital file recorded in Timbuktu can therefore be transcribed in Topeka or any other location within the hour, thus improving turnaround and providing the opportunity to reduce office space and cut expenses via out-sourcing.
  6. Without the physical constraints of tapes, clients are not limited to local transcriptionists (or the lack thereof).
  7. The audio on a tape can be slowed down, but the audio pitch (frequency) is also slowed down, making comprehension more difficult. With digital audio files, it is possible to slow the audio without varying the pitch.
  8. Audiotape duration is normally limited to 30 to 60 minutes, and rewinding or fast forwarding to a specific point wastes time. With digital audio files, audio duration is only limited by your hard disk space. For example, on a 20GB hard drive it is possible to record 3,448 hours of audio!
  9. It is not possible for multiple transcriptionists to share a tape. With digital dictation, it is possible for multiple MTs to transcribe selected portions of a large file.
  10. If there is a question concerning a word or phrase, the transcriptionist can simply send a “clip” of the section in question to the client for feedback.

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