What options are available for digital dictaphones and audio recording?
There are many brands of digital dictaphones available, however we find Olympus, Phillips and Sony dictaphones are the most common. It is important that if you are wanting to email your digital files, you choose a dictaphone which produces sound files in a compressed format - e.g. DSS, DS2, MSV. However if your dictaphone does produce uncompressed larger files (e.g. WAV, WMA, video files etc) you can send files through our Hightail link which allows files up to 2GB each to be sent securely via the internet.
If you own a Smartphone, you might also consider downloading an appropriate dictation application (through the Apple Store for iPhones, or Google Play store for Android). Again, it is prudent to ensure the app you use allows you to send the files to us and doesn't only allow playback on your device.
Please contact us if you need any advice on the best method for you.
What file formats do you accept?
We accept all common audio and video files including .aif, .iff, .m3u, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .mpa, .ra, .wav, .wma, 3g2, .3gp, .asf, .asx, .avi, .flv, .m4v, .mov, .mp4, .rm, .srt, .swf, .vob, .wmv. We also accept cassette tapes, videos, DVDs, handwritten notes, previously typed documents, etc, etc.
How can I optimise my recordings?
We encourage all our clients to optimise recordings as much as possible to ensure the best results from our specialists. Things to consider include:
Good quality recorder
Holding the dictaphone 10-15cm away from mouth or placing external microphone(s) as close as possible to participants
Reduce or eliminate possible background noise - busy offices or cafes, papers shuffling, phones ringing etc make transcribing difficult
For multi-speaker settings, try and keep participants from over-talking each other
Use external microphones wherever possible in multi-speaker environments
For dictation of documents, remember to include unique spelling of names/places etc
What are your standard turnaround times?
We allow up to 24 hours turnaround for day-to-day standard-type work - however, as a matter of practice we process all work as quickly as possible, working on a first in/first served basis.
For our regular clients we also aim to return work same-day if we receive the work before 11.00am and the client requests same day turnaround. This is of course dependent also on the volume of same-day work required, otherwise the standard expectation would be 24 hour turnaround.
We encourage communication to flow freely between us and our clients at all times, and recommend clients advise preferred turnaround requirements as a matter of practice when sending any work through to avoid any potential timing issues. We will always do our very best to meet client requirements, and understand the nature of our clients' work can require unexpected urgent assistance so we are very good at balancing priorities and working efficiently.
Do you provide urgent or after hours assistance?
If you require urgent assistance, we can prioritise your work and guarantee it is started on within 3 hours of receipt, however to be fair to our regular clients and those using our standard service, there is an extra fee payable for the guaranteed service.
We can also provide after hours assistance (subject to confirmation of availability) and there is also an extra fee for this service.
How can I pay my invoice?
We accept payment by direct bank deposit, PayPal (on request) or cash. We are also happy to accept cheques from our regular clients. Our bank details are printed on our invoices.
What is your pricing structure?
We charge in 6-minute units, being 10 units to an hour.
Are there any other costs associated with your services, other than time-based costs?
No, there are no hidden or other associated costs with our services. We charge only for the time spent on your work or for any expenses incurred on your behalf (i.e. printing costs if you require hard copies, postage for mail-outs, etc). We will always seek your authorisation prior to incurring any charges additional to our time.
If you are based outside of New Zealand, or choose to pay our invoices via PayPal, there is also a small additional processing fee charged by the bank/PayPal.
Do you provide on-site assistance?
We can provide on-site assistance by arrangement and subject to your location. Please contact us with your requirements and we will do our best to find a great solution.