When doing a transcription a professional will insert a timecode, also called a timestamp at certain intervals or points into the finished work. This is literally a time reference for when something happened or was said.
Clients can specify how they want these done when they request the transcription. This might be for every speaker, or every five minutes, or even every three seconds, for instance. In certain circumstances clients may require this to happen in a question and answer scenario and only to apply to the questions, or only the answers. Clients need vary, as do circumstances, so there is no fixed rule for when to insert time markers. This should be discussed and agreed upon with the client before the work is started.
These timecodes help in a few ways, but the most common one is to make it easy for clients to find a particular moment in a meeting. They are also useful for referencing, at [01:11:17] such and such happened. The format used is the one above, which refers to something that occurred at one hour, eleven minutes and seventeen seconds into the recording.
A timecode is also used when the transcriber is unsure of a word or phrase. He will then inform the client that at two minutes thirty seven seconds, [00:02:37] he is unclear about what was said. As the client is generally present for the actual session that was recorded, he may be able to shed light on the conversation by listening only to that part and not the whole recording.
Timecodes are useful, if not essential tools for both the client and the transcriber. In the case of a video recording rather than an audio one, this can be a vital tool as not only can the client hear the audio, but also see the body language and gestures.
At Singapore Transcription our experts use timecodes and are happy to fit them in whenever you, the client wishes.