The tapes I'm talking about are audio tapes, not the paper tapes that the steno is on. Most reporters who use audio tapes during a job use the standard-size cassettes. Some do use the micros, though. Some do not use audio tapes at all.

I started out with a transcriber to fit the standard size tapes, and there are several different brands available. You should get a transcriber with a headset, a foot pedal, and at least two speeds. The list recently discussed transcribers, and Sony and Sanyo were the two most often used, with Panasonic being another option. The CAT vendors do not sell these. You can go to an office supply store or call Martel Electronics (big CR supply outfit in CA). Martel's phone number is 800-553-5536. Some reporters record on a very slow speed and this requires a 3rd speed on the transcriber. To my knowledge, Sanyo (through Martel) is the only machine that you can get with this third speed.

Yes, you might be able to find a used transcriber at a good price at or even CRForum. A transcriber plays the tapes so you can hear everything that's said. It's used as a backup to the reporter's writing. Some reporters rely on it more than others. The foot pedal allows you to stop, start, and back up the tape without using your hands. The headset keeps everyone in the house from going nuts having to hear it!

I would say every scopist should have a transcriber.

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