Time Stamping in Transcription: Know When And How To Use Them

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Timestamping in TranscriptionTime stamping in transcription means inserting time codes in a transcript at specified intervals.

As a professional transcriptionist, you will come across some transcription projects that will have special instructions. Time stamping is one of those special instructions.

Timestamps are mostly used in video transcriptions (particularly in video captioning) but in case they are used in audio files this is how they should appear. See example below.

As you can see below, Express Scribe is the best software to use when transcribing files that require timestamps. For those who may not be sure of what those zeros means. The first zero represents time in hours.

The second set of zeros represent time in minutes and the last set, which is a 10, represents the time in seconds. I understand Express Scribe omits one zero in the first set but always, always remember to include it in your transcripts. Time stamping rules dictate that the time codes are written as follows [00:00:00]. So, always use this format.

Timestamps in transcriptionDifferent Ways of Using Timestamps

1. Phonetic Timestamps

This is when a transcriber has heard a word but is unsure if that’s the correct spelling. In this case, type the word and include the timestamps as shown below.

Example – We went to the zoo and met [Cherise 00:07:00] there.

2. Inaudible Timestamps

This is when a transcriber cannot make out what is being said completely. Type the word “inaudible” and include the time stamp as shown below.

Example – We went to the zoo and met [inaudible 00:07:00] there.

3. Crosstalk Timestamps

This is when the speakers are overlapping each other in a recording. When two, three or even four speakers are all speaking at the same time which makes it impossible to make out clearly who is saying what and at what time.

Example of a standard transcript that has 2-minute timestamps

Speaker 1:   I’ll find it and send it to you.

Speaker 2:   Yeah. Yeah. Sure.

Speaker 1:  It looks very similar to this. It’s, every week we’ve got a task that they are responsible to learn. They spend three days with Jesse. They spend time with Curtis. They spend time with Cerise, Darla, the expediters. There’s time with each ODP member. Then they start going into all these classes that are online. Then at the end, we certify them.

It’s again, what I talked about earlier, some other talk on the job training. We don’t have the luxury here of hiring somebody and having them on staff for 10 to 12 weeks and then not producing.

Each week, they’ve got a task so that we keep them moving through the system learning but at the end, they’ve got to be certified. Just like ourselves, when our sales are done they have to … Warren will go out or Don or myself, we’ll go out and we act as a customer and make ourselves at home. We’ve got to validate that they are ready to go on the floor, the same thing for the field managers.

Once they’re done and they’ve worked their way through the system then we’ll go out and Jesse will head them from a PSE perspective. I’ll get them from the four critical priorities and just make sure they’ve got the gist of it. It’s the only way I think we can ensure that we’re all on the same page.

Speaker 2:   Do the field managers get any kind of training later on?

 Speaker 1:   We do. Usually, I try and find something to train on a recorder [00:02:00]. As you know, as I said earlier, I’ve got a lot of tenure …

More Information

Want to know how to set up express scribe ready for transcription? Click here to find out more

Need more information on time stamps and special instructions? Stay tuned! I’ll be creating a free resource page soon, that’s filled with nothing but the best transcription content.

If you are thinking of buying a transcription kit that will fit your transcription needs, I highly recommend Express Scribe Pro Transcription Software with USB Foot Pedal.

Need more transcription training? Check out the Free 7-Lesson Mini Course over at Transcribe Anywhere.



12 thoughts on “Time Stamping in Transcription: Know When And How To Use Them

  1. Joyce

    Thanks Virginia for your articles that come handy and are very instrumental. I have learn alot through your guidance. Be blessed.


    1. Virginia Nakitari Post author

      You are most welcome Joyce. I’m glad you found it instrumental. You can also sign up to my free newsletter if you haven’t done so yet. I share top-of-the-line transcription tips, resources and companies hiring. Regards.

  2. Maggie

    That’s a very informative article….I like it. I am trying to learn transcription so this info comes on handy.., got directed to your page from an fb page on which mbugua Kiongo has provided ur link

    1. Virginia Nakitari Post author

      Hello Maggie,

      Welcome to Transcription Hub Pros community. I’m glad to know you found the info handy. I’m grateful to David Mbugua. If you have any questions do not hesitate to let me know. Regards.

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  4. ogechi

    You are truly a blessing. I have really learnt a lot from your blog and it has helped me in my transcription journey.


    Hi Virginia. I have read through your articles and they are informative.
    Been a newbie,I have learnt a lot.
    Keep up the good work and God bless.

  6. Zoleka

    Good Morning Virginia

    Is it possible for you to make a screencast video for video for beginners on when to insert timestamps.
    I am a transcriber with Speechpad and only qualify to transcribe audio at this moment. I would love to know how to transcribe videos, captioning and tagging.
    Zoleka from South Africa

  7. Pingback: Express Scribe or FTW Transcriber? - Transcription Hub Pros

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