Studies of Life

Learning by doing.

Category Archives for: Freelancing

Using Audacity Chains to Quickly Adjust Audio for Transcriptions

05 April 2014 by Jim

Since transcription work, if done at high volume, takes up a huge amount of time it is important to find ways to make the process quicker or easier. Since I’ve been working in this area for a few years now, I’m always tweaking my process.

I’ve tried using Dragon Dictate / Mac OS X’s dictation feature to quickly type the text, and even though this is not ideal due to lack of accuracy, it can sometimes be nice to do when my fingers hurt from typing too much.

One trick that really helps me, though, is using Audacity to 1) improve the audio quality and 2) shorten the audio.

Using QuickTime as a Transcription Tool via AppleScript

20 November 2013 by Jim

You may already know that transcription apps, like F5 or ExpressScribe, can be used to speed up a transcriber’s work and streamline it. If you regularly work with transcriptions, I really recommend using specialised software and trying to optimise your workflow.

If you do large quantities of any specific type of work, be it transcription or translation, gaining 5% of time on every job can make a difference of hundreds of hours in one year.

Since I lately had to transcribe files into file formats that were not compatible with transcription software, I wrote small AppleScripts to provide the same functionality within QuickTime Player. That way I could rewind and play/pause any file that QT could read with a simple shortcut, with the window in the background.

The Ethics and Principles of Work

14 August 2012 by Jim

#Update 26 August 2012: Since this post seems to be the first on this blog to have generated regular visits (and thus, I suppose, inclusion in search engines), it is clear that of all topics that I could have written about, the nature of work, and tips on how to see it and deal with it, are desperately needed on the Internet, or at least felt to be desperately needed. To address this, let me, before you read on about any philosophical approach to work, say this: instead of reading about work, you should do it. You don’t do yourself a favour by procrastinating, and believe me, I know what it feels like. I’ve scoured Lifehacker for productivity hacks. Most of them are completely unnecessary, and the most essential one, the “JUST DO IT” trick, is hopelessly underrated and not written about frequently enough. Let this be a reminder that you should work if you’re thinking about working. The fact that you read this if you have to work (if that is indeed the case) is one of the examples of why self-improvement is not effective. Now you may go on your merry way… (more…)

Freelance income variation in 2012

21 July 2012 by Jim

Today I want to have a look at income. Since I work as a freelancer, income is A) not regular and B) completely dependent on how much I work, so there can be huge disparities between the total income levels of different months. Just to give a rough idea of how big these disparities can be, here’s a quick look at the income in 2012, using January as baseline. I added a graphical representation using straight lines. What is that symbol called, btw? Looking it up on Wikipedia. A little education. Here goes: (more…)