By Rachel Tirabassi
The typical computer user may find a foot pedal pointless, but transcriptionists are not your average computer users. A durable, well-designed foot pedal is essential for transcriptionists who need more than two hands to reach their highest productivity level.
Why should you invest in a foot pedal?
When you are transcribing, foot pedals can help pause, rewind, and fast forward audio recordings. This is especially useful because you don’t have to use additional shortcut keys to control audio functions. Using your foot to control this function, frees one of your valuable hands and can improve your turnaround time.
You can even use the foot pedal for shortcut keys. A transcriptionist with 15 years of experience, finds foot pedals the most beneficial when it is configured to shortcut keys. She says
“If I’m inserting timestamps into a transcript, I usually set the center press to my insert timestamp shortcut key (F8 – because I struggle to locate it on my keyboard). When I’m transcribing 1-on-1 interviews, I set the left press to insert ‘interviewer:’ and right press inserts ‘interviewee:’ into my transcript. As you can imagine, there are numerous possible use cases. You might need an additional software to configure your foot pedal, but most transcription software has this capability.”
She explains that experienced transcriptionists may not see a huge boost in efficiency but still believes it is a worthwhile investment. Budding transcriptionists who are developing their transcribing style will find the most use out of a foot pedal.
Compatibility with Transcription Software
First and foremost, you must make sure your desired foot pedal is compatible with the software you are currently using. Most transcription software is compatible with USB transcription foot pedals. However, they are rarely compatible with serial foot pedals. For less confusion, check out TranscriptionGear.com’s transcription kits to get an agreeable foot pedal AND software package.
If you plan to use your foot pedal daily, like most transcriptionists, you need to prioritize durability. For example, the Infinity is especially known for being a long-lasting workhorse. Some users claim that this pedal has lasted for 7 or more years. One veteran transcriptionist explains her struggles with updating her Infinity, she claims “The foot pedal I replaced with the Infinity lasted 6 months. To be fair, it was a cheap Chinese knock-off – at a third of the price. From my experience, the heavier and more rugged the foot pedal is, the longer it lasts.” It always pays off to splurge for a quality product.
How do you find the right foot pedal?
If you’re a longtime transcriptionist, you’ve probably heard of the Infinity. It is highly compatible, popular and consistently receives positive reviews. It is also recommended by transcription services like Allegis and Rev. This pedal is compatible with over 40 different types of transcription software such as GearPlayer, Express Scribe and DocQscribe. This is especially beneficial for potential software changes you may have in the future.
Another underrated foot pedal is our USB Foot Pedal. The name brand pedal weighs less than the Infinity but it is still just as durable. It is perfect for the transcriptionist that is always on-the-go. The anti-slip pad keeps the device fixed to the floor so you do not have to worry about any annoying slip ups. This pedal is only compatible with our GearPlayer Transcription Software.
The Foot Pedals at a Glance
Online Reviews for the Infinity
You’ve seen the side by side comparisons but what are others saying about these pedals? The Infinity is hands-down (or should we say foot-down?) the most popular foot pedal on the market and has the most reviews. But even the most popular products aren’t for everyone. One of our customers believes the Infinity is just okay for her. Paula wrote
“This foot pedal works great. The only problem I have is that it is difficult to use when wearing shoes. Other foot pedals I have had only had 2 pedals and the middle was just a place to rest your foot. I find that my foot hits the rewind and fast forward pedals if my foot moves either way even a little. Not sure if anyone else has experienced this. For the most part this foot pedal is okay.”
Another customer, Janet, enjoys using the foot pedal without shoes. She says, “This foot pedal is very comfortable, especially with socks on.” Our best advice is to recognize your own personal preferences. If you like to transcribe with shoes, this might not be the pedal for you.
Online Reviews for the USB Foot Pedal
There are not a lot of online reviews available for the name brand USB foot pedal, but one mentioned how much they enjoyed the light weight. She wrote “A couple of years ago, I was looking for a portable transcription foot pedal I could comfortably travel with. This pedal did not disappoint.” However, she did add that she was nervous for frequent use because of the weight. While this may be one of her concerns, none of our customers expressed issues with daily use and light weight of the pedal.
Foot pedals can make your life easier as a transcriptionist. Are you interested in learning more? Head over to TranscriptionGear.com or give us a call at 888-834-2392.