I’m always on the lookout for good transcription software — a program that will take a WAV, MP3 or other sound file and let me stop, start, rewind and speed up the recording using shortcuts as I transcribe it. Olympus do a good one for their digital recorders, but it will only handle its own DSS format, and doesn’t offer any way to convert other files into the DSS format. Today I did another search and found this little gem: f4 from audiotranskription.de. (There’s a sister program for Macs called Listen which costs $15.)
F4 is very straightforward, but does everything you need to transcribe, without any fuss. There’s even a text window you can transcribe into and, at the press of a function key, insert the time from the recording. It imports .wma, .wav, .mp3 and .ogg files and will work with a USB footswitch. It’s put together by two guys called Thorsten, doctoral students at the Philipps University in Marburg. Well done, Thorsten and Thorsten.
Another option you might want to consider is Transana. It supports windows and mac and can use PS-2 or USB footpedals. It also supports transcription of video. It is also free and open source.