In the digital dictation and transcription world there is still, in 2013, quite a big divide between the functionality and features of digital voice software for Mac when compared to Windows. Windows users enjoy a raft of features and functions that are yet to appear in the Mac software. Olympus have led the digital dictation world by being Mac compatible for years, others are now starting to follow. Olympus need to be careful, their DSS Player Plus software is starting to look a little jaded and is in desperate need of an update, even if just a modernisation of the user interface. The younger upstarts are coming!
Olympus’ Mac software offering which is called DSS Player Plus v7 does what you need it to do; download audio files from your digital dictaphone, playback dictation on your Mac and plug in a USB foot control for transcription of your digital audio files. Both the dictation and transcription functionality are combined into the one program for Mac users. Whereas on Windows, Olympus have split these into two seperate software packages called the dictation module (which ships with the Pro digital dictaphones DS-3500/DS-7000) and the transcription module (which ships with the AS-7000 transcription kit).
How to obtain Olympus DSS Player Plus software for Mac The software is supplied with all the Olympus digital dictaphones, the current range being the entry level Olympus DS-2500, mid range Olympus DS-3500 and top of the line Olympus DS-7000.
If you are a Mac transcription typist you can choose either the standard Olympus AS-2400 transcription kit or the professional Olympus AS-7000 transcription kit. The difference between the kits for Mac users are;
- Olympus AS-2400 contains a RS-28 three pedal USB foot control. Olympus AS-7000 contains a new four pedal RS-31 USB foot control.
- Olympus AS-2400 contains an E-102 transcription headset. AS-7000 contains an E62 transcription headset.
- Both AS-2400 and AS-7000 contain one single install licence key for Olympus DSS Player Plus version 7 for Mac OS X
If you would like to use DSS Player Plus for Mac on more than one Mac then officially you will have to purchase an additional licence key. With DSS Player Plus for Mac Olympus use a single install licence model, every install requires it’s own unique licence key. Olympus’ Windows software comes as a single user licence by default but you also have the option to convert these to a MUL (multi-user licence), no MUL is available for Mac.
Should you require an additional licence key, because DSS Player Plus for Mac combines both dictation and transcription functions into the one program, you can either buy as AS-7001 (ODMS Dictation Module CD) or an AS-7002 (ODMS Transcription Module CD) both of which come with a single install Windows ODMS licence and a single install Mac DSS Player Plus licence. The AS-7001 Olympus product is significantly cheaper than AS-7002 so Mac users save yourself some money and buy AS-7001 should you need an additional DSS Player Plus for Mac licence key.
Dictation and Transcription – Mac Audio File Compatibility
A common question we are often asked is “Is my digital voice recorder compatible with the Olympus dictation and transcription software for Mac?“. The answer to this if your digital voice recorder is Olympus is obviously yes. But it is not all about the recorder, the key thing to remember is the software is used with audio files so the key question to really ask is “Is the audio format my recorder creates compatible with the Olympus dictation and transcription software for Mac?“.
DSS Player Plus can play the following audio formats:
- .ds2 (DSS Pro or Digital Speech Sound Pro format)
- .dss (DSS or Digital Speech Sound format)
- .WMA and .WAV *
* These formats require a plugin to playback Windows based audio file formats which is built into DSS Player Plus. If you have issues with audio playback of .wma and .wav files then Windows Media Components are available from here.
If you are looking for an iPhone app for voice recording make sure it records in one of the above audio formats. .m4a files can be renamed to .mp3 and can then be loaded into the DSS Player Plus for Mac software.
Dictation – Mac
USB connect your digital dictaphone and it appears in the Device Manager tab, its recording folders will be shown and you will have access to play back your dictation on your Mac. DSS Player Plus for Mac can be configured to auto download the audio from the dictaphone to any of the folders in the Download Tray. The Download Tray folders can be configured to be a local folder on your Mac (default) or for streamlined dictation/transcription workflow a shared network or cloud drive for easy access by your typist. A common option is to configure the folders in the Download Tray to link to a Dropbox folder to auto share your dictation with your transcription typist, typing pool or outsourced transcription service. This method automates the send of dictation but audio files can just as easily be dragged and dropped into an email and sent for transcription.
Transcription – Mac
Transcription typists will typically transcribe audio placed in the Download Tray folders. As mentioned above Dropbox is a great way to auto-share recorded audio but conversely if audio is received by email it can be dragged and dropped into the Download Tray folders or saved directly to the corresponding folders in your Mac.
The RS-27 (not available in Australia), RS-28 and RS-31 USB transcription foot pedals can be configured via DSS Player Plus for Mac. Any pedal can be set as PLAY/PAUSE, REWIND and FAST FORWARD to suit your preferred pedal configuration. Additional settings for the pedals include DISABLE, INDEX, COMMENT, EOF/BOF (end-of-file, beginning-of-file), Speed Control and Noise Control. Auto rewind can also be set ranging from 0 seconds (smooth rewind) upto 5 seconds allowing you to better control the rewind of audio when the REWIND pedal is tapped.
All audio can be controlled in the background, meaning that you do not need to switch windows from your typed document to the playback controls. You stay in your word processing document and control audio playback using the USB foot control (or hot keys) while listening to the audio.
Looking for Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Server and Citrix compatible transcription software? Click here for details on the licensing models available to Windows small/medium and enterprise Windows ODMS users.
If you have more questions on the Mac software for dictation and transcription from Olympus please leave a comment.