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Here are some things I have found useful to make the very boring task of transcribing a little easier.

Tip 1: download the video or audio file to make it easier to navigate.

To download Facebook video:
  • replace the www in the URL with mbasic. For example replace http://www.facebook... with http://mbasic.facebook....
  • This brings you to the facebook mobile site, once there click on your video to start it playing
  • While the video is playing if you are on your PC right click on the video screen and select "save video as" and pick a location on your PC to save the video.
To download SoundCloud audio when there isn't a link to do so: enter the URL into the service at

Tip 2: Use a media player where you can set up global hot keys to 'play/pause' and 'skip back 5 seconds'.

This enables you to navigate the audio without taking your finders away from the keyboard. I use ctrl-space to 'play/pause' and ctrl-backspace to skip back.

A Windows-only media player which can do this is the Daum PotPlayer, it can be downloaded from

A very useful tutorial, with screenshots, on how to set up hot keys is at

Tip 3: Maximize the clarity of the voices by using a media player with an equalizer and audio filters.

Different sources will require different settings. To adjust the relevant parts of the PotPlayer:

  • Access the equalizer by clicking on the gear in the bottom right corner, then the audio tab. Most information in speech is in the 500-6K Hz range according to Google, so you can try boosting that range.
  • You can get a software volume boost by up to 500% with repeated shift-ups.
  • There is a noise filter that helps with some sources, shift-d turns it on and off
Those last two are keyboard shortcuts, the full PotPlayer menu is accessed by right-clicking on the screen.

I would welcome hearing about anything else others have found useful.