There are a few different options for working with audio or video files in NVivo, one of which is to simply listen to and code from the audio or video timeline rather than creating a transcript. However generally it is easiest to work with a transcript, in which case you can choose to either create the transcript yourself in NVivo, have the audio or video file transcribed with NVivo Transcription (a paid service), or have the audio or video file transcribed using other software (free or paid). This section provides some information on these options.

Transcribing in NVivo

To transcribe an audio or video file yourself in NVivo, first open it in the Details View (for example open the Helen file if you have imported this previously) then tick the ‘Edit’ box. When you do this, you will notice that a new row appears underneath the waveform image of the audio file. The default is for the transcript to only have two columns of information, ‘Timespan’ and ‘Content’, but if you wish to add more (for example a ‘Notes’ column) go to: File > Project Properties (under the ‘Project Information’ heading). Then in the ‘Project Properties’ dialog box that opens:

  1. Select the ‘Audio/Video’ tab
  2. Select as appropriate either the ‘Audio’ or ‘Video’ tab under the ‘Custom Transcript Fields’ heading
  3. Select the ‘New’ button (note you can also remove a column you have created by selecting it and pressing the ‘Remove’ button)
  4. Type in the name of your new column (e.g. ‘Notes’)
  5. Select ‘Apply’ to apply the change while keeping the dialog box open, or ‘OK’ to apply the change and close the dialog box

Once you are happy with the columns for your transcript there are two ways you can transcribe the file. The first, default, option is using the ‘Normal’ Play Mode. Transcribing in this way requires you to enter the timespans for your transcript manually, and you can begin a new row whenever you like (typically when there is a change of speaker). The second option is using the ‘Transcribe’ Play Mode. Transcribing in this way means the timespans will be entered for you automatically, with timespans beginning and ending when you press play and stop respectively (note that pausing means you continue with the current timespan). You can switch between ‘Normal’ and ‘Transcribe’ modes by selecting the icons in the ‘Edit’ tab as shown below.

Whichever way you transcribe, note that you can alter the speed of the audio or video file by selecting the ‘Play Speed’ icon also found in the ‘Edit’ tab.

A screenshot of the Edit tab showing the transcribe options

Transcribing with NVivo Transcription

NVivo Transcription is a paid service that you can either pay for as you go, or purchase a subscription for. More information on this service is available at the Lumivero website.

Transcribing with other software

There are plenty of transcription services available external to NVivo, and if you use one of these you can upload the finished transcript of your audio or video file to your project (there is no problem with having both the audio or video file and the transcript as two separate items in your project). One example of transcription software that provides a limited amount of free transcription is

Alternatively, you can create a free transcript using the online version of Microsoft Word available in your Office 365 account (if you are not familiar with this, note you can access it as a Curtin student or staff member by logging into your Curtin email and selecting the ‘Word’ app from the menu on the left). To create a transcript in this way:

  1. Create a new blank document
  2. Click on the drop-down next to ‘Dictate’ and change it to ‘Transcribe’
  3. Select ‘Upload audio’
  4. Choose an audio file
  5. Click ‘Add to document’
  6. Save the transcript