Best Practices for Configuring the Olympus Transcription Module Software


Setting Up Olympus Transcription

In this blog, we’re going to show you how to set up and customize the Transcription Module portion of the Olympus Dictation Management System (ODMS) R6.4. Rather than rehashing the user manual, we’re going to focus on the areas where you’re most likely to want to configure a unique user experience. We’ll also cover some of the basics. To that end, even though installing ODMS is quite easy, you’ll need to review the guidelines for “Installing the Dictation Module.” Note that your license number will start with “RT64,” and that you should update your software to ODMS R6.4, Patch 0001. UPDATE: On a related note, wait until you have the software installed to plug in your footswitch. This is best practice, and it might save you a headache or two. We also realize that many of you will receive dictations using email integration with ODMS—and more than a few plan to use Dragon® and Olympus® together. We won’t explore either of those topics within the scope of this article. For more information on email setup, see here. For Dragon, try here. We should finally mention that ODMS is Windows-only software. Olympus does have a Mac equivalent, but it is a much smaller and simpler program.

The First Start Wizard

Once the Transcription Module is installed, double-click the application icon. The First Start Wizard will appear, giving you the opportunity to configure a few key settings: Auto Backspace – This is the function that rewinds your dictation a little bit after you pause and restart. We recommend setting this at 2-3 seconds. Winding Speed – This one can be a little harder to figure out. Essentially, winding speed is how fast you want the audio to rewind or fast forward. In the Transcription Module, you have the option to set it in stages, based on how long you press the REW or FF pedals on your footswitch. Here’s a breakdown of what would happen if you left the settings as-is:
  • 0-3 Seconds » 2x Speed
  • 3-8 Seconds » 4x Speed
  • 8-15 Seconds » 8x Speed
  • >15 Seconds » 32x Speed
Click on the interval box you want to change, and use the up/down arrows on the y-axis to adjust the winding speed. Notice that the maximum speed of that section is limited by the section following it. Increase the speed of the interval to the right to raise that max. In order to change the duration of each section, use the left/right arrows located on the x-axis. Support Playback Audio During Cue/Review – This allows you to hear audio while rewinding or fast-forwarding. Most people have this function enabled. Footswitch Lock – Put the switch in the “Release” position, enabling both pedals. The top pedal can be set to finish dictations, and the center pedal can be used for playback. You can always change your footswitch configuration at a later time. Dictation Method – We recommend not making any changes to the Dictation Method screen. We mentioned email setup in the introduction, and we’ll provide resources to address networking later in this post. Automatically Update – Check the “Automatically update” box and click [Finish]. This will help you keep your software up to date, which is important for proper functionality and support.

Setting Up the RS-31 Footswitch

Let’s review a few key points before you plug in the footswitch. Then, we’ll show you how to program the individual pedals.
  • Plug the footswitch directly into the computer. Do not use a USB hub.
  • Once you’ve plugged it in, the drivers will install automatically. You should see an icon on the Taskbar or in your System Tray to indicate when they are finished.
Now we can assign functions to the pedals:
  1. Open the Transcription Module and navigate to Device > Device Settings.
  2. Look at the labels on the diagram and find the corresponding drop-down menus.
  3. Choose the most appropriate functions for each pedal.
  4. Click [OK].
We most commonly see:
  • Top = Finish Transcription
  • Left = Fast Forward
  • Right = Rewind
  • Center = Play / Stop

Configuring the ODMS Software

Now we’re going to configure your Olympus Transcription Module, with a focus on simplifying and streamlining your experience. While customizing these settings will help you manage and organize your transcription, there will also be elements unique to your workflow. Appearance Let’s start with the appearance of the software itself:
  1. First, find the Menu Bar at the top left quadrant of your screen. Look for the “View” menu.
  2. Uncheck View > Property Window. This will allow you to use your screen for what’s most important.
  3. Click on Tools > Options > Folder Design.
  4. Uncheck these boxes: Folders F and G | Inbox/Outbox/Forwarded (These will all reappear if you configure email delivery.) | Adaptation Data (Workflow > Voice Recognition > General > “Do Adaptation” must be unchecked.)
  5. Click [Apply] at the bottom. You should now notice that the Folder Navigation panel (on the left side of the screen) looks much cleaner.
Workflow Now, let’s look at settings that affect how a new dictation moves through the transcription process. Go to Tools > Options > Workflow > Notification: 
  1. Check “Enable notification for new dictation received every,” and set an appropriate time.
  2. We recommend turning off the notification reminders, as they can be a little too persistent for most people.
  3. Check the box for “Support background notification….” This way, the system will notify you of new dictations even when the Transcription Module is closed.
Go to Tools > Options > Workflow > Transcription: We’re going to set Microsoft Word to open automatically when you transcribe a file. If you don’t have Word, choose an appropriate application. 
  1. Check “Open word processor in starting transcription.”
  2. Click the radio button for “Open specified word-processor.”
  3. Click the […] button and find “Winword.exe,” which is the executable file that starts MS Word. Depending upon your version of Word and your operating system, you may find it here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  4. Click [Apply].
Go to Tools > Options > Workflow > Auto Collection: 
  1. Check the box next to “Activate Automatic collection function.”
  2. Set the radio button to “Move the finished dictation in ‘Download Tray’ to ‘Finished’ folder.”
  3. This will ensure that when you mark a dictation as “Transcription. Finished,” the Olympus software will move it to the “Finished” folder automatically.
  4. Click [Apply].

Using the Audio Player

Now we want to review some of the controls you’ll need to adjust as you’re figuring out how best to use the audio player in ODMS: 
  1. Adjust the playback speed by moving the slider under the metronome icon. This can be found to the immediate right of the audio player.
  2. Adjust the playback volume using the slider on the blue bar, just under the audio player.
  3. Notice the stereo audio indicators, located between the player and the speed control (metronome) adjustment. These tell you if the file has sound or not, as well as how loud it is.
  4. If you have a recorder plugged in, go to Tools > Select Speaker and choose “PC Speaker.” This ensures that your dictation plays through your headphones or computer speakers, rather than the recorder.
Next, click the wrench icon, located inside of the audio player, just next to the time index. This opens up your “Playback Control” settings: 
  1. Immediately, you’ll notice some familiar settings (from the wizard). Click over to the “Transcribe Bar” section.
  2. Here, among other things, you can choose how the player appears when you double-click a dictation. Select “Standard view” for a larger module with more controls. Pick “Transcribe bar” for a super-thin, streamlined player.
  3. Finally, choose how to view the dictation timecode during playback. Select between “Display length” (time elapsed) and “Display remaining time.”

Organizing Your Transcriptions

ODMS provides some easy-to-use tools to help you see all of your dictations at a glance, get them into the order you want them, and determine which ones need to be worked on first. Let’s take a look at some of these organizational features:  Transcriptionist Tray – This is a folder that rolls up all of your other work folders, including A-G and the Inbox. If you transcribe for multiple authors, get dictations from multiple channels, or organize your jobs by type, this is the place to see everything at once.  Intro Scan – This is a neat feature that allows you to hear just the first five seconds of every dictation in your list. It only works on the dictations displayed in the main window, so we recommend trying this from the Transcriptionist Tray folder. Put on your headphones and go to Play > Intro Scan to initialize. The player will start at the top and automatically move through each dictation in the list, five seconds at a time. This is a great way to find a specific dictation or type of dictation.  Column Headers – Using the column headers to sort your dictations is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to organize your work. Find the “Created” column, which displays the date that the dictation was recorded, and left-click until the newest file is listed first. Now you can see what just came in. Flip it around to find what’s been waiting for a while. You can do this with any column. You can also drag the columns into whatever order you like. Additionally, we recommend making the “Author” field visible (if it isn’t already). This is an important piece of metadata that tells you which author recorded the file. It can also help when troubleshooting background speech recognition issues. Right-click on any column header and select “Author” from the list.  

Miscellaneous Tips

  • On any dictation that you’re ready to transcribe, the status needs to be set to “Recording.Finished.” This should be the case on any file you receive, but occasionally we see folks who just need to change the status of a file to fix their issue. Right-click and select “Change Status” when this problem arises.
  • This next one’s for your IT department, actually. If you can help it, don’t put the My Documents directory on the network; leave it local. Trying to install the ODMS Transcription Module on a computer with this redirect is sometimes problematic, as many of the system files for the application write natively to My Documents.