Time Codes

Time Codes are markers (¤) placed in a Transcript that allow Transana to synchronize a Transcript and a media file. It is usually helpful to place time codes at least at the beginning of each turn by each speaker, or at each topic change. Speaker changes and topic changes represent natural boundaries in data files, and it is often useful and convenient to have time codes to mark such boundaries.

Inserting time codes is usually done as part of transcribing a media file or is done immediately after importing a transcript created outside of Transana. You play the media file, starting, stopping, and rewinding as necessary, and insert time codes throughout the Transcript.

Time Codes in Transana

This Tutorial Video demonstrates how to insert time codes with Transana, linking the transcript and the media file.

Please note that Transana uses Command rather than Control on macOS for the transcription and time code functions described in this ScreenCast.

Add Time Codes

If the Transcript is not in Edit mode, click the Edit Mode icon. The Transcript behaves in subtly different ways in Edit Mode than it does in Review mode.

Make sure the media file that you have been transcribing is at the beginning of the file. The Current time, as shown in the Visualization window’s status bar, should read “0:00:00.0.” If it doesn’t, click on the far left edge of the Waveform to position the media file at the beginning.

Place the cursor at the beginning of your transcript.  Press Ctrl-T on Windows or Cmd-T on macOS to insert a time code matching the beginning of the media file with the beginning of the transcript.

Press Ctrl/Cmd-S to start the media file. Watch and wait until the first speaker finishes the first sentence.

Position the cursor in your transcript at the beginning of the next sentence.  Press Ctrl/Cmd-T to insert a time code. (Note that you can also click the button labeled Current: on the Visualization window status bar.)

Press Ctrl/Cmd-S (or Ctrl/Cmd-D) to restart the media file. Continue to play and pause the media file, adding time codes at significant points in the data, or at the beginning of each sentence.

Remember that it’s important that the media file be stopped at exactly the point that matches the cursor position in the Transcript where you are inserting the time code.  Inserting a time code causes Transana to record the link between the Transcript and the media file at exactly the point where the media file is currently paused.  If you don’t line up the media file correctly with the Transcript, selections for Clips will not work the way you hope.

Entering time codes is an integral part of transcribing. Most people put in time codes as they are transcribing, not afterwards. We separated time coding from transcription here to make the Tutorial easier to follow, and to introduce this concept after giving you some time to practice smoothly controlling video and audio while transcribing. 

Here’s a snippet of video to help you remember the keyboard shortcuts to use when you are transcribing media in Transana and adding Time Codes:

For more detailed examples of how to transcribe and add Time Codes in Transana, watch our ScreenCast videos on Transcription and Time Codes.