Advanced Time Codes

There are several advanced techniques for inserting time codes into a Transcript in Transana under special circumstances. These circumstances and techniques can be very useful, but are easier to understand with some additional explanation.

If this is your first time through the Tutorial and you are looking for more of a general overview of Transana’s features, you may choose to skip this page for now. We invite you to revisit this page when you are more familiar with Transana’s tools.  These advanced methods of time coding may help you gain greater insights into your media data and draw more detailed inferences to use as evidence in your final analysis.

Overlapping Speech

There are models for indicating overlapping speech in Transcripts that work well on paper, but that are not adequate when you connect the Transcript to a media file the way Transana does. Time codes in Transana must be in linear order in the Transcript, which affects the way overlapping speech should be represented.

In the screen shot below, you see an example where the teacher is talking, the student begins talking before the teacher stops talking, and then the student continues on following the overlap. Note that the transcript shows time codes precisely at the beginning of the overlap and at the end of the overlap, as well as indicating the overlap with square brackets. It is also important to note that the flow of the conversation remains linear with respect to time in the transcript.

When the person who was speaking before an overlap continues after the overlap, their post-overlap speech needs to be continued on the line below the overlap; it cannot be finished on the same line as the pre-overlap talk because that would break the linearity in the transcript and require time codes to be out of order.

Here’s an example of some very challenging transcription where we used multiple simultaneous transcripts to clarify overlapping speech issues. It was nearly impossible to represent the overlapping speech accurately in a single transcript.

Timed Pauses / Timed Segments

You may find it useful to be able to time the duration of certain events in your media files. For example, it is common to time pauses in conversation in Conversation Analysis.  If you were studying humor you might want to carefully measure the length of periods of monologue, silence, laughter, and applause, for example.

To time a segment in Transana, take the following steps:

  1. Make a rough selection in the Visualization Window around the area you are interested in, being sure to leave some margin on either side, and zoom in by pressing the zoom in button.
  2. Make a precise selection within the Visualization Window of the segment of your media file you want to time. It sometimes takes several attempts to get the exact selection, using right-clicking in the Visualization to listen to the current selection.
  3. Click in the Transcript in the Document Window (which must be in edit mode) at the location where you would like the indication of the timed segment to be inserted.
  4. Press the Selected button in the toolbar at the bottom of the Visualization Window.

Transana will insert two time codes, with the time measurement (accurate to the 1/10th of a second) between these time codes.

Precise Control of Media File Position

In some circumstances, very precise positioning of the media file is helpful in placing time codes. For example, someone creating a gestural transcript may need to record precisely when individual gestures begin and end, or someone studying dance or ergonomics might need to carefully pinpoint movements and transitions.

In Transana, precise control of media positioning is accomplished using the Visualization Window.

Pressing the cursor-left and cursor-right keys.

You will notice that this moves your video file just a little bit earlier or later. To be precise, the visualization cursor is moved one pixel to the left or right. How much time this represents in your media file depends on the length of your media file and on the width of the visualization window on your screen.

Holding down the Shift key and pressing the cursor-left and cursor-right keys.

You will notice that this moves your video file exactly one second earlier or later.

Holding down the Alt key and pressing the cursor-left and cursor-right keys.

You will notice that this moves your video file exactly one half second earlier or later.

Holding down the Ctrl key and pressing the cursor-left and cursor-right keys.

You will notice that this moves your video file one frame earlier or later.