Working with Media (Video and Audio) Files

Video Data and Audio Data are treated identically in Transana, and therefore are referred to together as Media Data.

Media data are richer and more complex than other forms of data in most cases. Audio data can contain information about tone, inflection, and cadence which can be difficult to represent in text-only data. Video data can capture movement, gesture, posture, and facial express, all of which can be interpreted analytically by a motivated researcher. This richness can be a tremendous strength of media data.

There is also much more variation in what researchers want to do to analyze media data than other types of data. Transana supports many different ways of representing and analyzing media data to meet the needs of a wide range of researchers. Some approaches to media data are more complex than others.

For example, some researchers choose to code and categorize selections made directly from media files in Transana. (See the sections on media data with no transcript in the Adding Source Data and Making Selections sections of the Tutorial.) Other researchers use transcripts to facilitate their analysis of media data.

Transcription Option when working with Media Files

One common approach that researchers employ to facilitate the analysis of media data is to use Transcripts. A Transcript can be a useful abstraction of media data that can make the analysis of media files easier and more manageable. Transcripts are not a substitute for the media data, but can be an extremely useful tool in understanding media data on a deeper level.

Transana offers a lot of lattitude for researchers, allowing them to keep the analysis simple when desired, while allowing for greater sophistication and complexity when it is called for. To reflect this, Transana supports many different approaches to transcription that meet different analytic needs. Options include:

  • working without transcripts
  • selectively transcribing only parts of the media
  • linking field notes
  • automated verbatim transcription
  • traditional manual verbatim transcription
  • multilingual transcription
  • descriptive, gestural, and other notational transcription
  • image-based visual transcription
  • thematic transcription (including multiple simultaneous transcripts)
  • Conversation/Discourse/Interaction analysis
  • Phonetic transcription

For a brief (10 minutes) discussion of different types of transcripts, please see:

For an hour-long webinar on the topic, sponsored by the CAQDAS Networking Project, please see: