When it comes to the courtroom, the official audio record must be accuracy. In some cases, this accuracy can literally be the difference between life and death. For years, courts depended on highly-trained court reporters or stenographers, who captured everything said in the courtroom as it happened. To produce verbatim records, a court reporter must be able to pass dictation speed tests of up to 250 words per minute (a standard set by the U.S. National Verbatim Reporters Association). Such highly-skilled professionals are obviously at a premium.
In more recent years, courts have turned to digital recording equipment as a more cost-effective way to produce the official audio record. This equipment is not to be confused with simple cassette tapes or even hand-held digital recorders. Digital court recording systems produce multi-channel audio that allows a transcriptionist to isolate various speakers during the transcription process. Specific benefits include:
- More accurate transcripts, since the transcriptionist can go back and listen to the audio repeatedly rather than trying to capture it all “live”.
- Audio recordings can be listened to by attorneys, juries and judges, letting them hear tone of voice, inflection, and other nuances not present in a transcript.
- More effective use of human resources, since a single court technologist can monitor multiple courtrooms simultaneously with a networked recording system.
- Simplified and more secure storage, as digital recordings do not degrade, can be secured with both physical access and network permissions, and take up far less room than bulky transcripts.
If your court is not currently enjoying these benefits, we’d be happy to show you how easy it can be to bring your official audio record into the digital realm. Click here to learn more.