Express Scribe supports two methods to transfer recordings from a handheld recorder. If you have a digital handheld recorder that uses the open WAV file format and comes with its own connection cable and software you can use the Audio File Transfer Method. If you are using an analog microcassette recorder or a digital recorder that uses proprietary formats you can use the Audio Cable Method to record in the dictation.

Note: If you are using a PDA to dictate the easiest way to send and receive recordings is to install the free Pocket Dictate software from and use email to send the recordings directly to your typist. Then you will not need to Dock feature at all (the typist simply opens the attachment).

See our website for more information on recommended handheld recorders

Dock - Audio File Transfer Method

Use this option if you are using a digital recorder that uses an open file format to record your dictation.

Your handheld recorder must come with software that will automatically transfer the recordings and place them in a folder on your hard drive.

Once you have set up your handheld software, using Express Scribe select File / Transfer from Portable (Dock) / Audio File Transfer Method then browse to the folder on your hard drive where the docking software of your handheld has been set to download the WAV files. In the Dock (Audio File Transfer) dialog, you also have three options for transferring your files:

Basic Record Instructions

The list of recorders below contains basic information for installing the recorder's software and setting up the recorder to dock with Express Scribe.

Philips Recorders

These recorders work well with Express Scribe. You must install the software provided with the recorder on the computer running Express Scribe. Then you will be able to load the WAV files from the Philips recorders.

Sanyo Recorders

You must install PCMemoScriber (from the CD-ROM supplied with the Sanyo Recorders) on the PC running Express Scribe. Using Express Scribe select File / Transfer from Portable (Dock) / Audio File Transfer Method then browse to the folder C:\Program Files\PCMemoScriber. Whenever you need to "Dock" recordings (1) from PCMemoScriber click on the "Transfer from Voice Recorder" button then, when download is complete, (2) click on the Dock button on Express Scribe.

Olympus Recorders - dss files

Please refer to File Formats Technical Support for notes on DSS file format support.

Sony Recorders / Memory Stick Devices

There is one additional step when docking files from Sony Recorders - using the Sony Voice editor to export to WAV files. This can be done very quickly once you know how.

Open Sony Voice Editor program. Follow the normal process to load files from the recorder or memory stick into the default Voice folder of the Sony Voice Editor. Once new folders/files are loaded into the Voice Editor, select the menu item File / Save as VOICE Folder. Browse to a folder that you have created for docking recordings. Select WAV file (16 bit) under Save as Type. Click on save.

Once this process is complete, use the Express Scribe Dock Audio File Transfer method and point to the same folder that you saved to.

Dock - Audio Cable Method

This method must be used if you are using an analog microcassette recorder or the digital handheld you have uses a non-standard proprietary format.

The process is simply playing back the recording into the computer. This can be more effective then it might sound because with a duplex sound card and accurate threshold detect levels, the transfer can happen automatically in the background while you continue to type.

In order to transfer a recording from a portable dictaphone or notetaker into Express Scribe, you need to connect a lead between the Ear socket on the portable and the Line-In socket of the sound card. You should be able to purchase a suitable lead from an electronics store for under $10.

Connection Settings

Sound Record Device

If you have more than 1 sound card in your computer, select the sound card connected to your portable in this pull down list.

Audio Input Channel

This should usually be "Line" or "Line-In" for the transfer connection.

Record Volume Level

Adjust the record volume so that the level display just touches into the red in the louder peaks during dictation.

Use level activated recording

Activate Level

Transfer will automatically start and stop using the level of the incoming audio. The default setting is -15dB. If recording starts too early or does not automatically stop at the end of the tape, increase this level. If recording does not start correctly, or truncates the end of a recording, reduce this level. You should correctly adjust the record volume level before you adjust the activate level.

If you want to record manually you can untick the "Use level activated recording" box.

Transfer at high speed

If your recorder is capable of high speed transfer, you can speed up the transfer of long recordings by enabling "Transfer at high speed" and setting the transfer speed to the same as the recorder's playback speed. If your recorder has no high speed transfer mode, or the incorrect speed is set, the resulting dictation will sound incorrect. Note also that the quality of recordings transferred at normal speed is generally better than recordings transferred at high speed.


If recording has started incorrectly, click the restart button to start recording from the start of the Tape.


When transfer is complete, click the Done button.

You should not need to do this manually. The Transfer Window should automatically close 15 seconds after the end of the recording. So long as your record volume and activate levels are set correctly, you should be able to start recording and "walk away".

Duplex Operation

With most sound cards you can "Dock" recordings while you continue to use Express Scribe to play other recordings. To do this open the Dock window and start recording as described above. Do not click Done - simply click on the title bar of Express Scribe to give it focus. If you continue to hear the recording from the portable then click on the speaker icon on the task bar and close the Line-In channel. You can then use Express Scribe as normal while it records in the background. You might need to adjust the System Volume Control so that the line in is not selected for the playback volume.