I've found a solution to this problem. Just a reminder: I'm a journalist who records interviews on Skype using the 'Call Recorder' add on. If Skype is in visual mode (rather than just audio), Call Recorder producers a Quicktime .mov file of the conversation. When I playback this .mov file using Quicktime Player version 10.3 (727.4), the file plays both the picture and the audio perfectly. When I try and important this recording into Express Scribe for transcription, the problems begin.
I've found a solution now, but first to sum up what DOESN'T work:
- Importing .mov file straight into Express Scribe results in truly atrocious audio with almost complete loss of volume and quality in one side of the conversation (that of the interviewee).
- Converting the .mov file to .wav or .mp3 or .mp4 (AAC) using either SmartConverter or Videosoft Free Video Converter or Wondershare Video Converter for Mac also produces an unuseable file with almost complete loss of volume and quality in one side of the conversation (that of the interviewee). And of course, importing any of these converted files into Express Scribe makes no difference to their quality.
What DOES work:
- Using Quicktime Player's own 'export audio' feature produces a clean audio track in MP4 AAC. This can then be imported into Express Scribe, where it also sounds fine. To do this, open the .mov file in Quicktime Player and click File > Export > Audio Only. Then choose name and location for exported file and click 'Save'. Then load the resulting file into Express Scribe. Easy.
- Ditch Express Scribe and purchase InqScribe instead (http://www.inqscribe.com/). This imports and plays back .mov files perfectly, and has all kinds of wonderful added features for subtitling and movie transcriptions. Downsides are that it costs $99 US and it only lets you transcribe onto its own proprietary word processing window, which is a drag, as I transcribe straight into MS Word:Mac or Scrivener.
I was really opposed to paying NCH's $33 fee for support on this problem, as it was clearly Express Scribe itself that was at fault. I really hope that they can sort this own out asap and release a new version which will allow us to import .mov files directly with the audio as it should be. It's galling that I paid for the upgrade to be able to load .mov files when Express Scribe cannot read them properly. What a waste of cash!