Express Scribe FREE vs PRO

Express Scribe until recently (late 2011) has been free for both Mac and Windows users. This all changed with version 5.30 when NCH Software decided to split Express Scribe into a free and Pro (paid) model. Rightly so in my opinion, this excellent software has been used for years by many small to larger transcription services as well as in legal and medical offices around the world. Click here for the Express Scribe Pro announcement on the NCH blog.

So what changed in version 5.30 – when Pro was born?

Essentially NCH Software took many of the recording audio formats which required special codecs away from the free version. Meaning if you were receiving audio from a Pro digital dictaphone then you would likely need the Pro version. Also with Olympus and Philips implementing the new DSS Pro (.ds2) audio files in their top of the line digital dictaphones (like the Olympus DS-5000 and the Philips 9600) it became essential for Express Scribe to support this or start to lose market share to the more expensive Olympus Pro transcription kit (AS-5000). My understanding is that to be able to play .ds2 (DSS Pro) audio files there would have to be a licence fee paid to the DSS consortium (Olympus, Philips, Grundig) and so Express Scribe Pro was born.

Complaints …

I have seen tweets and blogs posts from the Virtual Assistant community who felt aggrieved that an upgrade to Express Scribe Pro was required to enable them to continue transcribing the older .dss and now the new .ds2 audio files. Really? The upgrade to Express Scribe Pro is relatively cheap when compared to most business software (around $US35, AU$38) and if offering transcription as a service is essential software if you prefer not to pay for the more mainstream Philips and Olympus transcription kits.

What can I do with the Free version ?

The free version now has very limited audio file format playback. Only .mp3 and .wma files can be transcribed in the free version. Compared to the .ds2 Olympus/Philips, .dss Olympus/Philips, .dvf Sony and various video formats available in the Pro version.

If you transcribe for your job or for your business there is no excuse, upgrade to Pro and continue to enjoy this excellent transcription software.

Express Scribe FREE can play the following audio formats:

Windows PCs

  • .MP3
  • .WAV (Includes ADPCM, aLaw, GSM 6.10, PCM (Pulse Code Modulation or uncompressed) and uLaw codecs
  • .AIFF
  • .DCT (audio from Express Dictate)
  • .WMA (Windows Media Audio)
Apple Mac
  • .AIF
  • .MP3
  • .WAV (Includes ADPCM, aLaw, GSM 6.10, PCM (Pulse Code Modulation or uncompressed) and uLaw codecs
  • .WMA (Windows Media Audio)

Express Scribe FREE can play the following video formats:

Windows PC and Apple Mac

  • None whatsoever, only available in the PRO version of Express Scribe

 

Express Scribe PRO can play the following audio formats:

Windows PC

  • .AAC
  • .ACT
  • .AIFC (Compressed AIFF)
  • .AIFF
  • .AMR
  • .APE
  • .AU
  • .CAF (Apple Core Audio Format)
  • .DCT (Express DictateMSRS, etc.)
  • .DS2 (DSS Pro)
  • .DSS (Grundig, Olympus, Philips recorder)
  • .DSP TrueSpeech
  • .DVF (Sony recorder)
  • .DVS (Royal recorder)
  • .FLAC
  • .OGG
  • .M4A
  • .MP2
  • .MP3
  • .MPC
  • .MSV (Sony recorder)
  • .QCP
  • .RA / RM (RealAudio)
  • .SHN
  • .SPX
  • .VOC
  • .VOX
  • .WAV (Including ADPCM, aLaw, GSM 6.10, PCM (Pulse Code Modulation – Uncompressed), and uLaw codecs)
  • .WMA

Apple Mac

  • .AAC
  • .AIFC (Compressed AIFF)
  • .AIFF
  • .AU
  • .CAF (Apple Core Audio Format)
  • .DCT (Express DictateMSRS, etc.)
  • .DS2 (DSS Pro)
  • .FLAC
  • .OGG
  • .M4A
  • .MP2
  • .MP3
  • .MPC
  • .QCP
  • .WAV (Including ADPCM, aLaw, GSM 6.10, PCM (Pulse Code Modulation – Uncompressed), and uLaw codecs)
  • .WMA

Express Scribe PRO can play the following video formats:

Windows PC & Apple Mac

  • .3G2
  • .3GP
  • .ASF
  • .AVI
  • .DivX
  • .DV
  • .FLV
  • .M4V
  • .MKV
  • .MOV
  • .MP4
  • .MPEG
  • .VOB
  • .WMV

 

2 thoughts on “Express Scribe FREE vs PRO

  1. alex m says:

    Can I try the PRO version before buying – to ensure that it works for my recently purchased hardware?

    Thanks,

    • admin says:

      Yes

      Just download the latest Express Scribe from NCH and you will be using the Pro version. It is a trial version so will expire but you can at least try it to see how it works with your hardware.

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