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Follow this step-by-step guide to help ensure worry-free Connection Magic sessions.
Before the Big Day:
1. Set up a Dropbox folder between reporter, scopist(s), and proofreader(s).
Export your user settings into a .set file (Alt+U/Export Settings).
Make a copy of your main dictionary.
Make a copy of any job dictionary(ies) you will be using for this job.
Make a copy of any block files you will be using for this job.
Place all of the above items in the Dropbox folder you have created.
2. Set your wav recording compression settings (Alt+U/Realtime/Compression) to:
GSM 6.10, 22.050 kHz, mono, 4kb/sec
3. Make sure your Division Interval setting is at 0 (Alt+U/Realtime/Division Interval).
4. Make sure your Filename format does not end with an underscore (Alt+U/Realtime/Filename).
5. We strongly recommend that you disable or turn off any automatic backup service, cloud service, automatic syncing service, and/or antivirus/malware programs you may have running on your computer. We realize and understand that many reading this are reluctant to turn off their antivirus/malware protection while online, but so long as you are not using your browser or email client while you are engaged in a CM session, it is extremely unlikely that you will be exposed to any virus or malware threat.
If possible, go to the location from which you will be initiating the CM session in order to conduct a test session. If it’s not possible to access the location, run a test session from your home or other location with good Internet access.
7. To initiate a CM session, open Eclipse and start a realtime file. While in that file, select Tools/Connection Magic/Share current document. Make sure you check the “publicly visible” box. Choose and type in a password. Then click Okay. You are now sharing your document and ready to begin a CM session with your scopist(s) and/or proofer(s).
Once your scopist(s) and/or proofer(s) have joined the CM session, turn on CNN or some other audio source and begin “reporting” it. The scopist/proofer should hear audio and see the text populate live. If she is not hearing audio, double-check your compression settings, double-check that the name of your file does not end in an underscore, double-check that you have turned off all automatic backups and antivirus software. Have your scopist double-check that she’s actually receiving an audio file from you by having her check her hard drive to see if there is a matching wav file on her computer.
If none of these resolve the problem, it’s time to call support, as there are a variety of things which could be causing the issue.
8. Establish a method of instant contact between you and your scopist(s)/proofer(s). Set up a Google Hangout (our preferred method), open an IM chat on FB, or arrange for texting on your phone. It’s very important that both you and your scopist(s)/proofer(s) have a way to reach each other immediately if there are problems or urgent questions that crop up during the proceedings.
On the Big Day:
1. Try to arrive and set up at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start time.
2. Go online from the location where you will be working and run a speed test at speedtest.net. If you have less than 5 Mbps download speed, you probably will not be able to sustain a CM session and you should explore other alternatives for working on your transcript.
3. Avoid using a cellular hotspot (mifi, et cetera) of any kind. Cell networks are notoriously unreliable and unstable.
4. If you have the opportunity to plug directly into the Internet signal at your location (Ethernet cable directly from your computer their modem/router), do so. You will have a far more stable Internet connection that way.
5. Initiate the CM session with your scopist/proofer. Verify that everything is visible/audible.
6. Once everything is up and running, remember this: Reporter, DO NOT go backwards in the file. Do not edit. Do not global. Go forward only. The scopist and/or proofer is right there with you. She will do the globaling. She will do the editing. If you back up to fix something, you run the risk of destroying any edits she has already made. Try to keep this mantra in your head: ONLY forward, NEVER backward.
At the Conclusion of the Proceedings:
1. Talk to your scopist and/or proofer before you exit. Make sure the scopist/proofer has all the text and all the audio to the end of the file. Once you have verified this, you may exit out of the file. The scopist/proofer will now have a local copy of both the .ecl and the .wav file and will continue to edit until the file has been completed. She will then be able to return the file to you via Dropbox or whatever other method you have prearranged.
2. Before you head home, it’s a good idea to place a copy of all .ecl and .wav files in your shared Dropbox folder. This way, if the scopist/proofer runs into any problems, she can retrieve those files and use them, even if you are not available at that point in time.
And that’s it!
Perfect Partners Transcript Brigade members are available to work with you to walk you through setting up and practicing using Connection Magic. If you are booking with us for your first Connection Magic job, we will be happy to provide this service free of charge prior to the commencement of the actual job. If you would simply like to practice with Connection Magic and run a test session with one of our team members, we offer a standalone training service with pricing starting at $25 per 15-minute interval of session time.
Connection Magic is an awesome way to produce transcripts in the most timely and efficient manner imaginable. When you work with the Perfect Partners Transcript Brigade, you are working with some of the most experienced users of Connection Magic available today. Individually and collectively, our team members have participated in hundreds of CM sessions since Connection Magic’s introduction. Connect with us and watch the Magic happen!