The most basic style of transcription machine is a sound-recording device. Although it doesn't do the actual transcribing for you, it does have the tools to record things you want transcribed with a high level of precision. To validate their place in the market, these products are equipped with numerous features to help make the whole process very quick and very simple.

Some competitive products with traditional transcription machines are digital transcription machines. Through a combination of the standard peripheral transcribing tools and a program to be installed on your computer, the digital transcriber will record and transcribe everything for you. It's rare for them to lack any major features you would expect on the non-computer-based transcribers.

With all the different features to look at, you may forget that the pedal will need an effective place to sit. Try to think about the overall placement of the machine, particularly for how the cords between it and the pedal will be placed. And once you have the pedal in place, make sure it feels easy and fluid to press with your foot. An awkward pedal will be a hindrance rather than a help.

If you want to record or transcribe a phone conversation with any real precision, you'll need a machine with a jack intended for such. This is an easy to find feature on the nicer machines for transcription, but isn't yet available on all of them indiscriminately. Remember to look for the feature if you think you'll need it.

Computer-based transcription equipment can't work with every kind of file there is, but only a limited subset. Highly visible and popular formats used by similarly popular and visible operating systems are the norm. But there are always a few popular formats left out. And if you have a Linux or other 'alternative' system, you'll really need to look carefully. Otherwise you could very easily get a kit that doesn't work for your computer at all.

A transcribing machine that offers play back as a major function should be able to do so at a slower pace as well as a faster one. Depending on the clarity and complexity of the recording, you can then transcribe rapidly or slowly. A minimum of two different speed settings is highly recommended unless you're looking at the very cheapest models for transcription machinery.

Buying a recorder style transcription device will cost over a hundred dollars. In fact, the average for the market is around two hundred, with some even higher. However, there's no reason you can't get a good model at the low end of prices if you're a wise shopper and look at everything available. Buying already owned models may be an option if you truly want to save the most money.

All you need for a computer style transcriber is a little over a hundred dollars, at the low end... barely more than you'd spend on a simple digital cash counter. This allows you access to many of the software kits on the market. But you don't need to exclude yourself from more expensive models if they appeal to you. Prices on the more luxurious ones can go well into several hundred dollars on up.