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Please read ALL this page to get to know the FTW Transcriber for Android (FTWT4A).



The FTW Transcriber for Android (FTWT4A) is the world’s first audio transcription program for the Android operating system.

FTWT4A enables playback of audio and video files, and contains a built-in text editor where you can type your transcript.  FTWT4A cannot be used with a different Android text editor.  You can however play audio/video files on FTWT4A while transcribing them on your PC, Ipad, or any other device.




P = play
S = stop
R = rewind
F = fast forward
PX = play for x number of seconds (configurable on Settings) then jump back slightly
RX = rewind for x number of seconds (configurable on Settings)
T = insert timestamp
F1-F6 = insert phrase (configurable on Settings)


File Types

FTWT4A can play all the audio and video file types that Android supports, including 3gp, mp4, mpeg4, aac, flac, mp3, ogg, wav, and others.  For a full list, visit:  If FTWT4A does not support a file type you want to play, convert your file to mp3 on a desktop then play the mp3 in FTWT4A.

FTWT4A’s built-in text editor lets you save your transcripts as .txt, .doc, or any other format.  See chapter “Transcripts menu” below.


How to Use

Android is not as flexible an operating system as Windows, because it is intended for less powerful devices, so it has limitations.  Therefore, although you can use FTWT4A as your sole transcription device, you may prefer to use it in conjunction with your desktop computer.  For example, you can produce a transcript on FTWT4A but then move it to your PC to do the final spell-check and send or upload.

FTWT4A cannot be used with a foot pedal, so hotkeys must be used for playback, and there are two basic methods for this:

Option 1 is press P (FTWT4A will play), then press S (FTWT4A will stop and then jump back two seconds), then you transcribe what you just heard, then press P again, and so on.

Option 2 is press PX, which will cause FTWT4A to play for a set number of seconds (the default is 7) then jump back two seconds.  You type the dialog you heard, then press PX again, and so on.



To type on FTWT4A, you don’t need to use your Android device’s default keyboard (the most common one has no apostrophe key on the main screen).  Search on Google Play for “keyboard”, and choose from the various alternatives that are available.

You may like to use a stylus with FTWT4A.  You can also use a physical keyboard, to enable very fast typing.  Any Bluetooth-enabled Android keyboard is compatible.

“Typing by swiping” also works well with FTWT4A.  See the example here:


Getting Files To and From FTWT4A

The simplest way to get audio/video files onto your Android device, and transcripts from it, is to connect your Android device to your PC and transfer the files using Windows Explorer.  Simply copy audio files into your Android device’s “Music” folder, copy video files into the “Movies” folder, and copy transcripts from the “Transcripts” folder.  If you put things in the wrong folder, e.g. video files into the “Music” folder, FTWT4A will be unable to play them.

You can also get files onto your device via email, download, file sharing, and any of the other methods that Android permits.  These methods are nothing to do with FTWT4A, so for help with them, type your query in Google.


The “Audios” Menu

This button enables you to browse your device for audio and video files.  When you press it, a menu will open which defaults to your “Music” folder, where your audio files should be stored.  To change folder, press the double-dot, and then scroll to “Movies”, where your video files should be stored.


The “Transcripts” Menu

The “Transcripts” button enables all operations related to transcripts.  When you press it, a menu will open with the following options: New, Open, Save and Send, which should be self-explanatory.

You should save your work regularly, as there is no auto-save.

TIP: when saving a transcript, you can optionally add any file extension.  For example, instead of saving as “interview”, save as “interview.doc”, and your transcript will be saved in the “.doc” format, so that the recipient can open it straightaway in Word.

The “Send” option enables many methods of sending your transcripts.  Note that these methods are all controlled by Android, not by FTWT4A.  If you don’t want to use any of those methods, you can always connect your device to your PC and transfer your transcript off your device using Windows Explorer.  You can also upload your transcript via your browser, e.g. to transcription workflow systems such as ScribeManager.


Basic Text Entry

Android text entry is not as powerful or versatile as Microsoft Word, so lacks many features that you may be used to on your desktop.  For that reason, you may wish to use FTWT4A to produce the “first draft” of your transcript and then add formatting such as underlining, bolding, font size, etc, afterwards on your desktop.

If you customarily use a style with complex formatting, consider changing to a simpler style which requires less formatting.  Some of your clients may prefer simpler formatting in any case, so that they can edit transcripts more easily if necessary.

Operations such as selecting, copying, cutting and pasting can all be done in FTWT4A, though to some extent they are keyboard-dependent.  Double-click on any word in your transcript and the available options should appear.

TIP: you can use FTWT4A to play your audio/video files but transcribe them on a different device, such as your desktop, laptop, phone, Iphone, MAC computer, etc.


The “Settings” Menu

This menu enables some of FTWT4A’s powerful features which you may be familiar with from the desktop version of the FTW Transcriber.  Note that after making your settings you must press Save at the foot of the page.

The “jumpback” feature (also known as backspace) is the number of seconds that you want FTWT4A to rewind by every time the audio stops.

You can set the text of the F1-F6 buttons to insert customized phrases that you use frequently, such as “[unclear]”, “[overtalking]”, etc.  You can add a space at the start or end if you like.

The PX option is where you set the number of seconds of audio you want FTWT4A to play when PX is pressed.  After pressing PX, FTWT4A will play for that number of seconds, then stop, so that you can type the dialogue you just heard.  Then you press PX again, and so on.

The RX option sets the number of seconds by which FTWT4A will rewind when RX is pressed.  This is useful for listening again to a difficult phrase.

You can configure the appearance of your timestamps using the four text boxes provided.  The default is:

[ hh : mm : ss ]

This will mean that timestamps appear looking like this: [01:32:12]

To change their appearance, simply edit the square brackets and colons and change them to whatever characters you want to see before, between and after the hours, minutes and seconds.

Just as on the PC version of FTWT, you can either insert timestamps manually by pressing the “T” button, or you can set timestamps to be inserted automatically – a huge time-saver.  Timestamps can be auto-inserted either at the start of each paragraph, or every set number of seconds, or both.

When you transcribe, the audio is usually a few seconds ahead of what you are typing, meaning that timestamps could be inserted too early.  To counteract that discrepancy, you can check the “subtract five seconds” box and/or the “delay by five seconds” box, which should make your timestamps more accurate.


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