Panasonic RP-2692 Foot Pedal

| October 8, 2010

Credit: Jake von Slatt

In this digital world, it’s hip to be analog. This series will highlight some technology from the library’s vaults–oldies but goodies–still available for use. Today’s find is an S-Video Panasonic RP-2692 foot pedal, which is used with a Panasonic RR-830 transcriber device. For those who don’t know what I am talking about (I sure didn’t until I researched the foot pedal), the pedal enables hands-free control of a casette’s playback and rewind functions, allowing the user to focus on converting the cassette audio into writing or type.

To clarify how and what this pedal is used for, we will allude to the transcription process. A cassette recorder is used to make an audio recording of the conversation, dictation, or meeting. Second, a transcriber (a person who transcribes) carefully listens to the audio recording and types out the audio as it is replayed. At this point in the process, the foot pedal can be used to stop, rewind, and replay the audio, ensuring accuracy of the transcription. The occasion where the transcriber will have to listen again to a portion of the audio may happen only once or  several times per recording. In any case, having to review the audio slows down the transcription process making it tiring and unpleasant to say the least.

By having the ability to utilize an idle foot to perform the task of rewinding and replaying audio, the transcriber saves time and energy, no longer needing to pause, remove his/her hands from the keyboard, perform the movements to review the audio, reorient his/her hands on the keyboard to make the correction, and hope the audio is better understood the second time around. In short, the pedal makes performing this often tedious task of transcribing audio into type almost bearable.

The bigger question remains, should we invest in a USB transcription pedal and some companion software? Would you use it? Tell us in the comments.