How To Use a Dictaphone

For several years, the Dictaphone has been a very popular means of recording dictations and listening to them afterward for transcribing. This device is the same as a tape recorder, but with the advantage of having foot-pedals for easy control while typing. Though technology has already evolved, and most voice recorders are now digital, some Dictaphone users still consider the device a valuable machine.

  • Since the Dictaphone has been phased out, you might have a difficult time looking for it. You can check over the internet for stores or sellers that still offer Dictaphones. Dictaphones might be available in antique or vintage stores. You can also ask some friends, relatives or acquaintances if they have one so you could borrow it.
  • Read the manual, or do some research. Some Dictaphone models might have special instructions or usage requirements.
  • Insert the headset to the Dictaphone's outlet and place it over your head. Make sure you have plugged in the headset firmly and carefully.
  • Put in the tape carefully in the Dictaphone and push the play button.
  • Check out the Dictaphone's pedal. There are two buttons on the pedal that you should be aware of. The first button is use to fast-forward the tape playback, while the second button is used to rewind the tape. Most foot pedals have another button in order to set the speed rate of the Dictaphone depending on the desired typing pace.  
  • Position your foot on the pedal and try to push each button so you would experience how these buttons work.
  • Perform this a few times in order for you to get involved and familiarize with the procedure. While practicing the foot pedal, try to synchronize with your foot, hand and ear. This will help you get used to it, though it may be difficult and tricky at first.
  • Once you have familiarized yourself with the process, you can begin to transcribe audio from the tape. When typing, you have to make sure that you type all the things you hear from the tape, word for word. If you missed some words, you can always rewind the tape by pushing rewind the pedal. Depending on your purpose, you might have to leave the audio transcript as it is, even with grammatical errors. Just make sure you use proper punctuation. You might have to edit the transcription for proper grammar, and the like, later on.
  • After you have finished transcribing all the information provided by the tape, check the information by rewinding the tape and playing it back while reviewing it. This will help you guarantee that you have typed all the information correctly. 
  • For you practice using the Dictaphone, you can use it in various situations such as recording your teacher's lectures, personal messages for your loved ones, doctor's prescriptions and the like.
  • Using a Dictaphone in different situations can be indulging. On the other hand, you should recognize that recording conversations in some instances might be against the law.

Using a Dictaphone might seem very complicated especially when you do not have enough knowledge about it. However, if you follow the right instructions, you can learn its basics easily.


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