Express Scribe versus Olympus - Transcription Software Comparison

When transcribing dictation either in the office or remotely, the most important part of your work station is your transcription software and whilst Express Scribe and Olympus look very similar - there are a few differences.

Express Scribe, for example, will play every format of audio except (in 90% of cases) DS2 which is the standard Olympus format, although there are some anomalies and the reason why some files will load and some don’t is as much of a mystery as what is in Area 51.

Other than that all audio formats can be downloaded (DSS, WAV, M4A, AMR, MP3 etc).

DSS and DS2 are the standard formats of Philips and Olympus which traditionally were the ‘big 2’ in the dictation arena but with the emergence of apps for iPhone and Android other formats are becoming more popular and the handheld machine is becoming less of a necessity.

Olympus on the other hand will play all formats, although again there are a few instances where certain MP3 or M4A files will not load – see Area 51 above for an explanation of this.

But what Olympus can do which Express Scribe can’t is that it can convert audio files – a DS2 file can be converted to DSS, or WAV etc.

So for playing of audio files Olympus has a slight advantage.

However, what puts Express Scribe on an even keel is its ability to play MP4 files which are video files and the format that Microsoft Teams records in which gives it an advantage in the current climate of virtual meetings.

Is there a winner overall? Unfortunately not.

Neither software is all-encompassing and where one fails the other wins.

How do they perform on cost?

Express Scribe software is relatively inexpensive at around £40 (price is in $ and there are often discounts) and the foot pedal is £60 whereas an Olympus foot pedal is about £80 and the software around £140 so it does make it the more expensive option.

And before you ask, there is not a foot pedal which will work with both, an Olympus foot pedal will only work with Olympus software and vice versa for Express Scribe.

Rest assured though, at BackupTyping we have a mix of both software ensuring that all our clients’ dictation needs are met, so far in over 20 years we have not encountered an audio format we haven’t been able to transcribe.

For more information on Express Scribe visit and for Olympus visit

To purchase Philips or Olympus dictation systems please contact us for information and up-to-date prices.

BackupTyping provides a fast, accurate and experienced transcription for property professionals - saving you time and money. Call us on 020 7096 1663 to find out how we can help you.

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