For the Record (FTR) File Naming Overview

For The Record (FTR) digital court recordings are transforming the way court reporters capture legal proceedings.

Here are the need-to-knows when downloading and understanding FTR files:

FTR File Naming Convention

FTR employs a unique FTR file naming convention to set the location, date and time when captured proceedings are recorded (location being the proceeding venue; e.g., AZ Bankruptcy Rm 3). The FTR player relies on this file naming convention to display this information to the user. When audio is recorded, files are created with names that are automatically generated by the FTR recorder with this naming convention. The file naming convention/structure is as follows:

During recording the recorder creates files with a maximum length of 5 minutes (i.e., upon reaching 5 minutes, the current recording file is closed and a new one created to hold the next 5 minutes of recording). Each 5-minute file looks similar, but the human readable time, and the 16-character equivalent time-stamp that follows is different for each file (i.e., the time represents the start time of each individual 5-minute file).

Playing FTR Files

When the FTR player loads and plays files that exhibit the FTR naming convention described above, the time, date and recording location displayed in the player correctly represents the actual time, date and location of the proceeding that was captured. And this will be the case irrespective of the user’s PC’s current time, as well as whether the recording files have been copied one or more times since their creation (i.e., they may exhibit variations in their “Date modified” attribute compared to the original files).

Playing Non-FTR Files

The FTR player, however, is also capable of playing some non-FTR files that were created by other recorders, and which do not reflect the FTR file naming convention. When such files are loaded into the FTR player, information regarding the actual recording date, time and location of the captured proceeding are not available to the FTR player. As a result, the FTR player defaults to display slightly different information:

For the recording location, the player displays the actual file name, not the venue location name where the proceeding occurred.

The date & time displayed are the date & time that the file was last saved to the media (e.g., thumb-drive, HD, CD) from which the file has been loaded for playback.

Also, in then case of non-FTR file types, the player will not allow multiple files to be loaded concurrently the way native FTR 5-minute files can be. Non-FTR files can only be loaded and played one at a time.

So, for example, if an MP3 file named “sample_file.mp3” is downloaded to a user’s PC today at 10:22:41 AM and is loaded into the FTR player, the player would display:

Recording location = sample_file.mp3

Date = June 30, 2013

Time = 10:22:41

And as the file is played, the time displayed would advance as normal, but would be based on 10:22:41 being the start time, and not based on the actual start time of the recorded proceeding. So, when the clock showed 10:27:41, you are exactly 5 minutes into that file.

Now, if the same user were to move to another computer and, using a thumb-drive, copies the “sample_file.mp3” file to the thumb-drive and then saves the file to the other computer’s hard drive at 1:53:07pm, then when the file is opened on the alternate computer, the FTR player would display:

Recording location = sample_file.mp3

Date = June 30, 2013

Time = 13:53:07 (military time for 1:53:07pm)

Non-FTR File Indiscernible Time-Stamps

On a related note, when transcribing non-FTR recording files within the FTR player, and when it is necessary to enter an indiscernible time-stamp in the transcript, the time-stamp must reflect the point in time relative to a start time of zero (0). So, using the last example, if the start time of the file displayed in the player is 13:53:07, and the point in time at which the indiscernible occurs is displayed as 14:26:34, then the indiscernible time-stamp to enter into the transcript is 14:26:34 – 13:53:07 = 00:33:27 (i.e., the indiscernible occurs at 33 minutes, 27 seconds into the recording). This is necessary given that the times displayed in the FTR player for non-FTR files will most likely not match from user to user (i.e., from Transcriber to Proofreader) at the same point in the recording.