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Product review: connection magic

As I was working as a reporter for a new trial recently, I had a scopist reviewing my realtime through Connection Magic. After I gave her the file name and password for the day, she connected in through the Eclipse CM and edited as I wrote for the morning session–170 pages from 9:40 a.m. until 1 p.m.. As I wrote, my scopist made dictionary entries that went right into my job dictionary locally.  Throughout the day, I could see where she was in the document, and we were able to chat via text from within Eclipse.

When I closed out at 1 p.m., she was 40 pages behind me, and those 40 pages were completed by the time my afternoon began. When I was finished with the morning session, I waited not even two minutes before closing out of Eclipse, which then booted her out of my local document. I called her on the phone to see where she was and what happened on her end. She scrolled to the end and had the full document and the full audio file on her computer locally. At the time I called her, my local document was edited to the 12:15 p.m. spot.

The scopist and I shared a simultaneous stream. Not once did we lose connection, and I was on the 11th floor of a courthouse, working off my Mifi that wasn’t plugged in, and streaming to Bridge Mobile realtime. After nearly seven hours, we are both amazed at what we were able to do. With the help of my scopist, the realtime output was flawless; it was truly an instant, clean rough draft. I can envision CM helping reporters increase the quality of their realtime so that reporters who want to give out realtime but don’t write under 1 percent untranslate rate can offer that same quality.

In the past when I tried systems that connected me to a scopist, I felt a drag on the keyboard or the cursor, which made me just want to get out of the shared link. I couldn’t stand the delay of waiting for the change to occur. With CM, my scopist was editing at a high rate with no drag at all because she is really editing on a document local to her that’s affecting me simultaneously. When I watched her on my break, I could tell she was going at a good clip.

Another factor I like is its simplicity. The only thing I’m doing in addition to starting a file, which I do every day anyway, is clicking one box on the translate screen. There, I give the file a different name for my scopist. When prompted, I create the password for the day. That’s it: I’m done.

Another distinction of Connection Magic is I still have control of my own document and can go and make changes while my scopist is also working on the same document. I can also have one person scoping and another proofreading or two people scoping and one proofreading and I can make corrections still–all simultaneous.