Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What if I don’t have a camera or microphone or I’m using a device which doesn’t support media recording?

A: Text -only entry is always available . Just click on the mode button to cycle through video , audio, text and screen recording modes.

Q: How do I  send the recording I have just made?

A: You don’t need to send it, it’s uploaded as soon as it’s recorded and can be viewed as soon as processing is finished on the first part of the message.

Q: What does a red-flashing box around someone’s avatar mean?

A: This means they are currently recording that entry – it is LIVE and you will be able to start playing it as long as processing has finished (see below)

Q: Why do some entries say ‘PROCESSING’?

A: This means that the beginning of a recording is not yet available to be played as it has only just been posted to the cloud Service.

Q: Can I just leave a recording running?

A: Yes. The messenger will automatically break the recording into manageable pieces for you. If silence is detected for a long time, the recording will automatically stop after prompting you. There is also a limit to maximum continuous recording and the recording will stop and tell you when this is reached.

Q: What is the little red flag for?  

A: This shows whether you have read or watched a comment on the topic. It will be automatically cleared if you listen or watched to the end of a comment, or you can clear it manually by clicking on it. The flag also shows on the topic management page to indicate there are un-viewed comments on a topic. You cannot clear the flag manually from there.

Q: Why don’t I see the transcription after I press STOP?

A: The transcription process happens in our cloud service and will appear after a few seconds when the topic is refreshed

Q: Why are there gaps in the recording and the transcript?

OR Why is the transcript full of ‘__’ ?

A: The live recording process breaks your conversation into small pieces as it goes. These labels mark the breaks in the translation that result from it. The cloud service will then try to update this later with a better transcript based on the whole recording.

Q: Why do some items show a bin (trashcan) symbol and not others? 

A: You can only delete items from a topic if you created them or if you created the topic. If there is a reply to a message you added then it will be deleted when you delete the original message.

Q: Is my data secure?

A: All communications are secured with SSL over HTTPS.  Timeshift then uses a secured back-end to store and process you data. Logins are secured with industry standard methods. Strict access permissions on the server will prevent any unauthorised access to topics, transcripts or media. See the product info page for more details. See also our privacy policy for how we handle you data.

Q: Can I edit the transcripts?

A: No. This is because the system may re-transcribe the text at any time to improve the detail and accuracy. The initial transcription is quick and may have errors.

Q: Why does the transcript not show the whole text of the item?

A: The text which shows on an item is just the first [LIMIT] characters of the full transcript. This should be sufficient for any entry in normal circumstances but occasionally it may be truncated. Just playback the recording to see the rest.

Q: Why can’t I rewind to the beginning of the recording?

A: The BWD and FF and controls allow you to shuttle forward and back 10s at a time. However the rewind will not go back past the last automatic segment . You can just stop and restart the playback to see earlier media. This behaviour will be changed in a later release to give full control.

Q: Can I download the media for offline use?

A: Currently no, but you can get an email of the topic transcripts.

Q: Can I add attachments to my topic entries – e.g. slides or images?

A: You can do something similar using the screen recorder (available on chrome desktop browser). Just choose screen mode and start recording. You will then be asked to choose fullscreen recording or a pick a window. You can then select a slide deck which is showing in another window and narrate it as you click through the slides. This is even better than just uploading a static slide pack.

Q: Can I view the media playing fullscreen – or large?

A: The tool will try to fit the video to an optimal portion of the messenger window. If you make the window larger (on desktop) it will make the next video playback larger depending on the proportions of the window. 

Q: How do I chose which input and output devices will be used? E.g. front or back camera on my phone.

A: On the main menu (from the messages screen) there is a an option to manage devices. Select this and it will show the available devices.   They are shown as a list of input and output devices which are offered by your system. Just change the selections that you want and these will be saved. Your future recordings and playback will use the chosen device.  Note that on iOS this is not available as the video device is controlled at the time of recording. Note that some platforms do not report all devices such as headphones vs speakers. This is usually because they are managed in system preferences such as those on Android devices. Timeshift messenger will use those chosen preferences instead. 

During playback of audio or video messages, you can select speaker or earpiece on iOS and Android versions of the apps. The mode button will change to show the current selection – just tap it to change during playback.

Q: How do I know when there have been new posts on a topic?

A: New items will be shown on the message list with a red flag. If you are away from your messenger for some time, and you have selected notifications for that topic, it will send you an email to let you know there are new entries.  The smartphone apps will also show popup notifications for the currently selected topic when the app is closed (but not quit). This will not happen immediately as the frequency of update is determined by the phone OS.

You can enable email notifications using the notify option on the main menu when viewing the topic.

Mobile Apps

Q:Why can’t I record audio or video in Safari on my iPhone?

A:Safari does not support the latest standards in media recording either on desktop or iOS (as at November 2018). This restriction also applies to all browsers on iOS as they use the same webkit engine behind the scenes. To fix this we have produced a iOS-specific app of Timeshift which is available in the app store. This provides audio recording just like the android & desktop versions, and a limited functionality video recording. Video is limited to 30second segments and uses the standard iOS camera capture interface.

Q:Why can’t I pause text-to-speech on android?

A:This is a limitation of the current implementation which we aim to fix in a later release.


Topics and Administration

Q:Can I get notified when my topic is updated?

A:Yes the cloud service will send you an email when you have unread items on a topic you have viewed, but you need to enable this for each topic on the main  app menu. Notifications are also available on the smartphone apps (see Messages section above for more info)

Q:Can I add a new topic?

A:Click on the main menu (top right) and choose ‘manage topics’ at the top of the page and this will take you to the management and options page. You will see a list of all topics visible to you. From here you can create a new group topic which anyone in your group will be able to see. You can also choose your group for the topic if you belong to multiple groups. Group memberships (who can see the topic) are shown on the topic list (if your permissions allow it). Click on any topic to open it in the messenger page.

Q:Can I share a link to a topic?

A:Send yourself a transcript of the conversation (available on the menu).  If you then share the URL shown in the email this will take any  other use (with appropriate permissions) to that topic.

Q:Why do some items show a bin (trashcan) symbol and not others?

A:You can only delete topics  if you created them.

Q:Can I add a user to my group?

A:If your license allows it, you can just share the GROUP KEY you entered at registration with the other person and they can register themselves as a new user. They will then join your group and see all your topics.

Q:Can I add an existing user to my topic or group that is not part of my group?

A: Currently this is only possible for administrators. Please contact support to request this.


Tel: +44 7494 617332‬