How Do I Transcribe a Voice Recording to Text?
Transcription has changed drastically over the years. What once began as merely a person sitting typing every word spoken to the best of their ability has changed into the ability to log practically any important conversation, whether it is in a courtroom, conference room, or practically for any other reason. In order to transcribe a voice recording, users have options to choose from. Whether you choose one of the many free services, the fastest way or opt to pay for a professional transcription, you can do that, but you will have to keep a few things in mind. Here are some guidelines to your question of how do I transcribe a voice recording to text.
Technology has enhanced the transcription industry tremendously, but it remains a fact that audio must remain clear. Transcribing a voice recording to text is often required for very important issues where pure accuracy and transparency are paramount. If your audio maintains high levels of interference from background noise or an overzealous toddler, the final result is less likely to be an accurate depiction of the original audio. Noise reducing software can be utilized at the transcription location, but it truly helps the final result if you invest in quality recording equipment from the very beginning. Also, ensure there is no music being played in the background as it can distract the transcriptionist.
Get What You Pay For
When choosing to have your voice recording transcribed to text your first instinct is likely to be to choose the cheapest option available. Many people have gone down this route in the past with tremendous failure. If money is the only thing you are thinking of, like most things in life, with transcribing, you get exactly what you pay for. Free options can be a good idea for some, but if accuracy is the name of the game in your transcription, you will have to pay.
The primary reason the free options for transcription tend to be less advanced is primarily due to software utilized. Free transcription avenues will utilize the cheapest form of transcribing software. Unfortunately, much of this type of software fails to account for various dialects in the same language. In America, for instance, there is a drastic contrast to how a Bostonian speaks certain words compared to someone from Alabama in the deep south. Although the human ear can differentiate between the two, standard computing software cannot.
Paid transcription sites charge by the minutes just like old phone companies did when we had a thing called long distance, but instead of just .10 per minute, you will pay around $1.25 for each transcribed word. However, do not let that discourage you from investing in quality transcription sites as most offer a discount for those who require more than just a few words transcribed, so the more words, the merrier.
This is another area to keep in mind when choosing to transcribe voice recordings to text. Turnaround times matter to paid sites. Time is money and if you require your turnaround time to be, say, 24 hours, you will pay a premium price for the service. However, if you account for a longer turnaround time of up to 10 days, you can save a lot of money. Free sites vary on turnaround times, so always check their averages before investing your time and audio with them.
Manual or Automated
When transcribing voice recordings to text, the case of whether you require human interaction or would prefer the transcript produced by a software program. Software programs have become very sophisticated over the years, but some transcriptions still require the ear of a human being. The choice is yours and there are pros and cons to both.
The main pro for trusting a software program as opposed to a human is the turnaround time is often much faster as the computer has the capability to compute faster than a human. However, a human or manual based program tends to be more accurate in the final transcription. This is again where accents and dialects come into play, so choose carefully. A human will also be better at putting in timelines for quick reference to certain areas in long transcriptions.
Uploading your audio is easy with today’s technology. Most systems, whether paid or free maintain an easy to follow format for uploading the voice file. MP3s, OGG, WAV, and even direct recordings from your smartphone can be uploaded with ease and just a few steps. If you have trouble with audio uploads or are slightly computer illiterate, definitely pay for your audio service. You will receive better results along with help throughout the process.
Transcribing voice recordings to text can be used for a variety of reasons and is the easiest way to ensure you hear and understand every word. Choose your site carefully and do your own research before investing in any site. Remember free sites are free, but accuracy is the most important aspect of proper transcription, so always keep that in mind.