Audio Transcription Time Guidelines [Infographic]

When people ask what I do and I reply a Transcriptionist their face goes blank for a second. I then explain that I produce transcripts from recorded audio, video, podcasts or webinars.  Ah, typing people think, typing what people are saying yes that’s easy once you can type. Contrary to popular belief audio transcription is a skill and takes years of touch typing practice and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by Virtuadmin I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average spoken rate. I have used 15 minutes of recorded audio for simplicity but hope that it illustrates that typing at the spoken word rate is virtually impossible.

There are also other factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Number of Speakers
  • Audio quality
  • Speech clarity
  • Is there any background noise
  • Is this an intelligent or strict verbatim transcription?
  • Is the transcript to be time-stamped?

All these affect the average turnaround time of your transcript.  Taking these things into account when hiring a transcription service will help you understand the complexities of what goes into producing an accurate transcript.

To conclude that with just one speaker, with good audio quality professional transcriptionist that types 80 words per minute (that’s fast but that’s our average typing speed) would take approximate 30 minutes to transcribe and a professional that types 50 words per minute would take 45 minutes.  That therefore on these statistics would mean than an hour’s audio that was just one speaker and straight forward intelligent paragraphing would take the professional 4 hours.  For 2 speakers because each time a speaker changes a new line is started, therefore that takes extra time.

Audio transcription is a skill, you must love typing and a love of hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion like we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but I always aim to never insert an “inaudible”.  Again, that is time-consuming replaying a part of the audio that you just cannot hear.  You’ll probably get it in the end, but that’s another 5 minutes or so added to the completion time.

Hope the Infographic helps put things in perspective for audio transcribing and putting into text the spoken word is just not as easy as you think!

Transcription - Is it as easy as you think?
Transcription – Is it as easy as you think?

Transcription – Is It a Necessity For Your Business?

Do you need transcription for your business?

Yes, you do! Transcription services, freelance or provided by specialist businesses is growing in demand each and every day.

Advancements in technology mean quicker and faster, more capabilities and devices and so on, digital technology grows in cyberspace. This provides more opportunities for the transcriptionist to provide digital transcription services remotely at competitive cheaper costs. 

Transcribing is a niche skill-set that is not really spoken about but such a vital expertise that requires a lot of training, fast typing, and typing experience. Digital technology advancements are now enabling virtually anything to be recorded and if narration or natural occurring speech is within that recording then it should be transcribed.

Entrepreneurs, Business Coaches, Bloggers, Marketing Experts and much more are all utilising transcription services for the benefit of their businesses.  They record podcasts, videos, webinars and video blogs for clients and readers.  They hold teleconferences, teleseminars and business meetings for accuracy and productivity.  Eighty-eight percent of businesses say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy; all should be accompanied by a transcript. 

Here are the top 7 advantages of a transcript:

  1. It gives you a permanent hard copy of what was spoken. What if the audio recording got damaged, lost or recorded over by mistake?
  2. Instant accessibility for the hearing impaired to partake and absorb the valuable information.
  3. Using a Search Engine on the Internet can only search in a text it cannot search audio at this moment in time. (I’m sure it will come as image search is already available!) Adding an accurate transcript increases your chances of your audio, video, podcast, webinar being discovered because of the extra information held within that additional transcript rather than just the title and sub-title text for details about what it is about.
  4. Having a transcript gives you a document to refer to, scribble on, copy, make notes etcetera. Instead of searching through the audio for a certain point that caught your attention you can quickly scan through the transcript instead.
  5. Provides a great resource for repurposing content to create Tweets, blog post ideas, e-books, creating online courses or writing white papers.
  6. For marketers offering online e-learning courses, a transcript can be a tremendous incentive to encourage enrollment onto your program.
  7. For a Business meeting, it clarifies actions points for the participants and employees and also gives an accurate account of who said what during the session.
  8. Hopefully, these top seven advantages of hiring a transcription service for you to add a transcript to your audio or video has convinced you of the benefits to justify the initial cost of getting your recorded audio, video or other formats transcribed.

Virtuadmin offers a professional and secure quality low-cost transcription service; it is my passion to provide you with the most accurate transcript possible.  With over 20 years experience audio typing, transcribing and video captioning Virtuadmin are flexible and would love to work with you, either for either a one-off transcription or on a long-term collaboration.

If you would like to make an inquiry or get a free quote, there is a contact form in the ‘Contact Me’ section of my website and would be pleased to assist you.  All audios and videos are secure with Virtuadmin with the latest firewall protection systems for enhanced security.  Why not let me give you a quote? 

Is public media ready for machine transcription? (A Socratic dialogue) — Medium

A conversation between American Public Media’s Andy Kruse and Pop Up Archive’s Peter Karman.

This is a very interesting read about the discussion of manual transcription versus automatic speech recognition.  It starts with the question of whether transcripts are needed to be added to your audio in the first place and moves on to discuss how a document produced by ASR rather than hire a professional transcriptionist or transcription company and get an accurate transcript is surely better because of the cost saving?

If SEO is to be a consideration and reason for adding a transcript then a document that is not accurate in spelling of its content is pretty useless to search engine bots where words can so easily be misspelt by SEO bots.

As a professional typist and transcriber with over 20 years experience putting recorded speech into text I will always argue the case for manual digital transcription because a professional transcription service does not need to cost the earth to get a professional transcript and for the value of the transcript and its different uses surely it’s the best investment?

If you have a minute please take a minute to read the article and please do comment on your thoughts about the value of transcripts and are they necessary?

Source: Is public media ready for machine transcription? (A Socratic dialogue) — Medium

What challenges do I face as a transcriptionist?

I love being a transcriptionist and the challenges of keeping up with who is speaking and typing what is being spoken.  I always aim to give as accurate a transcript as possible when listening to people or someone to speaking.  I dislike using inaudible’s and a time-stamp to indicate where I just couldn’t hear what the person said, or there was unexpected sudden background noise.

When I agree to transcribe an audio I try to get a listen first but at the same time I have to keep in mind the client wants a quick decision and try to gather as much information and make a quick decision as quick as possible.  This involves downloading the files, transferring the file to my transcription software player to use in conjunction with my foot pedal, headset and ergonomic keyboard.  This is time-consuming and not really covered in the overall amount that I would probably earn.

If there is interference in the background then my software player does have processes that can help minimise this and enhance the speech.  Nearly always this helps to clear the audio to enable a more accurate transcript to be delivered back to you.

So for me, the challenge is better when the audio is clear and good speech clarity because I enjoy the audio’s much more.

Video’s where I can add the captions to them to enhance Search Engine Optimisation for a relatively small fee compared to large organisations that wish to take a whole lot more for pretty much the same job regarding SEO and using transcripts as a better, more efficient organic way of getting higher results in searches nearly always have good audio and much quicker to transcribe.

The client may also require research into the topic around the recording subject matter and it is always helpful to know if this is the case in advance.  I can then account for the extra time when giving a delivery date as I really do not like missing a deadline for an audio and not having the full information may result in this.  Give as much information including the nature of the audio, interview, video, as possible it does help.

So the audio quality and as much information as possible are just two of the challenges I face.  If the processes on my software player do not work I have to try and figure out another way to clear up the audio and I go to great lengths to do this first before I ever turn down an audio.  All again in my own time before I decide if I can give you a good quality accurate transcript for your hard earned cash!

If I can clear up the audio I’m on a buzz before I start as I know then that it will be as accurate is it possibly can be by anybody that hears the same audio, trying at all times to make it as perfect as possible.  A challenge overcome and feeling good to get that transcript delivered back to you on or before the agreed time.

Time-stamping may not seem time-consuming but it can add extra time to your transcript but a service that is available.  Every 15 minutes or so is not too bad but every 2 minutes or five minutes does not enable an even flow of transcription to begin because the transcriptionist is watching the time clock of the audio to see when to place the next time stamp.  It is just something that because we have to stop and start continually no rhythm is gained and why an extra cost is sometimes involved and time added to the delivery date.

Please do not hesitate to leave me your experiences or challenges as a transcriptionist or typist at the bottom of this post, or if you are interested in my service, would like to see the templates I use for transcripts, please do email me at transcription.service.vts@gmail.com and I will be in touch right away.

If you are thinking of learning touch-typing or a typist already but may wish to try diversifying into transcription again please get in touch either at transcription.service.vts@gmail.com and I will send you links and give you all the help I can to assist you in starting your new career.