Digital Audio Transcription & Typing Services
It is often a misconception that transcription software used by professional transcribers automatically converts the speech into text. This is not the case, transcribers listen to the dialogue and manually type what they hear into an electronic text document.
There many types of podcasts. Music, chat, an interview, or one person speaking about advice or guidance in a specific niche, to name a few. Podcasts are a versatile media that you can listen to. You can download and listen to a podcast whilst driving, jogging in the park, walking the dog, working out at the gym. These are a few examples of how easy it is to listen and retain information.
Transcribing audio is the skill and art of listening to and converting recorded speech from either audio, video, podcast or any other recorded dialogue into a digital text document that you can read, edit, print, share, or copy & paste text for social media updates.
Recording interviews, conversations, meetings and such like is easier now than it ever has been. Technology has advanced so far we can now record on our smartphones at the touch of a button.
Using modern technology in this way, as a back-up for detail discussed in a meeting, for example, or interviewing someone for academic study or a journalist interview. Most of these recordings are made with the intention of converting them into text, and this is what’s known as audio transcription. Audio and Video Transcription is the skilled art and process of converting recorded speech into written documents, commonly called transcripts.
Producing a document or transcript can be very time-consuming. Even for the quickest of typists, without specialist transcribing software and a foot pedal (see left picture) to avoid taking your hands off the keyboard, rewinding even for a few seconds to replay what was spoken can be difficult and frustrating when using the keyboard.
This is where outsourcing your recorded audio or video to a general transcriptionist (depending on the subject area) can be very beneficial. The time it saves you, against the cost of a freelance transcriptionist will be to your benefit. You will, in an agreed time, receive an accurate transcript that has been transcribed manually, directly from your recording.
“A transcriber is someone who writes down what someone else is saying.”
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Initially, a transcriber was a person that wrote things down in shorthand, but this art is dying out. Technological advancements combined with the fact it isn’t taught any more means, unfortunately, this art of note-taking is no-longer used.
Instead, recordings made on your laptop or tablet, for example, can then immediately be uploaded to your transcriptionist, via email or a sharing application like DropBox or Google Drive. They then download the audio, upload to their professional software player and begin to type what they hear in the speech content into a transcript for you.
As part of the transcriber’s role, unlike years ago where commas, full-stops and new paragraphs were dictated, in today’s advanced world, an experienced transcriber will be required to insert the appropriate grammar for you, as a matter of course during typing. This is certainly something here at Virtuadmin that we do for clients; it is a natural thing to do as a native English-speaking transcriber. Without it, I cannot read if the transcript makes sense or not.
A professional touch typist should be able to type in the region of 75 words per minute. At this speed, the industry standard states a minimum of 4-5 hours to transcribe 1 hour of recorded audio or video. However, there are other factors that the client and transcriptionist need to consider regarding the audio for transcription. They are:-
– The speed at which the participants of the audio are talking
– The number of participants in the audio talking (cross talking)
– The clarity of the recording (background noise, phone interview, interference)
– The speech clarity of the participating speakers (accents, speaking English as a second language, mumbling, no close enough to the microphone)
These are the variables that will add time to transcribing an hour’s recorded audio. It is difficult to say how much time should be allowed for these variables, so it is worth keeping in mind that a professional transcriptionist cannot type at the same rate as the average person is talking, no matter how fast they are. People generally speak 4-5 times faster than what an experienced transcriber can type. For more information see our Infographic “Audio Transcription Guidelines” that illustrates the times quoted to help you understand audio transcription transcribing times.
Professional transcribers can commonly be found on freelance websites, People Per Hour, Fivesquid, UpWork, are examples of these. Using these types of websites gives you the ability to see the service provider’s feedback, as well as protecting your money against a poor job, or no delivery at all.
There are transcription companies that are solely a transcription service provider, these are specialist businesses that only provide audio or video transcription. They employ teams of transcribers, either remotely on in-house. (You don’t get the same direct contact with your transcriptionist as compared to using a freelancer.) These are self-service type websites, you upload your audio and either pay a deposit of invoice after the audio or video has been completed.
Another option is to contract a professional transcriber directly. Search on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to mention a few social networks as a source to find a transcriptionist. Search by a hashtag #transcriber or #transcriptionist and up will pop the latest tweets, on Twitter for example.
If you choose to contract directly, saving yourself time and money by not using a 3rd party freelance website like People per Hour, for example, there are some questions you can ask them as tips for you to ascertain how professional and experienced they are. Someone may think they can type quickly, listen to an interview and type what is being said, for example. However, this method can be very tricky to rewind even for just a few seconds without a foot pedal and professional transcribing software, like NCH Software, something Virtuadmin has been using for many years.
For audio transcription by an experienced transcriber, you would usually pay by the recorded audio minute. The rates vary from company to company or transcriber to transcriber. But, charging in this way helps you know the cost from the outset of hiring your transcriber. Here at Virtuadmin for example, rates start at 60p per audio minute for a single speaker audio that is of clear audio quality. It is 70p per audio minute for a 2-speaker clear clarity recording.
It is usual for a speech-to-text service, either company or freelancer to add on per minute basis, 30-minutes or per hour for example, for poorer quality audios that contain background noise, or the speech is difficult to hear, for example. For these types of audio to be transcribed the transcriptionist must first convert the audio into a quality that is suitable listening quality. This can take sometimes a few hours for this, so don’t think if you have a difficult audio that the transcriptionists are just looking to increase the cost to get more money, it is genuinely time-consuming to repair a poor recording to a suitable level for transcription purposes.
A transcriber is a professional touch typist that listens to recorded speech and types what they hear. A professional will insert the necessary grammar, and intelligently paragraph where applicable within the transcript. A transcriber that can touch type between 50-80 words per minute (WPM) would usually take 4-5 hours to transcribe one hour of recorded audio, as an approximate guide.
A transcription company that hires typists either remotely or in-house will probably have a higher fee, due to their overheads and profit before paying their transcriptionists. It is more common for a professional freelance transcriptionist to be more affordable due to their fewer overheads.
Dealing with a transcription company you don’t always get the direct communication or personalisation as with using a freelancer. An independent transcriber, either working with them directly or through a freelancing website and working with them, you can expect more flexibility.
Most freelance transcribers will accommodate a template if you have one, or use their own if you don’t. If there is noise interference, you can discuss with them. For another example, let’s say you only wanted a certain part of the audio transcribed, or a certain part time-stamped for ease of reference.
Using a freelance transcription service, like Virtuadmin for example, is the quickest and most affordable way to go. Work is usually turned around as soon as it is received, therefore, approaching a freelancer offering a transcription service, they are most likely in a position to start it immediately, rather than wait in a queue for one to become available with a transcription service company.
A .srt file is a common name for the extension SubRip computer files and a commonly used file format for subtitles or closed captions on videos. The benefit of using a .srt file is that when it is added to a video to create the captions it enables search engine crawler bots to index your video more accurately due to the additional text file.
Although automatic captions are generated and all videos that contain speech when uploaded, Google and all other search engines do not consider them accurate enough to use as reliable information about your video content.
Creating a .srt file to add to your video is quite easy and involves six easy steps. These 6 steps are taken from a post by Andrew Meer on Techwalla
Divide each subtitle phrase into numbered sections when creating an SRT file. Type “1” (without quotes) and then press “Enter” to start creating the first subtitle phrase.
Enter the time span to display the subtitle phrase when playing the movie. For example, if you want the first subtitle phrase to be displayed from the second minute to the third minute of the movie, type “00:02:00 –> 00:03:00” (without quotes) and press “Enter.”
Type the subtitle phrase and press “Enter” to finish creating the first subtitle phrase.
Type “2” (without quotes) for the second subtitle phrase and follow steps 3 and 4 to create the second subtitle phrase. Do the same for the other subtitle phrases that you want to create, but ensure that you separate the subtitle phrases into numbered sections.
Save the file in the SRT file format after you finish creating it. To do so, click “Start” and then click “Save.” Select “All Files” from the “Save as type” drop-down menu. Next, type a name into “File name” field and type “.srt” (without quotes) after it. Click “Save.”
Depending on the length of your video, podcast, or webinar depends on the length of time it will take to actually produce the transcript to add to your video. Outsourcing the creation of the transcript process may well be worth considering.
At Virtuadmin I have created many transcripts for closed captioning purposes. If you would like to hire me to quickly create your transcript please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, I have active freelancer profiles on People Per Hour and Fiverr and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.
Podcasts are a great way to connect your audio (or video) content into the public sphere, it is not just about music these days. If you are a business, for example, if it is quite a specialised niche, this can be a great way to get your product or service noticed, holding regular podcasts online or distributing regular content via this medium. This new way of communication can gain valuable new customers and increase relevant traffic to your website.
Currently, most who are familiar with podcast hosting are technically savvy, but it is clear that podcasting will be more than a passing fad as many businesses are adopting podcasting and employing it in unusual yet powerful ways. Podcasting can be used for talk shows, tutorials, music demos, educational training, stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign language tutorials.¹
Not only is podcasting a type of advertising, it gives you more visibility for your niche subject. It also has great SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits too. Listeners will visit your website to listen to your podcast or download it. For them to find it in the first place, your podcast has to be optimised for it to rank highly and be found.
Podcasts can vary in their format but usually are delivered in audio, video, PDF and ePub formats. Luckily, all of these formats can very easily and economically have a transcript produced and uploaded to them, further increasing the SEO of your website, therefore more visitors seeing and listening to your podcasts.
A freelance transcriptionist like myself here at Virtuadmin or transcription vendors can all assist in the process of creating your accurate text document that acts as a transcript to upload to your podcast.
By hiring a transcription service to transcribe your podcast content into text will boost your reach as it is supporting content that you want to be exposed to search engines for indexing. By uploading your transcript that is by the nature of the transcribed content will be keyword rich, to your podcast, search engine bots can accurately index it, increasing your search engine results pages for that particular niche search.
When you are getting higher results, more visitors and listeners, you could then move on a step further with the text content you have invested in from your transcriptionist or transcription service. You could:-
Once you have the transcript all the bulleted points above can be produced easily. Ask your transcription service if they can assist, as they are transcribing the content. Ask for your transcript to be time-stamped and specify the regularity. If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist may be able to assist or outsource to a Virtual Assistant like me at Virtuadmin. Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!
If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist / virtual assistant may be able to assist, like me at Virtuadmin. Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!
Transcription is one of the largest growing industries, not just in the Medical Industry but in many others. Digital technology advancements enable pretty much anyone, from an academic requiring interview transcription for their dissertation, to Entrepreneurs and small businesses to utilize online transcription services.
Creating a transcript from recorded audio does require a special set of skills, however. Everything from listening to the audio and listening in detail to an understanding of the language; having excellent spelling and grammar skills is important. One of the most important skills, though, is typing, preferably touch typing.
Keep reading to learn more about why typing speed is so important in the world of transcription whether you do it full-time or part-time.
Accuracy means efficiency for your client
For anybody doing transcription from dictation or recorded audio, the job requires a fair amount of speed, accuracy, and effort to create an accurate transcript. To make any decent amount of money this is an essential element. Why? Because the average transcriptionist that types approximately 70-80 words per minute, will take, depending on the number of speakers and audio quality, roughly 4-5 hours to transcribe.
That means that the ability to type quickly and accurately will improve the amount of money that you make performing an online transcription service like Virtuadmin. Sending back an as accurate a transcript as possible means less time for them having to check and correct mistakes. That inevitably means saving time means saving money. Delivering an accurate transcript on time, or earlier, also then sets you apart from other service providers.
Audio Transcription and Dictation
Transcription services can typically not be just copying-typing down text from one piece of paper or screen to another. Some of the audio transcription transcriptionists do every single day means typing exactly what you hear.
Most transcription jobs, though, are not ones where you are sitting in the same room with the person dictating, you would then be audio typing as the person dictating would be instructing you exactly where to put the punctuation. If they are not, however, then you are indeed transcribing.
Transcriptionists work with audio where you upload the recordings and transcribe what is being said. A transcriptionist, freelance or employed directly by a specialized transcription company, could be typing anything from market research notes to day-to-day activity logs. This type of transcription is essential for busy professionals who need notes and thoughts in written form.
Anybody can require their audio or video to be transcribed into text. It could be for a one-off call/meeting, interview, the reasons are endless. Equally, the ability to record what you need transcribing, has, through the new technological age, the ability to just record your conversation on your mobile, tablet, and now wristwatches.
With so many choices in ways to produce audio recordings, digital online audio transcription services are growing in demand day by day.
However, although it may seem attractive to be able to work from home, working when you want, the money may not be fantastic, especially at the start. It may not make your fortune.
If you enjoy listening and typing, that’s a good start to working in the transcription field, just be prepared to start working for low pay in the beginning, and work your way up to what could be a good wage. Maintaining a regular constant typing speed and accuracy is important, that is what will, at the end of the day determine how much you earn for that audio hour you are charging for.
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Mentoring or coaching start-ups or small business owners is about sharing and helping others with less knowledge than you to achieve their aims and goals for themselves or their business, right?
You advise from your wealth of knowledge and experience and help starts-ups choose the right routes for their new business and helping them gain success. You share your business experience and knowledge with business owners less knowledgeable than yourself to help them achieve their goals, right? So what form of communication do you use for coaching?
Mentoring or coaching can take place person-to-person, via email, video or voice chat on Skype, even a video call on Facebook. But apart from email how is your client that you are coaching going to remember what advice and information you gave them?
If that conversation is not recorded what happens when it finishes? They could have taken notes, but they don’t always make sense after the event! How is your client going to accurately remember what was spoken about in the valuable advice you shared in that unique call or meeting you had with them?
This is where the answer is audio transcription. Transcription is the skill of typing what is spoken into text. A valuable service used by many industries such as medical, insurance, journalists to mention a few.
How impressive would it be to offer your client a copy of the entire meeting or conversation in the form of a transcript for a point of future reference? If you yourself have a lot of clients it is an ideal way to recap before your next session.
They would receive it in digital form as you would from the transcriptionist, but it allows them to print off the transcript and make notes; refer to what advice was given at certain points of the challenge in their own business and probably the reason for hiring your expert services in the first place.
It would be very impressive for any new prospects clients that you converse with via Skype, or meet with in person for them to have a copy of the entire conversation in a transcript within a few days of that call or coaching session taking place.
If mentoring, you may not know the next time that you will be called upon by your client, but having a transcript of the last time you spoke or met is beneficial to refer to for a refresher with that particular client.
This would be a great incentive for any new prospective clients too. To offer a transcript after the event that they can build the course up and always have it for future reference. No worry for them to take notes when you have that call, or make notes during the meeting and maybe miss some important and valuable points.
I believe that all person-to-person meetings, video chats or voice calls on Skype, a landline telephone call, offering a full transcript of what was spoken, for them to always have to refer to so that nothing is forgotten, could well tip the balance to gaining new clients. Of course, if you understand how useful transcription could be for your business by recording calls or meetings, this should be well discussed in the preliminary conversations.
Specialised transcription companies can give you very good rates and turnaround time but the process is very impersonal and involves a self-process of which to upload your audio onto their site and pay for your audio transcription.
That’s fine if it’s a straight forward audio to be transcribed; audio with two people recorded, an interview for example, with very good speech clarity and low to no background noise, but what if the audio is a bit more complex than your average straightforward transcription? What if you want to speak directly to your transcriber with questions?
The is very much a “self-process”. You upload and pay for your audio transcription digitally via their websites. That’s great if you experienced at using transcription services from big organisations, but what if you have never used a transcriptionist before and would like to ask some questions?
Some of the specialist transcription companies offer a “live chat” to answer any questions or queries. The problem is that person will not be the person transcribing your audio, they are in place to promote the company and answer your queries. Why are they not the transcriber you ask?
Because specialist transcription companies that offer great rates and turnaround times break down your audio into five minute or so piece-meal bits for several transcriptionists to transcribe at once.
That is what enables them to offer a great turn-around-time, but not always the best price because they have higher overheads to consider than a freelance transcriptionist.
They have the transcriptionists to pay for the transcription work they have done for you. They have very expensive websites that they have to maintain on an annual or monthly basis. Website name registration costs; possibly office space as well to conduct the time-consuming digital delegation of audio’s to the transcriptionists they employ.
A freelance transcriptionist will operate from home, but just because they do does not mean they are any less professional and will not produce any less quality transcript than a specialist transcription company. Freelance transcriptionists are what professional companies are made off, but choose to offer their skills directs to those that need them.
You deal with them directly, they make the decision quickly as to whether they can or cannot transcribe your audio. If they can and are willing to undertake the transcription for you, they will give you a quote for transcribing that audio or video.
A freelance transcriptionist with plenty of experience will not commit to an audio unless they are sure they can produce you the accurate and justified transcript for the quality of audio you give them.
Having a direct contact with your transcriber from the outset is a lot quicker than transcription companies themselves. They have departments for this, departments for that, but at the end of the day, you want a professional, accurate reading transcript, quickly.
What if there’s background noise because the call was conducted via Skype or in a car? Or it is a focus group meeting with a lot of cross-talking? A three-person interview; or a video where there is one clear speaker but music in the background?
These are all typical questions and more of the benefits of dealing with a freelance transcriptionist that will help you answer your questions quickly. Specialist companies with their fancy websites want you to submit a support ticket, or even with live chat they may not be able to answer your query immediately. This is all time consuming and not helping you get your transcript complete within a few days to get to your client as promised.
Specialist companies as we have established will have a nice fancy website with all the information that you want. Who they are, how long they have been established, where their transcribers are from, the experience they have and hopefully answer any questions you have if that is the route you are thinking of taking. Seems a little safer, doesn’t it? An established company with testimonials from previous happy clients; secure payment system etcetera.
If you choose the freelance transcriptionist route, there are things you can do to safeguard yourself from hiring a complete fraudster who thinks they can type and oh listening to someone speak and then type what they say, yes that’s easy I can do that! It’s not that easy so here a few tips to find a great freelance transcriptionist.
Ask questions. Here is a brief list of the things you would want to ask your prospective transcriber:-
Asking questions of this nature will help you immediately indicate between a professional or amateur transcriptionist If, they have never done this kind of work before, they just “think” they can type quick enough to meet the speed required to successfully complete an audio or video transcription they are wrong. A professional will know immediately how to confidently answer your questions
If you think an experienced freelance transcriptionist will be more costly then you may well be pleasantly surprised. They have far fewer overheads than the specialist companies that hire several transcribers to transcribe your audio piece-meal.
The freelance transcriptionist should be passionate about what they do, and this should come across when communicating with them. They should want to deliver you the best accurate transcript possible. They will gladly answer your questions and discuss finer details highly in the points above. This will ensure you get the transcript that you paying for.
Some will operate through professional freelance websites: People Per Hour; Fivesquid; Guru; just to mention a few that I have or are currently available on for work on as Virtuadmin.
According to Transcriptionwave.com, their pricing starts at just $0.99 per audio minute. At the time of writing and doing a direct exchange rate from United States Dollar to the United Kingdom British Pound (Sterling) that would be 68p per audio minute.
Another transcription company www.gmrtranscription.com (not a freelance transcriptionist) that I researched, their rates for a clear quality audio general transcription audio for a 3-4 week turn around was $1.25 for up to a two-person audio and $1.50 per recorded audio minute for multiple speakers with the same turn around time.
Rates for a freelance transcriptionist can vary vastly depending on how valuable the transcriptionist thinks their individual skill is worth, Their turn around times may vary also, so it is worth asking questions.
When I Googled "average freelance transcription rates UK" I found www.uktranscription.com a UK based transcription service. Again, this is not for a freelance transcriptionist but it gives you a good idea of what the specialists companies are charging for their transcription services. This is their pricing guide below.
Each batch is quoted individually. Rates may vary between orders. Please upload your audio for a quick quote within one hour.
The table below provides approximate estimates only. Surcharges are applicable for quality issues, enhanced security options, complex requirements and faster turnaround times.
|Turnaround Time||Rate / Min (Simple)||Rate / Min (Difficult) *||Volume Limit (Mins)|
* Estimated rate for 'difficult' audio, distortion, complex formatting, focus group, or multiple speaker ID. Files are assessed individually, and rates vary between orders.
** All rates are exclusive of VAT, payable at 20%. (Overseas customers may be exempt.)
So, for a two-week turn around on your clear audio that was recorded with your client would take 2 weeks to deliver back to you for you to forward to your client. Not really what you want or need for your client when you are offering them an accurate transcript included in your fee to assist them with enhancing their skills.
As a guide to our rates at Virtuadmin Transcription Service, I am very fair on my pricing. You get a low cost, a much quicker turnaround time but that does not deter from giving professional service and an accurate transcript. I give you great value for the years’ experience that I have.
For transcription as myself offering my transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, my rates start at just 50p per audio minute for a single person audio that is of very good audio and speech quality. For a two-person interview or recorded audio that has two people, it is 60p per audio minute and for a three-person audio it would be 75p per audio minute.
Difficult quality audio I will consider, the professional software Express Scribe Professional from www.nch.com can very often clear up background noise and interference so enable me to transcribe the audio more accurately.
The cost then gets a bit more expensive the more speakers there are; the amount of cross-talking that is in the audio if more than two speakers because this slows the transcriptionist down. A lot more replay is required to be able to transcribe accurately all of what is spoken by each participant to that audio. A single speaker or two-person audio that is of clear clarity enables a flow of typing. The mores speakers, or the poorer the audio quality, more time is required for the transcriptionist to produce an accurate transcript for you.
Adding timestamps, poor audio quality, background noise, cross talking, one person being clearer than the other are all aspects that are more time-consuming for the transcriptionist to type. You should bear this in mind when asking for your audio to be transcribed into text.
At Virtuadmin I do use a foot pedal for transcription; professional transcribing software (Express Scribe); an ergonomic keyboard to prevent repetitive strain injury (needed after over 30 years of typing!) and a professional headset.
I have many years transcribing in an office setting before transcribing digitally recorded audio from home. Passionate about what I do, I would really like to assist you with your recorded audio to assist you and your clients get the best out of your advice in your mentoring or coaching sessions.
As a very experienced transcriptionist, it is not easy to gain the skills and experience I have. It is the same for you as a coach or mentor. You want to help others succeed and I want to help you do that by providing you with an additional asset to for your clients.
Transcripts are so valuable in their entity. The information that they contain will always be in that written format. Notes taken by you and your client will never reflect what has been spoken as accurately as a transcript from the recorded audio or video.
To offer a full comprehensive coaching or mentoring relationship transcription is just an additional resource to assist you and your clients. Your clients have a record of what was discussed and they have this to refer to at any point in time; digitally on a computer screen or print it off to read as a text document.
They have that information to hand, they can undertake more accurately, instead of trying to remember what you advised, or trying to figure out the notes that they took. The expert advice that you have given them enables your client to achieve their goals and aims when they agreed to their coaching or mentoring with you in the first place!
Audio or Video Transcription is undoubtedly a valuable service to coaches and mentors. It will be the most accurate way of retaining the information that resulted in your conversation. It’s there to refer to for the next time you have a meeting if you have several clients this would be especially helpful.
In itself, audio transcription is a valuable service. So many industries use this service; insurance; law courts; medical dictations; journalists; students. Webinar and podcasts are also required transcribed.
So, why not get into the 21st century and start getting your coaching or mentoring calls transcribed. Join all the other industries that have been using transcription even before the digital age. Technology has come a long way and with the many different ways of recording audio these days, getting it transcribed should be the only next step to take to offer this as an incentive to your prospective clients. A benefit to your existing clients, they would always have a copy of your expert advice and information given in each session that you had. An accurate account of what was discussed is surely far better than notes? How have your survived without transcription?!
Are you interested in hiring me to transcribe your audio or video for you? I freelance my transcription skills on www.peopleperhour.com and www.fivesquid.com. These are two very reputable companies among many out there that offer professional freelance digital services.
To hire me on www.fivesquid.com the link is: http://bit.ly/1J3gxgE
To hire me on www.peopleperhour.com the link is: http://bit.ly/2ea88NK
My profiles on both of these established freelance websites have positive feedback from happy satisfied clients that are a testament to my skills and experience. Any questions please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com. For more testimonials about my skills and experience please visit www.virtuadmin.uk/testimonials. This hasn’t been updated for some time but it does testify to my excellent skills and experience as a transcriptionist.
Header images: www.ficde.org
Edited with text by www.virtuadmin.uk
Every single audio or video that is recorded in a variety of different formats; interviews, podcasts, webinars, video’s captioned, motivational speeches, business conferences, student lectures is unqiue to the speaker and the participant/s. Whatever is spoken you have taken enough care and organisation to record it so that you have a record of what was said. The thing is you need it in a permanent ‘hard-copy’ of what what spoken in the form of a transcript. Why you ask?
Well computers, hard-drives, servers, cloud based servers are wonderful things but are vulnerable to attack and your audio or video starts with you. Whatever you have recorded was important enough for you to record it in the first place, but what happens if that audio gets corrupted and no longer playable? You have lost that important interview, coaching call, student lecture, business tips speech or whatever audio or video that you took part in.
The new age digital world is a wonderful place but it can be hacked, viruses can be spread and all the data that was precious can be gone in an instant so why not get it transcribed? As soon as your recording is complete you can send it to your transcriptionist straight away. They should already have an active Dropbox account or similar like Google Drive to share the audio or video files. The sooner they receive the audio or video the sooner they can turn it around for you and your audience, participants or clients get their copy of the transcript.
Depending on the length of the audio or video/podcast, the amount of speakers, quality and clarity of speech will generally dictate the time to transcribe and cost. The transcriptionist will have to take these things into consideration when pricing an audio/video for transcription etcetera. It’s rare to get a recording that cannot be transcribed, calls in cars, conversations via skype can be challenging due to the background noise while travelling in the car can cause interference and a slow internet connection on Skype.
Before hiring the transcription service of your choice after research or recommendation it’s always helpful to forward a copy of the audio first so that you as the client and your virtual digital transcription service provider are sure that they can both fulfill the agreement of recorded audio or video speech into a text, word or other format of your choice can be met.
Hiring a professional transcriptionist like Virtuadmin may seem a little daring compared to other big companies with their fancy website and assurances but please consider this; what is the process when you visit one of these sites? Can you speak directly to your transcriptionist and explain what little tweaks you would like from your transcript? Can you speak about the environment in which it was recorded and the background details of why and the subject matter? Most probably not. You have security that they have secure servers, confidentiality agreements (we do too just ask!) and secure payment methods but once you’ve fired off your audio and paid for it what then? Can you chase it up to inquire about the progress? Again probably not, why? Because most big outsourcing transcription companies and organisations break the audio’s into tiny little segments that get sent to many different transcriptionist if the audio length requires it.
This breaks it down to make it more cost effective for the business that is transcribing your audio but many transcriptionists are listening to your audio what if this audio contains sensitive information? Is each and every transcriptionist expected to sign a confidentiality agreement (we have one in place for you) or non-disclosure agreement? This is getting time consuming and costly before you’ve even got your transcript!
The many other benefits include accessibility for the hard of hearing, they may hear some of what what was said but having the transcript alongside the audio would ensure they they do not miss out on any important details and especially helpful for students. Some people who are listening to your audio or watching your video, listening to your podcast rather than auditory and therefore would benefit from an accompanying transcript to get a better comprehension of what was being explained or taught. Adding a transcript to a broadcasted podcast, video or webinar will enhance the Search Engine Page Results because by adding a transcript the search engine trawlers have a lot more information about your podcast, video or webinar rather than just a title and maybe a brief description. With the spoken text in your niche it is by nature your transcript will be keyword rich in your subject area giving SEO bots more information to rank it higher.
To conclude the benefits of hiring a freelance transcriptionist is phenomenal and very cost effective. If you have carried out your research well, asked the right questions before hiring your potential freelance transcriber this should far outweigh the initial expense of the transcript. Again a freelance transcriber should be more cost efficient than bigger corporations due to the lower overheads that virtual digital transcribers have to bigger competitors. You’ll get better accuracy, efficiency, flexibility of the format of your transcript, time-stamps, names included, intelligent or strict verbatim and probably a lot more. More importantly virtual assistants with transcribing / audio typing skills will probably have a wide range of knowledge and experience with a higher skill-set in areas of professions and topics covered in your niche, but that is just one of the questions to ask when searching for the “right” transcriptionist to meet your requirements for your uniquely recorded audio or video.
Thanks for reading and if you can think of any other benefits to having your audio or video transcribed please do comment on the advantages for you at the end of this post, I will be sure to update it.
No one can deny the way that transcription services are need of great importance. Each industry use transcription because of some or the other sort of requirement.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com and I will send you links and give you all the help I can to assist you in starting your new career.
Interview transcription looks quite simple but in real life, it is very a complex and an intricate task. It should be noted that mainstream semi-structured and structured interviews necessitate a comprehensive transcription that needs to be accessible by the interviewee to scrutinize for respondent authentication.
Sociolinguistic research being the exception to the rule wherein the transcription needs to be understood from speech to print. It should be transformed in a manner that satisfies the interviewer and interviewee.
Transcriptionists need to artificially augment the language for lucidity and suitability. It is significant to take note that ethics should be taken into consideration while conducting transcription validation and understanding the requirements of the respondents. There has been a lot of debate on types of interview, questionnaire design, benefits and limitations of audio recording, but the very insignificant proportion has been written about transcribing the interview.
According to Holstein and Gubrium, 1995, p.78, “If conceivable the research needs to be taken into consideration for audio or videotape interviews. The tapes can be used after for transcription for close scrutinization. There is nothing mentioned about whether the transcription of an interview from spoken to written word can be problematic.
According to Rubin and Rubin, 1995, p86, “It is very significant to note how transcription was developed and how the transcriptions were substantiated. It should also be noted that transcription should integrate pauses and other non-verbal hints of what happened. If the transcriptions are in final revised drafts of the tape recordings, you should also consider what was left out.”
Selections for the treatment and conduct of transcriptions need to be followed up but the situations under which these selections about editing and verification should be made are ignored. It is a known fact that structured interview consists of closed questions and the interviewer will finish the transcription throughout the progression of the interview. There is no need for audio recording.
For different types of interviews, a wide array of linguistic features needs to be figured out like tone, emphasis, body language, the setting and so on. It is very important to take into consideration interviewee’s comprehensions and views. Woods (1996) and Bell (1993) recommend varied methods of partial transcription where the researcher preserves comprehensive interview notes and has critical passages of the tape transcribed. According to Rubin and Rubin (1995), “It is an embarrassment when you tape for preciseness and then do not have a comprehensive transcription at the finish line.”
Interview transcription can become one of the most tedious jobs that you will ever come across. It is very tough and extensive and requires a lot of concentration. Nearly around 6 hours need to be spent on each recorded hour for interview transcription. According to MCLELLAN, MACQUEEN and NEIDIG (2003), “Unsuitable and insufficient methodology of conducting transcriptions can lead to holdups in scrutinization and research conclusion, even presenting chief errors in the findings. This leads to failure in the attempts to enhance the efficacy of transcription which leads to greater delays.”
A research conducted by MEHRABIAN (1971) showcase that approximately 7 percent of information carried out by direct face-to-face communication is done through words alone and there is an approximate value of 38 percent which is integrated by vocal tones that enhance the information transmitted. But because it is very intricate to interpret symbols the procedure of transcription sometimes loses out the meeting of conducting transcripts.”
According to BAUER and GASKELL (2000), conversation analysts “We have created symbols that help in interpreting the missing pieces. There are certain symbols that have certain meaning but can be difficult to gauge and can be time-consuming but can be utilized to gather the missing pieces of information.
There Can be Different Reasons for the Interview Transcription Errors. The TWO Prominent Reasons Being Equipment Failure and Environmental Hazard.
About 10% of interview transcription errors are prone to equipment failure. There are bound to be some equipment failure when you conduct interview transcription. Whether, it is the recorder or camera stopping, batteries dying, electricity going out or other issues. Hence, it is very important for transcriptionists to have a traditional backup plan of pen and pencil. To avoid this embarrassment it is important to evaluate all equipment before the interview. It is also significant to have additional batteries at your disposal and a camera or third recorder just in case if there is some problem with the recorder.
Approximately 15% of interview transcription errors occur due to environmental hazards. Background noise is one of the most deterring factors disturbing the transcriptionist. The background noise may or may not be the only thing hampering the productivity of the transcriptionist. It can also be the sensitive microphone of the camera or recorder that intensifies the sound which hampers the transcriptionist to understand the conversation.
When the equipment is turned on and off the relentless disruption also breaks the rhythm of the transcriptionist. In order to avoid an environmental hazard, it is imperative for the transcriptionist to sit at a quiet place. It is also significant to have recorder or microphone close to record the conversation.
Oliver, Serovich, and Mason, authors of “Constraints and Opportunities with Interview Transcription: towards Reflection in Qualitative Research” (2005) claim that their differences between naturalism and denaturalize. Naturalism is when every word uttered is transcribed in a comprehensive manner while denaturalize is when the characteristics elements of speech encompassing stutters, pauses, nonverbal, and involuntary vocalizations are eradicated.
There is no fixed pattern of conducting interview transcription. Sometimes transcriptionists utilize a combination of both these methods.
This article was originally posted on http://www.hitechbpo.com/ August 12th, 2014
Image Credit: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/files/2010/08/Microphone.jpg