What does a transcriber do and what is audio transcription?

Outsource freelance transcriptionist

Recording interviews, conversations, meetings and such like is easier now than it ever has been.  Technology has advanced so far where now we can 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.

Foot pedal for audio or video transcription
Transcriber’s Best Friend the Foot Pedal

Producing a document or transcript can be very time-consuming, even for the quickest of typists, without specialist transcribing software and a foot pedal to avoid taking your hands off the keyboard, rewinding even for a few second to replay can be difficult and frustrating.

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.

The Transcriber’s Role

“A transcriber is someone who writes down what someone else is saying.” 

Initially, a transcriber was a person that wrote things down in shorthand, but this art is dying out.  Technology and the fact it isn’t taught anymore 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 insert the appropriate grammar for you, as a matter of course during typing.  This is certainly something here at Virtuadmin that I do for clients; it is a natural thing to do.  Without it, I cannot read if the transcript makes sense or not.

How long does transcription take?

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 hours 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 talking, no matter how fast they are.  People generally speak 4-5 times faster than what an experienced transcriber can type. 

How to hire a professional transcriber?

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 as service providers; they are specialist businesses that only provide the transcription.  The 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 a self-service type website, you upload your audio and either pay a deposit of invoice after the audio or video has been completed.

Another option is to contact 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 contact directly, saving yourself time and money from not using a 3rd party freelance website like People per Hour, for example, there are some questions you can ask them as tips as to how professional and experienced they are.  Someone may think they can type quickly, but listening to an interview, for example, can be very tricky to rewind a few seconds without a foot pedal and professional transcribing software, like NCH Software, something Virtuadmin has had for many years.  (When I downloaded the free version you couldn’t use a foot pedal with the software, you had to purchase the professional version!)

What rates do transcriptionists charge?

For audio transcription by an experienced transcriber, you would usually pay by the recorded audio minute.  The rates vary from company to company or transcribe to transcribe.  But, charging in this way helps you know the cost from the outset.  Here at Virtuadmin for example, my rate starts at 60p per audio minute for a single speaker audio that is of very good 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, 30-minutes or per hour for audios that contain background noise, or the speech clarity is difficult to hear, for example.  For these types of audio to be transcribed the transcriptionist must first get the audio to a quality that is suitable listening volume.  This can take sometimes a few hours for this, so don’t think if you have a difficult audio that they are just looking to increase the cost, it is genuinely time-consuming to repair a recording to suitable levels for a transcript.

Conclusion

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 necessary within the transcript.  A transcriber will touch type between 50-80 words per minute (WPM) and 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 the transcriptionists.  It is more usual 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.

What is a .srt file and how to create one free

How to create a .srt file
What is a .srt file and how to create one

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.

How to create a .srt file

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

Step 1

Open Notepad by clicking “Start,” “All Programs,” “Accessories” and “Notepad.”

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.”

Step 4

Type the subtitle phrase and press “Enter” to finish creating the first subtitle phrase.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.”

Conclusion – Outsource?

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 cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  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.

 

Save

Save

How subtitles in videos can increase engagement | MarTech Advisor

Transcripts can help engagement with your audience.
Add an accurate transcript to your video and improve its SEO.

Sean O’Neal, President at Adaptly elaborates on their recent research study with Refinery 29, which shows that brands can ensure engagement even for videos beyond 2 minutes if accompanied with subtitles.

Despite the rise of premium content creators producing best-in-class video for web-first distribution, little has been published about effective long-form (2 minutes or longer in length) video delivery strategies. Even less has been published about the role of long-form video on mobile devices.

Facebook’s in-feed video capabilities allows publishers and marketers alike to distribute their content to target audiences at a massive scale. And, it’s a known fact that millennials are flocking to digital platforms to find premium long-form content to supplement (or replace) traditional linear programming.

With this background, Adaptly and Refinery 29 conducted a study in partnership to analyse the impact preview trailers and subtitles have on driving 2 million people to view and engage with longer-form video content within Facebook’s News Feed. Our research findings identified best practices for optimizing Facebook as a video content distribution channel.

This is the second joint research study by Adaptly, the social ad technology company which gives solutions for autonomous marketing platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Kik, and Refinery29, a lifestyle website.

Within a year of launching its video player, Facebook is overtaking YouTube for total video views, with users adopting the longer video format with even as long as seven-minute branded content videos achieving high levels of engagement.

The research study was designed to help content publishers know ways to drive viewership and engagement of their branded long-form video when delivered within the Facebook News Feed. The study demonstrated the role of sequencing short trailers, which contain short previews of a long-form video segment prior to delivering the long-form video, as well as the impact of incorporating subtitles into the long-form video.

The two tactics analysed for driving people to view and engage with longer-form video content were “Preview” trailers and Sub-titling. The results suggested that sequencing trailers prior to delivering a long-form video may increase the view rate of the long-form video, but may actually decrease the overall completion rate and therefore, might not be necessary to drive deeper engagement. The study also suggests that adding subtitles into the long-form video may increase the completion rate and overall levels of engagement.