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 that takes years of touch typing repetition and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by us, Virtuadmin, I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average speech 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 (accents?)
  • 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 text document.  Keeping these things in my 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 approximately 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 love hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion as we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but transcriptions produced by Virtuadmin 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 the time taken when audio transcribing, typing into text the spoken word is just not as easy or quick as you think!

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