Online Audio Transcription – Technical Aspects

Online Audio Transcription – Technical Aspects

online audio transcription

Online Audio Transcription (linguistics, not the biological kind) in 2016 basically means an online transcription service that converts audio to text.  On surface it may seem as simple as listening to audio and typing in a document (well, it is).  But it goes much deeper than that.  Experienced transcribers and proofreaders know just how long it takes to become an expert.  Even after years, you still learn something new every day.  Furthermore, audio transcription benefits a whole range of people and institutions.

Online Audio Transcription – who does it benefit?

In the past, you could have said it mostly benefits Phd candidates and researchers.  Or doctors maintaining patient records, what is commonly known as medical transcription.  But in 2016, audio transcription benefits many, many more people, namely:

  • Podcasts, radio show producers and hosts
  • Sermons, pastors
  • YouTubers, video content producers
  • Tech journalists, interviewers
  • Book Authors
  • Multinational corporations, earnings calls
  • Business Analysts, Journalists

Etc. etc.

Hardware and Technical Stuff

It ALWAYS helps to have good quality sound hardware, namely a good motherboard or a discrete sound card in your computer.  There are a lot of external USB sound cards as well, which help.  Then we have transcription foot pedals, which let you control audio playback by tapping your foot on a switch.  Same for rewinding and forwarding, so that your hands are free to type away.  What that does is cut your transcription time by three times, literally.  For an average client, that’s a lot to invest in for occassional transcription.  Not for a professional transcription company though.  This is why getting your interviews transcribed by a online transcription service can you save loads of time, effort and most importantly, money.

Taking care of audio quality at client side

Let’s not kid ourselves, difficult jobs will always cost extra.  If you recorded your interview with Godzilla vs King Kong as the background, you only have yourselves to blame.  Audio quality goes down, transcription rates go up.  All you have to do is get a good quality digital recorder, or a good recording app on your smartphone.  Pick a quiet place, turn your phone on airplane mode or do-not-disturb.  Ask the participant to speak closer to the mic and enunciate clearly, and you shouldn’t have any problem.  Ignore these tips, and you could end up paying more for your transcription, which may even take more time due to added difficulty.

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