If you often find yourself having to transcribe various audio files as a part of your job, you know exactly how tedious that task can be. Transcription takes up a lot of time you could otherwise be using for far more productive tasks. Still, it remains an unavoidable part of many careers. Luckily, nowadays, it’s easy to delegate transcription tasks to other people or even automated software.
However, you may wonder how to transcribe an audio file quickly and whether you should invest in a transcriptionist or opt for automated software. Read on to learn how to make a transcript of an audio file via automated software or with a professional transcription service.
How to Make a Transcript of an Audio File Using an Automated Software
When it comes to audio transcription, many people rely on automated software to aid them in the process. While no software can guarantee a 100% accuracy rate, it can be quite helpful in cutting the time you spend transcribing.
Still, there are many options to choose from, and each of them has a set of pros and cons. Here’s a list of some of the most popular transcription software that’s inexpensive and easy to use.
Otter.ai is one of the best affordable transcription tools on the market. It’s a speech-to-text program that works in real-time. That means you can turn it on during a lecture, a meeting, or an interview, and the software will automatically transcribe the words as it hears them.
Otter offers a free version of the tool, which allows you to record, transcribe, and replay your recordings to insert comments. Alternatively, you can opt for a Pro version, which costs a little over $8 a month when billed annually. The paid version allows you to import and transcribe pre-recorded files, plus add in your custom vocabulary.
2. Microsoft Word Transcription Software
If you use Microsoft Word while transcribing, you can make the process much quicker by using their transcription software. With Transcribe in Word, you can transcribe audio recordings directly to a Word document. The software can identify different speakers and even add in timestamps, making the editing process much easier.
Additionally, you can use the ‘dictate’ option if you want to transcribe speech in real-time. The Microsoft software is free for all Microsoft 365 users. Unfortunately, you can transcribe only up to 300 minutes of audio per month, which may not be enough for some people.
3. Dragon Anywhere
Dragon Anywhere is a great transcription software for those who often conduct interviews on the go. Since it comes in the form of an app that you can download to your phone, you can use it anywhere, just as the name suggests. The subscription options start at $15 per month, but you can save 17% if you choose to be billed annually.
Dragon Anywhere claims to have high accuracy. It also doesn’t have a word limit, and it allows you to share the documents by mail and Dropbox directly from the app. The Train Words feature is quite useful because it trains the app according to your speech patterns, so it will make fewer mistakes the longer you use it.
The Cons of Using Transcription Software
While transcription software can be quite beneficial, even the most advanced options come with their own set of problems. Firstly, no matter how good the software is, you can’t count on it to provide a completely accurate transcription. Therefore, you will need to check the transcription yourself and fix any mistakes. Although this process takes less time than typing up the transcription yourself, it’s still a valuable chunk you could use on other tasks.
Secondly, if you work with confidential material, it may be too much of a risk to transcribe it using a software service. There is not enough information on how securely transcription software stores your data. Therefore, if you are transcribing legal audio files, therapy sessions, or other sensitive material, it’s best to steer clear of automated transcription. In this instance, it’s best to hire a professional transcription service that you can count on to keep your files safe.
How to Make a Transcript of an Audio File Using a Professional Transcription Service
If you’re looking for fast and accurate transcription, you don’t have to hire a full-time transcriber. Nowadays, you can choose from plenty of online professional transcription services. These companies deliver excellent results but don’t cost anywhere near as much as an additional employee might.
Professional transcription services are also quite easy to use. Once you choose a company you like, simply go to their website and follow the instructions they provide. You will have to make an account and upload your audio file. Furthermore, some companies may ask you about your preferred turnaround time. Once you give them the necessary information and pay for the service, you can sit back, relax, and wait for your perfectly accurate transcripts.
When choosing a way to transcribe your audio files, you should consider the speed, price, and accuracy of the transcription. Although transcription software is getting better, nothing has yet been able to replace human-made transcripts. Hopefully, this article helped you understand how to transcribe an audio file quickly and accurately without breaking the bank!