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What is Audio Transcription?

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Nov 8 · 10 Nov, 2021
What is Audio Transcription?

Audio transcription plays a vital role in the day-to-day activities of a business or organization. Many companies keep a record of daily proceedings like interviews, meetings, and presentations to avoid disputes that may arise. The best way to keep such records is by having a written account of every word said in the proceedings.

But with most proceedings happening in a rush, it becomes challenging for secretaries or attendees to listen and type while contributing. It’s simpler to record the audio then convert it into text afterward. This is where audio transcription comes in.  

Audio Transcription Definition

What is audio transcription? How does this service occur, and why is it beneficial to so many industries? In simple terms, audio transcription is the process of converting audio and video materials into text format. The content can be a meeting or interview recording, podcast, speech, or a court proceeding. It can also be a webinar, business call, research notes, movie, or anything else.

Audio transcription is necessary because it allows the creation of a written record of business proceedings and other important events. Written documents are more convenient to store compared to videos and audio. They are also easier to access and review since you don’t have to listen to the entire recording when searching for a particular section. Audio transcription also enables easy sharing to a larger audience. You can share the transcript with team members, shareholders, even clients that need it.  

How Audio Transcription Occurs?

When creating an audio transcript, there are various options that you can choose. You can go for automated transcription, where your audio is converted automatically into text using voice and speech recognition software. Automatic transcription is a fast and less costly option, although it has some drawbacks. The AI software may struggle to differentiate speakers in a recording with many people. It may also confuse the names of places and speakers or have a hard time with accents. Automatic transcription isn’t as accurate, and thus you might have to proofread the transcript before storing or sharing it.

Another option that you can go for is manual or human-generated transcription. Manual transcription is done by a human transcriber who listens to the audio and turns it into text. This transcription option is often significantly more accurate, so you won’t have to edit the transcript. The only downside to manual transcription is that it requires more time and costs a bit more.  

Styles of Audio Transcription

The two main styles used in audio transcription are full verbatim and clean (or “intelligent”) verbatim. In full verbatim, the transcriptionist transcribes every word in the audio, including hesitations like “um” and “ah” and false starts. This transcription style also contains pauses, laughter, and slang language such as “shoulda” and “gonna.” Full verbatim is ideal for transcripts needed for evidence purposes.

Clean verbatim, also called intelligent verbatim, does not include slang language, stutters, pauses, and false starts. This transcription style is suitable for transcripts needed for review or research.  

Industries that Benefit from Audio Transcription

Which industries need audio transcription services? The short answer is any industry that creates content or needs written documents for review and evidence purposes. Here is a list of the ones that benefit the most from audio transcription:  

  • Media and Journalism 

Thanks to audio transcription, journalists don’t have to worry about taking notes during interviews. They can record the interview proceedings for transcription later on. The journalist can then hire a transcription company to transcribe the recording and focus on other things.   

  • Podcast and Video Production 

Offering subtitles or transcripts enables podcasters and content creators to provide information to people who prefer reading captions while listening.   

  • Academic and Market Research 

Researchers can benefit a lot from audio transcription. They won’t have to take notes of interviews with focus groups, customers, and participants. Like journalists, researchers can record the interview then offer the recording for transcription afterward.   

  • The Legal and Medical Industries 

Audio transcription is the go-to weapon for doctors, nurses, court reporters, and law firms. It allows them to have a written record of patient visits, surgery notes, depositions, court hearings, and witness statements. 

Other professionals that benefits from audio transcription services include: 

  • Authors
  • Entrepreneurs and business managers
  • Students and lecturers  

In Closing

Audio transcription is the process of converting video and audio files into text format. This service plays an essential role in many industries and professions. Businesses need audio transcription to keep a record of day-to-day proceedings like meetings and presentations. Journalists and researchers need this service to obtain a written transcript of interviews. In short, anyone that creates content or needs to collect information for review can benefit from audio transcription.