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How to Transcribe Your Audio Files to Text Format

To successfully transcribe your audio files to text, you will need just a handful of tools that will get you started and ready to go. However, if you are looking to get accurate transcriptions in the shortest amount of time, it is always better to partner with a professional transcription service like Beckett Translations.

If you are new to transcription, consider this your quick start guide. Here we will outline the steps necessary for accurate transcription, and you will find tips and tricks that can help you accelerate the process. 

Why should you transcribe audio to text?

There are plenty of advantages to transcribe audio to text format. Some of the most common uses are the following.

1. Easy access to information

You can quickly scan through and find specific information that you are looking for in the written text. Ctrl + F is your friend! Additionally, a reader can easily navigate through articles or posts and get the gist of it all. Skimming through audio to find relevant information is a lot harder or time-consuming.

2. Additional Content

A transcription of your podcast, interview, or video can be an additional content piece for your blog or website

3. Easy content creation

Direct transcriptions, as compared to typing, takes a lot less time and effort. Average typing speed  is 36 words per minute, but on average, you will speak

on a 100-130 word per minute rate.  Hence, for maximum efficiency and quicker content output, transcription is the best option. The more great and relevant content you publish on your site, the better your website authority will be.

4.SEO – Searchability

Written text on your website is discoverable by search engines. Your transcript will eventually rank for relevant keywords. This searchability will make your website even more accessible and popular.

5. Shareability on Social media

Audio files are not compatible with most social media. Even if they are the largest social media outlets are geared towards image, video, or text-heavy content. For this reason, transcribing audio-to-text can be a powerful tool for growing your audience by getting more social shares, resulting in more traffic to your website.

How to manually transcribe audio to text – Step by Step Guide

1. Set-Up

transcription setup

The transcription process isn’t a very complicated one. However, being prepared and correctly set up for the job will significantly boost your transcription speed and accuracy. As you will frequently be rewinding, you should ideally give yourself easy access to your word processor and your playback software. This way, you do not need to switch between tabs continually and are less likely to lose track of your place. If you are planning to work on transcriptions regularly, a second monitor can be an excellent investment.

2. Block out time

On average, a transcription takes around six times longer than the length of the audio file. Duration varies based on ones typing skills, the number of voices in the recording, and experience level, but all in all, it can be a time-consuming undertaking. Be prepared, and do not wait until the last minute to transcribe something.

3. Listen to the recording first

listen transcription

If you followed step 2, then you should have enough time to listen to your recording once through before you begin the transcription process. Listening to the audio can help freshen up your memory about the content and get a feel for the flow of the conversation.

4. Find repetitious words that you can abbreviate

Some things, like the speakers’ names, the main topic or location often recur over and over during a conversation. Create a table with the words you will want to shorthand and the abbreviation you will use. If you plan on sharing the transcription, you can provide the person with the table, or you can quickly replace all abbreviations after you have finished transcribing.

5. Write what you hear.

Listen to your audio file carefully and write what you hear. It’s as easy as that. Generally, transcription should be the same as the recording. Do not correct grammatical errors in your transcript or add or omit any words. If necessary, change the speed of the audio record.  Most playback software will let you pause, stop, accelerate, or slow down playback speed. If your software doesn’t, you are better off switching do different audio playback software.

6. Format and edit your transcript

An excellent transcript should include a title, date, and page numbers. To make a text more readable, you should also clearly mark the different speakers. You can use the first letter of each person’s name, for example. To keep things clean and neat, you can start a new paragraph each time the speaker changes.  You do not want your transcripts to be one long block of text.

7. Proofread your Work

proofread transcript

Use a dictionary or spell check on a computer to ensure everything is spelled correctly. A tool like Grammarly is perfect for this. But be careful not to auto-correct any word orders or other grammar mistakes if it wasn’t explicitly requested. Remember, a transcript should reflect the EXACT language used in the recording.

8. Listen to the recording and read your transcript at the same time.

read transcript

Using this technique, you can ensure that you have correctly transcribed everything without missing a single word.

9. Export your transcript

transcription file format

If you will be using the text for yourself or want to edit it or share it later, a simple doc file is probably the best. However, if your transcript is meant to be used for video subtitles or other media formats, always make sure you confirm what kind of file is compatible.

pros and cons transcription

As you probably can tell, a transcription can be very time-consuming. Your time might be better spent elsewhere, and that is ok! If you choose not to do the audio transcription yourself, you can simply send your audio files to Beckett-Translations. We will make sure you have your files in no-time.

How to Transcribe With Beckett Translations

Getting your transcriptions is easy. Use our price calculator below to know exactly how much you will be paying for your audio transcriptions. Like what you see? Awesome, click order now and upload your files. Your transcriptions will be sent to you within 24 hours.

Easily Estimate Your Transcription Cost


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