7 Tips to Make Transcription Easier

Transcribing the recorded audio from a meeting or interview is not easy. It goes like this: Type. Click “stop.” Type some more. Click “play” and begin typing as fast as you can. Click “stop” and type to catch up. Rewind so you can listen to it again. Wait, what did she say? Rewind again so you can review the entire document and make sure the words are all there.

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Transcribing isn’t easy. If you’re not going to hire a transcription service, you can at least make the tedious task a little easier by following these hints to make transcription easier:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the players’ voices. Start your document with the names of the people who are speaking. Listen for a minute to make sure you can differentiate between them. If it’s easier, give them names such as “A” and “B” or numbers, which are shorter and therefore quicker to type.
  2. If you’re using Microsoft Word, use the Auto Correct function to pre-type some common phrases. If you know the audio is about a certain topic or phrase, add that phrase to your Word’s Auto Correct library. Then, you can simply type a shortened version, or initial letters, to save time as you’re typing.
  3. Slow down the audio playback. Most people speak far more quickly than we type. Slowing down the audio will help you capture what they are saying. The voices may sound odd, but it’ll be easier to keep up.
  4. Use quality headphones that cancel out noise. Noises around you will make it more difficult to hear the audio; cancel out the ambient so you can focus on what you are hearing and have fewer playbacks.
  5. Try computer software. There are several programs out there which can help cut down your time in transcribing, if only one person is speaking.  Note, however, you will still need to proof thoroughly for accuracy.
  6. Invest in a foot pedal. A foot pedal used with transcription software operates as the “start” and “stop,” freeing your fingers up for typing.
  7. Take breaks. Transcription can be tedious, and your fingers and brain will need a break every hour or so. Get up, stretch, and move around. When you come back, you will feel refreshed and ready to continue.

If you give these a try and still struggle to transcribe, let us help you turnaround that transcription in no time.

Avoid Higher Transcription Fees: 5 Steps for Quality Audio

42275285_sTranscribing an interview with a lot of background noise or someone who mumbles is not easy. As a transcription service, we’re happy to do it, but it’s going to cost a little more.

Save our time and your money by recording it right. Even if you’re not having a meeting transcribed, quality audio will make later listeners much happier and more likely to pay attention to the content, not the annoying buzz in the background.

Here are five steps to make your recording as clear as possible:

1. Start with decent recording equipment.

○ These days you can use a smartphone to record audio. That’s fine if just one person is speaking and he/she is speaking close to the phone. If you’re recording a meeting of more than one person, use a computer.

○ Use a microphone. A unidirectional microphone is best; it records audio from just one direction. A lavalier microphone is small and can be clipped to your shirt, which works very well. Ideally, each participant will have a microphone, but in a pinch, you can pass the microphone back and forth. If you have a circle of people you may be able to use a multi-directional microphone placed in the center of the table — assuming it doesn’t pick up too much background noise.

2. Choose a good location. Choose a private conference room or office to avoid other voices. Hang “do not disturb” signs on the door to avoid interruption.

3. Reduce noise. Background noise makes it much harder for a transcriber or listener to understand what people are saying. Unplug machines, turn off fans, and place the microphone away from your humming computer. If you are in a larger room, you may hear a slight echo. Consider hanging materials on the walls or bringing in extra furniture to dampen sound.

4. Speak clearly. Remind participants that this is being recorded and ask everyone to speak up. If your event is long, you might have someone make a sign ahead of time that says “Louder.” He or she can hold up the sign as needed to remind people. It also helps if speakers precede their comments with their name, at least the first few times.

5. Backup your audio file. Your audio really does no good if it disappears. Be sure to make a copy somewhere.

With a little forethought and preparation, you can make your recordings much clearer, saving you money!