How Hard is it to Transcribe Video and Audio Files?

How Hard is it to Transcribe Video and Audio Files?

As transcription has become a pivotal part of many specific industries ranging from law to academic pursuits, it is imperative that consumers can transcribe videos in the easiest way possible. Despite this, the transcription process has historically been an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, as linguistics has come to represent the entire culture and history of people throughout the world. As such, transcriptionists must ensure that they take the time needed to make sure they accurately transcribe videos for their clients. Alternatively, there are now many automatic video and audio transcription software programs that will do this same process in a matter of minutes, albeit with somewhat reduced accuracy. With all this being said, many consumers may be wondering how difficult it is to go about transcribing a video or audio recording.

Manual transcription

Manual transcription is defined as the process of converting spoken words into a comprehensive and easily readable text form. This job has historically been done by scribes and educated writers, while professional transcriptionists and court stenographers dominate the field in contemporary times. While there is very little difficulty involved in hiring one of these professionals, the strenuous task arises when it is time to pay for their services. To give an example, the average transcriptionist can charge anywhere from 75 cents to $2.50 per audio minute. These rates take into account the massive amount of time it takes to efficiently transcribe an audio file manually, as transcribing a single hour of audio will always take longer than one hour.

To give an example that displays how costly hiring a professional transcriptionist can be, we can propose that a business enlists in the services of a transcriptionist charging a median rate of $25 an hour to transcribe 1000 hours of audio files of staff meetings and other forms of verbal correspondence. Even without taking into account that it takes the transcriptionist significantly longer than 1000 hours to complete this job, this work will cost the business $25,000 at minimum. Depending on the size, scope, and functionality of the business in the example, spending $25,000 only on transcription alone may prove to be too steep a price. In this way, choosing when and where to pay for the services of a professional transcriptionist can prove to be extremely challenging.

Automatic transcription

Alternatively, there are now automatic audio transcription software programs that can transcribe thousands of hours of audio files in only a few hours. By harnessing cutting-edge AI technology, these programs give consumers access to an industry that was once exclusively dominated by trained professionals. In keeping with the example above, an automatic audio software program with a $4000 yearly license fee could easily transcribe 1000 hours of audio in a fraction of the time it would take to do manually. Furthermore, the business in question would also save $20,000. However, this automatic transcription will not be as accurate as those completed by professional transcriptionists, as most consumers will not have the years of training or experience that professional transcriptionists have undergone.

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When an automatic audio transcription software program is done processing the transcription file, a confidence level will be provided for each word ranging from 0% to 100%. To this end, any words that have a low confidence level will also be underlined for the user to see. The reason for this is that even advanced speech recognition software offerings often fail to pick up context when transcribing audio files. As such, users will inevitably have to go through these transcriptions themselves and check for any potential miscues or errors, particularly when dealing with larger files. While none of these functions are difficult on a surface level, everyone’s level of comfort with technology varies, particularly when considering the different generations and age groups that are currently present in the workplace.

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Which form of transcription is easiest for consumers to use?

In almost all cases, making use of an automatic transcription software program will prove an easier means of transcribing audio recordings when compared to manual transcription. This is due in large part to the automatic function that is present in many current transcription software offerings. With these software programs, consumers can transcribe hours of audio recordings in a manner of minutes, while it may take a professional transcriptionist days if not weeks or months to complete the same project. While this will be at the cost of accuracy, the confidence level provided by many automatic transcription software programs will also allow users to easily correct most mistakes that do present themselves in a fast and easy way. What’s more, as professional transcriptionists spend years refining and perfecting their craft, making use of automatic transcription software programs saves consumers even more time and resources.

With the advent of automatic transcription software programs, consumers can now transcribe videos themselves without enlisting the services of a professional transcriptionist. As these programs will walk users through the transcription process step by step, users can rest assured that they are completing the process correctly at all times.

Despite this, a combination of software and human inputs will always prove to be the most efficient means of transcribing audio content. Consumers can first automatically transcribe any audio file they are working on, and then use the confidence level provided by these programs to make any applicable changes or edits. In this way, users can cut down on the time it takes to produce transcriptions without the cost of efficiency or accuracy.

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