How Do I Choose the Best Audio Transcription Service?

G. Wiesen

As you are looking for an audio transcription service, you should consider the pricing and time required to provide you with a transcript as well as the types of files available. Different services can offer a wide range of prices so you should compare them to find the best value. Some companies may also provide a guarantee on the time required to provide your transcription, and you should look at the types of audio files or media they can use and the text format in which they provide the transcript. You should also consider an audio transcription service that focuses on a particular market, such as the medical or legal industry.

Computer programs have the ability to transcribe spoken words to written text.
Computer programs have the ability to transcribe spoken words to written text.

One of the first things you should look for in an audio transcription service is a company that can provide you with a transcript in the timeframe that you require. Many companies can offer a particular window in which your transcription is processed. There are also some services that guarantee delivery of your transcript within a certain number of days, or even hours. You should be careful of any audio transcription service that provides an unrealistic timeframe for lengthy transcriptions, however, since they may use automated systems that can produce flawed results.

An audio transcription service that provides especially quick turnaround times, however, may charge you more for a faster return. You should look at different services and compare prices, to ensure you receive a fast and accurate transcript for a reasonable price. Many companies offer variable rates that they adjust based on how quickly you need the transcript and the length of your source.

You should consider the type of audio source you have as you look for an audio transcription service. If you have a digital audio file, then you should make sure that any service you choose can handle your particular file type. Some services may also be willing to transcribe recordings that are on physical media, such as a Compact Disc (CD) or video recording.

There are also differences in the ways in which one audio transcription service and another might transcribe a recording. You should consider whether you want every sound to be transcribed, including pauses in speech and someone clearing his or her throat. Some companies offer this type of transcription, while others may simply type the exact words spoken but not include extra sounds or communication.

You should also look for an audio transcription service that focuses on your specific field, especially if you work in a specialized industry. There are services that concentrate on transcribing medical or legal transcription as well as some that focus on interviews or group recordings. This can be advantageous to ensure that unusual words, such as medical terms and legal or technical jargon, are properly recognized during transcription.

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