So far, I’ve taught you how to dictate your book, blog posts, and articles so you can make more money, save time, and enjoy many other benefits.
As awesome as these benefits may be, you need to get one key step right to fully enjoy the increased productivity and other advantages dictation brings to the table: you need to pick the right audio transcription method.
Quick Recap: What is audio transcription?
It is simply the act of converting audio/speech into text through a transcriber. Podcasts, interviews, Zoom meetings, courtroom recording, medical recordings, and research recordings can all be transcribed into text for a larger audience.
Types of Transcription Service
In transcription, there are two main things to consider: the audio file and the transcriber.
To get accurate content, you need to create a high-quality audio recording.
The speech must be clear, have a good tone and be delivered fluently in your chosen language.
Once the audio recording is of good quality, the next is to consider the transcriber.
The transcriber is simply the medium that converts the audio into text.
There are five main ways to have your audio files transcribed:
1. Dragon naturally speaking
2. Google docs transcription
3. YouTube auto transcription
4. Freelance human transcription
5. Hiring a transcription agency
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking is one of the best speech recognition software with millions of users across the world.
It was first developed by Dragon Systems of Newton, but currently owned and managed by Nuance Communications. It runs on Windows and Mac operating systems.
The simplicity, flexibility, and ease of use have enabled many content producers to use it for all their audio transcriptions.
Dragon has three main features: voice recognition, command recognition, and text-to-speech.
You create a user profile and then dictate the words or speak naturally while the software does the transcription.
Once you are done speaking, Dragon will deliver to you the text word document of the audio.
Dragon has a friendly user-interface and easy to use.
Once fully trained, it is claimed that this software can reach a 99% accuracy rate. That means for every 1000 words, there will be 10 mistakes.
The accuracy rate, however, improves with time as the software gets to understand your proficiency and tonation.
It saves time and effort and can be used by authors who are sluggish in typing.
It can take some time to fully train the software to transcribe your audio at a high accuracy rate.
If you have an accent or your voice varies, you may have to wait a long time for the training process.
There are minor mistakes such as punctuation, spelling and all others.
This will require a little editing to ensure that the document is accurate and presentable.
The software has no free or trial version.
The pro version is priced at a one-time price of $ 199.99. If you want other languages, you will be required to purchase other versions.
Google Docs is one of Google’s Office Suite free applications. It is readily available as long as you have a Gmail address.
The audio transcription feature has been developed in Google Docs to help users who might prefer speaking to typing their text.
To get started, open the voice typing feature from the tools menu on Google Docs and then proceed with the recording.
As you speak, Google Docs will take off the hassle and automatically type the text for you.
After you are done speaking, you will have the word version of the audio.
Google Docs is simple and easy to use.
It supports more than 50 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Arabic and many others.
The voice typing feature is free for all users.
It has a relatively good accuracy rate for a lot of busy users.
A help section is provided with instructions to improve the accuracy of your audio transcription.
You have to speak at a very low rate of speed for Google Docs to accurately transcribe.
You have to speak PUNCTUATION commands and this can slow you down further.
The voice typing and dictating feature can only be used on only Chrome browsers. That means you can’t use the voice typing feature on Firefox, Explorer and any other browser out there.
Might be too slow to produce any real productivity boost compared to other methods of transcription.
YouTube Automated Transcription Service
While YouTube is not an original audio transcriber, it has been an in-built automatic audio transcription technology.
To use this feature, you simply have to convert your mp3 into mp4 and upload your mp4 file to YouTube, click on the “More” button, select the preferred language and then transcribe.
Wait and then check the transcription. Copy and paste.
Edit the transcription and post on your site.
YouTube provides free reliable automatic audio transcription service that is available to all users.
It can have a high accuracy rate.
Accuracy depends on the noise at the audio background and the clarity of pronunciation.
It also points out mistakes in grey color, making it easy to edit the transcript.
You have to have the time to edit your transcript.
Very time intensive since you’re waiting at several stages: mp3 to mp4, upload, transcription, transcript editing.
You have to convert mp3 into mp4 first – this can take a long time with big files.
Sometimes auto-transcribes in the wrong language and you have to reupload the video.
You need to have a YouTube and a Gmail account to use the automatic audio transcription technology.
As compared to Google Docs and Dragon where you get to speak directly while the software does the typing, YouTube only provides the transcript of the uploaded audio file. Just like Google Docs, it works on only Chrome-based browsers.
Freelance human transcription
If you have already done the audio recording, you can consider employing a freelance transcriber to convert the audio to text.
You have to ensure that the freelance transcriber is good with your language, tone, voice, vocabulary, and fluency.
This person not only transcribes but can also edit, format, add pictures, and even post to WordPress.
You get a human experience with your transcription instead of using artificial intelligence.
Audio files can be transcribed very well with minimal mistakes, taking into consideration punctuation, grammar and all others.
The final document can be well-formatted to match your needs.
Freelance transcription may come at a higher price. Pricing may vary based on the expertise, accuracy and professionalism of the transcriber.
Transcription services might start from as little as $ 15 to $ 40 per hour from freelance sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, etc. Reviews will be needed when there are errors in the transcript. This can increase the final turnaround time.
My experience: I’ve been lucky enough to get my transcriptions done by people with STRONG EDITING SKILLS for a consistent $20 per audio hour which is good for 6000 to 9000 words.
Freelance Transcription Agency
Instead of employing a freelancer, you can hire a professional audio transcription agency with a track record.
The agency will have either a freelance team or in-house transcribers to get the job done.
The final work is reviewed by an editor to ensure it meets the client’s quality standards.
You get a high-quality transcript based on the agency you chose.
The transcription service is matched with a transcriber who understands your language, industry, tonation, and keywords. The final work is formatted and sent via your email.
If there is a need to manage the freelancer, it will be taken care of by the transcription agency.
Agency pricing is higher than that of a solo freelancer, yet they promise high quality.
The price ranges from $ 90 to $ 180 per audio hour.
If you need a recommendation for a cheap high quality agency, contact me. I can direct you to one of the agencies I use, they only charge $50 per audio hour (good for 6000 to 9000 words).
The Final Word on How to Get your Audio Dictation Transcribed
When an audio file is converted into text, it can be used for multiple purposes: blog, website content, social media posts, email newsletter, press release, case study, research data, book creation, and many others.
Using an audio transcription service is extremely important. The key is to find the best medium that meets your cost, preference and quality standards.