Our Guide of Transcribing Audio and Video to Text


According to the online service Internet Live Stars, nearly 80% of existing information on the global network is text. Video information is on the second line of the rating, and audio information is on the third.

Despite the fact that the popularity of audio and video files as sources of information is steadily growing, their preliminary decoding into text is a necessary attribute to ensure wide distribution of content on the Internet.

Converting audio and video to text will not only provide easy access to information for the user (search, navigation, etc.) but also guarantee a pleasant bonus in the form of additional traffic since most popular search engines primarily pay attention to the text content of the site pages.

The process of converting audio and video to text is called transcription. Professional transcription services are today provided by specialized online platforms such as Transcriberry. However, anyone can try to transcribe audio and video to text if he/she is willing to work hard and know how to use different software to optimize workflow.

Qualities Needed to Perform Quality Transcription

Not everyone can perform transcription successfully. Here is a list of qualities that are necessary for work:

  • Good hearing. The transcriber must have good hearing in order to convert audio to text;
  • Excellent knowledge of the language. It is necessary to know the language perfectly, be aware of its lexical structure, grammatical constructions, syntax, etc. This is especially important when it comes to files with poor sound quality, speech defects, other recording imperfections;
  • Records can relate to different areas of life. So, a person performing the transcription should have a high level of basic knowledge and awareness of a fairly wide range of issues;
  • Attention to detail. Any work with the text requires considerable attention. A person who does not have natural attention, even if he/she is competent enough, will make various mistakes at work;
  • Stress resistance. The transcriber needs to be prepared to deal with the difficult workloads that arise from time to time: problems with downloading files, poor internet connection, poor audio sound quality, etc.;
  • Readiness for constant development. The person who performs the transcription needs to read a lot to navigate in modern economic, political, social processes, etc. By raising own professional level, the transcriber will increase work efficiency and be able to promote projects more quickly and efficiently;
  • High performance. Since the work of decoding audio and video is quite monotonous, a person must be prepared to work long and hard.

Specificity of Performing Transcription

In the framework of this article, it is important to note that the transcription of audio and video is usually done in one of four ways:

  1. The transcriber listens directly to the audio or video file and writes down what is said there.
  2. The transcriber applies various technologies such as foot pedals to stop and start sound, useful programs for reducing the speed of sound, special headsets, etc. Such tools significantly increase the effectiveness and accurateness of the work.
  3. It is possible to automatically decrypt files using AI web-based platforms or downloadable programs. Such systems differ in the general level of exactness and completeness. Many of these require quality source files and clear pronunciation on the recording to achieve great accurateness. Some modern programs even can increase their accuracy with machine learning. By repeatedly exposing a speaker’s emphasis or frequently-used slang, such instruments can generate more accurate transcriptions over time.
  4. In order to create transcripts of the highest quality, as a rule, a combination of the two previous methods is used. A specialized program or AI platform creates the original transcript from audio or video format to text. After that, the original transcript is more carefully edited and finalized by the transcriber, which allows achieving high accuracy.

How Much Time Is Needed to Transcribe Audio Text?

A person speaks much faster than writes, so an hour-long file cannot be transcribed in one hour of work.

As practice shows, decrypting an hour file requires about 4-5 hours of work. However, the transcription time can be shortened or lengthened under the influence of a number of factors:

  • Transcription style;
  • Recording quality;
  • Number of speakers;
  • Individual characteristics of speakers;
  • Thematic acquaintance and experience.

Thus, a person who has the necessary qualities, is ready to work hard and study the chosen direction, can carry out the high-quality transcription of audio or video files into text. We told you how to do this above.

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