Many of us have had to transcribe a recording of some type at one point or another. Maybe you wanted a quote from an important interview. Perhaps you make personal voice memos and then write them all down later. Or you may just want to generate a searchable text from a long speech. In any case, the process is tedious and can take up a significant amount of your time. That’s where transcription services can be of assistance. The process is simple; just upload a file, select your options, and add a payment method. Wait a bit, and the best of them generate very usable transcripts without the headache.
There are a couple of things to consider before choosing a transcription service, however. First, you need to determine the complexity of your file, since that will determine whether you can use an automatic or human-based service. Accuracy is the most important concern of all, and choosing the wrong type of service at the outset might leave you with a significant amount of editing to do. Cost is also an important factor. Although most transcriptions services charge on a per-minute basis, prices vary, and some services offer bulk plans at better values. Before you commit to any service, make sure to read the rest of our guide and click through the blurbs below to read the full reviews, too.
The cheapest (and probably most accurate) way to transcribe an audio or video file is to do it yourself. In other words, you listen to the audio file and type or dictate what you hear. You can do this with any number of programs, but it’s often cumbersome to synchronize media playback to your typing speed. The biggest disadvantage of this method is the time and effort it requires. Between laboring over every word, setting up the correct formatting, and reviewing the finished product, it’s enough to steer most people towards a dedicated service.