How to Transcribe Audio Recordings to Text

By: Verbit Editorial



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Many industries rely on audio and video recordings to help them keep accurate records and communicate effectively with teams and clients. Recordings of internal and external communications can serve as excellent reference tools. However, audio and video content isn’t always the most inclusive or efficient form of record-keeping.

Research shows that finding more effective ways to communicate has the potential to increase workplace productivity by as much as 25%. Transcribing audio and video recordings to text is one means of streamlining communication and achieving these results.

There are many reasons why an individual may prefer to receive information in a written format. Proactively offering transcripts of recorded content can foster more inclusive work environments and help to boost efficiency across multiple departments.

Table of Contents:

Audio & Video Transcription Basics

Transcription is the process of converting audio to text. In the case of audio-only recordings and video recordings, the process is similar. There are two primary types of transcription: verbatim and non-verbatim. When you transcribe a recording verbatim, you end up with a highly accurate, word-for-word account of the content. Verbatim transcripts include all audio elements of a recording, including stammers, pauses, repeated words, sound effects and more.  

Non-verbatim transcripts, on the other hand, undergo editing for accuracy and clarity. These transcripts often serve as educational tools. A non-verbatim transcript will, therefore, tend to convey only the main ideas of a recording. Such recordings will exclude audio components that are non-essential. As a result, the final transcript can streamline the messaging. While these transcripts may prove beneficial in certain educational settings, they aren’t the best option for accessibility because they don’t provide equitable messaging for individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing

How Do I Transcribe an Audio Recording?

There are a few different ways to transcribe an audio recording to text. These include:  

1. Manual Transcription

Individuals can transcribe a recording to text manually by listening to a recording and transcribing it word for word. Manually transcribing content tends to be an extremely tedious process. Also, individuals without adequate transcription training are prone to making a substantial number of transcription errors.

2. Professional Transcribers

Rather than using untrained transcribers, businesses have the option of hiring professionally-trained human transcribers for their projects. These professionals are capable of achieving high levels of accuracy. However, they tend to be extremely expensive to hire. Furthermore, human transcribers generally have limited bandwidth. Such limitations make it difficult for them to tackle large-scale transcription projects in a timely manner.

3. Transcription Services

Professional transcription services like Verbit offer business leaders the best of both worlds when it comes to transcription. Verbit combines artificial intelligence with a network of professional human transcribers to accurately transcribe audio to text in as little as four hours.

Is There a Voice Recorder that Transcribes to Text?

If you’re looking to transcribe communications in real-time, you may be interested in using dictation software. This tool can immediately transcribe voice memos to text. Dictation software technology can be beneficial for professionals in the legal industry, for example, because it makes it easy to jot down periodic notes and thoughts.

Dictation software often relies on speech recognition technology that will transcribe a voice recording to text automatically. While convenient and useful in some cases, auto-generated transcripts often fall short of the accuracy requirements established by accessibility standards and guidelines, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. For this reason, dictation software is best for personal use rather than for transcribing communications for widespread distribution.

woman wearing headphones working on her laptop trying to transcribe a recording

How Do I Convert Voice Recording to Text?

Converting a voice recording to text is a great way to preserve information from interviews, focus groups, meetings and more. In order to ensure that the textual rendering of these communications is as accurate as possible, it’s important to use a trusted transcription provider. Using dictation software to convert voice recordings to text can lead to inadequate accessibility.

If you have an existing recording you would like to transcribe, Verbit make it easy to convert an MP3 to text online via a simple upload/download process. Verbit also offers a number of live transcription options. By using Verbit’s platform, you can create a live, interactive transcript in real-time.

Where Can I Transcribe a Recording?

Those looking to transcribe a video or audio recording to text can do so via Verbit’s online platform. When you upload a recording to Verbit’s platform, proprietary artificial intelligence software creates a first draft. This transcript then undergoes review and editing for accuracy by one of Verbit’s professional human transcribers. Once the review is complete, the transcript will become available for download on Verbit’s platform.

Transcripts can be downloaded in a wide range of file formats depending on a client’s specific needs. VTT files are a popular transcription file format because they are compatible with a wide range of media hosting platforms. VTT files are a great option for anyone planning on posting a recording publicly. These files easily accompany the content and provide more equitable viewing experiences for audience members of a wide range of backgrounds and abilities.

Verbit also offers a searchable transcription format that enables a user to search for keywords and locate specific portions of a recording. These searchable transcripts can be an extremely valuable reference tool because they cut back on the time you would otherwise spend watching or listening to recordings in their entirety.

It’s possible to further streamline the process using Verbit’s seamless software integrations. Users have access to Microsoft Teams recording transcription, WebEx recording transcription and more. Verbit’s software solutions also make it more convenient to transcribe a Zoom recording to text, and can even provide live transcription services for real-time communications on the platform.

group of people on a table working on each of their laptops

Streamlined Solutions from Verbit

Verbit offers a full suite of accessibility technology solutions like captioning, transcription, translation and audio description. These tools help modern businesses boost productivity and foster inclusivity. Our dual approach to transcription makes it easy to generate a high volume of transcripts with industry-leading turnaround times and targeted accuracy rates as high as 99%.

Reach out today to learn more about how Verbit’s optimized workflows and software integrations are helping businesses and industries around the globe improve their internal and external communications while building brand confidence through their accessibility initiatives.