Focuses More On Participants Than Time Stamps
The basic training for a transcriber revolves around assigning timestamps to words, phrases, and sentences. Interview transcriptions, however, usually take a different perspective. The client is more interested in responses from interviewees and not the time stamp on the audio file.
Remember, the transcription brief captures the main point of interest for transcription clients. As such, you must pay more attention to such responses as opposed to timing for the dialogue.
Work With A Professional
One of the last tips on transcribing interviews that you might consider is to work with a paid transcription service. This, of course, will be more expensive than free interview transcription, but you often get what you pay for.
When asking how to transcribe an interview quickly, when you hire a transcription service, youll be working with professionals who transcribe for a living. Theyll be able to get through your recording quickly, create the document you want and have it formatted properly.
You wont have to worry about listening to your recording over and over again to find the information youre looking for. After a professional has gone through and put the spoken words into writing, you can read the transcript and highlight the most important information.
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Indexing And Transcribing Your Interviews
Indexing and transcribing are extremely useful ways to identify the major topics in an interview and the approximate point at which they occur in the recording. This saves wear and tear on a tape by greatly reducing the amount of fast-forwarding and rewinding to “scan” the content further, both allow a researcher to quickly determine if a recording addresses a particular issue or not.
An index lists the major topics discussed in the interview and the approximate places in the recording they occur a transcript is a word-for-word document that allows one to “read” the interview.
While transcripts are extremely helpful and are always welcome with interviews, they are very time-comsuming and therefore are not required. If resources do not allow you to transcribe recordings, please take the time to create an index of each interview you submit.
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How To Transcribe Audio Faster Using Self Transcription
If you prefer transcribing an audio file yourself, Transcribe helps you speed up the process byat least 2-3x.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to convert audio to text yourself:
1. Select “Self Transcription” mode for your audio file
You can use our self transcription to create a new transcript yourself using various time-saving features that Transcribe provides.
You can also use our self transcription feature to edit the transcript generated by the automatic transcription mode. If you need to edit an automatic transcript, click on the “Edit Transcript” button in the sidebar of the transcript page:
If you need to create a new self transcription, click on “New Self Transcription” from Step 1 above.
2. Choose the audio or video file to be transcribed
Our self transcription editor interface provides an integrated editor + media player.
To begin transcription, click on the “Choose audio/video” button to load the recording that you wish to transcribe. We support several common audio and video file formats.
Once you choose the file, a media player will open up right above the text editor.
3. Slow down audio and transcribe it
Transcribe provides several keyboard shortcuts for controlling the playback of the media file. You can slow it down, rewind or skip forward using these shortcuts.
- Esc: pause/resume
4. Transcribe the audio using Dictation
We typically find this method to be 2-3x faster than typing.
What If You Dont Have The Time Or Inclination
- Interview transcripts are a great tool for data analysis and management.
- They serve as easily readable, searchable documents.
- Accurate interview transcripts can save a lot of time.
- Time saved = money and effort saved.
- Saved time and money can greatly affect the outcome of a market research study.
- Enables researchers to track the topic.
- Interview transcripts offer a range of framework that affects the way an interviewer sees the data.
- Having a script of data helps in paying much more attention to a set of answers.
The Best Transcribing Interviews Software
Your transcription experience will depend on the software you use. Luckily for transcribers, you have endless options when looking for transcription software. Interestingly, each software is designed to meet a particular purpose.
You can use any software to transcribe an interview.
But what makes the software suitable for interview transcription?
Here are a few tips.
C Dedicate Sufficient Time For Transcription
Set a reasonable time to complete the transcription project. Transcription cannot be satisfactory when done in a hurry. You will often need to replay some sections to hear the words as said by the speaker.
Transcriptions done in a hurry are usually full of mistakes like wrong or missed words. Moreover, the transcript fails to make sense, causing conflicts with the client.
While you might not have the luxury of time, do not rush through a transcription project.
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Estimate How Much Time Youll Need
Once you decide to transcribe the interview yourself, assess your typing speed and the length of the recording to calculate how long the transcription process will take. If you are a beginner, it may take anywhere from 7-to-10 hours. You should also include the time it will take you to format and time-code the transcription.
Hiring A Freelance Transcriptionist
If you cant afford the services of a transcription agency , then its best to use the services of a freelance transcriptionist. Sites like Guru.com, Freelancer.com, and Fiverr.com have a good pool of service providers who can help.
The good part about hiring a freelancer is that they can do the work relatively cheaply with almost the same turnaround time as a transcription company. The downside is that you have to experiment a little to find the right transcriber.
In the rest of this post well discuss Option #2, i.e. how to transcribe an interview manually yourself.
Lets dive in.
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Outsourcing To A Transcription Agency
If the recording is in a language you dont understand, or if you dont have time to do the transcription yourself, then outsourcing to a transcription agency is a good idea.
All you have to do is send them your recording with detailed instructions and they will return a neatly formatted and time-coded transcript to you in a fairly short period of time.
Listen To The Interview Before You Begin Transcription
Even if you recorded the interviews yourself, its a good idea to give them a quick listen before you begin transcribing, to understand what lies ahead.
You dont want to waste time trying to transcribe something that you will eventually give to a transcription service because it was too difficult.
This is also helpful to ascertain the audio quality, to determine whether you could use a transcription speech recognition software for automatic machine transcription.
Or if its easy enough, so that you can transcribe it yourself on a laptop with minimal equipment.
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What Are Some Good Sources Of Further Information
For additional information on transcribing and indexing oral history interviews, please consult the following books and Web sites.
Baum, Willa K. Transcribing and Editing Oral History. Nashville: American Association of State and Local History, 1977.
Davis, Cullom, Kathryn Black, and Kay McLean. Oral History: From Tape to Type. Chicago: American Library Association, 1977.
Dunaway, David K., and Willa K. Baum, ed. Oral History: An Interdisciplinary Anthology. 2nd ed. Walnut Creek: AltaMira Press, c1996.
Everett, Stephen E. Oral History Techniques and Procedures. Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History, United States Army, 1992. Available online at
Ives, Edward. The Tape Recorded Interview. Knoxville: University of Tennessee, 1980.
Lance, David. An Archive Approach to Oral History. London: Imperial War Museum, 1978.
Oral History Association. Oral History Evaluation Guidelines. Pamphlet No. 3. Carlisle, Pa.: Dickinson College, 1989, rev. Sept. 2000. Available online at
Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Oral History Interview Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: The Museum, 1998. Available online in PDF format at
Yow, Valerie Raleigh. Recording Oral History: A Practical Guide for Social Scientists. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, 1994.
Extracting Insights From Your Interviews
Are you transcribing the interview to create a blog post or to attach a full transcript with the original audio/video file? Go right ahead.
If you are, on the other hand, looking to transcribe the interview to analyze and extract insights out of it, then we have a better way.
Rather than recording, uploading, and transcribing, leverage the Grain desktop app to capture the important moments and ideas â with just a few clicks â while youâre in the interview.
You can jot down your thoughts, note down the important moments, and create highlight clips while interviewing. Once the interviewâs over, your recording, notes, and highlights will be uploaded to Grain workspace.
No need to watch the hour-long recording or review the full transcript. Just watch the highlights, share with your team, and embed them in your documentation and decks.
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How Can I Index My Recordings
Listen to the recording closely and write down the major points in the order in which they are discussed, being careful to also note the minute and second or the meter reading on the recorder .
In general, researchers and listeners are more interested in the answers than the questions . A good rule of thumb is the more detailed and descriptive the indexing is, the better researchers are able to access the tape content. For example, writing “describes fears about not surviving and prayers he wrote in his diary” is more helpful than “fears in battle.” For examples of some excellent logs the Veterans History Project has received from participants, please see sample Audio and Video Recording Logs listed on our forms page.
Red Cross technicians prepare paperwork for blood donated by Bell Aircraft Corporation employees for use by troops in Korea, . , Library of Congress. Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-93728
Transcribe Live For Audio Transcription With Speaker Designation
Transcribe Live does one very amazing thing if you have more than one person speaking in an interview. It tells you who said what. The AI used in the computer generated transcription differentiates between each speaker and designates them as Speaker 1 or Speaker 2, etc. That can be a huge time saver depending on your project, but it comes with a small cost. Unlimited transcriptions cost $8.49/month as a subscription service or you can purchase chungs of time like one hour at $2.99 or five hours at $12.99. If youre curious if its worth it, the free app download comes with 15-minutes of credit time to test it out.
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Expanding Your Options With Voice Record Pro
Having free, quality transcription software available at your fingertips would have been a dream for reporters and producers just a decade ago, but since the software is smartphone based, you have a couple advanced options to expand your use depending on your specific application. First, if audio quality is important, you have the option to connect any professional microphone to your iPhone or other smartphone. If you want to keep it simple, Shure makes some great microphones that connect natively to an iPhones Lightning port. Adding a dedicated microphone will immediately improve the audio quality of recording with Voice Record Pro or any audio recording app.
Another way to expand your usage of Voice Record Pro is to take notes. The audio transcription you get in the app is not time coded and it doesnt differentiate between speakers. Thats not a huge issue for most people, but if you want to hit the ground running with your edit, a few notes about key comments and the time they occurred in the recording can go a long way. Voice Record Pro gives you two options.
I Review The Audio File
Review the nature of the audio file to facilitate planning. How long is the file? Is the file clear? How many people are involved in the interview? How soon should the client expect the transcripts? Such analysis helps you to prepare as well as give real feedback to the clients.
Thus, review all instructions before accepting or starting on transcription: It is imperative when working as a freelancer because you negotiate the terms of the project.
Full knowledge of the projects scope helps you charge the right amount that will guarantee value for money.
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Understand How Long Interview Transcription Takes
If youre not an experienced transcriber, and youre not using any specialized equipment.
Just some headphones and a standard keyboard.
It can take you between 6-8 hours to transcribe an interview thats 60 minutes long.
More difficult audio files with multiple speakers, technical jargon that requires research, background noise etc. can take close to 10 or 12 hours for the same audio duration i.e. 60 minutes.
If youre a complete newbie, it can take you 24 hours to transcribe the same audio length that it takes an experienced transcriber somewhere around 5-6 hours.
As a rule of thumb, you will transcribe 5-10 minutes per hour if youre really on it.
Yes, interview transcription is time consuming.
However PLEASE NOTE: You can cut down on transcription time massively by using a transcription foot pedal.
Which brings us to the next point.
Should The Narrator Review And Edit The Transcript
The Veterans History Project suggests that you exercise your good judgment in deciding whether the narrator’s involvement in the review process will enhance the usefulness and research value of the transcripts without alienating those who have already donated their time and memories to the project.
Sometimes narrators are given the opportunity to review transcripts. They can usually fill in any gaps and spot more easily than anyone else the errors in the transcript. Reading the transcript also sparks additional memories that they would like to include, which could be inserted in brackets in the document.
The disadvantages are that the narrators may find reviewing the transcripts burdensome and may resent being asked. They also may be inclined to “clean up” their slang expressions and spoken language to such an extent that they sacrifice the tone and rhythm of the interview and make less compelling what they said.
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How To Quickly And Easily Transcribe Your Research Data With Maxqda
Whether youre a first-time researcher or an old pro, MAXQDA is your professional software solution with advanced transcription tools for you and your team.
Transcription is an important step in the data analysis journey of many research projects, but it can often become a time-consuming and arduous affair. Transcribe with MAXQDA! Our product comes with many exciting features which make the transcription process faster and easier than ever before.
Proper Usage Of Autocorrect Tools
Misspelling is quite common in any transcription work where the norm seems to be that whoever types the fastest wins. Quite ironically, it is this seeming obsession with faster typing actions that leads to overall slower output time since it is surprisingly time-consuming to manually correct each of these mistakes. This is it is critical to use autocorrect tools when creating transcription work. When used properly, autocorrection helps immensely because the transcriber does not have to go back and forth to check every single misspelled word. It can also help with the formatting of sentences and fixing grammatical errors. Just do not forget to set the rules, so the autocorrect tool inputs the right words and revisions in place of the error.
It is fairly easy to use Autocorrect in the Microsoft Word application. If you are using a Windows laptop or computer, open Word and create a new blank document. On the Menu, go to the File tab and select Options. When the pop-up menu appears, go to Proofing and select Autocorrect options. Once on the Autocorrect tab, you check the Replace text as you type box. Do not forget to save all the changes you have made. And, voila! You are all set.
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Play A Small Section Of Audio At A Time
Type short clips at a time. The worst thing that you can do is to try and listen to the entire interview and transcribe as you go or type only a few words at once. The best thing to do is to play a small section of up to 15 seconds and transcribe it as you go for that length. Type as you hear the words but have a little context of what is coming. If you need to stop, repeat and re-listen thats fine. It will be much easier to do it this way than to try to take in too much or too little of the recording at once.
Sharing The Transcript And Recording
You can share the transcript with someone in two ways:
Select the Add all to document button to add the entire transcript to your document, then share the Word document as usual. The transcript will appear as regular text in the document and there will be a hyperlink to the audio file in the document.
Share the Word document as usual. The recipient can open the Transcribe pane to interact with the transcript. To protect your privacy, playback of the audio file is by default not available in the Transcribe pane for anyone that you share the Word document with.
You can also share the transcript and enable playback of the audio file in the Transcribe pane:
On your version of the Word document, click the filename at the top of the Transcribe pane to go to where the audio file is saved in OneDrive.
The Transcribed Files folder in OneDrive will open.
Find your recording, then select Actions > and add the email address of the person you want to share the recording with.
Also share the Word document as usual.
The person that you shared both the Word document and audio file with will be able to open the Word document, open the Transcribe pane, and interact with both the transcript and audio file.
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