I was speaking with an associate of mine earlier today about transcription and who uses a transcription service. She was surprised at the number of ways this service could benefit others so I thought I would share some of these with you.
For those who don’t know much about transcription, that’s when you speak and record (dictate) your words for a transcriptionist to type and format for you. This service has been provided for many, many years with cassettes, then mini and micro cassettes. While these tape options are still available, digital recording is now the way to go. The quality of the recording is usually much clearer plus you don’t need to worry about the tape getting damaged or chewed up. Better still, the digital voice files (mp3, wav, etc) can simply be emailed to your transcriptionist or uploaded to a secure server for your transciptionist to retrieve which saves both time and money compared to having tapes couriered.
Once the audio file has been typed and formatted – usually as a Word document – it is simply emailed back to you. Easy!
This associate that I mentioned earlier thought that transcription services were only used by lawyers or high-profile business-people dictating their letters.
Not so! Here is a very brief list of some of the uses of transcription services:
- doctors – letters, reports
- lawyers/legal staff – various letters & reports
- busy students – lecture notes & assignments
- business people – various documents such as interviews, books, blogs (yes, even blogs!), letters, reports, critiques, manuscripts, seminars, presentations, conferences, articles, newsletters, market research, focus groups, plans… basically anything that needs to be written up.
- people writing books, particularly historians, biographies and family history, or elderly people who want to tell their story.
There are so many ways… this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Another of the benefits of using a transcription service is the time saving. For example, if you have hours of audio to be typed and you need the completed document urgently, it may be physically impossible for you to type it all yourself. However, many professional transcriptionists are part of a larger team and the workload can easily be shared. With numerous people working on your files it will be much easier to meet your deadline. And don’t worry about the confidentiality side of things. Most professional transcriptionists will happily sign a confidentiality agreement and strictly adhere to these policies. Their business reputation is their livlihood.
There are various points to consider when sourcing a good transcriptionist plus many things you can do while recording to help reduce the cost of this service. I’ll post about these over the coming week along with what sort of equipment you need to get started.