Advances in technology have brought about new possibilities in the field of transcription over the last decade or so. Clients now have the option to go either for manual transcription or an automated one. Developments in speech and voice recognition gave birth to a multitude of automated audio-to-text converters that varies depending on your budget, added features, and deadline.
While manual transcriptions are proven to be more accurate, automated transcriptions are faster and can be more cost-effective.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Opting For an Automated Transcription:
Plenty of audio-to-text converters are now made available online. There are a lot of options to choose from depending on your budget and deadline.
Quicker turnaround time
If you hope to get your hands on your transcript as soon as possible, automated transcriptions are your best option. Because you rely on a speech recognition software instead of a real human being, you are able to get the text format quicker.
Opting for audio-to-text converters instead of hiring a professional transcriptionist will definitely cost you less. These machine-generated transcripts costs from a few cents to a dollar or so per minute. Some of them even offer up to 300 minutes of transcriptions for free.
Most of the websites offering automated transcription services are easy to navigate through. You just need to sign up, upload and wait for your transcript. Some of them even work on several devices.
Unlike in manual transcriptions, no other human being will listen to your audio or video files when you opt for machine-generated transcripts making the process more secure.
There are audio-to-text software that can automatically input timestamps in your transcript at your preferred time intervals.
An automated transcript will usually produce a one-paragraph format. This means that specific formatting details like punctuations or speaker labels won’t be available. Fortunately, there are some services that offer proofreading and editing services for automated transcriptions.
When software tools are given the responsibility of converting audio or video files into text, mistakes are inevitable. Technology, however advanced it has gotten, can never really catch up to human intelligence especially in this type of work. A text software is limited to a finite vocabulary which makes it harder for audio or video files that are very technical in nature. Names of people and places can be mixed up. Punctuations and capitalizations are often unrecognized as well.
Any kind of software can be subjected to lags or slowdowns and other technical issues. These difficulties can, in turn, cause unexpected delays in your project.
Depending on the quality of your file, the conversion software may encounter several audio difficulties. Background noise is the most common type of issue encountered in this process. It can drown out the content especially if the speaker has a soft voice. Other issues include cross-talking, fast talkers, varying accents or dialects, and basically any other noise apart from the speaker that interferes with the audio. These issues force the software to take the best guess at the affected portions of the file.
In the end, deciding whether to go for an automated or a manual transcription all boils down to the intended purpose of the finished text file. If you are working on small projects that are not highly sensitive and aren’t too technical, you can go for automated transcription. It is suggested, however, to consider services offering proofreading options to ensure accuracy. If you are working on a large-scale and highly technical project, manual transcriptions still deliver a more accurate, extremely refined finished product.