Audio transcription - what is it?

Audio transcription

In audio transcription, an audio track is converted into text. The result is an audio transcript. Such audio transcripts can be used in many ways. On the one hand, they serve as a memory aid and on the other hand, they form the basis for analysing and processing the data obtained.

The spoken word is more easily accessible and can be used, among other things, for theses, for market research purposes, for printing in the media and much more. Audios are especially often transcribed in the context of interviews.

Audio transcriptionYou can also find many more useful tips in our eBook Recording, Typing, Analysing - Guide to Conducting Interview & Transcription.

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What are the rules for audio transcription?

Depending on the purpose for which the audio transcription is needed, different Transcription rules can be applied. However, audio transcription according to simple rules is usually sufficient. The spoken language is reproduced word-for-word. The speech is smoothed slightly according to simple rules, which means that stutterers, word breaks and intermediate sounds ("ähs" and "ähms") are not recorded in favour of readability.

In an audio transcription according to extended rules, on the other hand, the language is not smoothed. These rules are mainly used when the linguistic peculiarities are part of the subsequent analysis.

In general, many other aspects can be taken into account in audio transcription. For example, the audio transcript can be heavily smoothed to produce a text that is ready for printing. It is often helpful to insert line numbers and time stamps (in the format #hh:mm:ss#, where h stands for hour, m for minute and s for second), which are regularly set after a speaker change. Both line numbers and timestamps facilitate the retrieval of text passages, among other things.

In the field of linguistics in particular, there are also many complex rules, for example, rules to take into account intonation, speaking rate or non-verbal actions such as gestures or facial expressions.

At, audio transcription is carried out according to your own scientifically citable Transcription rules in simple and extended form. For theses and scientific studies, audio transcription according to the 4-eyes principle is ideal.

In the case of scientific audio transcription, the audio transcript is additionally checked by a proofreader. In addition, we also offer audio transcription according to complex rules such as TIQ, GAT2 and others on request. The result is then a TranscriptIn rare cases, this is also called an audio transcript.

How does a fast audio transcription work?

The process of manual audio transcription is complex and time-consuming. Depending on the typing speed and the transcription rules to be applied, it takes 3 to 10 times the time of the audio minutes to be transcribed.

To minimise the workload, transcription software can help with audio transcription.

Transcription software contains many useful functions, for example, the playback speed can be varied, key combinations can be defined in order to be able to transcribe without using a mouse, or the transcription software can be coupled with a foot switch, which can be used, for example, to fast-forward and rewind within the recording. Transcription software is also optionally available in the Transcription set with a dictation machine, headphones and foot switch. In a set, transcription software is usually cost-intensive, otherwise the software is also available free of charge (e.g. Express Scribe transcription software from NCH Software). Other programmes such as f4transcript are not free, but there is a free trial version. If a footswitch is needed, it must then be purchased separately.

Another option for fast audio transcription is to hire a service provider. In addition to our regular service, where the audio transcript is delivered in about a week, we also offer two express options, the 1-day express and the 3-day express. You can find more information here:

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Further questions and answers

What is audio transcription?

A Audio transcription is the conversion of an audio track into text. This is usually done using specific Transcription rules. The result of this activity is an audio transcript, which is usually referred to simplistically as a transcript.

How do you create an audio transcription?

The creation of a Audio transcription can be done manually by Transcription or mechanically by an automatic Speech recognition speech recognition system.

According to the current state of the art, speech recognition is primarily suitable when a medium quality is sufficient. If a high quality is required, then a manual audio transcription is the alternative to choose.

Which programmes help to create an audio transcription?

When creating a Audio transcription transcription software can help. There are some free programmes. Due to the much greater range of functions and convenience, the paid tools such as ExpressScribe or f4transcript are recommended for larger volumes.

For a fully automated audio transcription, a Speech recognition is possible.

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