Digital transcription is a method where audio files present in digital formats such as wav, mp3, wma etc. are converted into text. The audio files may contain speeches, interviews, conferences, discussions, seminars, webinars and so on. The resultant text files are called transcripts..
Digital transcription services are sought by businesses which do not have the time or resources to do the transcription themselves. Most small businesses wouldn’t possess the infrastructure or the money to build the infrastructure for housing their own digital transcription department.
Medium and large organisations which do have the money to build their very own in-house transcription unit would still outsource to specialized digital transcription companies just to avoid all the hassles and focus on their core business.
In the olden days, transcription was required mostly by legal firms, clinics and hospitals. But nowadays it is being used by all sorts of businesses and institutions.
WAV, MP3 and WMA are the common file formats used for audio recordings when they are given to a transcription company for digital transcription.
The Wav format is a very old electronic audio file format and is still being used widely. However, audio recordings in wav format are usually quite big and clients are normally discouraged not to use wav format for audio recordings since audio files in wav format would eat up a lot of bandwidth.
MP3 is the most popular format for storing audio recordings. Normally, they are used for storing music. But, they can also be utilized to store speeches, interviews etc. that need to be transcribed. They are smaller in size when compared to wav files but still would have good clarity.
WMA is another popular format for storing audio files just because wma files are usually very small in size since they are highly compressed. However, the audio quality may not be as good as MP3 format. If you have serious bandwidth issues, then you may want to utilize wma format. Otherwise, it is better to stick to MP3 format.
The audio files to be transcribed are sent to the digital transcription company via FTP. However, if the audio files are too small in size, then they can be sent over via email too. FTP is more secure than email. A large number of digital transcription firms insist on using FTP for file transfer even for small audio files. The transcribed files are stored in text format or in word format depending on the preference of the clients. Even they are sent back to the client through FTP.
When it comes to the rates of transcription, transcribing British accent is usually the most expensive. Since most transcribers are used to the American accent, they may charge less for transcribing audio files with American accent. The rates are also determined by the quality of the audio recording. If the recording is not clear enough or if it has too many disturbances, in that case, digital transcription providers would charge more.