If your eyes sparkle when you imagine mastering the art of transcription and getting hundreds of freelance projects a month, congratulations. You've clicked on the right blog, which will uncover the top transcription tips for you to set up a successful career in the field.
Tip 1: Discuss project guidelines in detail
Transcription sounds like a straightforward task, but the time and effort you will spend on typing tasks might significantly vary from project to project. Therefore, getting all the project information from your client in advance is essential. This includes everything from the subject matter of the audio files to how the transcribed text should be formatted once transcribed. Only after you make sure the project requirements are 100% clear and fit your skills should you start working on the transcription.
Tip 2: Check the audio material in advance
While discussing project requirements, you should give crucial importance to the quality of the audio material you should transcribe. If the recording is good quality, transcription will be much easier and faster. On the other hand, if you have to transcribe audio with a lot of background noise or mumbling speakers, it might take several hours to transcribe just one minute of audio. One solution to make the transcriber's life easier is running the poor-quality audio through the audio editor.
Pro tip: If you don't have a convenient tool at hand, use Podcastle's Magic Dust feature for FREE. It automatically isolates the speech in the audio from all the ambient noises and gives you a clear speech to transcribe.
Tip 3: Set reasonable deadlines
One of the transcription tips you would later thank us for is setting reasonable deadlines. By understanding all the project requirements and checking the audio file in advance, you will be able to set more accurate deadlines. For experienced transcribers, it's easier to estimate how much time a specific task will take. However, if you are a beginner, you may find it hard to predict the time you need to complete the job.
An industry-standard states that 1 hour of audio can be transcribed in 2-3 hours. However, it's better to transcribe testing audio for yourself to understand your individual work speed.
Tip 4: Ensure a comfortable working environment
Now, when all the project requirements and deadlines are clear, let's move to transcription tips that will help you get the work done. Setting a comfortable environment is often underestimated, as it seems like you can transcribe anywhere, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection.
However, transcription requires total focus and attention to detail, which might be hard to achieve in a noisy or crowded place. To transcriptionists who work from home: make sure your working space is quiet, well-lit, and organized. A tidy desk will help you stay concentrated and focused on the task. Besides, you will spend hours sitting in front of the screen, so a comfortable chair is also a must-have.
Tip 5: Get high-quality headphones
You probably have a good pair of headphones at home that you use for listening to music. But transcription requires a different kind of headphones, as transcriptionists need to hear even the faintest sounds in the audio file. If you are set on becoming a transcription master, get yourself a comfortable pair of transcription headphones, which will make your work much easier and the transcription process more accurate. If you're unsure which one to choose, here's a good list of transcription headphones you might like!
Tip 6: Deeply research the transcription topic
Well, maybe "deeply" sounds too sharp here, but doing some research about the transcription topic is necessary. Especially if you transcribe audio with professional terminology, it's better to get familiarized with the topic in advance. Otherwise, you will have to look up every term during the transcription process, and you can imagine how annoying that can be.
If you don't have enough time for in-depth research, look through the professional glossaries or watch videos on your project's subject matter.
Tip 7: Use transcribing software
Say goodbye to manual transcription. AI-powered software can save you time by automatically transcribing your audio files and converting them into text format. Besides, transcription software is equipped with different features that simplify the transcription process, like automatic playback, speed control, hotkeys, and others. If you are new to this kind of software and looking for the most user-friendly transcription tool, use Podcastle. The tool will help you get hours of audio transcribed in just a few clicks.
- Sign up to Podcastle.ai
- Start a New project
- Import a file (in the audio or video format)
- Set the number of speakers in the audio
5. Choose Transcribe from the menu tab and wait until your text is ready.
Good News: With Podcastle's free plan you get 1 hour of free transcription. Try the feature now!
Tip 8: Check the transcription with auto-correction
The software does a big part, but not all of your transcribing job. One of the key transcription tips is checking what the automatic tools do to ensure there are no typos and misspellings. To do this, open the transcription in a word processing program and use the spell checker function. You can use auto-correction tools like Grammarly, but the best quality is ensured with final manual checking. This will help you find and fix errors in the transcription that the autocorrecting tools might’ve missed.
Tip 9: Double-check terms and proper nouns
When final checking the transcribed text, pay close attention to professional terms and proper nouns. It's where the most automatic transcription tools fail, as many special terms do not exist in their vocabularies. So, if you don't want the transcription to look like it’s been written by a robot, make sure to check and edit these terms manually. That can take additional time from you, but the result will be worth it!
Tip 10 (special one): Do some back exercises
Don't forget that keeping your health strong is your most important job. As you might spend hours sitting in front of the screen, transcription can take its toll on your posture and health in general. To avoid transcription-related injuries, do some back exercises every 20-30 minutes of transcription. These simple exercises will help you stay healthy and productive during long transcription sessions!
To sum up
We hope our transcription tips were helpful and will make your transcription process easier! Podcastle.ai's user-friendly transcription tool is your best friend whenever you're about to start your next project.
Have fun transcribing!