Three Quick Tips to Better Audio Transcription (for Newbies)

Tired young man sleeping in the office

Don’t be like this man. Learn to transcribe smarter—or do the smartest thing and offload your audio transcription to iScribed! Free time is just a quick upload away.

Whether you’re looking to embark upon a new journey as an audio transcriptionist or if you’re just a business owner or podcaster looking to save a buck by transcribing your own audio, there are a few things you can do to get the job done faster and with better results.

Professional transcriptionists are well paid for their time, because the art of turning audio into text isn’t as easy as it “sounds.” Indeed, transcribing isn’t for the faint of heart… or fingers… or ears.

Try these three tips to help you audio transcribe like a pro:

  1. Start with quality audio files. If this is in your control, there’s really no excuse to not invest in the proper equipment. Having a quality digital recorder and a reliable headset for listening is the key to fast and accurate audio transcription. If you use poor quality audio, work in a noisy environment or don’t have the right headphones, you’ll waste time listening to the same segments over and over to figure out what’s going on.
  2. Have the right equipment. You’ll need to be able to play the audio files, edit them and change the speed, if necessary. Speech recognition software, scribe transcription aids and other gadgets like transcription headsets can all help make the work go easier. A handheld dictation device or an audio transcription foot pedal can also be invaluable. If you’re making a career of audio transcription, having the right tools can make all the difference in the world. Remember, the client doesn’t know what equipment you’re using, so have no shame in choosing the items that make the job the easiest for you.
  3. Combine digital products with your talents for the best product. Remember, typing is only have the battle. If possible, combine technology and talent for an unbeatable pairing. If you can, try using voice recognition software to digitally transcribe the audio, then go back through with your fine-tuned ear to correct or clarify areas that need fixing. That way, you’ll save time while (hopefully) ending up with a higher quality product.

Audio transcription reviewsI must note, however, that even with so-called “automatic” voice to text transcription services in 2016, you’ll likely have an awful lot of correcting to do—and I do mean “awful.” Recall how accurate Siri is at locating your favorite podcast when you’re shouting “Hey Siri” at the top of your lungs while driving?

Yeah, it’ll be a lot like that.

Use the three quick tips above to set up your transcribing game. Of course, if like most busy professionals you don’t have the time to waste away precious hours making your own audio transcriptions, let iScribed handle it!

Click here to visit our order page and try a FREE audio transcription demo, up to 5 minutes of any file!

5 Obstacles to Getting the Best Audio Transcription

If you’re planning to record a meeting, speech, interview, focus group, or other event with the intent to transcribe—or get it transcribed for you—at a later date, you may want to take the time to ensure that the audio transcription is as easy to complete as possible.

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What Makes One Audio Transcription more Difficult Than Another?

Perhaps you’re sick of doing transcriptions yourself or are thinking about hiring an affordable audio transcription service like iScribed. Whatever the reason, many people have questions about what exactly makes certain audio files harder to transcribe than others. Here are some factors that can affect the difficulty of an audio transcription:

Less Than Optimal Audio Quality

If you’re planning to convert audio files to text, do yourself a favor and invest in a high-quality audio recorder. This will yield the best audio transcription by creating the best quality files to begin with, making transcription easier. High-end recorders can help minimize static or other noises caused by equipment. Look for a recorder that has a flat, stable base to minimize vibrations or movement during use which can result in poor audio quality.

Hum, Hiss, and Background Noise

A factor that has traditionally driven up the cost of audio transcription for some is commotion or other background noise being picked up by the microphone. Background noises such as side conversations, loud traffic, and music can make it much more difficult for the transcriptionist to follow the conversation and accurately transcribe audio to text.

When making a recording, minimize background noises by recording in a quiet, closed room. Turn off any loud appliances (if possible), televisions, music, and so on. Politely request that any people present hold their conversations for the time being or continue them outside of the range of the mic.

(Too) Many Unique Speakers

Part of a transcriptionist’s work is identifying and separating the speakers on a recording. Transcribers make a note when the speaker changes in an audio file, identifying the speaker before continuing the transcription. If an excessive number of people speak on the recording, it naturally becomes more difficult for the transcriber. In some of these cases a transcriptionist will need to keep re-listening to the audio to determine who is speaking.

Of course, it is not always possible to lower the number of speakers in a recording of a business meeting, focus group, or other event with multiple “critical” persons present. Therefore, it is advised to keep the total number of participants as low as possible without hurting the purpose of the event being recorded.

Pronounced Accents

Depending on the audio transcription service, as well as the nationality and skill of the transcriptionist, the cost to convert audio files to text may sometimes hinged on the accents of the speakers. Accents that are totally foreign to the transcriber can be very difficult to understand, which results in more listening back and more time needed.

Professional transcription tools allow one to slow down and pause while the transcriber determines what the speaker said, but naturally it’s best to avoid any problems as much as possible. iScribed has a team of professional English-speaking transcriptionists located in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada who are ready to take on any English audio transcription projects you may have.

Not all companies price their services the same way—or provide the same level of quality and customer service. If you want to avoid any unwanted surprises in the cost of your audio transcription, give’s audio transcription services a try.

Podcast Transcription (Without Going Bankrupt)

Podcast transcription servicesWhile podcasts are more popular today than they have ever been, the majority are produced on very small budgets. This means podcasters often end up foregoing perfectly good free time to sit in front of their computer and transcribe audio to text.

Don’t suffer the indignity, eye strain, and headaches caused by staying in and listening to your own voice for hours. It’s possible to hire an affordable audio transcription service to get it done for you.

Why Inexpensive Podcast Transcription is the Way to Go

It’s obvious that transcribing takes a lot of time and (for most people) isn’t very much fun. By delegating tedious tasks like podcast transcription to a reputable, low-priced online transcription service like iScribed, you can get your time back and focus on producing a better podcast.

Having your show’s audio or video converted into text is an easy way to file and store permanent archives of all your work.

You can also offer the podcast transcription or excerpts from it for promotional purposes. Put the fully transcribed Podcast on your company’s website or offer an excerpt from a particularly good segment in the summary of the podcast to attract buyers. Since search engines can’t “hear” what is said in an audio file, there are also SEO benefits to providing complete transcripts of your audio and video content.

Both free and paid podcasts can expand listenership and downloads by giving podcast browsers a quick visual sample of what they’ll be getting when they download the audio file.

Still, you’ll want to be careful when choosing a transcriber for your needs. Anyone can convert audio to text, but relatively few people can do it well and quickly. Podcasters are often amazed at just how much time transcribing a podcast can take.

Is it really worth spending your entire Saturday in front of a computer transcribing a half-hour podcast episode?

That’s for you to decide, but we don’t think so. That’s why we offer the best podcast transcription service online.

Finding the Best Podcast Transcription Service

Search for the audio transcription service that offers the best value, turnaround, and has the best online transcription service reviews. When you find a service you really like, you will probably have a long relationship with them; that’s why it’s important to look at reviews, the number of days required for turnaround, and other indicators of quality and not just the price tag.

Make sure the podcast transcription company (and your podcasting budget) are aligned with any important time frames or deadlines you have. If it’s a Tuesday or Wednesday and you want to put up your podcast on Friday, you could have to pay a premium. With iScribed, our average 48 hour turnaround service comes standard at our usual low rate.

The US and UK-based professional audio transcriptionists that make up the team here at iScribed can turn your podcast into a 99%+ accurate text transcript efficiently and affordably. iScribed’s rates are lower than comparable services($0.89 per audio minute), our turnaround time is faster—avg. 2 business days or less, with a 24-hour rush option available—and the transcripts are professional quality.

Compare iScribed’s pricing, quality, and 1-2 day turnaround time to other companies that charge $1, $2, even $3 or more per audio minute—and that’s for 5 to 7 day turnaround!

Interested in a free demo of iScribed’s transcription services?  Click here to try us out—free of charge.

Looking for professional audio or video podcast transcription? Click here to upload your files to us and place an order.


When Audio Gets Out of Control: Transcribe Hours of Material Quickly and Affordably

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Has your audio gotten out of control? Recorded interviews piling up? Hours of video that needs to be transcribed, subtitled, or captioned?

Spending endless hours transcribing audio recordings into text transcripts is not what most journalists, marketers, and researchers thought they would be doing in their careers.

While it can be stressful, letting your audio pile up is not the end of the world. At least, not in an age where you can pay an online transcription service to handle the files for you. Let’s look at some smart ways to manage your time and become more productive by letting iScribed handle your audio transcription tasks.

Audio Quality

Transcribe recorded audioFrom a technical standpoint, you’ll want to start with good quality audio recordings. While iScribed’s transcriptionists are experienced professionals, making sure to use the right recording equipment and that voices are easy to hear will most likely result in even faster turnaround and less inaudible words (such as in the case of audio “cutting out”). While not necessary, having speakers identify themselves on the recording is a plus.

It doesn’t need to be perfect. Still, good quality audio makes the transcribing process much easier. Even if the quality of your audio is not the best, please don’t hesitate to upload it on our easy-to-use ordering page.

File Formats

Some online transcription services may require you to use a third-party application to convert your audio into a specific file format. However, iScribed accepts a variety of common audio and video file formats. These include MP3, WAV, MOV, and more. If you are not sure, please feel free to contact our customer service team and we’ll do our best to assist you.


If you have hours of audio that have piled up, it’s better to send it rather than wait until the last minute. With some transcription services starting at 7 day turnaround, this can require some planning ahead. iScribed offers much faster-than-average turnaround times than many transcription services, for a much lower price. iScribed’s average turnaround time for an audio transcript is 48 hours or less for 1 hour of audio. If it’s needed even sooner, we offer “last-minute” rush transcription services (24 hours or less) for an additional fee.

Transcribing audio to text can be a tedious task. With iScribed, getting quality audio transcription services is painless. In addition, if you are in need of subtitling/captioning, translation, or content writing, we are your one-stop shop.

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