What Does Transcribe Mean & Why Do You Need It?

RevBlogResourcesOther ResourcesDefinitions & GlossariesWhat Does Transcribe Mean & Why Do You Need It?

There are all sorts of reasons someone would need something transcribed — but what does “transcribe” even mean? What are the benefits, and who does the transcribing? That’s what we’re exploring in this article. Let’s look at what transcription services are, how they work, and what to look for in a transcriber.

What are transcription services?

With advances in technology, pretty much anything can be recorded these days. Often, that’s accomplished with a smartphone or conference software. With the touch of a button, we can get a recording of a conversation.

What might be recorded for transcription?

  • Business meetings
  • Journalist interviews
  • Notes from doctors and other healthcare providers
  • Court hearings, legal cases, and attorney notes
  • Academic lecture notes
  • Events, speeches and seminars

What’s the Definition of Transcription?

When someone takes an audio or video recording of an important conversation or speech and converts it into usable text, that’s transcription. A transcript is a word-for-word, written documentation of a recording.

Before the advent of the internet, your choices for transcription were limited and looked like this:

You could do it yourself, pressing “start” and “stop” over and over again on a cassette tape while you tried to capture what was said.

Or, you hired a transcription service. From the 1970s through about 2000, you sent the transcriber a cassette tape, floppy disc or CD of the recording, and a few days later, they sent you back the transcription of the recording.

As technology evolved, transcription services were revolutionized as well. Recordings can now be made in a variety of media files and then uploaded to the cloud, where a transcriptionist picks it up and transcribes it. The completed document is then uploaded back to the cloud and a notification is sent to the customer that their file is ready.

What are the benefits of transcribing audio and video to text?

The first benefit is accuracy. Transcription provides you with an accurate record of what was said. It’s a mechanism to capture all the important details without having to worry if you remember everything correctly. For business, legal, medical and academic purposes, this is vital.

The second benefit is speed. When you use an online on-demand transcription service like Rev, you can get a transcription back in a matter of hours.

The third benefit is convenience. It’s time-consuming to attempt transcription on your own. You can’t always catch what was said, and unless you’re a professional, it’s unlikely you have the software or skills to filter, equalize and adjust the tempo when the recording quality is poor. All these things are possible with a professional online transcription service.

What to look for in a transcription service

Your transcriber should provide the following:

    • Clear pricing. You should know the final cost before you click “submit” on a transcription job.
    • Guaranteed quality. If you are unhappy with the quality or accuracy of your transcript, the service should fix it immediately. If they don’t, use another service.
    • Secure online ordering. Recordings often contain sensitive information. Use a service that only employs vetted freelancers who use secure tools.
    • An easy-to-use platform. The process of submitting a recording for transcription should be simple and intuitive. No one wants to waste time on a complicated ordering process.
    • Excellent service. Round-the-clock service is important, as is 24/7 customer support and a comprehensive knowledge base. Rev has a thorough online resource center to help you be successful.

A note about grammar and punctuation: In the old days, commas, new paragraphs and periods had to be dictated. Today, in the course of transcribing, an experienced transcriber will insert the correct grammar and punctuation for you.

How a transcript is formatted

When you order a transcription from a professional online service like Rev, your file is available for download in Microsoft Word, Plain Text, and PDF. It’s fully editable. For multi-speaker files, we indicate “Speaker 1,” “Speaker 2,” etc. If necessary, we may add “male” and “female” to provide further clarification. Filler words like “um” and “uh” are edited out of the final file, unless you request a verbatim transcript. Then, every syllable is kept which is sometimes necessary for testimonials and interviews. For an extra $0.25 per audio minute, we will transcribe every syllable verbatim. Timestamps are also available for an additional $.25 per minute fee.

Rev provides the best transcription services for your needs

Whether you want to transcribe audio or transcribe video, the process is easy with Rev. Simply upload files from your computer or paste a URL from the web. From there, someone from our team of vetted, native English-speaking freelancers picks up the job. You’ll get a notification when your transcript is ready; simply log in and pick up your file. We pledge top-notch accuracy and quick turnaround times at an affordable price — guaranteed. Are you ready to learn more about transcription with Rev? Learn more about transcription and what it means on our site. If you have any questions, check out our transcription FAQ page.