3 Surprisingly Simple Tips to Transcribe Faster like Magic [in 2021]

When you're transcribing audio or video content as a professional, time is money, more than ever. The faster you are able to transcribe any one recording, the sooner you can move on to the next. So the more time you save and the more transcriptions you can do in a given amount of time, the more you're able to earn through your transcription job.

Here are 3 surprisingly simple ways to transcribe faster, based on our experience: 

  1. Use a foot pedal to control audio playback.
  2. Use automatic transcription software to get a first draft.
  3. Use dictation software to voice-type.

Here's more information on each of these tips.

1. Use a Foot Pedal to Control Audio Playback

A foot pedal is like a keyboard, but for your foot! No really. This might sound strange if you haven't used one before, but a foot pedal is a device that has 3-4 large buttons, that you place on the floor and operate with your foot. You can use the buttons to make the audio/video play, pause, rewind or fast-forward.

The advantage of using a foot pedal is that it frees up your hands to do the typing or editing, while you listen to the audio and control playback with your foot. The time you would have spent on all those extra mouse-clicks and keypresses to control audio playback is now time saved. Trust us, over enough number of transcriptions, this adds up and will easily save you more than 30% of your time. That's 30% more transcriptions in the same amount of time, and 30% more money in your pocket.

Here are a couple of foot pedals we'd recommend:

  • Infinity USB Foot Pedal
  • Olympus RS26, RS27, RS28
  • vPedal vP-1 USB pedal
  • Philips ACC2310

You would also need a transcription software that is able to make use of a foot pedal. We of course support all these foot pedals in our transcription software, Transcribe. Here's an article that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to configure and use a foot pedal for transcription.

2. Use Automatic Transcription Software to get a First Draft

These days machines are reasonably good at recognizing speech, especially when the audio is clear and well recorded with speakers talking in popular accents. They're still not able to give us 100% speech recognition accuracy. We can use this to our advantage - we call this machine-assisted transcription or automatic transcription.

If the audio is well recorded, we can upload the audio to an Automatic Transcription software, get a first draft that's reasonably accurate (say 80-90%) and then edit the transcript as needed to improve the accuracy to 100%. Automatic transcription software take roughly half the amount of time as the duration of the audio to produce a machine transcription. So for eg, an audio that's 1 hour in length could be processed in about 20-30 minutes. Once you get the draft, you can set the playback speed for the audio to say 1.5x or 2x and then skim through the transcript as you listed to the audio and make edits as needed in places where the machine wasn't able to detect the speech accurately. 

This should save you about 70-80% of your time you would have otherwise spent typing everything from scratch. You can even upload multiple audio in parallel and let the machine do its thing in parallel while you work on editing the previous drafts. That's 70-80% more transcripts done in the same amount of time and 70-80% more money in your pocket. 

Now machine transcription is usually charged 10-20c by the hour or minute because of the amount of computing power it takes to process transcriptions. So it might sound expensive and a non-starter. However, if you think of it from the perspective of spending a small fraction to make your transcription speed faster, you'll essentially more than make several multiples of what you spend, by making up for it in the volume of transcriptions you're able to do.

Our transcription software, Transcribe, has an Automatic Transcriber that lets you get machine drafts in over 60+ languages. It also offers a powerful transcription editor that lets you speed-up / slow-down the audio to make edits quickly. 

3. Use Dictation Software to Voice Type

In some cases the quality of your audio might just not be sufficient for automatic transcription to produce even a good first draft. In cases like this, you can still use Dictation Software to voice type, which is still faster than typing by hand.

You want to load the audio in a player, put on your headphones and then dictate what you hear into the dictation software. You should see text appear on the screen as you dictate and you can edit it as you go along using your keyboard. Bonus: you can even use a foot pedal to control the playback like we explained above.

You are essentially converting the low quality audio into high-quality speech in real-time for the dictation engine to recognize. This is called voice typing. This should save you about 50% of time compared to manually typing it out. That's 50% more transcripts you can do, and 50% more money in your pocket. 

Our transcription software, Transcribe, also has a Dictation speech to text feature built in for exactly this purpose. It features over 60+ languages and also lets you insert timestamps as you go along. 

And that's it. With these simple tips, you should be able to transcribe faster than ever before, save time and earn more from the same amount of time as you would have spent manually typing transcripts. 

Start transcribing now and save yourself oodles of time: https://transcribe.wreally.com/.

Still have questions? Contact us.

About this Guide

This is an attempt to build the definitive guide on various topics related to dictation, transcription & recording.

This guide is maintained by Transcribe, a professional and easy-to-use transcription software that helps you covert audio and video to text automatically.
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