Time Transcription

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  1. Computer-aided Real-time Transcription
  2. Full Time Transcription Jobs
  3. Zoom Real Time Transcription

When making the choice whether to transcribe an audio file by yourself or use a professional company, money is a big concern. Depending on how many audio files you need to transcribe, the added costs might be prohibitive.

The other major factor to consider is how long does transcribing take. If the transcription time per audio hour is too high, it may be impossible for you to DIY audio transcriptions and still meet your deadlines.

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  • Real-time, or live, transcription is the practice through which an individual, traditionally a court reporter, transcriber or notetaker, compiles a written record of a meeting as it is taking place.

To help you make the best decision for your audio transcription projects, take a look at the average transcription speed for professionals and the average person.

How Long Does It Take to Transcribe One Hour of Audio or Video?

Transcription time, no matter how long you’ve been creating audio transcriptions, can be greatly affected by a few factors. Of course, a professional will overcome these obstacles faster than the average person, but one hour transcription can be doubled or tripled in time depending on audio recording quality, background noise, regional accents, and potential research needed.

Audio Recording Quality

The overall quality of the audio recording has a major impact on the transcription speed. It’s important to test your devices, especially the placement of the microphone, before you begin your recording. Make sure that your audio is clear and no speaker is muffled when they talk.

Timestamping in transcription refers to inserting time codes in a transcript (in minutes and seconds) at specified intervals. In simpler words, timestamps are included in the transcriptions to indicate when the adjacent text was spoken in the audio. It allows the readers to identify which part of the audio corresponds to which section.


Background Noise

Another major factor to consider is the environment where you’re recording. Background noise can make it impossible to hear important phrases or entire sections of your audio recording. If the transcriber has to rewind constantly to try to decipher what’s being said, the transcription time will most definitely go up.

Computer-aided Real-time Transcription

Regional Accents

Depending on the transcriber’s native language, regional accents can have an effect on average transcription speed. The closer an accent is to their native language, the easier time they will have transcribing your audio file. However, speakers with thick accents or those who switch between two languages as part of their speech pattern might make the transcription more difficult. Consider this when you’re thinking about how to transcribe your audio file.

Potential Research Needed

Tough topics can also add to your overall average transcription time. Students, professors and law professionals can be affected by this hurdle most often. If the topic of your audio file is particularly complicated, or the speakers use complex words, it will add time to your transcription speed. Of course, if you know the topic well and don’t need to do additional research to understand what’s being discussed, this might not add to your transcription time.

Transcription Speed for the Average Person


Now that you know what factors contribute to transcription time, here is how the speed breaks down for the average person and the professional.

The average person can transcribe one audio hour in about 4 hours. It takes most people about one hour to transcribe 15 minutes of a clear, slow audio file. If any of the factors we mentioned above change the quality of the recording, that time might go up.

Transcription Speed for the Professional Transcriptionist

For professional transcriptionist, the average time to transcribe one audio hour ranges from 2-3 hours. Some of the most qualified transcriptionists can transcribe up to 30 minutes of audio in an hour. When time is an important factor in your decision, there’s no way to beat the speed of a professional transcriptionist.

Learn More About Audio Transcription

Learn more about why you should invest in audio transcription, plus the different options available to you by checking out our website. We offer the lowest prices and the fastest turn around times so you don’t have to choose between your time and your budget.

Real-time transcription—sometimes called 'rapid data entry'—is the general term for typing a transcript of live speech immediately after the words are spoken (as opposed to listening to an audio recording). A great example of a career in real-time transcription is a court stenographer; they type the courtroom dialogue simultaneous to the proceedings.

Types of 'Real-Time' Transcription Jobs

In addition to court reporters/stenographers, there are many other types of positions that real-time transcriptionists fill. These positions can range from television to law and also the internet.

Full Time Transcription Jobs

  1. Television: Transcriptionists are needed for all kinds of positions: Real-time captioning for the hearing impaired during news, emergency broadcasts, sporting events, general broadcasting/programming, etc. This is also referred to as 'communication access real-time translation' (CART).
  2. Law: As stated previously, court reporting covers the majority of legal needs when it comes to real-time transcription. However, those in the legal professional also use this service during depositions and legal interviews.
  3. Internet: Transcribing live feed from the internet is becoming ever more popular. Transcriptionists are needed for various video streams such as press conferences, business meetings, and a variety of podcasts/webinars. Sometimes the text being typed by the transcriptionist is also streamed immediately on the internet for the convenience of those participating. Other times it may be held as an archival record and distributed to a specific group at a later time.
Time transcript

Qualities a 'Real-Time' Transcriptionist Must Possess

If you are considering a career as a real-time transcriptionist, you'll want to closely consider the following qualities which your future employer/client will be looking for.

Excellent Typing Skills: Transcriptionists in the field of real-time data entry are expected to have a typing speed of at least 200-300 words per minute. Anything less than that would fall short simply because you wouldn't be able to keep up with the spoken dialogue.

Outstanding Listening Skills: Since you won't have the novelty of rewinding a recording or being spoiled with slowed-down playback features, it's imperative that you are able to hear and clearly understand the individuals who are speaking.

Be Detail Oriented: Use your perfectionistic tendencies to create an ideal document with professional spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Ability to Stay Focused: If you're an individual who is easily distracted or has a hard time focusing for long periods of time, the field of real-time transcription won't be the best fit for your career needs.

Quick on Your Feet: You need to be able to think and react as rapidly as possible in your fast-paced environment. There's no such thing as pausing the audio in this line of work.

Willingness to Work On-Site: Obviously there are jobs in this line of work which you can do from the comfort from your home office, but many of them are also on-site positions.

Zoom Real Time Transcription

Be Educated and Qualified: Employers will want to see that you have completed a training course and that you know how to use real-time text (RTT) technology. In addition, if you're considering a career in the courtroom you'll need specific certification and training in stenography. A good resource to use in order to begin this process of certification and training is the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA) website at www.ncra.org.