Emily Nowakowa

Emily Nowakowa


Automatic transcription of audio and video recordings - how much does it cost and what should you know about it?

Automatic transcription of audio and video recordings can enhance your work. Journalists, copywriters, entrepreneurs, teachers, influencers, and scientists are just some of the professional groups that can benefit from using such a service. In this article, you will learn what automatic transcription is, how it works, what its benefits are, and how much it costs. We will also present the differences between automatic transcription and manual transcription, and discuss who this service can be particularly useful for.

What is transcription - definition. What does automatic transcription mean?

The simplest way to put it is that transcription is the process of converting spoken language into written form, which can be analyzed and studied by linguists and other language researchers. In practice, it is the process of transcribing words spoken in an audio or video recording into text. This text can then be used for various purposes, such as creating subtitles for films, editing interviews, or compiling reports.

Transcription vs. stenography - differences

A similar phenomenon is the well-known practice of stenography. It is a shorthand form of writing in which special symbols and abbreviations are used to quickly and efficiently capture speech on paper or in electronic form. Stenography is used in situations where rapid and accurate capturing of speech in real-time is necessary, such as important business meetings, court proceedings, etc. Stenography can be done manually or with the help of specialized software. The resulting document is called a stenogram, and its creation requires special skills and education.

In contrast to stenography, which uses abbreviations and intentionally omits certain words to streamline the work, transcription captures all the speaker's words in the order they were spoken. Transcription is used in situations where accurate and comprehensive recording of speech is important, such as conveying information in written form, creating captions for films, or conducting scientific research. Transcription can be done manually or with the help of specialized software, and its creation requires a good understanding of language, grammar, as well as listening and speech-to-text skills.

Automatic transcription - what is it?

Automatic audio transcription is the process in which a computer program converts sounds from a recording and transforms them into text. This procedure involves the use of advanced speech recognition algorithms and technologies that can automatically identify and convert speech into text.

How does speech-to-text conversion work?

The following are the stages of automatic transcription: First, the audio recording is imported into a computer program, which then uses speech recognition technology to convert the sounds in the recording into text. Speech recognition algorithms compare the sounds with a database that contains sound and word patterns to determine which words were spoken.

Next, the program uses various natural language processing techniques, such as grammatical and semantic analysis, to enhance the transcription process. The result of this work is the generation of textual transcription results, which can be read and edited to achieve an accurate representation of the speech.

However, it is important to note that automatic audio transcription may not always be perfectly accurate, as the computer program is not capable of precisely translating every utterance with 100% accuracy.

The quality of automatic transcription can be influenced by:

  • Accent
  • Speaking speed
  • Background noise
  • Technical jargon and the use of specialized terms, e.g., medical terminology

Therefore, it is important to perform manual verifications of the transcription to obtain accurate and precise results.

Where is speech-to-text conversion useful?

Audio-to-text conversion has a wide range of applications. In the age of digitalization, more and more content is in the form of videos or recordings. However, adding captions makes them not only more inclusive (easier for people with hearing impairments), but also helps with promoting the material.

Automatic transcription is an ideal solution for:

  • Journalists and editors - dictating text can help create press materials and facilitate editing of articles and reports. For example, transcribing interviews or radio plays, which can be easily turned into articles.
  • Business professionals - speech transcription can be used to create notes from business meetings, prepare documentation from meetings, recordings of lectures or presentations, and create captions for advertising materials.
  • Education - speech recognition can help create notes from lectures, recordings, and presentations, as well as facilitate the process of translation into sign language.
  • Medicine - speech transcription can be used to document patient-doctor conversations, which aids in maintaining medical histories and treatment planning.
  • Scientific research - converting speech to text can assist in analyzing spoken and written language and facilitate research in various fields such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology. It is also an ideal way to create conference scripts.
  • Entertainment industry - speech-to-text conversion can help manage social media and generate content for creators focused on podcasts, YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms based on audio and video materials.

Speech-to-text in marketing

Speech-to-text conversion is an excellent solution for marketing professionals. By incorporating audiovisual content into your strategy, you can create blog posts, social media updates, sponsored articles, and newsletters based on them. Speech recognition and conversion to text can help rapidly expand a campaign with such media. This increases the potential audience and aids in positioning and promotion.

How to convert speech to text?

There are two ways to convert speech to text. Speech-to-text conversion can be fully performed by a human or automated.

1. Manual transcription

Manual conversion of audio to text involves transcribing the words spoken in an audio or video recording. In contrast to automatic audio transcription, where this process is performed by a computer program, manual audio transcription is done by a human transcriber.

During manual audio transcription, a transcriber listens to the audio recording and types each word spoken into a computer or on paper. In the case of more advanced transcription, the transcriber may also add information about emotions, intonations, pauses, and other speech elements to provide a more detailed analysis of the recording. Manual audio transcription may require specialized knowledge, especially for recordings containing specialized vocabulary or terminology related to a specific field.

The process of manual audio transcription is time-consuming and requires patience, especially for long recordings or recordings with multiple simultaneous speakers. Transcribers often need to listen to the material multiple times to obtain an accurate transcript. However, manual audio transcription is typically more accurate and precise than automatic transcription. Therefore, despite automation, this profession has not become obsolete, although it can be quite tedious work.

2. Automatic transcription

Audio-to-text conversion can be automated both online and using locally installed software on a computer. Let's focus on the first option, as it does not require purchasing a license and is available instantly.

By using a service like Transcriptmate, you can process sound to text in just two clicks. You need to provide:

  • Your first and last name
  • An email address to receive the text file with the recording transcript
  • A link to the video on YouTube or
  • Upload an audio file from your computer

The recording can be up to 5 hours long or 200 MB in size and can be in Polish or English.

The audio will be converted to text within two hours of payment confirmation.

Audio-to-text conversion - how much does this service cost?

The whole process boils down to two steps. You simply need to provide the necessary information, the file for transcription, and make the payment. Payment can be made through BLIK, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. One file costs only 6 USD! However, you gain even more - a one-time payment for transcribing text from online recordings frees you from subscriptions or the costs of dedicated transcription software licenses.

Transcription - individual pricing

Speech-to-text conversion can also be done for a bulk number of files. Use the contact form to receive a quote for transcribing recordings in other languages. Dialogue transcription and other services are also available upon special request.

Online speech-to-text processing - advantages

It is worth summarizing the key advantages of automatic transcription:

1. Speed and ease of use:
Automatic audio transcription is significantly faster than manual transcription. There is no need to listen to the recording multiple times to type every word. You simply upload the recording to the transcription program, and in a short time, you receive the completed text.

2. Cost:
Automatic audio transcription is usually cheaper than manual transcription because it eliminates the human factor. Many programs offer free transcriptions for a limited number of recordings or favorable subscription packages.

3. Accessibility:
Automatic audio transcription is easily accessible online, allowing users to utilize it from anywhere and on any device with internet access, at any time, regardless of the time of day. The results will be available within two hours of submitting the recording.

4. Utility:
Automatic audio transcription is useful for anyone who does not have the time or resources to perform manual transcription. It is an ideal solution for journalists, copywriters, researchers, teachers, students, lawyers, etc.

5. Accuracy:
Thanks to advanced algorithms, automatic audio transcription is very accurate. Nevertheless, it is still important to carefully review the text generated by the transcription program, as errors can always occur, especially with specialized words or specific pronunciations.