You might be surprised to learn that there are different types of automatic transcription software. After all, transcription involves turning audio into text, right?
While this is true, there are different ways of doing it. So, in this article, we’ll cover the types of automatic transcription software to help you understand which is best for your needs.
Why Use Automatic Transcription Software?
All types of transcription software save you time compared to transcribing manually. If, for example, you’re a researcher or journalist who needs text copies of interviews, it’s not productive to type them out yourself.
This is why we turn to software. Of course, by saving you time, it generally saves you money, too. You also won’t have to learn to transcribe and there’s less chance of mistakes in the transcript.
Anyone who needs a text version of an audio file would use transcription software. This might include:
👍Journalists transcribing interviews
👍Researchers and academics
👍Students who record lectures
👍Video editors needing subtitles
The list goes on, but you get the point. Only people trained in manual transcription would probably not use an automatic platform. Even then, it would save them a lot of time.
Types of Automatic Transcription Software
Now that we’ve looked at why we might want to transcribe a file automatically, let’s look at the different options we have.
An edited transcription is one that changes the audio to make it easier to understand when written down. This might involve removing slang and grammatical errors or adjusting sentences.
It would also allow you to change the speaker’s voice. By this, we mean the words and tone they use that makes them recognizable. In doing so, you might adjust the transcript’s formality, particularly if you remove slang.
You might use an edited transcription, particularly informal settings. These include academic journals, business and medical communications, and marketing information.
It’s not too difficult to find software that can edit, too. However, it might lack the intelligence to change slang words into their formal versions or know which bits to edit. A transcription platform shouldn’t have an issue splitting up sentences, though.
Verbatim means “word for word”, so you can probably tell what a verbatim transcription is. It involves transcribing every sound that’s made. This might include background noise, audience reactions (laughter, clapping), and verbal pauses. A verbal pause is a word such as “um” or “uhh”.
You might want to use a verbatim transcription in something like a police interview, court case, or even a research document. It’s important when you need to show the speaker’s tone, reaction, or choice of language.
It might seem like this would be the easiest for automatic transcription software to produce. But this isn’t actually the case. Many AI platforms struggle with things that aren’t real words. They might not understand pauses and filler words or know how to identify background noise.
Verbatim transcriptions are often the most expensive type to produce because they take a lot of work. For a manual transcriber, they’ll need to listen many times to pick up on every tiny sound.
Unless it’s really necessary, you’ll probably want to go for a different type of transcription.
Intelligent Verbatim Transcription
Intelligent verbatim is popular because it makes up for all the things true verbatim lacks. In short, it makes the verbatim language more readable and concise but keeps the speaker’s true voice.
To make an intelligent verbatim transcript, you’d remove things like:
- Non-standard words – dunno, supposably, regardless, etc.
- Filler words – you know, like, yeah.
- Verbal pauses – umm, uhh.
- General noises – laughter, coughing, throat-clearing.
- Repeated words – such as if someone stutters or loses their place.
- Run-on sentences – breaking sentences down into 2 or smaller ones.
You’d want to use intelligent verbatim in situations where unnecessary content distracts from the meaning. For example, you wanted to turn a business presentation into a newsletter. In this situation, there’s no benefit to keeping pauses but there’s plenty in keeping the speaker’s voice.
Like verbatim transcription, this can be quite hard for automatic software to do. This is because it still needs to know which words aren’t relevant so it can remove them. As such, it takes just as much work but results in a cleaner and more readable transcript.
There aren’t many situations in which you’d want to use phonetic transcription. It’s quite a complex and specialist mode of transcription that requires training for both reading and writing.
In short, languages are broken down into letters and sounds, which are called phonemes. In English, there are 26 letters and about 44 phonemes. For example, “sh” is a phoneme but not a letter.
So, phonetic transcription is the process of turning audio into phonetic symbols rather than just words. As you can imagine, this is quite a small market.
It’s kind of what court recorders use, although their process is slightly different. Stenography involves writing words down as shorthand symbols using a special phonetic code.
Other than that, you might want to use it to show how a word is spoken differently, such as if you’re dealing with old languages. If you could teach an automatic transcription software to understand phonemes, it would be easy to transcribe them.
Final Thoughts on Automatic Transcription Software
Of course, no one platform will do all these types of transcription. The most popular are intelligent verbatim and edited. It’s because they offer the right balance of accuracy and readability.
Regardless of what you need automatic transcription software for, give Transkriptor a try. It’s fast, accurate, and incredibly affordable. Importantly, it offers between 80 and 99% accuracy and allows you to edit the document online. You can then add your timestamps and download the file with ease.
Better still, your first transcription is free. After that, it’s 98% cheaper than the competition. So, give it a go and see how easy it is to automatically transcribe your audio into text.