These are some of the issues found in transcription services:
- Typing speed – Most people speak over 120 words per minute but type less than 40 words per minute. A professional transcriptionist usually needs 4-8 hours to transcribe 1 hour of audio.
- Transcriptionist must have a high grasp of language. Their knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling must be advanced.
- Transcriptionist must have a high level of general culture (company names, idioms, etc.)
- Transcriptionist must have a high level of industry-specific terminology
- Transcriptionist must have a trained ear for various accents (American, Scottish, German, ESL speakers, etc.)
- Transcription is a labour-intensive process which requires much time. The difficulty of a translation is affected by various issues: recording quality, number of speakers, accent of speakers, etc.
Typical value-added services:
- Downloadable pdf versions
- Timestamps in the transcript which mark the exact location in the audio indicating inaudible spots, crosstalk between speakers or areas of uncertainty
- Synchronised transcript where clicking on the transcript will take you to the corresponding point in the audio/video file
- HTML or PHP versions of the text so clients can upload transcripts to their website