Maybe you are familiar with transcription, but do you know there are automated transcription and manual transcription? When should we use transcription? And which one is better to use? This article will show you their difference and each advantage.
What is automatic transcription?
In a world where the presentation of information and content is becoming increasingly diverse, it is more important than ever to be able to translate between different media.
The rise of podcasts, video-sharing platforms, and virtual communications means that information is now stored and encoded in a variety of different ways. While beneficial for many reasons, the ability to transcribe video and audio content into text remains valuable for archival, instructional, informational, and other purposes.
Automatic transcription uses voice and sound recognition software to generate a textual presentation of any audio without human intervention. Files are fed into specialized software and a complete transcription is quickly generated.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Automated Transcription for Individuals and Companies
Automated transcription offers a number of key advantages for individuals and companies over manual transcription.
#1 For both individuals and companies, automated transcription can dramatically increase productivity. Whereas manual transcription must be done in real-time, or often much slower, automated tools can transcribe hours of audio in just a few seconds.
#2 Automated transcriptions can be used as a quick search tool for content. Being able to produce a complete transcription in a matter of seconds allows any audio content to be searched with specific keywords and phrases, which is much more effective than having to listen to the entire file. This is helpful for individuals investigating a particular topic or for companies conducting market research on the Web.
#3 Transcription software eliminates the need for companies to invest in staff for the transcription process, saving money and resources in the process.
Automatic transcription is extremely useful for marketing purposes, helping to analyze buyer interests and needs and to monitor interactions between customers and sales representatives.
#4 Automated transcription can also include translation, allowing both engagement and production of materials in any desired language without significant time loss.
#1 Automated transcription will never be as effective as manual transcription. No matter how advanced the software is, small errors will occur. For individuals, this may not be a problem, as most errors can be understood or corrected on a case-by-case basis. For companies trying to archive material or analyze specific data, this may be unacceptable.
#2 Some transcription programs must be rented or purchased from software vendors. For some, this cost may outweigh the benefits of speed and efficiency.
What is manual transcription?
Manual transcription is a text version of audio or video material that is actively listened to and written or typed by a person.
Because a person is doing the transcription, they must listen to the content in real-time. Even then, the transcription can only be done as fast as a person can hear, understand and write what is being said.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Manual Transcription for Individuals and Companies
As with automatic transcription, manual transcription has its own advantages and disadvantages for both individuals and commercial enterprises.
#1 Artificial transcription involves human interpretation. This means that errors inherent in automatic transcription by computer programs are minimized or completely corrected. Tones and emphasis that are not visible to speech recognition software can also be obtained through manual transcription.
#2 For individuals, manual transcription can be a useful means of learning new information, as transcription has been shown to improve memory and retention in the short and long term.
#1 Manual transcription is much slower than automated transcription. In the time it takes one person to transcribe a page of text, specialized software can analyze and transcribe dozens or tens of times more with only minor errors.
#2 Manual transcription services would incur unacceptably large expenses. Companies that rely on bulk transcription would be at a distinct disadvantage, having to rely on paid personnel to operate at a slower rate than they can read.
#3 For individuals working on academic or work projects, having to manually transcribe something would take away time that could be spent on research or improving other areas.
#4 People trying to find specific audio clips or snippets of information are hampered by having to rely on manual transcriptions. Indexing a complete document by hand can take hours, whereas an automated transcription will produce a complete and searchable text in a short amount of time.
#5 Manual transcription is done on paper or in a word processor. Even those who can recognize and understand speech quickly may be hindered by poor typing skills or poor manual dexterity.
Why choose automatic transcription over manual?
While both methods have their advantages, it should be clear from these comparisons that automated transcription has distinct advantages over manual solutions.
First, automatic transcription is much faster than manual transcription. Manual transcription is limited in time by an individual’s writing or typing skills. Transcription programs are limited only by the speed of their software and work exponentially faster.
Transcription software is much less costly for large operations associated with commercial enterprises or marketing applications. In an enterprise environment, manual transcription takes a lot of time and money but still cannot match the speed of dedicated software.
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