Along with using a conscientious and reliable company that offers professional transcription services, good quality recordings also play a vital part in ensuring an accurate transcript.
One of the most common problems when trying to produce a high quality transcript is background noise. The whirring of a washing machine, the rattling of dinner plates and coffee cups, the radio playing in the background – or the pet dog barking – are just some of the obstacles us transcribers face on a regular basis! It’s advisable to find a quiet place where you are unlikely to be disturbed to make your recording for transcription; digital recorders are excellent but can also pick up the slightest sound, including mobile phone interference, and sometimes no matter how sophisticated the transcriber’s transcription software or headphones are, it can be very tricky and time-consuming to hear what is being said clearly over other disturbances (on one occasion a talkative parrot nattering in the background made life particularly difficult!)
Over talking each other during interviews and focus groups can also cause the odd “inaudible” to creep in. Of course it is only human nature for all participants to start chatting together when discussing an interesting subject, but if this can be kept a minimum wherever possible you’re much more likely to receive an accurate transcript, with who said what in the correct place!
There are two main ways to make your recording for transcription; there’s the analogue option using mini, micro or standard cassette tapes, and there’s the digital option. Digital recordings are generally of a much higher quality, and when used with professional transcription software and headphones can usually help towards obtaining an excellent transcript. The process for sending your digital recording over to a company offering freelance transcription services is usually smoother (and cheaper) as well – please see Business Friend’s Transcription and Audio Typing Procedure page for further information on this.
Digital recordings are usually made in MP3, WMA, WAV or .DSS formats and generally have the capacity to record long interviews, focus groups, conferences etc; whereas analogue are limited to the length of the tape and require keeping a close eye on to make sure the tape doesn’t run out before the interview or dictation does. It can be pretty frustrating to realise the last half hour of a discussion hasn’t even been recorded and so can’t be transcribed for your records! Business Friend can also extract audio files from DVD recordings, for example VOB files, for transcribing. In fact, by using several digital transcription software options along with all cassette transcription equipment, we can transcribe just about anything!
If you’re new to recording interviews, research, focus groups, telephone interviews, conferences or dictation, then having a browse around most office stationery and equipment suppliers’ websites will provide further guidance, or manufacturers’ sites such as Sony, Phillips and Olympus will also have additional information on how to ensure a high quality recording for your chosen transcription services company. Please feel free to contact us if you would like further details.