Professional, flexible and cost effective audio and digital transcription services for businesses, organisations and individuals provided by our team of highly experienced transcribers. All information and transcripts are treated as highly confidential and this guarantee of complete privacy and confidentiality is of paramount importance to us and allows our clients to have total confidence in our service.

Outsourcing your transcription requirements to Business Visions will help you become more efficient and save you time and money.

Make better use of your PA/Secretarys’ time

No minimum requirements

No agency/temp fees

Flexible system which can be used when you need it

You only pay for the length of recording

Whatever the size of your transcription project – whether it’s a one-off lecture, a long and detailed interview or a series of conferences, we are committed to providing a personalised, professional service, tailored to your individual specifications and needs.

Many clients now use digital recordings and equipment to take advantage of the superior quality, but standard audio tapes are still in use today and we are happy to transcribe from these recordings. Obviously, it is in the client’s interest to ensure that they make the clearest possible recordings as tape hiss, background noise etc. can make the voices difficult to hear and will therefore increase the time taken to transcribe, and hence increased cost.

It is a common misconception that one hour of recording takes one hour to transcribe. This is far from the case. We speak much faster than we can write or type – hence the reason we have shorthand or need stenographers. It is generally accepted that we speak four times faster than we can type and seven times faster than we can write.

Thus, the professional industry standard states that if you provide a clear quality recording it will take about four hours to transcribe one hour of recording of a single speaker in cases of dictation, a speech, or a one-to-one interview. Where there are more speakers, such as in meetings, focus groups and interviews with several participants, the transcription will take longer – in the region of about six hours.

The following factors will influence the time taken to transcribe any recording, and therefore the cost, so are worth paying attention to:

  • The quality of the recording and the equipment used:

A poor recording will result in a high number of ‘inaudibles’ and take far longer to transcribe and this will subsequently increase client costs. Producing a good quality, clearly audible recording is vital.

  • Whether an external microphone has been used and where it was placed in relation to the speaker/s:

The in-built microphone should only be used to make a recording of dictation – used for any other purpose, the results will be poor. External microphones are needed for capturing a clearly audible recording and thought should be given to the placement of the microphone, especially in situations where there is more than one speaker.

  • The clarity and number of voices:

If the speaker is too far away from the microphone, mumbles, speaks too fast or too quietly, this can obviously result in difficulties with deciphering words. Where there are multiple voices involved, problems can arise when people talk over each other, or all at once, frequent interruptions and raised voices. It can also be difficult to distinguish between different voices and the recording will need to be played back several times in some circumstances.

  • Whether it is required that the speakers be identified:

Identification of the speakers can be problematic with large focus groups or meetings where there may be a ‘babble’ of voices. In order to save the transcriptionist’s time, it is helpful if the client provides a voice ‘brief’ or speakers identify themselves, either at the beginning or throughout the recording.

  • The speed at which they are talking:

It will take longer to transcribe a recording of a fast talker than that of a slow or ‘normal’ talker. For example, two recordings, both one hour in length, the first person talks at a speed generally accepted as ‘normal’ and the resulting transcription is perhaps 10,000 words long. The second person speaks fast and the transcription totals 16,000 words. So, same length of recording, but a completely different length of transcript.

  • Their style of address – whether they speak in coherent sentences:

People rarely speak in the same manner in which they would write – speech tends to be littered with informal exclamations and habits. In such situations, the transcriptionist has to go back and work out where to insert the punctuation in order to retain the meaning of the dialogue. The more coherent speakers enable the transcriptionist to ‘type as they talk’ and the words flow far more quickly and smoothly.

  • The level of background noise:

A quiet indoor environment is the best location to make a recording. Whilst people can filter out background noise in order to concentrate on what someone else is saying, recording equipment is not so selective and picks up every sound, giving each noise equal prominence.

  • The accent or dialect of the speaker/s:

The accent of a speaker, if difficult to decipher, can adversely affect the time it takes to transcribe the recording. It may take the transcriptionist some while to tune in to the accent by listening to the voice several times in order to capture what is being sent.

  • The amount of technical terminology and jargon involved:

Material that is full of technical, financial or specialised terminology may be unfamiliar to the transcriptionist, making it more difficult to distinguish the words. In such circumstances, a glossary of keywords or some kind of brief about the topic involved provided in advance by the client can help enormously, or if words can be spelt out at the time by the person dictating. We can do this research ourselves on the Internet, but this will obviously add to the transcription time.

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