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Why and how to transcribe audio or video recordings

There are many reasons why you might want to transcribe audio or video recordings. Putting the text of a video onto the web page which contains it is a very good idea, from an SEO point of view. Obviously Google prefers text, but many of your website visitors will like the option to read instead of just listening. I’ve also mentioned in the past that the fastest way to get knowledgeable, original content for your website is to record one of your colleagues answering a question and using the answer as your article. So how do we get from spoken words to text?

If you’re really lucky, and the speaker is clear and measured, you can just throw the recording at a free service. Google has one, called Voice Typing. Microsoft has its Dictate add-in for Office, and Apple devices have a similar dictation facility. You might need to do some work on the results, but if you’re using the spoken source as the basis for an article, you’d have to do that anyway.

Human transcription services are of course going to be better, but – understandably – they can also be expensive. You could always take a chance on one of the many services at which can be very cheap; even the ‘premium’ services there will work out at under £1 per minute of audio.