Customer Checklist for Audio and Video Transcription Services

Checklist for submitting audio and video transcriptionWhen submitting a recording to AudioFile Solutions for audio or video transcription services, there are a few pieces of information that you need to provide to us.  Assuming you’ve already set up an account and have given us your contact information, tell us what makes your recording unique.  In other words, send us the following:

  • Title
  • Date of audio / video recording
  • Speakers’ names
  • Any frequently used technical terms/names (if possible)

The “technical terms” above will help to make your transcript as accurate as possible.  We investigate unknown terms and names stringently, but your help in this area is greatly appreciated.

Then, think about whether you want us to transcribe your recording verbatim, or a variation thereof.  We typically omit verbal stuttering, incomplete words, ahs, and ums.  But there are two additional areas that, if we omit them, it makes the transcript much easier to read.

1.  Someone—like an interviewer—saying, “ok”, “right”, “yes”, and other terms to express the fact that he/she is listening to the other person.  I like to call this a “rhetorical” use of these words, but suffice it to say, they serve no other function than to make the other person feel comfortable that he/she is understanding what the other person is saying—they have no direct relationship with the content of the recording.  Obviously, in cases where, “ok”, “right”, and “yes” are used in a “non-rhetorical” context, we would not omit them.  Here is an example.

As spoken:

John:  …and I was thinking to myself that the chocolate was the best I had ever had.

Interviewer:  Okay.

John:  The flavor was unlike any other.

Interviewer:  Right.  Uh-huh.

John:  But then I remembered that it was made with cocoa from an illegal supplier…

Interviewer:  Yes.

John:  …and I had to take it back to the store.

Transcription Rewrite:

John:  …and I was thinking to myself that the chocolate was the best I had ever had.  The flavor was unlike any other.  But then I remembered that it was made with cocoa from an illegal supplier, and I had to take it back to the store.

You can see that the rewrite above is much more succinct and easy to read.  In most cases, we recommend that you direct us to make these omissions, but it is entirely up to you.

2.  In the normal course of speech, many of us will use “filler” words/phrases that have no use within the structure of a sentence.  They also have nothing to do with the content of the recording.  These are words/phrases like, “kind of”, “sort of”, “like”, “you know”, and many others.  Some of these words double as valid parts of a sentence, in “non-filler” applications.  Obviously, in these cases, we would not omit them.  But in cases where they serve no useful purpose, we recommend that you direct us to omit them.  Here is an example.

As spoken:

John:  …and I was, like, thinking to myself that the, sort of, chocolate was the best, you know, I had ever had.  The flavor was unlike, you know, any other.  But then I remembered that it was, sort of, made with cocoa from an illegal, kind of, supplier and I had to take it back, like, to the store.

Transcription Rewrite:

John:  …and I was thinking to myself that the chocolate was the best I had ever had.  The flavor was unlike any other.  But then I remembered that it was made with cocoa from an illegal supplier and I had to take it back to the store.

I’m sure you will agree that the above rewrite is much easier to read and does not change the content one bit.  But, of course, the decision to omit these “filler” words/phrases is completely up to you.

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for trusting us with your audio or video transcription project.  We work hard to make sure you are 100% happy with the work that we do for you.

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