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Ryan Dube from MakeUseOf.com recently wrote a great tutorial on how to use voice-to-text functionality within Express Scribe transcribing software.  This is a great solution for recording yourself (dictation) and getting a very quick and accurate result; however, be aware that this is not a solution for transcribing voice audio files.   Why?  Voice recognition software must first learn your voice.   Other voices will tend to confuse it and produce what Ryan calls “garbage”.   Interviews, group discussions or any recording that is in a less than ideal environment will also not transcribe well.  The noise and/or lack of clarity in these environments will create more “garbage” from your voice-to-text software.  Want to see an example?  I recently wrote a blog post that links to a radio station’s use of automated transcription software.

Also, keep in mind that the best transcripts not only includes the correct spelling of words, but also the correct punctuation, formatting and so much more.  A relatively simple thing like the correct handling of homonyms may never be a realistic goal of voice-to-text programs.  Also, professional transcriptionists will hear discrepancies because their ears have been trained to hear and comprehend the detail.  If something said later in the transcript does not jibe with what was said earlier, your professional transcriptionist will bring this to your attention.  Voice-to-text software will never be able to do this.

Lastly, terminology research is key to a great transcript.  Here at AudioFile Solutions, it is not uncommon for us to verify 40 or 50 terms in a typical interview.

For these reasons, the automatic transcription of audio files is clearly not ready for prime time and, in my opinion, should be left to a professional.

Read Ryan’s complete article below.

Begin Article

When you do a lot of phone interviews that get published in text format on the web, transcribing audio files becomes a big part of one’s life. There are a lot of people that have the need to transcribe voice to text, such as doctor’s that record a log of office visits, journalists that conduct audio interviews, or even students that record class lectures.

For years, I’ve been looking for a high-quality free voice to text software solution that will automatically take an audio recording and transcribe it to text. Such an application will put a lot of transcription companies out of work, but it’s a dream that I believe will come true some day. Recently, I conducted another hour-long interview… (continue reading the full article here: How to Use Voice-to-Text Dictation on Express Scribe.)