What is Transcription?

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What is transcription?  Many people have heard the term "work at home transcription" but might be wondering what is transcription?  When I first started my own business I started out as a secretarial service.  A local private investigator called me up and asked me to do some transcription.  I had a vague idea what that was, but the internet was not a thing yet so I couldn't investigate it very easily.  I did figure it out, rented a machine and it quickly became my niche market.

So what is transcription?

Well, transcription is basically typing an audio or video into a written transcript. In the not too distant past, the audio would have been in the form of tapes, either standard or micro-cassette tapes. In about 1998 the audio went digital and now most recordings are made on digital recorders. In the past, before the digital era, transcription services had to provide pick up and delivery of cassette tapes and transcripts, use a delivery service, or a mailing service. This limited a transcription service to pretty much their own geographic area. Once the internet got going and then the advent of digital recording, the barriers of client/transcriber location disappeared.

The process now is usually the client will dictate their letter, report or other dictation and then use a file transfer service, Dropbox or FTP site to remotely move the audio file to the transcription company. They would then download the audio file and using either purchased or free transcription software, create a type written transcript which they would then return to the client via email, Dropbox, FTP site or other file transfer service.

Recorded interviews are also recorded using digital recorders and are processed in the same way.  

The benefits of the digital era have been tremendous on the transcription industry.  First, the quality of the recordings has improved dramatically for the most part.  (There are still difficult audios, especially when recorded in restaurants or other undesirable locations as far as background noise.  But if care is taken and a quiet setting is found to make the recording, the quality is usually far superior than what individuals used to be able to record.)  Secondly, we can now work remotely with businesses and individuals all over the world.  Typists can work at home on their own schedule creating all kinds of work at home opportunities for mothers of small children, retired people, and just those seeking a different lifestyle.