The 3 Most Popular Transcript Formats

The 3 Most popular Transcript Formats

Transcription has become one of the most sought after and very lucrative businesses in today’s world. Transcription, simply, is the process of converting audio file into text format for varied reasons. The person who does this conversion is called a ‘Transcriptionist’. A transcriptionist listens to a given audio and converts it into text depending on client requirements. Transcription can be done either direct as being present at a given event or through recorded audio files.

Transcription can be broadly divided into 3 main categories:

  • Verbatim Transcription
  • Edited Transcription
  • Intelligent Transcription

Let me take you briefly through these to acquaint you with the subtle difference among them.

Verbatim Transcription: As the name itself tells, it is all about exact word-to-word conversion of audio into text. This also involves the mumblings, half sentences and emotions that might have been used during the event. Eg: “hmmm, I mean, kinda….etc.” From a transcriptionist point of view, this process involves a lot of time and effort to achieve the desired accuracy. Hence it is a very expensive and well paid process. This format is used commonly for legal proceedings and financial events where every word is important.

Edited Transcription: As the name explains, these transcripts can be mildly edited. It is similar to Verbatim, but here the mumblings and the emotions can be edited. One has to listen to the audio and try to get the gist of the speech or seminar without changing the meaning and transcribe it into relevant text. For processing edited transcripts, transcriptionists need to have a good command over language and a greater level of understanding of the concept. It is time consuming too, but less in comparison with Verbatim Transcription. This is also a well-paid process. This is a generally used format for transcription in seminars, conferences, public speeches, etc.

Intelligent Transcription: As the name suggests, it is the kind where transcriptionists ignore unwanted terms and words used in the talk which does not mean anything. As these words add no value to the content, they can be left out of the final transcribed text. This process takes less amount of time as compared to the other two formats. Mild rephrasing is allowed in this format.

Depending on the end users’ budget, turnaround time and other requirements; one of these transcription process is chosen. Though they have their own pros and cons, each format is useful in its own way. Transcription is a very interesting and well established business. It is sought out more because of the flexibility of getting it done even from the comfort of our home.

Financial Errors Kill Conference Call Transcripts

Public listed companies share critical financial data during their conference calls. This makes it all the more important and vital for conference call transcripts to be completely free of financial errors. Let us look at how critical these financial data are for conference call transcripts and how financial errors impact the transcripts. If you are a transcription solution provider delivering conference call transcripts for financial institutions, then you should ensure that you don’t have a single financial error in your transcripts.

Financial Errors Kill Conference Call Transcripts

Financial errors are basically numerical errors that are considered as the most severe ones as far as conference call transcripts are concerned. You can just imagine what impact it makes if the revenue of a company is wrongly published in your transcript. Assume you transcribe “$18 million” for “$80 million”; this one error can kill your whole transcript. Normally, these types of financial errors happen when machine-generated transcripts are not properly proofread. It is important to proofread conference call transcripts by qualified transcription professionals who specifically look for these types of errors. Professionals specialized in doing conference call transcripts do thorough research before they actually go ahead and start proofreading or editing these machine-generated transcripts. Most of the cases, companies publish financial data before they conduct conference calls. A person, who does a proper research, easily identifies and corrects the financial errors that appear on raw transcripts.

Then you have non-numerical financial errors, which are as bad as numerical financial errors. Non-numerical financial errors meaning; it is not wrongly transcribed numerical figures that spoil the transcripts, but wrongly transcribed words. Say for example, “expenses increased by 20% versus last year” is what is transcribed for “expenses decreased by 20% versus last year”. If you look at this, the number “20%” is perfectly alright, but what have gone wrong here are the words “increased” and “decreased”. This error is also considered as a financial error because this error directly impacts the financial data. Like numerical financial errors, these errors can also be avoided by thorough research and proper proofreading.

5 Myths about Transcription

There are lot of misconceptions on air about transcription, let us look at five major myths.

5 myths about transcription

1.It is all about listening to an audio and simply typing them out.

This is a myth. Audio recordings are not always perfectly done for transcriptionists to just type them out. Transcriptionists often come across poor audio quality, thick accents, multiple speakers crossing over each other, etc. A good transcriptionist has to understand the concept clearly and has to correlate with the concept most of the times to make sense out of what is spoken. Perfect grammar and spelling with proper formatting are major aspects of quality transcripts.

2.Speaker identification is quite easy.

Not at all. You can imagine how difficult it is to identify speakers during an earnings conference call, especially when multiple speakers with same accent. Most transcriptionists say that it is very difficult to distinguish between female speakers when they have same voice and accent. Good transcriptionists need to make intelligent guesses while identifying speakers; for instance they need to know how to distinguish between what a CFO or CEO address during an earnings conference call.

3.Time required to create a transcript is same as the length of the recording.

This is not true. Time required to create a transcript is always greater than the length of the recording. Transcribing an audio involves stoppages and rewinding to allow transcriptionists to decipher sentences and accurately convert them to text. There are times when a transcriptionist slows down the pace of dictation using transcription tools in order to clearly understand what is being said. Research and proofreading are other aspects of transcription that slows down the pace of transcription process. As an industry standard, it takes 3 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of clear audio recording.

4.Proofreading is a simple task and anyone can do it.

No, proofreading is not at all a simple task and it has to be done by professionals. Proofreaders need to have a lot of concentration and subject knowledge. They need to check for spellings and grammatical errors because these errors are considered to be grave when it comes to the quality of transcripts. Proofreaders are the decisive set of eyes and ears; poor proofreading can cost a lot to the transcript providers.

5.Formatting a transcript is very simple.

Formatting a transcript is not at all a simple task. Formatting the text according to client requirements is of utmost importance. Formatting requirements vary from client to client. An editor has to be sure of each client’s formatting style. They need to have thorough knowledge of the style guides provided by each client. Medical, legal or business transcript formats are entirely different from each other.

A good transcription service provider has to have a perfect combination of transcriptionists, editors and proof readers to deliver high quality transcripts. It is very important for them to have thorough professionals with specialized knowledge in each domain.

The Benefits of Podcast Transcription

Podcast transcription is the process of converting the whole audio from a podcast into text format; and making them available has many benefits for the podcasters.

They improve searchability and discoverability of the content. They help in improving search engine optimization and also help to drive more attention on to the podcast.

Benefits of podcast transcription

The most popular way to search for something on the web is by typing the text of the thing that you are searching for. These transcripts make it possible for Google to crawl and find the content that has to be indexed. Though audio description and content title help in SEO, the best way to improve searchability is to have the entire text available.

Another major benefit of having transcripts is that they increase accessibility. They make it easy for deaf and hard of hearing to consume the content. They also help people with language limitations to understand the content. They allow people to consume content even at public places without earphones.

They contribute for a better user experience. Users can quickly scan through the text to have an idea about the concept before they really listen to the content. Availability of transcripts makes it quite easy for the users to go back and look for a particular portion from an extensive content.

Overall, podcast transcripts enhance searchability, discoverability, shareability and accessibility of the content.

Transcribe-Now has a reliable transcription solution that is capable of delivering error-free transcripts.

What is a Verbatim Transcription

Verbatim transcription is the exact word by word speech to text conversion. Transcriptionists providing verbatim transcripts need to have keen ears and attention to detail. They pay close attention to every sound, word, tone, etc.  A real verbatim transcript converts everything on the audio file the way it is delivered. This would include non-verbal utterances as well.

verbatim transcription

Verbatim transcripts transfer anything and everything that is spoken. Even grammatical errors, repetition, etc. are captured the way it is delivered, they are not corrected. Unclear thoughts remain unclear.

Verbatim transcripts are used widely in legal documentation. The thought process behind the spoken words are of utmost importance in legal proceedings.

Verbatim transcripts are also used in insurance industry. Claims professionals use verbatim transcripts to pick up valuable information.

It is not practical to completely rely on automated transcription tools to do verbatim transcription. Nowadays, transcription service providers use hybrid solution to do verbatim transcription. Here, automatically produced transcripts are shot into manual workflows where highly experienced transcriptionists make necessary changes to reproduce the text document exactly the way it is delivered.

Being in transcription industry for more than two decades, Transcribe-Now has a highly effective hybrid transcription workflow. Transcribe-Now’s hybrid solution makes it possible to deliver error-free verbatim transcripts at a much quicker turnaround.



For a transcription service provider, quality proofreading is the most critical task performed before transcripts are delivered to its clients. Transcription proofreaders typically work as a part of the Quality Analysis team and they work at different levels. They are responsible for the final delivery of error-free transcripts to the clients, and hence considered as the most critical job.

How do they do it? The key to quality proofreading is to read the transcribed text again and again, the more you read the more you understand the context of the document. Each time the proofreaders review the content, they approach it with different mindsets.


Transcriptionists type out documents quite fast simultaneously listening to audio files leaving room for mistakes. Errors are bound to happen as transcriptionists type out at a high speed. Proofreaders are the second set of ears and eyes before the transcripts are finally delivered to the clients.

What do they check while proofreading? Proofreaders check for grammatical and spelling errors. They also check for contextual errors. Proofreaders fill in missing words or phrases missed out during the transcription process.

Document formatting according to the specifications provided by the client is another important task performed by proofreaders. After proper formatting, the documents are delivered to the client after a final quality check by the proofreaders.

With the best Quality Analysis team in place, Transcribe-Now is one of the most sought-after transcription service providers operating in the market.

Necessities for Transcription Jobs

To be a freelance transcriptionist, you have to be equipped with certain basic necessities. Let us look at some must-haves for you to start with freelance transcription jobs. You can always buy the basic ones to start with and later on can be upgraded.

Computer: For transcription jobs, your computer does not require a lot of computing power. You don’t really need high-end CPU or lot of storage space as long as you are not using the system for any other purpose. Even an Intel Celeron Process would do if money is a decisive factor. You can choose a laptop or a desktop, it doesn’t really matter.

Necessities for Transcription Jobs

Internet Connection: It is necessary for you to have high-speed Internet connectivity as sometimes you would have to work on software provided by the transcription companies that would allow you to connect fast and secure. You would be uploading and downloading audio files and text documents and would also require a lot of research. It is also preferred to have a backup internet connection so that your work is not distracted even if your primary connection fails.

Transcription Software: There are quite a few transcription tools readily available in the market, some are free and some require a nominal fee. Express Scribe is one of the popular software you can think of.
Microsoft Word: It is preferred to have Microsoft Word though you have alternatives. Most of the transcription software, guides and tutorials used by transcription companies are based on Word.

Headphones: Stethoscope style headphones are commonly used by transcriptionists; however, you can use any as long as the audio output is clear and loud enough for you to transcribe.

Foot Pedal: Though a foot pedal is not a must, it is good to have. Controlling audio playback with function keys while transcribing could slow down your efficiency, so it is always better to have one.

Comfortable Seating: Ergonomically suitable work space is much needed. This is something you need to carefully choose since transcription jobs demand extensive sitting and is definitely not a sit-on-the-couch type of job. Uncomfortable seating can lead you to develop neck or back pain.

Earnings Call Transcription

What is an earnings call? Earnings calls are conference calls conducted by public listed companies to discuss their financial performance for a particular reporting period. Normally, companies do this reporting quarterly and yearly. Analysts, investors and media participate in these conference calls. It is estimated that there are over 4,000 public listed companies in US trading actively on NYSE or NASDAQ. These earnings conference calls are critical for companies’ short and long-term success. Earnings calls make it possible for the public listed companies to share important data and information with their shareholders to analysts.

Earnings call transcription

Usually public companies publish a press release before conducting their earnings conference calls. The press release covers a summary of financial performance and new releases. Earnings calls are conducted by public companies for a variety of reasons. It is mandatory for public-listed companies to disclose certain information with the public and it is required by law. Disclosures like proposed merger & acquisition, major tender offers, etc. are also done during these conference calls. Investors who follow these companies attend these conference calls to know more about their performance.

What happens if investors happen to miss these events due to other commitments? The webcasts are archived in the company websites for a certain period of time so that they can log in and listen to the calls. This makes earnings call transcripts important. Investors or analysts can go through earnings call transcripts to know what was discussed on the call. They can search and find the important sessions covered during the earnings call. Earnings call transcripts are typically verbatim transcripts of earnings conference calls and they include Q&A session as well. Earnings call transcripts help public companies to share information to a wider audience at their convenience.

Earnings call transcripts allow companies to be more transparent, which is widely appreciated by investors. Accurately captured verbatim transcripts ensure no confusion on what was covered on the earnings call. The transcripts can also be used as a record that is easily reference-able.

Earnings call transcripts, who does it for you? Though there are quite a few transcription service providers around the globe who provide earnings call transcripts, people prefer to consume these transcripts from reliable sources.
TranscribeNow is a transcription service provider specialized in earnings call transcripts.

Automated Transcription Gaining Popularity

Transcripts are one of the oldest means of documentation. Text documentation became easy and gained popularity when typewriter was first invented way back in 1868. By around year 1900, it was estimated that about 80% of documentation and transcription industry comprised of women workforce in the US. Since then, medical, legal and government record keeping became common in America and most of the European countries. By 1980’s word processors took over, which was the first digital means to transcribe and store documents. Slowly, new computing technologies made its way and transcription became a significant profession.
Today; medical, legal and government organizations are recording enormous volume of video and audio content. Transcription companies around the world are specializing in specific fields and there are many players operating globally. Many companies developed their own automated speech-to-text conversion tools. A good speech-to-text tool can even hit 96% accuracy.

Automated Transcription

In coming years, with great advancements in speech recognition software, voice-to-text conversion will become even easier. Although, it would take time for machine generated transcripts to match human generated ones in terms of accuracy, a combination of technology and manual intervention will
dominate the transcription process. With the possibility to continuously improve quality of speech-to-text recognition technology by feeding in more and more examples from traditional voice-to-text transcription in to the system, automation will become a more appreciated solution for audio or video transcription.
TranscribeNow’s R&D team has developed an efficient speech-to-text conversion tool, which is continuously improving with more and more information going in for machine learning. With technology coupled with highly experienced transcription workforce, Transcribe-now is now able to deliver error-free transcripts for its customers at quicker turnaround.

TranscribeNow’s Automated Solution

Technology is continuing to grow at rapid pace touching almost all aspects of our daily life. Organizations have started to rely on automated solutions for various projects, transcription companies are no different. Hiring qualified transcriptionists has become difficult these days, transcription companies are looking at using automated transcription tools as an alternative to full-time transcription employees. Leaders in the transcription services industry are now employing highly experienced transcriptionists to proof read and edit machine generated transcripts so as to provide highly accurate transcripts.
automated solution
TranscribeNow caters to wide range of organizations like corporates, media firms, academic institutions, financial firms, law firms, etc. We help them to preserve and reproduce text records of their conferences, seminars or any other communications. Our transcription solution uses highly accurate automated transcription tool. Our machine program is continuously trained to comprehend the patterns from massive amounts of data that is fed into the system memory.

The automatically generated transcripts are shot to our workflow where our highly qualified transcriptionists proof read and make necessary corrections so that we ensure error-free transcripts for our customers. Our automated solution helps us to cover significant amount of transcripts for our customers. Another major advantage is that our automated solution makes it possible for our customers to stream preliminary transcripts live on to their work flows. We provide reliable transcription solutions that are tailor-made for our customers with the efficient automated workflow at a much faster turnaround. TranscribeNow accepts audio/video in any format and delivers in any text format specified by customers. We also cover general events, business and financial events, media related events, legal reports, etc.