Is Hiring A Transcription Company Really Faster Than Doing It Myself?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

One of the things we often hear from clients wanting transcription work done is, ‘Well, I could do it myself, it would probably be faster.’ And we’re sorry to say it, but they are just plain wrong, and if you agreed with them, then you are too. But don’t worry, this is a pretty widely-held belief, and most people think that transcription work can’t possibly take that long. After all, if you only have an hour of audio, shouldn’t it only take you an hour and a half to transcribe it? No is the answer to that.

Today we wanted to explain why transcription takes the time it does, and why hiring a transcription company to do the work for you really will be faster than doing it yourself.

Let’s Look at the Data

Transcription, whether it’s from an audio or video file, is rarely a one-size-fits-all thing. There are a number of factors that can impact how long it takes you to transcribe say, an hour’s worth of audio. As a rule of thumb, data suggests that it takes the average person around 6 hours to transcribe 1 hour of clear, slow audio. This might seem like a high number, but when you consider that you will need to stop the recording after every few sentences – sometimes even after every few words – to type it up and then restart it again, it all adds up. A few things that can impact how long this takes you include:

  • Experience
  • Your typing speed
  • The quality of the audio file
  • Background noise
  • Heavy regional accents
  • How many speakers are in the conversation
  • Any research required (like place names or industry-specific terminology)
  • How coherent the speakers are
  • Editing and proofreading time to check for mistakes

So the more of these things that come into play in your audio file, the longer it will take.

On the other hand, you use a professional transcription company, like us, who have a team of transcribers who do this work every day and can get your transcription done in even the tightest of turnaround times. Our transcribers can usually get that same 1 hour of audio file transcribed in around 4 hours, and in fact, we usually aim for a 24-hour turnaround for all transcription work. At McGowan Transcriptions we are dedicated to reaching your deadlines on time, and in over 28 years we have never missed a client deadline. Not once.

Why a Transcription Company is Faster

So what is it that makes a transcription company so much faster than you and your speedy fingers? Ultimately, it comes down to 3 things:

  • Equipment: While it’s true that you can transcribe audio or video with just the file, a keyboard and a mouse, it’s really not the most effective way to do it. Constantly having to click back and forth takes up a lot more time than you would think, and can add up to 15 to 20 minutes of time for an hour-long audio file. A transcription company will have invested in the right equipment for their teams to ensure they can transcribe quickly and efficiently without wasting time. This includes high-quality computers that can run a wide range of programmes and file types, transcription or text expanding software, headsets, foot pedals (which pause and start the audio by tapping your foot so that you can continue typing uninterrupted), countless technical dictionaries and more. All of this means a professional can transcribe twice as fast, if not faster, than a person without all of these tools.
  • Expertise: Anyone whose job is transcription full time is likely to be much better at it than you are. That might sound harsh, but it’s also a fact. Practise makes perfect, and a transcription company is very experienced in the art of transcribing. They have also received a lot of training over the years in everything from new software to abbreviations and improving their typing speed. That means they can work at a faster pace, be more accurate and understand nuances that someone who doesn’t work in the field wouldn’t, and they use that expertise to provide you with a speedy and accurate service.
  • Dedicated Time: At the end of the day, getting this transcription done isn’t the only thing you have on your to-do list. We know you are likely to have at least half a dozen other tasks that need your attention, not to mention the phone ringing, someone popping into your office for a chat, or emails pinging. There are a lot of distractions around, so it’s likely you won’t be able to focus all of your attention on getting your transcription done. This is one of the reasons it sometimes takes individuals a few days to complete transcription. But a transcription company are focused solely on transcribing audio and video files, all day every day. This means they can give your transcription their full attention and have it done as fast as possible, with no distractions.

At McGowan Transcriptions, we are incredibly proud of our 28-year record for meeting client deadlines and work hard to make sure we can always deliver transcription work as soon as you need it. Our dedicated transcription team are on hand to take transcription work off your plate and give you the freedom to work on other things, knowing it’ll be finished and in your inbox before you know it. For more information, just get in touch with the team today.