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What is Transcription?

The term transcription refers to the process by which audio or video materials are transferred into a text format for indexing, accessibility or archival purposes. Transcription techniques are used in a variety of different fields including law enforcement, musical performance and for numerous business purposes. Technological advances have made transcription tasks easier and more efficient by providing added ways to record the original material and to produce clear, readable transcripts for business use.

What is transcription used for?
Especially with the advent of online merchandising, transcription has become more important in ensuring the maximum visibility and availability of information for companies who promote and sell their products in this venue. By presenting text versions of the audio and video content on their corporate websites, companies can enjoy higher search engine rankings and achieve increased traffic as a result. Transcription services also provide the closed captioning for television programming and video recordings. Business meetings and scientific proceedings also require transcription in order to be recorded properly and, in some cases, published for public dissemination. In most cases transcripts are rendered into a machine-readable form for use on computing systems; this can allow searches of the transcribed material and provide even more utility in business, scientific and online uses.

What is transcription software?
In recent years a number of software programs have been developed that can provide basic transcriptions of audio material. These software packages are extremely limited and rely heavily on a preloaded vocabulary list; the transcriptions produced typically contain many errors and may even be unreadable in the original, uncorrected form. As a result, transcription software is largely impractical for use in business and online applications where accuracy and precision are important. The proofreading and corrections required in order to render the resulting transcripts usable is generally equivalent to the labor required to create an accurate transcription of the material manually.

The Benefits of Transcription
In most cases, companies can locate and use information more readily in transcript form than in audio or video formats. Additionally, excerpts of transcripts can be quoted or pasted into other documents, making them much more useful in preparing annual reports and promotional materials or for inclusion in blogs and reviews. Finally, transcription services can provide valuable archival copies of video and audio materials that may last beyond the useful life of the technology used to record these materials.

What is transcription? It is a way to make information more available by transferring it into text formats that can be used in a variety of ways to allow more convenient indexing, more accessibility for use in computer applications and more durable archival storage of the material in an efficient and cost-effective way.