Digital audio transcription seems to be the flavour of the season. It will probably continue to remain that way until an even better technique of performing transcription comes along. The reality is, though, that despite all this technology that surrounds us there will always be some or the other work that needs to be worked through the old fashioned way. If that is not possible, there would be some amount of conversion that is applied to this work to bring it up to speed with current tech.
Consider an everyday application like some of the newer phones which come equipped with wireless charging. Sure, it works great and the technology is amazing. Despite this confidence they have in their wireless charging feature, the phone manufacturers still ship (with the phone) the old fashioned charging cable that works via the power outlet.
The same is pretty much the case with some of our files which are in recorded media from the last century. If you have such files, probably archives, you can still get them to undergo transcription almost as easily as their digital cousins.
Most audio transcription companies have the necessary hardware in place to convert audio information in older media to newer digital formats. Obviously, the quality of the resulting audio file will be a function of the quality of the audio at the source. This will further be a function of various factors like the type of media used to store the information, how long it has been since it recorded the audio and how well it was stored.
If there is one thing that was always a problem with older media, it is that they were mechanical in nature. Audio reproduction depended on the storage media coming in direct physical contact with the playback and recording device. An easy example to get a better picture of this is to think of those cassette players that many of us have fond memories of.
The more you play back the same cassette or even the same song, the faster that particular audio track would deteriorate. Eventually the magnetic tapes would simply wear out or get stuck in the playback machine or worse, snap during playback. This is simply a snippet of the problems that all of us, personal music listeners as well as corporations with serious audio recordings, had to deal with.
This gives you the obvious reason why you should at least get your older archive audio information stored in ancient media, converted to digital format. Digital format is easy to transport, store and backup. In today’s circumstances, there are simply no excuses not to have your files converted to bits and binaries.
Types and Conversion
The many types of older media that were popularly used to store audio are Micro and Mini tapes, Mini discs, video tapes and the very familiar (and formerly insanely popular) cassette tapes.
Audio transcription companies, as it stands today, can only do conversion with digital files. Some of them use the digital transcription method, where computer software analyses and converts the audio to text. Others use a combination of digital and transcription agent based methods to come up with the transcription output.
Conversion of the older media tapes is a simple matter of running through the conversion equipment, which is similar to the process of transcription itself. The analog-based media is played out on an analog machine. The output though, is fed into computer software programs, which convert whatever information that flows through, including noise, into a digital file. The most popular formats are high compression extensions such as mp3.
The regular practice post conversion is the management of the now digital audio file. What happens next depends on the original intention of the conversion process.
If the client, which is you, only wanted the data to be converted, then the files (that are now converted from analog format to digital format) are sent back to you, or uploaded to your client space on the audio typing company’s website. You could download them off your allocated web space, as and when the need arises.
If the original objective of the conversion was to perform transcription, then the typing company will proceed and subject this audio file to a digital transcription process or give it to a team of transcription agents. Once the job is done, both the typed files as well as the analog to digitally converted audio files are made available to you. This way, you can have a source of your audio files in a more modern and digital format and also acquire the transcript version of it.
One of the author’s recent projects required transcription services of archived files. He was quite impressed by the audio typing services provided by 1st Class.