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Last updated: July 13, 2022

“General transcription” may sound like the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ of transcription. However, it’s a lot more elaborate than that — general transcriptions refer to all types of audio-to-text transcriptions.

If you’re looking into transcriptions because you or your organization may benefit from them, it’s important to know what general transcription is.

What is general transcription?

General transcription is the process of writing the dialogue or utterances in an audio file into a text format. The output of a general transcription is the transcript, which contains the following parts:

  • Names of speakers
  • Date of the recording
  • Timestamps
  • Utterances

General transcription has many benefits, such as:

  • Streamlined workflow. Audio files may require you to sit through the entire recording before getting to the key insights. With a transcript, simply use a search function to look up specific keywords and immediately navigate to the vital parts.
  • Enhanced understanding. You can extract more insights from an interview or focus group by having an easily navigable transcript.
  • Increased accessibility. If you plan to present your work to a target demographic, you can expand your audience by having a transcript for those who have difficulty understanding your language.

It’s important to distinguish general transcription from musical transcription and RNA transcription:

  • Musical transcription involves transcribing live musical compositions into sheet music.
  • RNA transcription refers to a biological process involved in DNA replication.

To understand the benefits of general transcription better, get started immediately with TranscriptionWing, a human transcription service for all your transcription needs.

What fields does general transcription cover?

General transcription is applicable to all industries, so any company or organization can use it. However, there are certain fields or industries that benefit from general transcription the most:

  • Market research. Relying on recordings of focus groups or in-depth interviews can be time-consuming and tedious. Instead, market researchers can easily navigate a transcript to access key insights more quickly.
  • Legal. Legal professionals such as attorneys, judges, and law professors can use transcriptions of court proceedings and depositions to help in an ongoing investigation or legal analysis.
  • Medical. Recordings of clinical trials and interviews can be transcribed for easier understanding and analysis by doctors and other medical professionals.
  • Education. Students, professors, and other academic professionals who record interviews and lectures can utilize transcripts for better understanding or accessibility of their work.
  • Corporate. Crucial executive meetings or conference calls may require better dissemination of key decisions. While note-taking or writing meeting minutes may be enough, having full transcripts of the meetings can be more reliable as they may capture every detail.
  • Religious. Religious or spiritual organizations that want to expand their following can benefit greatly from general transcriptions. Transcriptions of recorded sermons or podcasts can increase the accessibility of their content.
  • Media. News organizations or media outlets can use transcripts for better accessibility by subtitling their video content. They can also use transcripts to repurpose their content (e.g., from news videos to written articles)

Why should I get general transcription services?

You can certainly choose to do your own general transcription. However, outsourcing to general transcription services can be significantly more beneficial. Here’s why:

  • Expertise. General transcriptionists are dedicated professionals in transcribing various types of audio files into text. Thus, they can be notably quick and reliable in doing transcriptions.
  • Convenience. Adding transcriptions to your to-do list can often disrupt your momentum and focus from your main tasks. In contrast, you can simply send your audio file to a general transcription service and immediately perform your actual work.
  • Time and energy. The transcription process is often tedious and time-consuming. Transcribing multiple audio files over time can eventually lead to burnout. With a general transcription service, you can spend your time and energy on things that matter more to you.

What should I look for in general transcription services?

If you plan to buy a transcription service, make sure that it has the following:

  • Accuracy. Providing accurate, reliable transcripts is a non-negotiable feature you should look for in a general transcription service. For best results, look for services that utilize human transcriptionists and editors, as they are more likely to produce more accurate results than automated transcription services.
  • Affordability. While transcripts can be very beneficial, it’s unnecessary to pay a premium for them every time you buy a transcription service. Ideally, you should look for affordable transcription services that let you reap the benefits of transcription without breaking the bank.
  • Ease of use. Using a general transcription service must be quick and simple. Besides an intuitive interface, you should look for something like a drag-and-drop feature that makes it very easy to send your audio files.
  • Flexible turnaround. Typically, a service can produce a transcript within a few business days. However, if you’re in a pinch and need a transcript right away, find a service that offers rush turnaround. You can receive your transcript in as quick as 4 hours or by 9 AM of the next business day.
  • Customizability. If you want your transcript to be in a certain format, the ideal service should be able to offer it after you provide your specifications or a custom template.

There are many general transcription services online, but it’s difficult to find the right one that ticks all the boxes. However, with enough searching, you’ll eventually find the best one for you. TranscriptionWing, for example, is a reliable general transcription service provider with many quality of life features that can satisfy your transcription needs and more.