Technology delivers many time-saving and labor-reducing benefits. When it comes to producing transcripts of audio or video recordings, this holds true. Transcription software can certainly save time and a heap of manual labor. But there can be drawbacks to relying on transcription software too heavily.
Voice recognition – One downside to transcription software is that you have to “train” the programs to recognize individual voices. These programs typically learn from their mistakes, but you might find you have to make edits or corrections more frequently until a program improves.
Difficulty with accents - Though transcription software can pick up vocal nuances over time, it still has some difficulty initially recognizing accents and dialects. Speakers must talk clearly and enunciate consistently at all times or the software will not be able to transcribe accurately.
Vocabulary limits – Transcription software will be able to pick up common everyday words but will struggle with scientific terms, names, jargon, slang, or even just words that are not used very often. The more a conversation or presentation goes beyond “typical,” the more likely it is that mistakes will occur in the transcript.
Noise – Background noise will reduce the effectiveness of voice recognition software, so trying to create transcripts with these programs will prove difficult in a loud office, for instance.
Mishaps – Like anything, programs that transcribe audio to text are not perfect. Mishaps will occur, which means the savings in time and effort will be lost on certain projects. At times, the software needs to “catch up” to the speaker of the recording, and this creates inaccuracies and sloppy transcripts.
Cost – Depending on your budget and needs, you might find it cheaper to hire a transcriptionist or a transcription service. High-quality transcription software starts at around $50, and the highest-end programs will top $300.
Computer compatibility – As with any computer program, you must be sure to check that the transcription software will work with your computer’s operating system and other programs. If it doesn’t, you are out of luck.