I recently received a question from a reader regarding Transcription, something which is often touted as an essential practice for podcasters. While I wouldn't say it's essential, there are definitely a lot of benefits to the practice, not least of which is allowing your listeners to consume your content in as many ways as they want to. Anyway, to the question, let's see what I can do:
I have a technology question pertaining to audio transcribing.
I have been working on getting my podcast up and rolling, and I am looking for a audio software (mac) that will accurately transcribing not only my voice but others on the podcast into text. Is there anything out there you can recommend? Any insights will be appreciated.
Shawn, great to hear from you, and thanks for sending in the question!
I'm afraid I've no good news for you here, though. I've tried a few different auto-transcribe services, and I didn't find any that were even close to accurate enough. Dragon Dictate is one of the best dictating packages out there and while it's impressive, it just isn't suited to the job.
The problem is that these types of packages are set up to work as a dictating system rather than a transcribing one. When dictating something you can keep a regular voice, talk a little monotone, at a set speed and rhythym. You can talk clearly and deliberately and make sure that the system can understand you. In those circumstances it's actually amazingly accurate, and I've written a few articles that way.
If you try to do the same when creating a Podcast, however, you're going to end up with the most boring content in the world. A monotone voice and hypnotic rhythm aren't really suited to engaging an audience. Instead, we try to be lively, upbeat, varying both tone and rhythm when we present. This is a nightmare for dictating software which relies on predictability and form. Even worse is if you introduce another speaker and then suddenly you have two accents at play, and two different tones. They just can't process it.
So, I'm afraid to say Shawn, I've tried a few systems for this, but none of them are really up to the task. Saying that, by all means give them a shot if you can get a trial copy. It may be, depending on how you speak, that it could provide something at least partially useful.
Hope that Helps!