1. The common challenges of interview transcription
2. What are the best programs for recording interviews?
3. Automatic interview transcription
4. How to transcribe your interview materials quickly and easily
5. How to work with the completed interview transcript
Interviews are different – full-time, by telephone, on Skype, and even written ones. And in most cases, the most tedious stage of work is a transcription of interview record. Are you familiar with missing the time, when the conversation becomes pretty long? And you have to transcribe three hours of audio. You are lucky if there is a person in the editorial or PR-department, who will do a rough job for you. And what if you haven`t?
Now you will be explained how to transcribe an interview quickly using the most useful tips, apps and programs to make it easier to work with the materials of the interview.
Once you are interested in the transcription of interviews, you are going to do it yourself. Despite the ability to transcribe audio with someone’s help, many people act like you because they:
Say yes, if this rings a bell. Before, in order to transcribe your audio manually, you need to run two programs on your computer: a text editor (in which you will type the text of the interview) and a program for listening to audio files (it will record the conversation). It remains to spend on decoding the whole day. For one interview, of course. It seems that you risk spending all your time and energy on work that can be done automatically… Let’s look at each stage of the work on your interview, from recording and transcribing a conversation to editing the text. It’s easier than you think!
Let’s consider the case if you have not chosen dictaphone before conducting an interview. Read on so that you can decide on the best recording application for you.
To record a telephone interview, TapeACallPro is perfect for iPhone owners and Call Recorder for Android enthusiasts. There is a third, widespread version – Google Voice, which you probably already used before.
The conversation can take place outside the studio. To record interviews in noisy places (for example, in a cafe) is excellent Rev Voice Recorder, which boasts an excellent quality of audio.
Once your interviewee is a little bit long-winded, the following application is for you! Cogi – helps you to record and highlight the most important moments of the interview. That is if the speaker talks too much about everything, and then begins to say something critical, you can highlight this moment with a separate color. You just need to slap your finger on the mug of the recording, and the app will give you this piece of speech. When the speaker starts pouring water again, you can return the tape to normal mode. The application is free, but you can purchase additional options – for example, for better sound quality.
If the interview occurs on Skype and on the desktop, then you can record it – for example, using the Free Video Call Recorder for Skype. The program is free, suitable for Windows, records video files – in MP4 format, and audio – in MP3 which you can convert to text later. But there is a couple of nuances. The first – some versions of Windows comes into conflict with the Recorder. The second – an echo appears in the voice recording – undesirable thing when transcribe… Therefore, before recording an important conversation, test the record by calling, for example, one of your friends on Skype.
For Mac users, the most popular application is Call Recorder for Skype. Just record audio and video interview, and then edit the video and upload it to YouTube. But you probably do not need it at the moment, right? Cons – the application is paid and will cost $ 29.95.
But it’s not that bad. There is also a free program for Mac fans. It’s Piezo, which records audio from any application on the Mac, including Skype.
Anyone who has tried to transcribe their interviews manually understands all the hopelessness of transcription in this way. People who have done it in practice will claim – too much distraction and fatigue, work is progressing slowly, enthusiasm disappears, and the only wish is to drop off and forget about this transcription as a nightmare.
To avoid such a sad practical experience, let`s find different way to transcribe that will allow you to:
There are many requirements, but how will you solve them in practice?
Today, there are numerous transcribers that automated the audio decoding process. But you need an interview transcription software, which would have outstanding quality and convenience of converting records into text. After all, the success of creating an excellent material is directly dependent on the accuracy of transcribing the conversation between people.
For these purposes, it will be more than enough to download the interview audio file to the online transcription services, wait a few minutes while the audio is transcribed, and start to work with the generated text. Working in a single browser window eliminates the annoying switching between programs. Imagine that the audio player and the text editor are lumped together in one place. You can take advantage of all the comforts of such an automatic transcription of interviews in Audext.
(Audext workplace screenshot)
You see, this approach to transcribing audio recordings is pretty easy: there is no unnecessary switching between programs, interview record is automatically transcribed and immediately split into replicas (just specify the names of the speakers and that’s all!). Mistakes are minimized to zero – you can directly edit the text as you wish. You can work with interviews on any computer without installing specialized software and share it with your colleagues.
As you know from working experience, the interview lasts longer than expected. Immerse yourself in the conversation, without thinking about the following decoding. That’s why: even a three-hour interview now does not require a lot of time for decoding, as it was before. With the help of Audext you can easily navigate inside the transcription of the interview and find the desired fragment in a second. No single important detail will be missed.
Thanks to the right automatic interview transcriber, the process of transcription is greatly simplified and saves you time and effort to create deep, informative material.
Decoding of audio (or video) interview recordings is a different genre in decoding. Like the interview itself. Editing a transcript is also a creation, therefore, roll up your sleeves!
In order to edit the transcript of the interview correctly, it is necessary to understand what things the author wants to leave, and which ones do not matter at all. You will be surprised, but the original interview and the finished text will have a completely different structure.
But what should the ready-made transcript of the interview contain? What should be the text of the qualitative interpretation of the interview?
Decoding of the interview for the press should be as complete as possible, including (at the request of the author of the interview) even some flaws of the speech. You, as a journalist or editor should decide what words are the “colors of speech” and what are “superfluous rubbish”.
At the same time, if your goal is not to write unnecessary interjections, introductory phrases ect., such a task will be fulfilled. When preparing a kind of personal interview, it is important to preserve the “voice” of a speaker, his emotion, his live speech. But staying within the culture of speech. Automatic transcription of the interview is 50% of the finished material. The other half is your professionalism and creativity.
The sociological or marketing interview is always running a clear objective. Therefore, transcribed text will depend on those items that will be identified as important, initial, mandatory. Some texts do not need blots, reservations, mistakes and an abundance of parasitic words, repetitions- it`s better to remove such words during the editing of the transcript.
Preparing the text after the transcription of the dissertation or other scientific work, just think: is your text convenient for reading?
In some interviews, on the contrary, the researchers use all the features and manners of speech, the purity of the language or the difficulties in constructing a logical proposal, the accentuated illiteracy, slang, obscene lexicon. (Example: interviews with ethnic emigrants, schoolchildren, a certain social group). Read on to learn how to prepare a text of a non-standard interview.
If you are working on interviews collected in villages, countrysides (conversations with old people, inhabitants; or learning about folk songs, jokes, ditties, customs, horror stories, children’s folklore and much more) you have a hard work to do. Interpretation of the interview, brought from a such expedition, is a duty of a professional editor. Accents, a special pronunciation of words, talk, emotions, pauses, rhythm of speech – all this should be displayed in the finished material. In the text, people’s speech must sound as in real life.
The nature and mood of the interview is dictated by the publication in which you work – business, entertainment, scientific, and so on. But you are free to prove your skills in the professional sphere and create an exciting content from any kind of interview. Besides, you learned how to manage your time effectively using an automatic interview transcriber and additional recording apps. Stick to these tips on transcribing qualitative interviews and you will always be a master of your craft in demand!
Katin runs her own podcast show, and interested in best ways to transcribe audio recordings into text.