How to Transcribe a Podcast

Transcribing podcasts is similar to transcribing any other content, which we covered in our recent article, “How to Get Podcast Transcripts.” There are multiple ways to transcribe a podcast audio file, from do-it-yourself to artificial intelligence (AI) formats, to paid professional podcast transcription services. Below are recommendations on how to transcribe a podcast. 

how to transcribe a podcast

Why Transcribing Your Podcast Audio Makes “Cents”

For starters, let’s cover some of the advantages of podcast transcription. If you have a podcast or blog where you share your thoughts on various topics such as personal development, health, and fitness, relationships, motivation, etc., then it would benefit your audience if you had transcripts available.

A growing number of businesses also use podcasting to acquire new customers and keep remote employees informed about important company issues.

In short, accessibility, convenience, and for the hearing and learning impaired are excellent reasons to offer accurate transcriptions. In addition, your audience will have multiple ways to access your content, and even search for specific topics when timestamps are added. 

Accessibility for the hearing and learning impaired

Individuals with hearing challenges rely on written text to absorb relevant information. Think of podcast transcription as subtitles for podcast audio. Podcasts about true crime, current events, and sports and music interviews attract millions of listeners. Offering podcast episode transcriptions allows podcast creators and hosts to reach a larger audience.

Just as some people struggle with reading disabilities, others have difficulty processing auditory content. Providing a written transcript of an audio file allows you to reach those who learn better by reading text.

Search Engine Optimization

No successful content creator can ignore the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Providing a transcript of each episode in a blog post or social media post can improve your SEO ranking. Make sure that you research relevant keywords before recording audio content.

Google and other search engines will notice important keywords when you post the transcribed audio file. Therefore, helping to boost rankings for the subject matter you’re addressing. Including timestamps to identify relevant topics also helps those reading transcripts identify subjects and issues of importance.

Yes, you’ll have to pay for professional transcription services, but the cost is worth the effort and more affordable than you might think. Plus, you can use your podcast transcripts for email marketing campaigns, and also include them with your video podcasts.

The Importance of Podcast Audio & Production

We touched on the importance of audio quality when discussing automatic transcription. The better the audio quality, the easier it is to transcribe an audio file. Experienced, professional transcribers work quickly and efficiently. They use quality equipment and can type fast with few or no errors. 

Simultaneously, experienced podcasters and content creators understand that using quality microphones and mixers will improve sound quality. Podcast episodes recorded in a quiet, indoor studio typically produce high-quality audio files. Some podcasters record episodes in noisy environments, such as restaurants, clubs, or outside, where wind and other noise can impact audio quality. 

Therefore, before transcribing podcast audio files, have a professional audio engineer edit each audio file to eliminate or reduce any loud or intrusive noises. Good quality audio files will ultimately produce high-quality podcast transcripts. 

woman listening to a podcast

How To Transcribe Your Podcast Episode

There are several ways to receive transcripts from podcast episodes. The least expensive and most time-consuming process involves listening to each episode and transcribing every word yourself. However, most creators can use their valuable time focusing on new content instead of employing any form of manual transcription. 

Using Free Automatic Transcription

Another method to transcribe podcast episodes involves automatic transcription. Several services use Artificial intelligence (AI) programs to turn audio files and video files into a written format.  

Some such as Welder and Sonix perform well. However, AI transcriptions programs still struggle with accuracy rate issues when compared to human transcription. Human transcription services offer a higher accuracy rate, with most guaranteeing 99 percent. You definitely won’t find high accuracy rates in today’s AI transcription platforms.

Audio quality is critical when using automatic transcription, so make sure your audio recording is clean and free from loud background noise or sound effects. 

Paid Transcription Services

Some well-known transcription services advertise heavily, touting AI and their 99% accuracy rates and quick turnaround times for human transcription. However, there’s a catch. They accomplish this fast turnaround time by using multiple foreign transcribers for each project. Consistency is an issue, as are accuracy rates.

Remember, if you spend valuable time manually reviewing and editing a flawed podcast transcription, are you really saving money?

Using a Quality, Professional Human Podcast Transcription Service

You can’t beat human transcription for the highest quality when accuracy counts. Look for a transcription service with a multi-year track record that uses only experienced human transcriptionists, offers a 99% accuracy rate, and a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. 

Yes, using a highly-rated, professional transcription company with all the bells and whistles sounds terrific, but it also sounds expensive. In reality, quality human transcription isn’t as expensive as it sounds.

Depending on turnaround time, audio quality, and the type of service requested (verbatim or non-verbatim), rates range from $1.50 to $2.50 per audio minute for six to ten business-day service. Rates for three to five business days are only slightly higher. Rush rates are also available.

Per-Minute Audio Transcription 

Also, it’s essential to understand that audio transcriptions bill by the audio minute. Generally, it takes about 15 minutes to transcribe each minute of audio, which translates into four hours for every hour of your audio file. Keep in mind these times can vary depending on turnaround time, audio quality, and the number of speakers. 

Submitting Audio Files

Once you’ve recorded and edited your podcast episodes, the next step is submitting them to the transcription service. 

The most common method to upload audio files involves using the transcription companies website. You can also submit audio files via email. Most podcast audio files are formatted in mp4 or WAV, and will ultimately convert to mp3. Regardless of the type of file, transcription companies are accustomed to accepting almost every file type. Large files, including most podcast files, may necessitate the use of a file sharing service like WeTransfer, which offers free file sharing up to 2 GB. However, you may have to zip large files to meet the size requirement.  

It’s recommended that you contact the transcription company and speak personally to a management team member. That’s right, some transcription companies still have real people who answer phone calls during normal business hours. 

Speaking to a real person also ensures that your order will be handled to your specifications. Setting exceptions on the front end always helps minimize or eliminate any back-end customer service issue.

A checklist for submitting your audio file for transcription:

  • Contact the company to discuss your requirements and needs.
  • Choose your timeline and the type of service desired, then submit your file.
  • Receive your entire transcription and grow your audience!

Grow Your Podcast With a Quality Transcription Service

Podcast transcripts allow you to benefit your listeners and hopefully boost SEO, and add value for your marketing purposes. Producing quality audio and video files will create higher forms of content and podcast transcriptions.

The transcription process doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Audio transcription services, especially affordable ones, provide an excellent service to grow your podcast and, ultimately, your revenue streams. You’re also going to want to promote your podcast online to get the word out. We have over a decade of experience. Our full-time, employed, and freelance transcribers use the latest technology for a seamless transcription experience. In addition to offering new customers a trial period, their money-back guarantee and 99 percent accuracy guarantee lead the industry when it comes to podcast transcription services. Transcription Outsourcing offers pricing plans and pricing options for every podcaster’s budget.