Technology is changing everything we do. Case in point: mobile transcription apps. These nifty pieces of technology offer unprecedented convenience for users. Doctors, police officers, lawyers, paralegals, business officers, and academics benefit from mobile transcription. But you don’t download the first app you come across; careful consideration is important when making your choice, as some apps may be better than others regarding accuracy and efficiency. So, let’s talk about the benefits, tips and tricks, and how to choose the best mobile transcription service app and provider.
Benefits of a Mobile Transcription App
Here are several reasons why you should look into getting mobile transcription apps, no matter what industry you’re operating in.
Transcribe Anytime, Anywhere
With the right app, you can dictate audio using any mobile device with a microphone, potentially saving you a lot of time. For example, mobile transcription apps for medical professionals allow flexibility within their jam-packed schedules, allowing them to dictate reports and notes from anywhere. Students and researchers can dictate notable details in their current work for future reference easily.
The right mobile transcription app can connect you directly to your transcription service provider, giving your agency or organization a significant boost in workflow efficiency. The manual effort required for transcribing audio content is significantly reduced, leading to less workload for individuals or teams in your organization. You can also integrate some mobile apps with new or existing productivity tools, making it easy to slot them into your workflow.
Hiring a transcription service provider and using their mobile transcription app is eminently more cost-efficient than hiring an in-house transcription team to handle your audio or video recordings. You don’t need to worry about salary packages, benefits, vacation leaves, and providing training and equipment.
The great thing about mobile transcription apps is that they connect you directly to your transcription service provider. There’s no need to attach recordings to emails or go on an online platform to upload your files there. Furthermore, apps used by trusted and reliable service providers gives you an additional layer of security. For example, you can pair mobile transcription apps for law enforcement with a transcription service provider that is CJIS-compliant.
How to Use Mobile Transcription Effectively
Though convenient, mobile transcription apps are not infallible. However, there are a few easy things you can do to use them more effectively.
Choose a Quiet Environment
While it may not always be an option, dictating your recordings in a quiet environment can increase the speed at which your recordings are transcribed. It can also potentially decrease the chances of errors during transcription. If possible, use a device with a decent or working microphone. Many mobile devices have built-in microphones, but an external one may offer improved clarity.
The best way to optimize your recording quality outside of equipment factors is to speak clearly when recording your audio. Remember to enunciate your words and speak at a moderate pace. When recording a conversation, it might be best to avoid overlapping each other, but, again, this is to be expected when multiple people have a discussion.
Choose The Appropriate App and Service Provider
There are several available mobile transcription apps for professionals on the internet. They vary in features, pricing, accuracy, and quality, so it’s best to shop around and see what fits your requirements before deciding which one to use.
On that note, there are two broad categories for your choice in mobile transcription: ASR-powered and human transcription apps. We’ll discuss them in more detail next, and why we think one is better than the other.
Automated, Real-time Mobile Transcription Might Not Be The Best Option
Tech giants have launched such apps with automated speech recognition capabilities, like Google with Live Transcribe and Microsoft’s Transcribe Intelligent Service for Office 365. However, accuracy is a concern when it comes to AI-generated transcripts. According to Statista, automated speech recognition (ASR) software offers only up to 86% accuracy — not ideal for sensitive transcription processes for business, legal, medical, and law enforcement organizations. You’d still have to perform error checks, taking up more time and essentially negating the time benefits of having a transcription app in the first place.
Here are several issues that significantly affect the accuracy of automated transcription services
- Noisy Background: It’s reasonable to expect moderate to heavy background noises if you’re using mobile transcription apps on the go. After all, the entire point of a mobile transcription app is you can use it everywhere. Law enforcement recordings by police officers working outdoors are likely to have traffic noises from other vehicles or ambient noises from natural occurrences like rain, snow, etc. Courtroom recordings may capture background conversations, crowd reactions, and others. Automated transcription does not have the contextual awareness of a human transcriber, so it will only transcribe what it thinks it heard.
- Accents and Dialects: ASR systems may struggle with accents and dialects that differ from the training data. Unfortunately, most AI transcription models are fed audio recordings from predominantly English-speaking countries like the US, Canada, or the UK. This means recorded speech from people with heavy accents may be subject to more errors.
- Jargon and Terminology: Different industries and lines of business use different terminologies, which can sound like different, more common words. They can sometimes be misinterpreted by AI, leading to increased error rates. Some automated transcription platforms omit a word or phrase in the finished transcript, marking it with a timestamp as either indecipherable or not understood. This presents an additional workload for the person dictating, as they’d need to find these omissions and errors to make the transcript more accurate.
- Multiple Speakers: ASR systems trained on one speaker or a limited set of speakers may struggle with different voices. They’re not suited for recordings that involve two or more people.
Mobile Transcription With Human Accuracy
There is another option for those looking to get the convenience of a mobile transcription app and the accuracy of a human-powered transcription provider. Apps like Bytescribe’s Webshuttle Dictate offer real-time recording of any business meeting, patient checkup, hearing, or police interview. It doesn’t work like the usual, inaccurate speech-to-text service; instead, it sends your recording straight to your transcription service provider, like Ditto Transcripts, through secure cloud-based servers.
From there, our human transcriptionists can access the recordings, create the transcripts, and notify you once the audio transcription is done. You can then view your completed transcripts or add electronic signatures if required. The app works best with an internet connection, but there’s no need to fret if you are temporarily out of WiFi or data range. Any recordings made offline are saved locally and uploaded when your device connects to a network.
Ditto Transcripts works with Bytescribe to provide the convenience and accessibility of a mobile transcription app while providing 99% accurate transcription for all projects. You can download the app on the iOS App Store or Google Play, and it’s compatible with most Apple or Android devices. Once downloaded, contact us for a username and password – and when you log in, your app will connect to us.
Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based transcription company that provides fast, accurate, and reliable transcription services for legal, law enforcement, business, academic, and healthcare companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial. Visit our website for more information about our transcription services.