Transcription Formats: File Types Explained

Knowing which format to choose can be daunting when looking for a professional transcription service. There are quite a few different transcription formats available, and knowing which is right for you can be challenging. Some formats are more suited for legal or medical transcriptions, while others are better for general transcription.

Don’t worry, though – we are here to help! In this article, we will answer your questions and help you decide which format or template is best for your needs!

What Are Transcription Services?

a medical transcription editor working at her computer

Transcription means converting video and audio content into written text. And that means the accuracy rate must be top-notch. Transcription services such as Ditto Transcripts, a company that uses US-based human transcribers, do it best. Transcription is a valuable tool for businesses, law firms, law enforcement agencies, academics, and individuals who need to have written records of meetings, lectures, interviews, and other events from audio or video files.

There are many different transcription services, and they all have one thing in common: they provide a written or electronic document of something spoken or from an audio file. Audio transcription can turn spoken words or audio files into text. This can be helpful for people who want to capture ideas or conversations or for those who need to transcribe interviews or speeches. This can be anything from an interview to a podcast to a lecture.

For example, transcription services can be very helpful for students who need to take notes and have difficulty doing so quickly enough to keep up with the speaker. They can also be helpful for businesses that need to keep track of conference calls, board meetings, or even customer calls. Moreover, court proceedings or the medical field typically use these services.

Different Types of Transcriptions

There are several different transcriptions, each with its benefits and drawbacks. These are the most popular:

  1. Edited Transcription
  2. Intelligent Transcription
  3. Verbatim Transcription
  4. Phonetic Transcription

Edited Transcription

Edited transcription is a type of transcription that is cleaned up and made more presentable. This type of transcription is usually done by businesses or organizations that want to ensure their communication is clear and concise.

The edited transcription format is a little easier to read and may not include every word spoken. The transcriber will often clean up the transcript to remove filler words and other parts of speech that aren’t essential for understanding the content. This makes the transcript easier to read. However, edited transcripts are not always 100% accurate. Some meaning may be lost in the editing process.

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

Intelligent verbatim transcription is a type of transcription that includes all of the speaker’s words and omits any filler words or phrases. This type of transcription helps capture a conversation’s main points without including unnecessary filler words and phrases. Intelligent verbatim transcriptions can be helpful for people who want to review a conversation quickly or those who need to transcribe a file for legal, medical, or business purposes.

Verbatim Transcription

There are several ways to transcribe audio or video recordings; verbatim transcription is perhaps the most literal. This type of transcription includes every word in the recording, even if there are pauses, false starts, or filler words like “um” or “you know.” Verbatim transcriptions work well for transcription projects with laughter, applause, or crying to be included in the text.

Some might think that verbatim transcriptions are tedious and unnecessary, but they can be helpful. In some cases, it’s essential to have a record of everything that was said in a particular conversation or meeting. And if you’re transcribing an interview or focus group discussion, verbatim transcriptions can help you capture the nuances and tone of what was said.

Read more: Verbatim vs Non-Verbatim Transcription

Phonetic Transcription

Phonetic transcription is the process of writing down the sounds of a language in symbols that represent those sounds. Finally, Phonetic transcription aims to capture a language’s vowel and consonant sounds as accurately as possible.

The Benefits of Transcription

note taker

There are many benefits to the utilization of transcription, including the following:

Improved clarity and understanding: When you transcribe audio or video recordings, you can review the content more quickly than if you only had an audio recording to listen to. This will help you catch essential details you may have missed the first time.

Increased accessibility: Transcriptions make your content accessible to a broader audience, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Better searchability: Typed or written transcripts can be searched much more quickly than audio recordings. This allows you to find specific information in your content using the Control F function, even if it was mentioned briefly.

Improved accuracy: You can ensure the transcribed text is accurate by reviewing and editing it yourself or having a trusted editor do so before publishing it.

The Challenges of Transcription

Transcribing audio files is not always a straightforward task. There can be background noise, different speakers with different accents, and other challenges that make it difficult to understand what is being said. This can make it hard to create an accurate transcript.

Another challenge of transcription is trying to capture the speaker’s emotions and intentions. This can be important in legal cases or when trying to understand someone’s thoughts and feelings. Often, body language and tone of voice can give clues about what a person is thinking or feeling, and these cues can be lost in transcription.

Finally, transcription can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if there are a lot of speakers or long sections of dialogue. It can be easy to miss something important when transcribing, so it is vital to listen carefully and take breaks often. For this reason, hiring a professional transcription company such as Ditto Transcripts will guarantee accuracy is always a best practice. We can also certify your transcripts if you need them in a legal setting.

Which Transcription Format is Right For You?

The format you need will depend on the specific task you need to perform. Some critical factors to consider include the following:

  • The platform for hosting video or audio content.
  • File formats supported by your platform.
  • Do you need downloadable transcripts?
  • If your site allows hosting embedded videos.

Now we will discuss various transcript file formats most commonly used on a standard or commercial level.

Plain Text Transcription Formats

There are different types of plain text transcription file formats, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. The most common formats are plain text, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and PDFs.

Plain text (.txt) is the most basic format and can be opened with any text editor. However, it is not as easy to format and does not look as good as other formats.

Microsoft Word (.doc) is a popular format for transcription files because it is easy to use and has many features for formatting text. However, it is a proprietary format and can only be opened with Microsoft Word or a compatible program.

PDF (.pdf) is an electronic document format that many people use because it is a universal format and can be opened with any program. However, PDF is not very easy to edit, and the formatting can be challenging to get right.

Time-Stamped Transcription File Formats

A time-stamped transcription file format is a type of video or audio file that includes time stamps. This allows the transcript to be synced with the audio or video, making it easier to follow. These documents are usually in MS word document.

HTML Transcription File Formats

HTML file formats are used to store webpage content. The HTML transcription file format is designed for storing video transcription in an HTML file. This format can ultimately get published online.

JS and JSON File Formats

JS and JSON are less popular. They’re the main output for machine learning transcription software that can yield an interactive transcript with time synchronization. Every word becomes a clickable link to the video or audio file reference, so you don’t miss anything! However, these formats are not user-friendly, so getting familiar with them might take a while.

Text in Tables Vs. Text in Paragraphs

Transcribing the text into a table is not as straightforward and requires special software. Most common transcription programs only accept plain-text input, which means you’ll need to convert your document into tab or comma-separated value (CSV) format before uploading it.

And now, let’s discuss transcript layouts used on an industrial level.

Edit Decision List

This widely-used format in the film industry is used during the post-production process for script-based edits. It is an accurate and reliable file format used to pinpoint key moments in a transcript and connect them with timecodes later exported to an EDL file. Finally, you can upload this data to your required video editors like DaVinci or Final Cut Professional transcriptionist. These formats are more suitable for editing video content.

Avid ScriptSync (.txt)

After converting your transcript to a plain text file, the Avid ScriptSync software creates video audio sync marks for each line of dialogue. ScriptSync phonetically indexes all text and audible dialog in your project and then syncs each source clip to its associated line in a text script. Finally, this format is more suitable after the film has been shot and the script is built post-production.

Court reporters and legal transcriptionists create legal transcripts by listening to and transcribing from the audio files, usually from a court setting or deposition. The first thing to ask your legal transcription service is whether or not they will certify your transcription. If they can’t certify your transcripts, rest assured that Ditto Transcripts can.

The Takeaway

So, what’s the verdict? Is it time to invest in a professional transcription service for your business? Making that decision can be tricky, but hopefully, this article has helped you narrow your choices. We hope we’ve provided valuable insights into the different services transcription companies offer and how Ditto Transcripts is different. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to assist!

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