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Pros & Cons of Automated Transcription Service

Pros & Cons of Automated Transcription Service

By: Kevin

22 Apr 2022

The emergence of audio-to-text solutions is everywhere, but keep in mind its limitations. What used to be difficult transcription work is now a piece of cake once you leave it to technology. Today's advanced technology makes many of humanity's tasks, practices, and activities easier. So, you should always lookout for the cons as you take advantage of the pros when using automated transcripts.

Pros of Automated Transcripts

● Speed - If you want to get your hands on transcripts ASAP, transcription software maybe your best option. Online transcribing software can finish generating transcripts in minutes! This saves more time as its capable of a faster turnaround than human transcription.

● Spelling - Remember auto-correct? You won't have to search for the correct spelling anymore in times of hesitation. The software automatically and simultaneously checks spoken words against a digital dictionary as it types verbal sounds for you. It gets rid of typos instantly.

● Accessible - Machine-generated transcripts are so accessible nowadays as many audio-to-text converters can be found on the internet – free to use anytime! You don't even have to record on a separate device too. Choose an online speech recognition or dictation software where your voice turns directly into the text as you speak.

● Cost-effective - Automated transcripts are so dirt cheap that they can cost you NONE to just a couple of cents per minute. That is way less expensive than hiring a professional transcriptionist. Your staff's productivity also increases as they use their time for more important, pressing tasks.

● Timestamps - You can find a few speech-to-text software that automatically input timestamps in your transcript at your preferred time intervals. There is no need to spend time listening back and manually inputting them yourself.

Cons of Automated Transcripts

● Accents and Fast Talkers - In these kinds of recordings, software-generated transcripts are very prone to mishear – generating words and phrases that do not make sense, providing you with useless transcripts. It is difficult for a transcribing software to accurately provide text versions of audio when the speakers have regional accents and when they talk too fast.

● Accuracy – Getting a 99% accurate transcription would only be possible in Human Transcription. Humans, however, are continually exposed to varying accents and dialects. This exposure paired with human transcriptionists’ natural ability to adapt give humans the advantage – no matter the speaker’s accent.

● Multiple Speakers - Automated Transcription will not be able to pick up on multiple speakers as efficiently as its Human counterpart.

● Technical jargon and industry-specific verbatim - Automated transcription will not be able to pick up Technical jargon and industry-specific verbatim terms like how humans can do

● Background noise - It is the most common type of audio difficulty. Severe ones sometimes drown the actual speakers, making it impossible for the software to produce accurate transcripts.

● Audio Challenges - A file also has audio challenges when the speakers are whispering, mumbling, or stuttering as they speak or when technical issues like interferences and feedback are present in the recording. Severe audio distortion and echoes can be negative factors too. To generate useful transcripts, you must provide a spotless digital recording.

● Limited Vocabulary - Speech-to-text recognition software typically has difficulty transcribing or discerning unique or local names in their right spellings – the same goes with establishments and brand names. What's also frustrating about machine-generated transcripts is that they have a very limited vocabulary in terms of proper nouns and specialized assignments.

● Customization - Transcribing software cannot automatically produce custom transcripts. If you have a specific format and other details (i.e., inputting labels and punctuations) you want in your transcript, you'll have to do it yourself. Whereas, following a specific template and format as per the client requirement is not possible in Automatic transcription service.

"Fast" does not always mean accurate, the same way "cheap" does not always mean high quality. There are many "too good to be true" things in this world, and automated transcription is, unfortunately, one of them. Transcription software can still be useful in certain situations, though, as long as you consider its shortcomings.

Choosing Your Transcription Method

Due to these limitations, some managers prefer customized rather than automated solutions for creating documents. You might, for example, not want the entire exact text and may want to edit out "umms" and "ahs." In that case, a professional transcriber would be more useful. You might also use traditional transcription services when you need a translation in another language since every language has nuances that software might not catch.

Why Traditional Transcription Is Superior

A professional transcriptionist can still hear a speaker despite background noise. They can also interpret words that a machine can't, just by understanding the individual, the language, or the culture. They know more about interpreting foreign accents and regional dialects. Another edge that transcriptionists have over machines is that they can differentiate between sound-alike words. Traditional transcription services are also more likely to accurately document the speaker's name.


Because of the limitations of the transcription software, some business owners prefer to hire a real-time transcription service provider instead of buying the software and using it independently. A transcription service provider can provide customized or hybrid transcription. It has more experience in the task, knows how to use the real-time transcription software, and has access to professional transcribers who can edit, proofread, and check the transcription quality. They can either do verbatim transcription or edit out the unnecessary utterances, such as the" ahs" and" ums."

Clients can also hire a traditional transcription service provider if they use the transcription for formal presentations. You can choose this option as a last resort. However, it takes time to finish the transcription project, defeating the purpose of real-time transcription. But you are sure that you get high-quality transcription.