It is 2:00 in the afternoon. You have an important 2-hour recording and you need it transcribed before the next day. And to make the situation worse, it is an analog recording, on tape. The chances of that being transcribed before the next day are pretty slim, unless you have someone in your office who is experienced in transcription, who has transcription equipment for a tape recorder and is willing to work all night.
As a transcriptionist, I have had this happen.
The time to call your transcription service is before the recording, not after. BBSS has had clients call under the above scenario. They had conferenced an important sales call, they needed it transcribed and someone had recorded it using inadequate equipment for recording telephone conversations.
This presents two problems, well, perhaps more, but two major problems. They need to get a bad audio transcribed and they need to get it done in a hurry. This means the audio has to somehow physically be transported to the transcription service rather than being electronically transferred. That’s going to cost some bucks.
And to complicate matters, they have a bad audio which is going to cost more bucks and slow down the transcription.
Another problem is that they need it done in a day. Almost a physical impossibility. Since it takes 4-6 hours to transcribe one hour of audio, longer when it’s a bad audio, and since they have it on tape, this means that only one person can work on it at a time. If they had it as a digital recording, the audio could be split up and more than one transcriptionist could work on it, if their transcription service had additional transcriptionists available on a rush basis.
Had they called BBSS before doing the conference call, rather than after, these problems wouldn’t have occurred. With a very short consultation, we could have ascertained what their needs were and suggested an easier, more cost effective way to get the audio recorded.
If you aren’t familiar with digital recordings, or are still making recordings using a tape (analog) recorder, and you think you may want it transcribed, it is best to speak with your transcription service before making the recording. Most transcription is now computer based for digital recordings.
Even if you are making a digital recording ( MP3 or WAV, etc.), you will probably benefit from talking to the transcription service before making the recording.
Another scenario is the client who calls and gives their conference bridge line number so the transcriptionist can “take the recording over the telephone.” This is not necessarily impossible, but will cost additional dollars, and is another situation which could have been avoided.
If you are still recording using a tape recorder, it can be converted to a digital, but there will very likely be additional charges. Also, if you have a bad analog recording, converting it will probably be a worse recording, making it difficult to get a good transcription.
Setting up a relationship with your transcription service is the best way to save you time and money, both in recording your audios as well as in the transcription. Check with your transcription service before recording to avoid mistakes that can cost you time and money.