Time taken to complete Audio Transcriptions

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We carry out audio and visual transcription services for a whole host of clients from medical companies to legal firms to TV/media houses to government bodies and many others. When it comes to pricing and deadlines, without doubt, the most frequently asked question we receive is “why does it take so long?”


Well in answer to that question, we have prepared a little video!

Here’s a transcript of the video [which took five times as long as the source material :)]


Hi! I’m Neil Payne. One of the ways we like to communicate with our clients is through video. And every now and again what we’ll do is we’ll collect together a whole group of FAQs and answer them on video and put them out on the World Wide Web, obviously to our clients. So what’s today’s question?


Right, today’s question is about transcription. A very common question we get here at Kwintessential is, you know: “If I’ve got an hour’s worth audio material that I want transcribed, why does it take you guys longer than the hour?” Very simple. If you want to go try this yourself, sit down in front of the TV or the radio, maybe record one minute or thirty seconds, see how long it takes you just to write out in English what the people are saying on the screen or on the recorder as it were, and you’ll find that it takes you a lot longer than the original material. Why? Because you’re constantly having to stop, rewind, go back, check, writing and then going back to your final edit.


Now imagine doing that when you’re listening to a piece of audio that maybe is very bad or has a lot of people speaking at the same time. It can get very, very complex. So, an hour’s audio could actually take anywhere between 8, 12, even possibly 15 hours, depending on what that material is. So If you are getting a transcription done, always remember it’s going to take probably 8 to 12 times longer to complete it than the original material.

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