Transcribing audio files has never been this EASY!… and the best part is, you can do it for FREE!
Have you ever tried manually transcribing an audio file?
If yes, then you have a realistic idea of how frustrating it can be to transcribe even just 30 seconds of a recording. Your keep pressing that replay button over and over again because let’s face it, typing words take more time than listening to them.
There’s good news to all of us who want to transcribe audio files with ease. Considering your busy schedules, especially for entrepreneurs, this little surprise feature from Google, that you never knew existed, might just be the trick you badly need for your audio transcriptions.
It’s called Google Docs.
Yes, that same and old Google Docs, or GDocs, that you use to type text files ever so often.
Only a few people know this, but this cloud-based Google version of MS Word can actually do wonders aside from simple typing tasks.
Google Docs has a very useful feature called the Voice Typing, which comes preinstalled and it doesn’t even require any plugins! This is very helpful for our business, especially since it won’t cost us additional fees to avail of this service.
GDocs, as we all know, is Google’s free tool for all its users, but it is more popularly known for being a txt typing environment and nothing more. Surprisingly to many, Voice typing is a built-in tool that recognizes any speaker and it listens then transcribes whatever it hears from the source speaker.
So instead of typing an audio file manually, all you need to do now is listen to a recording through an earphone and speak the recording out loud so that the GDoc tool Voice Typing can listen to you speak and transcribe it as you go along with the recording.
Usually, a few minutes of audio recording can take hours to transcribe, if you do it manually or the old-school method; especially when you keep on playing it back at some points of the recording. Using this tool, it can be much faster and the overall output is surprisingly accurate too! – From spellings to grammar, since it automatically gives correction to words that it may have initially misheard from you.
If you are planning on using a different language, this tool is proven to be as efficient in its performance, especially in some common languages such as Spanish, German, and Mandarin.
Are you intrigued by how Voice Typing works?
Here’s a simplified way to show you how to use this feature:
1. LOOK FOR A QUIET PLACE
GDoc’s Voice Typing usually works best when the audio file being transcribed is isolated from other noise pollution. Also, a loud and audible voice source is required since Voice Typing isn’t advanced enough yet to transcribe an audio recording that’s played from a speaker.
Simply put, Voice Typing needs a human voice as source audio and it will be less accurate if that source is heard from a speaker as compared to when you re-iterate the words out loud as you listen to the recording via the earphone.
2. WHY USING AN EARPHONE IS IMPORTANT?
Using an earphone is a requirement so that you can listen to the original audio recording from the earphone, as you speak out loud whatever you heard and GDoc’s Voice Typing will transcribe what your clear and audible voice is speaking.
This way, the original audio, and your voice won’t overlap with each other. Avoiding any confusion from the Voice Typing tool.
3. CREATE A NEW GDOC FILE
When you are at the Google Doc home page, simply click “start a new document” to create a new file where the recordings can be transcribed.
4. LAUNCH THE VOICE TYPING TOOL
There’s a dropdown menu when you click “Tools” from the tabs at the top bar found in every GDoc file, select “Voice Typing”. There’s also a shortcut key for this, it’s Command+Shift+S.
5. DOUBLE-CHECK THAT THE VOICE TYPING WORKS
Once you click “Voice Typing” from the Tools, the recording button will appear on the left side of your document just like this:
6. CHECK THE QUALITY OF YOUR COMPUTER’S MICROPHONE
Before you start speaking the entire content of your audio recording, it is a good idea to double-check that the laptop or computer which you will be working on is ready to receive your voice input. One of the most common mistakes here is when users forget to switch on their unit’s microphone, making it all impossible to work out fine.
Google Help states that in order to use Voice Typing too or voice commands, your computer microphone needs to be switched on first since this is where the tool will be getting its input commands from. Every device can have varying settings, so you have to check on how to switch on your unit’s microphone input before you can fully enjoy the perks of this built-in tool from Google Documents.
Voice Typing is compatible with nearly all languages. It has also taken into consideration the different accents and dialects, making it a handy tool that can be used anywhere in the world. In line with this, make sure you set the language information that you will be speaking, by clicking on the drop-down menu found on the recording button:
7. START LISTENING, THEN SPEAK WHAT YOU HEAR
Begin transcribing by clicking the Voice Typing button to start the process of transcription. As you listen from the audio recording source through your earphone, make sure you mimic the contents out loud so that the computer where GDoc Voice Typing is running can receive it in a clear and audible way.
Remember to keep the created GDoc file open all throughout the entire process to avoid interfering and to avoid accidentally stopping the transcription.
Keep a steady pace as you speak and make sure you utter the words as clearly as possible so that it can be transcribed more accurately.
A red circle on the GDoc window’s tab indicates that the Voice Typing tool is active and that it is listening and will transcribe any clear audio that it can capture.
8. CHECK THE WORDS AS THEY ARE BEING TRANSCRIBED
One by one, the words that you utter will appear as transcribed texts right in front of your eyes. Be sure to read it along the way so that you can catch any possible misheard words and do the necessary edits as soon as possible. This way, both the Voice Typing QC-QA and your own QC-QA standards will do the double-checking, and it will minimize the error to a very small percentage.