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What Is Podcast Transcription?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Podcast transcription is a printed version of an audio broadcast designed for downloading or streaming online. Such broadcasts are typically episodic in nature and can include interviews, discussions of current events, and other topics of interest for listeners. Print versions make them available to people who might not be able to listen, and can also provide a useful reference. Podcast producers, for example, can perform a quick search of a text database to see if they have covered an issue before.

Some preparers of podcasts make their own transcriptions. They may release them simultaneously with the podcast, or within a few days of the broadcast. With live broadcasts, it is common to upload documents later, as real-time podcast transcription can be beyond the capacity of the production team. It is also possible to contract this service out to a third party. For smaller podcasts, fans may do podcast transcription on their own.

The transcription provides a verbatim written record of what was said during the podcast. This may include interjections and interruptions, as well as descriptions of media introduced during the podcast. Music, short audio clips from other sources, and descriptions of visual media can all appear, and may require careful description so readers can follow the events of the podcast. Complex podcasts with multiple speakers, people with heavy accents, and lots of background noise can be more challenging to transcribe because of issues with audio quality and comprehension on the part of the transcriber.

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People searching for a podcast transcription may want to try the website of the podcast first. If transcripts are available, they should be listed there. Another source can be third party sites that compile them, including unofficial ones from sources other than the podcast producers. Reliability ratings can allow users to submit feedback on the quality of the transcripts, promoting those that are complete and accurate for the benefit of people quickly searching for a podcast transcription.

Audio transcription services can handle podcasts, usually charging by the minute of audio. Fees may be more expensive for rush transcripts or those where the quality of the audio is particularly bad. These services can use a specialist who is familiar with the topic or industry under discussion to increase the accuracy of the prepared transcript. Someone familiar with economics, for example, will be able to catch all the industry jargon and terminology in an economics podcast.

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