Many people are familiar with voice recognition in the form of search engines and personal assistants that are essentially voice-recognition search engines. As anyone who uses these services will admit, voice recognition is not always perfect and depend on very clear speech and standard dialect to work. Even better versions of these tools can be used to turn words into documents, but the best automated transcription service still has to be verified.
There are some major transcription companies that work primarily over the web. They can be a handy way to get a length of audio file turned into text because they have powerful computers to run their software as well as hoards of either employed or freelance writers to check those texts. Prices can vary, with the best being not exactly cheap but still very cost affordable compared to traditional transcription services.
The price range can be astonishing. Some services depend on foreigners to check or transcribe the audio or else use freelancers. Some will use software to transcribe the easiest parts while using human listeners to work on hard audio. In fact, it is common practice to break audio files into small parts and then to first attempt to transcribe them with software. Less certain parts are marked for humans to work on.
All decent services go back over the best automated transcription using skilled listeners to confirm the section of audio compared to the machine transcript. In fact, transcription is one of the largest employers over the web, using people to review and correct small pieces of audio and to provide feedback. It is a fairly complex process, with long sections of audio being broken apart and ranked according to the ease of perception.
More difficult audio files might even be reviewed more than one time by multiple listeners. Their pay might be low, but the whole process is one of rating an audio file and then using a variety of means to achieve an accurate transcript even when some parts of the audio are less decipherable than others. In fact, very busy professionals have this problem because they have to talk quickly while at the same time multitasking or moving between duties.
The best services use different means to verify the transcription. While using human verification might seem to defeat the cost efficiency of machinery, the fact is that using all techniques simultaneously helps to get the job done faster while eliminating most errors. An online transcription service will usually do a much better job than using voice recognition software on your own.