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How Long Does it Take to Get Audio Transcribed?

Get Audio Transcribed

When you are getting audio transcribed, it refers to the process of transcription of a portion of audio to written text. This act is usually completed to offer more accessibility, where it can provide clarity and context for those who require visual text rather than relying on just audio. While certified translators are sometimes needed to do this correctly in some settings, like for government officials or for legal reasons, audio transcribing can be something that is done through numerous methods. No matter why audio transcribing is done, many wonder how long it takes to actually transcribe.

Find out all about audio transcribing, how long it takes, and what the process looks like.

Individual transcribing

Transcribing an audio file that is one hour long will not take a long time if there are minimal obstacles to overcome, particularly in the individual transcribing it is an experienced professional. Typically, the average person transcribing one hour of audio will take about four hours to completely and thoroughly transcribe. Although certain factors, like background noise, quality of audio and the number of speakers, have to be taken into consideration, transcribing can take an individual at most ten hours to complete. Generally, a piece of audio is never the same, nor is the individual transcribing it, and the overall time it will take to transcribe will always vary with each piece of audio. As the individual transcribes it, no matter how proficient and adept they are, research will also need to be done concerning the context of the audio that will inevitably extend the time of completion. Taking this all into consideration, transcribing from an individual can become a week-long process as it's not usually done in one sitting.

Company transcribing

Sometimes, a piece of audio will be taken to a company instead of an individual, where a member of the company or a freelancer will undertake transcribing duties. More so than individual transcribers, companies usually have better resources and tools, in addition to a bigger budget and more team members, all of which can accelerate the time of transcribing. While turnaround time might be quicker than what an individual can provide, where audio transcribing can take as little as one to six days, accuracy might not be as much of a guarantee as it is with an individual. Research should be done on companies to ensure accuracy in transcribing isn't compromised in favour of quick turnaround.


Software is available to use when transcribing audio is needed, and a faster turnaround will become accessible if high-quality software is available. Still, such software will take around four days to complete, depending on the audio quality and length. Contacting the software provider will give you a better indication of how long it will take and if there are any discrepancies you should also be aware of. Research is best when you're looking for software to transcribe a piece of audio, as not all software is known for accuracy and will require rigorous review once completed.


As aforementioned, there are considerations that must be adhered to when getting audio transcribed that will affect the time it will take for it to be completely transcribed. Some of these considerations will include the following:

  • Recording quality and length: Two major factors in how transcribing time are the recording quality and the length of the recording. If the recording is at all muffled and hard to hear, it will take much longer for it to be transcribed. This is why it's important to test your audio devices before you begin to record. More so, if a piece of audio is lengthy for whatever reason, it will take much longer for it to be transcribed.
  • Research: Research is often needed when the audio being transcribed is regarding the legalities of a subject; this will extend the amount of time needed to transcribe a piece of audio. More than the contextual necessities surrounding a part of the audio, if many complex words are used, more research will be needed to thoroughly understand the audio. Of course, if the person transcribing the audio already has done previous research on the topic, this will minimize the need for more research.
  • Background noise: If the background noise of a piece of audio obstructs the clarity of the audio, this will maximize the time it will take to transcribe. Background noise will make it much more challenging to hear the audio clearly, and rewinding to listen to what was said will most likely need to be done.
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