What Is Transcription?

Transcription, commonly known as audio to text, is the process whereby something that is in a recorded format – a digital recording, YouTube, cassette tape, video, podcasts, webinar, CD, DVD – is converted to text format, whether that be handwritten or typed into an electronic Word document, a PDF, an Excel spreadsheet…


Transcription has a rich and evolving history:

Where this used to be done predominantly by “secretaries” sitting near the desk of the boss, taking his Dictaphone, putting on the headphones and letting the fingers fly, slowly but surely these on-site secretaries have been overtaken by virtual typing and secretarial service as audio files could be emailed or uploaded and the ‘text’ emailed back.

Then came transcription businesses – transcription service providers who began to dominate the landscape. These little ‘businesses’ generally consisted of four or five women in a small room, receiving audio files and typing them quickly into text.

But from here, the transcription ‘industry’ arose, with pioneering companies such as Way With Words expanding to all corners – both in terms of clients and transcribers. There is no longer a need for typists to sit together in a room to change the speech to text; transcribers can download audio and upload Word documents from pretty much anywhere in the world. More recently, transcribers can now simply work online as cloud-based and live time transcription solutions are offered.

In the meantime, software developers have been working on software that will convert audio to text, but because of the thousands of accents and dialects are spoken worldwide, to the nearly uncountable number of differences in the way people speak – speed of speech, enunciation, pronunciation, slurring of speech, swallowing of vowels – the accuracy levels of transcription software are still behind the abilities of trained and experienced human transcribers – those with an excellent command of language, sharp hearing, and knowledge of various subject matter and the relevant terminology. Emerging new transcription technologies such as Nibity however, provide a more interesting hybrid solution in time to come – one that partners human transcribers with future automation for this service.


There are a number of reasons that individuals and organizations around the world have their audio turned into text. While transcription is most commonly associated with doctors and lawyers (hence, the focus of many transcription providers for medical and legal transcribing), here are some more general transcription benefits, suggesting why more and more people are turning their audio to text.

First of all, it’s a great way to disseminate information. While people certainly do enjoy watching and listening to videos, accessing such files can be more complicated and people can be hindered by not always having the right technology or being in a situation to watch and listen. Having transcripts, though, allows for both reading them in .doc or PDF formats, as well as reading them in a printed version.

Suppose you’re holding a meeting or a conference, but some people aren’t able to attend. That means that they will miss out on all the content of the discussion unless they manage to get hold of the notes. This is why transcripts are useful: the only thing you have to do is to get a transcript of the recording and then just send it to whoever missed the event.

Or perhaps attendees at your meeting or event spend their time scribbling notes, trying to take down as much information as possible. If instead, you record and then have the audio recording transcribed, you can furnish everyone who was there, and even those who weren’t, with the fullest amount of information possible – the whole thing!

When writing a dissertation or doing a research, for example, it might get quite difficult to track the information down from an audio file, listening through hours and hours of recordings to find a pertinent comment. Transcribing the audio to text is not only a good way to store the data, but it also allows to search the document for required keywords and copy and paste selections from the transcript right into another document.


Way With Words offers the following transcribing services:

  • AUDIO: All English accents or dialects transcribed. Any audio files accepted.
  • VIDEO: Audio and on-screen descriptions. TV, films, webinars, and video.
  • CUSTOM: Bespoke solutions for transcription available. New partnerships.

Get An Instant Quote

Way With Words’ standard transcription service is calculated on a per audio or video minute rate. Pricing depends on the turnaround time chosen and the add-on options selected. The longer the turnaround and the fewer the add-ons selected, the lower the price. Use our calculator below to get started ↴

Number of minutes to transcribe
Turnaround time
Time Coding  
Full Verbatim  
Rate Per Minute   $0.00
Deposit   $0.00
TOTAL: $0.00

Turnaround time
Time Coding  
Full Verbatim  
Rate Per Minute   $0.00
Deposit   $0.00
TOTAL: $0.00 Sales Tax N/A

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Way With Words key service benefits include:

  • Expert subject transcribers + select add-on options!
  • Fast accurate transcriptions + choice of turnarounds by budget.
  • Audio, video or custom transcripts + various transcript formats.
  • Instant quote, upload files + quick online account.
  • Confidentiality assured! + secure online protocols.