At the beginning of 2020, most of us hadn’t heard of Zoom. However, this free versatile video conferencing software became a tool we became accustomed to using for all sorts of events during the last few years.
Yet, tracking all of the information shared in a Zoom meeting room or webinar can be challenging. That’s where transcription services can help – they allow Zoom audio to be converted into written text that can be referenced easily and shared with those who need it. In this article, we’ll explore how to transcribe Zoom meetings and webinars using a third-party service.
Zoom meetings Vs Zoom webinars – what is the difference and does this matter for transcription processes?
Zoom meetings and webinars are two different types of events on the Zoom platform, and there are some differences that can impact the process of creating a transcript.
Zoom meetings are designed for interactive online meetings with up to 1,000 participants at a time. Meetings allow for screen sharing, breakout room use and use of the live chat feature. All participants can interact with one another in real-time.
Zoom webinars are generally for larger online events like panel discussions and virtual conference events. They allow for more structured and controlled presentations, with up to 10,000 participants in view-only mode. Webinars also include registration pages, Q&A, and the polling feature, which help the host to engage with the audience and collect feedback. With Zoom webinars, there’s also the option for panellists or other presenters to join and participate in the discussion.
When it comes to transcription processes, the differences between Zoom meetings and webinars may impact the level of detail required in the transcript. Meetings typically involve more back-and-forth conversation, which may require more verbatim transcription to capture all the details. Webinars, on the other hand, may require a more streamlined transcript that focuses on key points of the presentation.
For both cases, it’s essential to choose a platform that can adapt a transcript to your requirements and specific needs. Different organisations will require a different level of transcription. Some might require a verbatim transcription, while others might only need a concise summary of the event. It’s important to note that, unlike subtitles and closed captions being enabled live on screen, transcripts are produced after the event using recordings.
How to transcribe your Zoom meeting or Webinar: The process of using a third-party service
Before you create a Zoom meeting or webinar and add it to your calendar, you need to know what your intentions are for transcription afterwards. This way you can ensure that things are set up appropriately and recorded when the event is live.
Select a transcription service
There are lots of different transcription services available on the web with Rev, Temi and Otter.ai being popular choices. Each provider has different features, pricing and turnaround times, so it’s important to research and select the one that will best meet the needs of the organisation before you create an account.
Some platforms create transcripts automatically with software while others use human transcribers. You can even try some automatic transcription services for free. Typically, this means getting one or two transcripts free of charge when you open an account.
Record and save the Zoom meeting
The meeting host will need to record the Zoom meeting or webinar when it starts. This involves a simple click of the record button in the Zoom toolbar. The host should check the audio settings of any people who will speak in the meeting or webinar to enable the best quality recording. If you are the meeting host, you’ll be able to save the video recording at the end of the meeting, otherwise, you’ll need to ask the host to send you the recording. To create transcripts, it doesn’t matter if the recording is video or just audio. You’ll need to save the file to your computer or the cloud.
Upload the Zoom recording
After the host has recorded and saved the meeting file, the recording can be uploaded to the chosen platform. Most transcription companies allow you to add video or audio files directly from your computer or the cloud, but some might ask you to convert to a specific format before uploading. There are usually free web programs that can do this.
Review the transcript
Once the transcript is complete, you’ll be able to view it and review its contents. This might be as a text on the platform or as a note file. Though most websites that transcribe automatically are impressive, you’ll need to check the file for accuracy. Errors and omissions are much more likely to happen with an automatic transcription service compared to a human one.
Share or save the transcript
Once you’ve reviewed the meeting transcript and have made any necessary amendments, you can save it or share it. Meeting transcripts are a useful tool for record-keeping, creating minutes or referencing in other documents.
Choosing an appropriate transcription service: automatic or human?
The decision to go automatic or human largely depends on the host’s specific needs and priorities.
Automatic transcription uses artificial intelligence algorithms to transcribe audio recordings. While they are generally faster and cheaper than humans, they may not always produce accurate transcripts, especially if there are multiple speakers or if the audio quality is poor. The software that transcribes automatically also often struggles to identify and transcribe accents, technical terms, and specialised language.
Human transcription uses trained professionals to transcribe audio and video. Human transcriptionists can ensure a higher level of accuracy, especially for more complex recordings. They can also help ensure proper grammar and spelling and select appropriate punctuation. A human can also add speaker identification and note down timestamps. However, this is generally more expensive and takes more time to produce the transcript.
Ultimately, whether you select automatic or human transcription will depend on the organisation’s specific needs and priorities. If accuracy and quality are the most important factors, then human transcription is likely the better option. However, if time and cost are more important, automatic transcription might be a more suitable choice. It's also worth noting that some online transcription agencies offer a hybrid option, where audio recordings are first transcribed by automatic software and then reviewed and edited by a human. This can help provide a balance between speed and accuracy, while also keeping costs reasonable.
Third-party transcription options
Third-party transcription services are a useful tool when you want to transcribe Zoom recordings as they’re quick and accurate. The most difficult part of it is choosing one that best meets your needs. Here are some possible options:
If you want a human touch, Rev can transcribe your video or audio into an editable document. This is a hybrid service that uses AI tools to detect language before a professional ensures it is completely accurate.
This is a transcription service that works with lots of different languages. It produces good results and processes recordings and transcripts efficiently. With sensible pricing, automatic punctuation and multiple speaker identification, Happy Scribe is certainly worth using.
This is a great option for people who don’t want to download software. This service is fully web-based and uses AI algorithms for accurate transcription. It’s very fast and there’s also a mobile app too.
Descript is an automatic transcription service that has exceptionally fast turnaround times. There’s also the option of having the transcript written by a professional transcriptionist to ensure accuracy.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing third-party services for your Zoom transcripts. The program you choose will depend upon your individual needs as well as the speed, accuracy and security of the files you’re seeking to transcribe. For most companies, Happy Scribe is an excellent choice and can do everything you need it to do for a reasonable price.
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