How long does it take to transcribe an hour of audio?

Neonbrand 304490 unsplash scaled

What do the movie Titanic, a flight from the UK to Morocco, and the shaven heads of 662 Canadians all have in common?

No idea? Well, they all take approximately the same amount of time as it takes a Take Note transcriber to produce an affordable transcript of one hour of audio.

‘But wait,’ I hear you cry, ‘It’s 1,123 miles from London to Tangier, surely that takes ages?’  Well, my geographically-knowledgeable friend, it might seem like it should (and it for sure feels like it takes a while for the Titanic to even hit that iceberg), but, all in all, it only takes three to four hours.

Yes, that’s right! In order to provide a quality transcription service here at Take Note, our transcribers work at top speeds of up to 130 words per minute, taking approximately three to four hours to transcribe one hour of audio. To put that into perspective, the average human types at 41 wpm, nearly three times slower than our superhuman typists.

The question is, then, what are we doing during those three to four hours?

Well, aside from the obvious job of transcribing, the vast majority of our clients request that we produce transcriptions using intelligent verbatim. This means that when we return a file to you, you don’t have to worry about any ‘ums’ and ‘errs’, any unnecessary repetitions, or any false starts, because our team are trained to remove all of these unimportant colloquialisms. All this is to ensure that you are left with an accurate transcription which reads easily and uses proper English, with the individuals’ styles of speaking retained.

And what about verbatim transcripts?

Of course, if you choose to, you can ask for verbatim transcription, in which case we will leave all those idioms untouched and transcribed in their entirety. Be sure to check out the ‘services’ tab on our website for more information about the different transcription services we provide.

Audio Drop In

So, the next time you find yourself staring down a full day’s work, trying to transcribe that hour of audio you recorded yesterday, think of our team of super-humans, who can get that audio transcribed and whipped into shape in just three to four hours.

Still wondering about the bald Canadians I mentioned at the start?

Well, in 2006, Sears Hair Studio in Ontario, Canada, broke the Guinness World Record for the number of heads shaven in four hours, with five hairstylists and 662 volunteers, who are either very brave or very crazy.


Written by Transcriber Lydia

Take Note offers bespoke transcription services worldwide via our secure online portal; from  Youtube video subtitles to verbatim legal documents, podcast transcription, translation and all in between.

Take Note

Take Note is a UK-based transcription service with world-class customer support alongside the highest standards of security and ethics. We deliver a comprehensive range of transcription services including Audio and Video Transcription, Video Captions and On-Site Note Taking.