Monday, July 11, 2011

Transcribing Hours of Interviews


photo by graur razvan ionut
I was supposed to spend the month of June transcribing all of the mother-daughter interviews I recorded while traveling cross-country.  It is now the second week in July and I have only transcribed ¾ of the first interview!

I ended up taking a 5-week summer graduate class that took up all of my time in June, so I blame that.  The class was wonderful and definitely worth it, but now I'm a month behind on my project, which accounts for the final 3 credits of my master’s degree in communications.

Even if I had not taken a June class, I would probably still be behind because it seems to be taking me, on average, a full hour to transcribe 15 minutes of recorded audio.  I can’t type as fast as people talk so I keep pausing and restarting the audio.  Sometimes I have to rewind because I can’t understand what someone is saying. And I'm trying to transcribe it as accurately as possible.

It’s really tedious work, but it will be worth it.  I think all forms of art have very tedious, super detailed elements to them.

Has anyone else had to transcribe hours of audio recording?  Is there some trick to this to make it go faster and stay as efficient?  Any tips are appreciated!

1 comment:

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I have little to no experience with this. It would take me forever too, I am sure.

But I so admire your stamina - such a great project! And I agree that all forms of art have super tedious elements.

I'm experiencing that in my writing right now and not loving it.