GUIDE TO BEING AN AUDIO TYPIST
AN AUDIO TYPIST JOBS
An Audio Typist, also known as a ‘transcriber’ or ‘transcriptionist’, transcribes audio or video into a text document. The typical person who works as an audio typist has an excellent grasp of the language, good hearing, transcription software, an excellent vocabulary and general knowledge, a good computer system with a decent sound card, good headphones, and a sound internet connection. While the perception is that one’s typing speed makes a huge difference to the speed with which one transcribes, many audio typists make a solid living after applying for their chosen audio typist jobs, with nothing less than a typing speed of 50 words per minute (a speed which anyone who types for more than an hour a day will soon reach anyway).
Not looking for audio typist jobs but rather need an audio typist to transcribe for you? If so, see Way With Words transcription services.
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES Of AN AUDIO TYPIST
If you are thinking about work opportunities when reading through the many advertised audio typists jobs, consider the below tips.
Let’s start with the thing you can’t fix: good hearing. An audio typist needs sensitive ears, to discern words which are mumbled, whispered, or just partially obscured. If you’re not the type of person who is always being asked to turn the sound up, you’re probably going to struggle as an audio typist.
A good command of the language you are typing in is another prerequisite for making a living as an audio typist. If you don’t understand what is being said (or what the subject is trying to say), you’re unlikely to transcribe it well. Should that statement have taken a semicolon? Do you use the Oxford comma? Do you know what the Oxford comma is? Have you spotted the language errors in this article? Our audio typists undergo a famously strict language test before their transcription ability is even tested. If you think you’re one of this rare breed, feel free to attempt the test.
The next two factors required of a good audio typist looking at any audio typists jobs are complementary: you’re unlikely to have a good vocabulary unless you have good general knowledge. These are absolutely essential, particularly when transcribing in English, with all of its loanwords, homophones and regional dialects: did the speaker say ‘base’ or ‘bass’, or ‘mace’ with a blocked nose? ‘Marks’ or ‘Marx’? ‘Shoot’ or ‘shut’? Only context and your own brain will help you, the audio typist, turn what’s coming out of your speakers into something the client will recognize as human speech. An audio typist needs a great vocabulary and excellent general knowledge. If you’re the type of person who gets excited about words like ‘Weltanschauung’ or ‘tmesis’, you absolutely have to work with us.
HOW DO I FIND AUDIO TYPIST JOBS?
You can be a logophile from childhood with hearing like a bat and typing speed like an old-school secretary and still not be a good audio typist. Unfortunately, the world is not fair and audio typists require basic gear before they can make a living from this line of work. So if you are looking at any audio typist jobs, here are some tips!
The first step is a good computer. Good, not brilliant. You are going to be using it primarily for Web searches and running Microsoft Word or similar programs, not simulating the space shuttle or playing multiplayer First Person Shooters. You need something with a decent sound card (ask a teenager) something with a fairly large keyboard (small keyboards look nice and neat, but they give you cramp), and something with battery backup in case of disruption in your electricity supply (the client does not want to hear your sob-stories, and missing deadlines is the cardinal sin for an audio typist). Basically, if it’s more than five years old and you haven’t been adding upgraded components, consider a new one.
The next bit of kit for an audio typist is a desk. I am totally serious about this. You may have visions of perching on the couch happily typing away, but your body will have other ideas and will let you know in no uncertain terms. You can pick up injuries which last for months. You are going to be spending hours a day doing this. You really need an ergonomic work environment.
All good audio typists need good earphones. Some people prefer to use speakers, but this is strictly an option for people who live alone and don’t have neighbours. You don’t need $1000 earphones, but $5 earbuds from your nephew’s old mp3 player are not going to do the trick, either.
Good software is essential for an audio typist. You need transcription software. The Web abounds with excellent transcription software. We do most of our work on Express Scribe and FTW. In fact, we offer a fully licensed version of FTW as a perk of employment.
You will need to protect your system. Audio typists download audio and video from hundreds of clients, all over the world. Who knows what evil little creations lurk in their depths, waiting to colonize your system? You will need a good antivirus and an anti-spyware program.
Audio typists need a stable internet connection. If you’re reading this, well done, you’re part way there! Your connection doesn’t have to be fast, but it does have to be reliable. Transcription is a deadline-driven business, especially if you are looking at audio typist jobs. So, if you can’t connect to either download your audio or upload your finished transcripts, you’re not going to keep the job for long.
Well, there you have it. The life of an audio typist is challenging, demanding, insane at times, but never boring. So if you are looking at audio typist jobs or want to try become an audio typist, why don’t you apply now?