Transcription & Coding – All You Need to Know

For many years, transcription and coding have gone hand in hand. These two words are used in programming, medicine, education, journalism, and business. However, did you know that these are completely different words and perform various functions? This article will give precise definitions of transcription and coding and discuss their meanings and purposes. As a result, you will learn to use words correctly in life and writing.

Transcription – From A to Z

Transcription is a multi-step process of recognizing video or audio content. Transcription involves:

  • Listening to the recording.
  • Researching the topic.
  • Understanding the essence of the content.
  • Converting the video or audio to text.

A transcript can display the idea of a recording or certain parts of speech word for word.

How Is Transcription Performed?

In the world of transcription, there are manual and automated transcripts. The difference between the two transcription formats lies in accuracy and grammar. Let’s consider them in more detail.

Manual transcription implies the work of professional transcriptionists. These can be linguists, editors, journalists, writers, and all those who are well versed in grammar, punctuation, style, etc. When converting audio or video to text, the expert carefully listens to the entry, divides it into sections, and writes the heard phrases, excluding grammatical errors. Also, professional human transcribers can create subtitles. This is a detailed job, as the phrases must exactly match the time codes. The transcriber will have to give the viewer enough time to read each subtitle on the screen.

Automated transcription implies the work of artificial intelligence. This technology is quite advanced and is equipped with good speech recognition systems. To convert audio to text, you need to choose a special program, upload a file and get a text format within 5-10 minutes. The only drawback of automated transcription is the lack of editors. If your audio file has background noise, you will get misspelled text. However, AI performs transcription several times faster than a human. This format is great for students – you will need to read the text and edit the questionable parts instead of listening to the information for a long time.

When Do You Need Transcription?

Almost all industries need automated or human transcription services because the world is built on people, and without close interaction, you will find your project to fail. Transcription is viral in journalism, media spaces, video production, marketing, and academic research. Let’s look at the main advantages of transcription applicable to these industries. Perhaps you will have new ideas for implementing transcription services.

Journalism & Media

Journalism requires maximum productivity. Journalists must meet deadlines, accurately convey the essence of the interview, and quickly create articles that will help keep clients’ attention. Therefore, a journalist cannot do without modern technologies.

Automated transcription is the journalist’s secret weapon. In a matter of minutes, an expert can get important information from an interview and, at the same time, create an article. Automated transcription is a great time saver for a journalist!

Video Production

YouTube users watch millions of videos every day. In the video world, transcription is essential. For example, thanks to subtitles, people who are hard of hearing or in noisy places can learn information from the video by reading the phrases attached to the video content. This is convenient and allows you to be socially equal with other people.

When creating subtitles, it is better to use manual transcription. The phrases in the video will match the subtitles and keep up with the time. In addition, by attaching a short text description of the video, you can move up in the search results. Robots have not yet learned to recognize voices in videos, but they do excellent with text.

Market Research

The demand for transcription in market research is growing more and more every day. Modern companies need to know their audience well. In almost every industry, there is a lot of competition for customer attention and recognition. Therefore, business people have no room for error.

How does transcription help business? Let’s turn our attention to UX testing – a method that helps get to know the market better. You can send product samples to customers and receive in-depth discussions using this method. Interviews with your target market should be recorded and analyzed. Consequently, transcription speeds up the process of analysis and data collection.

Academic Research

Recording and analyzing information is at the heart of any academic research. Focus groups, interviews, and research methods of all kinds need audio recording and transcription to form a winning project. Transcription assumes the greatest value in searching for patterns and forming hypotheses based on the data obtained.

Manual search and recording of information take a lot of time. Automated transcription is the best tool for any researcher because it creates searchable, accurate transcriptions of recorded files.

Coding – From A to Z

If we look in the dictionary, encoding would mean the process of encoding or decoding. Therefore, to get a complete picture of a given the word, we must understand its components.

Encoding – What is it?

Encoding is the process of converting data from one format to another. While “encoding” can be used as a verb, it is often used as a noun and refers to a specific type of encoded data. Encoding implies several types: audio or video encoding and character encoding.

Often experts encode multimedia files to save disk space. By encoding image files, video, and audio, a person can save these data in a more compressed form. Compressed files practically do not differ in content from the original, but they are also much smaller. For example, a WAVE (WAV) audio file converted to an MP3 file may be 1/10 the size of the original WAVE file. Similarly, MPEG (MPG) compressed video files may only require a fraction of the disk space as the original digital video (DV) file.

Character encoding is another type of encoding specializing in encoding characters as bytes. To date, computers can only recognize binary data. Accordingly, for a computer to recognize text, it must have a binary form. You can achieve this format by converting each character into binary code, including letters, numbers, symbols, and spaces. Among experts, two types of text encoding are popular: ASCII and Unicode.

Encoding can only be read by a program that supports the correct encoding type. This is achieved by a codec that decodes the data in real-time for audio and video files. As for text editors, they support various kinds of text encoding. Therefore, most text files will be able to open in a standard text editor without problems. However, if the program does not support the encoding applied to the text, the text editor will not display most of the characters, and you will not see the full text.

Decoding – What is it?

Decoding is the reverse procedure of encoding. The expert turns the code back into a human-readable form of data representation. Among the well-known examples of constant work with decoding is Morse code: you must first convert the received code into words to read a message.

In computer technology, coding occurs when the user enters any information into the system – creates files, prints text, etc. To understand ordinary Cyrillic or Latin letters, they turn into a set of zeros and ones. To be displayed on the computer screen, the system decodes the numerical sequence and shows the result on the net. All these actions are performed in thousandths of a second.

Any program, for example, a standard Notepad, reads the encoding of each character during the opening process, decodes the data, and displays information for viewing or further editing by the user. Let’s look at a specific example to understand this section’s topic better. For example, when writing the phrase “Hello,  how are you?”, we get a sequence: “10010001000111001100111010110011110101010100010001010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101010101

To perform information decoding, you need to divide the binary code into parts, each of which is equal to seven cells:

  • 1001000 – character “H.”
  • 1000101 – character “E.”
  • 1001100 – character “L.”
  • 1001100 – character “L.”
  • 1001111 – character “O.”
  • 0101100 – character “,” and so on, until decoded the entire sequence.

The example clearly shows how the numbers turn into letters. It is essential to consider commas, periods, and other punctuation characters when decoding because you will not get the correct text without them.


You may be dizzy from such a flow of information, but now you will be much more educated. Finally, we want to briefly note the differences between the two words. Transcription is listening to a media file and converting it into a text format. Encoding can mean both audio or video encoding and character encoding. At the same time, encoding can mean the reverse procedure of encoding. The expert turns the code into a convenient reading format. As you can see, there is a difference between transcription and encoding. So use these words correctly!

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