Mike Brown, one of Pod Academy’s producers, writes: A transcript is all part of the service – we make the podcast and then transcribe it, adding links and additional information. Sometimes the podcast producer will do it , while other times another team member takes over. It’s probably true to say that transcribing is everyone’s least favourite job!
Transcribing interviews makes you very aware of pacing. While an interviewer usually has prepared questions and experience in production, interviewees come from various professional backgrounds and vary widely in their delivery. Some speakers change pace unexpectedly or correct themselves on the spot. You also have to account for accent, background audio and what the speaker is likely to have said given the context.
You have to mentally dedicate yourself to it. It’s not the sort of thing you can half-heartedly trundle out thinking about your plans for dinner tonight. The routine I follow is straightforward: closed door, headphones on, big mug of tea, and a computer screen with a blank document and a podcast open. You ease into a rhythm of pause-play-pause as you type away trying to get everything down. A few hours later, I resurface beaming with pride. That’s the plan at least. Any lapse in concentration and the process grinds to a halt.
Afterwards it gets sent through to the rest of the team for checking and formatting. Assuming everything is fine, the process starts all over again for the next one. With any other clip it would probably be dull and tedious, but the variety of content means every time a new podcast arrives in my inbox I know it could be about absolutely anything. Walking tours, community development, modern atheism…you come away having learnt something new every time, and that’s the motivation behind losing evenings to a task that would drive even the best mad.
If you’d like to volunteer to transcribe one of our podcasts, please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.