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The Industry Production Standard (IPS) guildelines state that a single-voice interview can be transcribed by a "model operator" at a 4:1 ratio. In other words, people talk about four times as fast as one can type! Time variances do occur for several reasons, including all of the conditions to the right:

  • How clearly people speak (dialect, incomplete sentences or thoughts)
  • Number of speakers on tape
  • Number of "talkovers" (more than one person talking at the same time)
  • Background noises (recorded in restaurant, car, airplane, etc.)
  • Volume (not enough usually)
  • Background noises due to recording problems or battery in recorder going "dead"
  • (All of the above require "backing up" the tape to relisten)