My review of the Sony Digital Voice Recorder transcription Kit

Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit

This blog helps bloggers and writers produce more content in a short period of time through dictation. It doesn’t matter how quickly you write.

Currently, you can easily triple or even quadruple your output through dictation. The best part, you can find yourself in line or just lounging around at a corner cafe.

Whip out a digital voice recorder, and you’ve got yourself several blog posts or even a few chapters of your next book done. Sure, you have to edit the transcription, but it beats having to pound all that text out on a keyboard.

In this blog, we talked about how you can maximize your productivity using certain speaking techniques, and tips and tricks.

If you reach a stage, where you produce a lot of dictated content, you might want to go to the next level. This is the level where you don’t just crank out an audio every once in a while.

This is the point where you don’t produce audio recordings when you feel like it. At this stage, you are able to dictate content on a consistent and regular basis.

At this point, you’re gonna have to use enhanced equipment. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw out your digital voice recorder unit.

If you picked the right dictaphone for the right job, you can definitely hang on to that gear for many years to come. Instead, I’m talking about getting a more complete package going.

So you can start with your digital voice recorder but add attachments to it, so you can optimize its performance. This is where a digital voice recorder transcription kit comes in.

A digital voice recorder transcription kit, is also known as a digital transcriber package. This is a collection of tools that make transcription and dictation easier.

They are designed from the ground up to work with each other, to produce a smoother transcription production process.

The typical transcription kit comes with a digital voice recorder and software that can be controlled through your desktop computer or your laptop.

It also comes with foot pedals that connect to your computer, through a USB cable. The pedal makes for a completely hands free voice recording and dictation process.

If you have already gotten into the routine of constantly dictating content every single day, you would need this setup.

As you probably already know, you waste a lot of time fiddling around with keyboard strokes, and mouse clicks. You might be thinking that these extra steps don’t take up much time at all, but you might want to think again.

When you use your keyboard or mouse, you’re not talking. Those seconds add up. Considering the volume that you’re operating at, there’s a tremendous amount of lost opportunities.

Also, if you’ve been doing dictation blogging, or dictaphone writing for quite some time, you know that even the smallest distraction can be enough to throw you off your game.

Hands-free transcription is all about staying in the flow

When you’re using a hands free digital voice recorder transcription kit, you can transcribe your dictation smoothly and faster. You should know how this goes.

Once you get into “the zone,” it seems that every audio second, pretty much unpacks itself. You can anticipate the words and transcribe the very best form a sentence could take, before you even hear it completely.

That’s how awesome being in the zone is. But if you find yourself having to take a break, or adjust the text as you switch from keyboard to mouse.

It’s only a matter of time until you lose that high level of concentration and your productivity goes off a cliff. This has probably already happened to you.

Well, a hands free transcription system enables you to stay in the zone much longer, and this can only improve your productivity.

How does a transcription pedal work?

The pedal is able to send start and stop commands, as well as repeat functions to software installed on your computer. You don’t have to use your hands.

This way you can keep tapping away your keyboard, as you transcribe the audio smoothly. While Dragon naturally speaking, and other dictation software can help you save a lot of time, by automatically transcribing your audio.

They often have a lot of errors. You can minimize the mistakes such audio to text software make, by “rip training” them repeatedly.

But this assumes that you have a lot of time. If you don’t, you’re better off manually transcribing your own dictations.

But to pull this off, you have to be in the zone. This is why a transcription kit can take your productivity to the next level, because you’re operating on a hands free basis.

As you listen to the audio and stop, pause and play it back using your foot pedal, you’re typing away at your keyboard transcribing what you hear.

Who can benefit the most from a digital voice recorder transcription kit?

Transcription kits are old technology. They’ve been around for quite some time, and they were originally designed for medical transcriptionists as well as paralegals and legal transcriptionists.

But throughout the years, anybody who deals with a tremendous amount of dictated audio could benefit from transcription kits. These are professors, educational professionals, as well as bloggers and authors.

But simply, if you do a lot of dictation, and you have a tremendous amount of audio to process at any one time, you should seriously consider getting a transcription kit, if you’re doing the work yourself.

If you’re hiring out your transcription work to professional agencies or experienced freelancers, you don’t have to buy this equipment.

But if you want to maximize the quality of your work, since you’re the only person who truly understands your speech patterns, then you need the right equipment.

You need to be able to work in a hands free way, so you can speed up your transcription of your own recorded audio. These kits have been around for a while, so you can best believe that they are ergonomically streamlined.

They’re very easy to use. The interface is very intuitive, you don’t have to have an engineering PhD to figure things out and jump from menu to menu.

The software is also very robust, so you’re able to produce great transcripts as you can slow down the audio. There are of course many words that sound very similar to each other.

The best brand for transcription kits

There are many new brands out there that offer transcription kits. Their main competitive advantage is that they cost less.

But when it comes to preserving the flow of your whole transcription process, you really can’t afford to gamble with newer or untested brands. You should go with a tried and proven solution.

When it comes to this type of sensitive electronics, that require sophisticated microphones and voice recorder technology as well as a solid hands free interface, you really can’t go wrong with Sony.

This Japanese brand has been around forever and has earned its stripes with all sorts of consumer electronic products ranging from flat screen TVs, to a wide range of audio equipment.

If you’re looking for a high standard of quality and a total commitment to customer satisfaction, and a solid experience each time you use it, look forward to Sony brand.

This is why I recommend the Sony FS85USB PC transcription kit. It has all the items you need to put together a solid transcription system for audio you have recorded yourself.

The kit not only comes with powerful software that enables you to properly process and edit your audio. Of course, the star of the show is its three function foot pedal unit.

This is a USB device that plugs easily to your Windows machine. The foot pedal is very straightforward and easy to use. You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out.

It only has three functions. It can play, rewind, and forward the audio. That’s all you need. It also has a repeat function. Just in case you missed a segment or you got confused or distracted, you can quickly come back to what you just listened to.

The kit also has a microphones pitch control, USB connector shortcut key and email function.

What kind of format does the FS85USB support?

The software component of the Sony digital recorder transcription kit, supports the following audio formats, .msv, .dvf, .mp3 and .wav.

It also has a digital pitch control where you can adjust the tone of the voice recordings on your PC. This is crucial, especially if you speak really quickly and can’t make out the words in one area or portion of your recording.

You can also decrease the playback speed of the audio and playback over and over as you slow down.

Usually this is enough to give you a good idea of the word that you are saying, in a particularly complicated spot in the recording.

In the case of words that sound very similar to each other by going through this decreasing playback speed, you can make out the context. This greatly reduces your chances of committing transcription errors.

Insist that your transcriber VA uses a FS85USB

If you are hiring virtual assistants to transcribe your digital audio for you, you might want to invest in their productivity by paying them extra to buy this model.

In fact, if you’re up for it, you should even take the initiative and send them a Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit.

This way you can rest assured that the quality of the transcription you’re getting, will be high and consistent. It’s a small investment to make, if you are hiring a virtual assistant for a long engagement.

Sending them a kit that you paid for, make sense if you’re thinking of keeping this person on for at least six months. Consider it as strategic investment in the quality of the content that you are dictating.

If you’re a very busy blogger, who produces at least 30 posts a month, you might want to consider this option. The same goes with book publication. If you publish more than two books a month, this might be the way to go.

Remember, the higher the quality of your transcriber, the more likely you’re going to make money and product of that person’s work. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

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30 Most Common Manual Transcription Mistakes

30 most common transcription mistakes

If you’re dictating your blog posts, novels, books, articles, and any other type of written content, you have to turn your audio into text. As I’ve covered in other posts in this blog, you have several options available to you.

In this post, I’d like to focus on dictation bloggers and writers who want to hire manual transcribers. Generally speaking, this is called intelligent verbatim transcription.

You’re not asking them to completely rework or reorganize your output. You’re not asking them to make stylistic or editorial substantive changes. Instead, you just want them to weed out your “uhh” and “ahh” and obvious grammatical mistakes.

You also want them to be intelligent enough to figure out when you’re editing yourself or simply reiterating a passage that you just dictated. Make no mistake, if you are looking for the highest quality transcription, without tripping yourself up in terms of dictation speed, intelligent verbatim transcription is the way to go.

This is my personal preference. I understand that other writers would rather dictate into their mobile phone straight into a speech to text transcription app. I covered that in another post as well. I even listed out the top 20 voice recorder apps that you could use.

You could then plug those apps into automated transcription. Here’s a little bit of warning though. As somebody who has tried digital transcription, I can safely say that that method of turning speech to text has a long way to go. It definitely needs work.

I’m dictating this blog post right now and my transcriber is intelligent enough to know what the natural breaks in the dictation is. My transcriber can also detect any emphasis that I may be placing on certain words.

This goes a long way in setting up effective sentence construction. Also, I don’t have to worry about pausing and saying “exclamation mark” and “period” at the end of every sentence because my transcriber knows when to naturally put punctuation.

In fact, by just listening to my tone of voice, they would know the difference between a period, a question mark, or, in rare cases, an exclamation point. Not so with automated transcription technology.

They do have their place, but if you are dictating a 700 to 900 page epic novel like I did, intelligent verbatim transcription is the way to go. With that out of the way, here are the top 30 most common manual transcription mistakes transcribers make.

Whether you are hiring a transcriber to do intelligent verbatim transcription or some other type of speech to text work, pay close attention to how they handle these mistakes.

If you see them committing the same errors over and over, you might want to ask their project manager to tighten up the quality. But if the issues continue, you might want to switch to another service.

The 30 most common manual transcription mistakes

Mistake #1: Inaccurate transcription

Let’s face it, the English language is very tricky. At first blush, when you say these words very quickly, they seem to be the same. You have to read the context to get the right spelling. I can say “seem” and then “seam”.

Since you’re reading this, you know these are 2 totally different words applied to completely different contexts. But when you’re listening to speech audio, they sound the same. The same goes with having “seen” something and arriving at a “scene”.

If you’re reading these sentences, the correct spelling jumps out at you. But if you’re just listening to it and you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to mistake “seen” with “scene”. I wish these were the only 2 words that sound very similar in English. But there are tons of them.

This is why it’s really important to look at your transcript, no matter how quickly, once you get it back from your transcriber.

Mistake #2: Bad basic grammar

As much as possible, you should outsource your transcription work to people who have a good command of the English language. By doing so, you can rest assured that they at least have a working knowledge of proper capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

Sadly, even an experienced transcriber can still screw this up. Again, you have to go through an extra quality control step. Maybe you should tell them to plug their work into online tools like Grammarly or some other free online grammar checker.

When it comes to misspelling, this is a very easy problem to spot. But punctuation can be quite tricky especially if the person is a complete newbie. Capitalization rules are also pretty straightforward, but again, people do make mistakes especially if they’re rushing through a transcription.

One simple trick that I use is to plug in the transcribed text into Google Docs. Google Docs uses artificial intelligence to detect errors. When you see a blue underline under a text and it’s not hyperlinked, there’s something wrong with that text.

Click on it and you will see Google Doc’s recommended grammatical correction. Sadly, not all its recommendations are 100% accurate. There is such a thing as a false positive grammar detection error with Google Docs.

This is where you use your basic English skills to see if the recommendation makes sense or not. When it comes to misspellings, on the other hand, Google Docs is pretty straightforward. If you see a word with a red line underneath it, it is spelled wrong.

9 times out of 10, you can just go with the recommended change and it would be absolutely correct.

Mistake #3: Paraphrasing or rearranging the speaker’s words

This is a big no no. As much as possible, manual transcribers who are doing intelligent verbatim transcriptions must stick to the text as dictated by the speaker. In other words, they have to follow the form and the order of the text being dictated.

If they were to take portions of sentences and mix them around, it’s going to throw the whole paragraph or sentence out of whack. 9 times out of 10, it’s not going to make any sense. Sometimes, I do instruct my transcriber to rearrange portions when I know that I missed a step.

For example, when I’m dictating product reviews, sometimes I overlook key benefits to the customer and I have to go back. Instead of dictating the whole thing, I would say to the transcriber “Please take this portion” and I would specify which section it is, “and plug it into a section after a subheading.”

Generally speaking, your transcriber would know what to do and take care of the issue. But that’s probably the only situation where rearranging or paraphrasing would make sense. Otherwise, they’re not doing a good job if they just completely override your judgement.

You’re the writer. They’re the transcriber. These are 2 totally different roles.

Mistake #4: The transcriber adds additional information

If you’re a blogger getting paid by publishers on a per word basis, you might think this is a good thing. After all, when it comes to writing for money, the more, the merrier, right? Not necessarily.

When the transcriber makes it a habit to almost always add additional information, this makes your job harder. You’re going to have to drop whatever you’re doing, read the transcription from beginning to end, and make sure that whatever was added actually added value to the transcription.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. If anything, it adds confusion or it takes your train of thought in the text to a different direction. That’s not always a good thing. To minimize any of that unnecessary hassles, insist on your transcription service provider to focus on what’s in the audio.

There’s no need to add additional information. If, for example, you’re dictating a legal brief for an attorney client, it’s on you if you missed a key fact and the transcriber is under no obligation to step in and try to plug that hole.

The same goes with a novel. I know, I’ve made this mistake several times before. I’m in page 500 trying to flesh out the character and bring color to the conflict, but I would overlook a very important detail that the transcriber has already covered and transcribed on page 200.

The person should just transcribe what I dictate. They know full well that I missed a very important fork, maybe it’s logical, maybe it’s an emotional development, maybe it’s some sort of psychological revelation that can prove crucial to the story line, but that’s on me.

I dropped the ball and I have to deal with the circumstances. This is much better than just giving your transcriber a blank check to plug in additional information. First of all, they’re not getting paid enough to do that because that’s high level editorial stuff, and second, it would probably trigger all sorts of issues with the final work.

So it’s much better to just set clear rules and boundaries with your transcriber regarding additional information.

Mistake #5: Mislabeling speakers

As I’ve written in this blog before, one of the fastest and most powerful ways you can create free content is through recording interviews. That’s right. Just go to all the conventions that you can in your field and interview experts.

A lot of these experts would love to talk their heads off because it shows how much they know and they are promoting their brand by talking to you. It doesn’t matter how small your outlet or audience may be, the more they drill down into that specialty niche market audience, the stronger their brand becomes.

It’s a win-win situation. The problem is when you are interviewing different people at the same time, the transcriber might mislabel the speakers. Believe it or not, a lot of people have similar sounding voices. You have to really lean closely and pay close attention to the audio.

As the person who recorded this material, you wouldn’t have a problem because you know who’s who. They were in front of you when they were talking. Maybe they’re talking on top of each other, but you know who was who.

Good luck trying to figure that out if you’re the transcriber. It’s really important to make sure that you deal with a company that filters or trains transcribers so they can accurately label speakers. This goes a long way in making sure you collect all the streams of content from many different sources during a group interview.

You can then have these transcribed and you can filter these out yourself and have it edited later and you have yourself a nice stack of content.

Mistake #6: Time stamp inaccuracies

This usually applies to transcriptions of meetings and multiple speakers. This also applies to transcriptions that are either going to be used in court or crossed referenced.

This is usually not that big of a deal when it comes to transcribing blog posts, articles, novels, and other creative works. But this can be an issue especially if you need to refer back to the audio and correlate it with the transcribed text.

If you can’t do that, that’s going to be a problem.

Edited transcription mistakes

In the following series of errors, I’m going to cover edited transcriptions. This is a very different type of service compared to intelligent verbatim transcriptions.

Edited transcriptions require the transcriber or editor of the transcript to make some judgment calls as to how to condense ideas or to reword certain concepts throughout the transcription so it makes better sense.

For the most part, this doesn’t really apply to dictation blogging because depending on how aggressive the editor is, a lot of your personality as well as your unique point of view can eithter be watered down or completely cut out.

But there is definitely a market for edited transcription in other industries, but not necessarily in creative work. Still, I’m going to cover it here because these types of mistakes are quite common and should be detected and fixed.

This is especially true if you don’t really care much about putting your personal stamp in your output. Maybe you just want to get as much content out there, so you hire companies that do edited transcriptions.

Be on the lookout for these problems.

Mistake #7: The general idea of the text isn’t properly maintained throughout the whole transcription

This usually happens when a significant portion of the dictation is reworded or cut up and placed in other parts. What happens then is what should’ve been a point of clarification that kind of recaps or reiterates what the whole piece was about is missing.

This is not a problem if the transcribed piece is, let’s say 1,000 words. Usually, people can follow an idea close enough to maintain some sort of consistency of meaning even though there’s some confusing passages.

But this issue can definitely blow up if you’re talking about a very big piece of text like a novel or a novella or a very long blog post. This is why it’s really important to make sure that key sentences are not only left in, but also emphasized through bold font or some sort of formatting device.

Mistake #8: Transcribing unfiltered verbatim

The main reason why you’re hiring an edited transcription company is for them to provide you with a very polished product. Many eyeballs have gone through the text. They have filtered out problematic parts and restructured them to preserve your idea.

In fact, if done well, edited transcription can produce an end product that is much better than you originally visualized. That does happen. You know there’s a problem when the transcriber includes gaps in the conversation and they transcribe mumbling or “uhh”, “ahh”, and other gibberish.

Usually, this is not acceptable. But there is space for this when you are dictating dialogue. I’ve done this before where there are several awkward moments between characters.

By keeping such verbal “tics” in the dialogue, you play up the conflict and tension between the characters. This can be effective, but generally speaking, in terms of edited transcription, it doesn’t make sense and it degrades the quality of the transcription.

Mistake #9: Failing to match the tone of the dictation

If you’re getting transcription work done in a foreign country where a lot of people speak English as a second language, you have to be careful about tone. A lot of ESL speakers have great English skills. The challenge is when English is taught overseas, it’s usually not taught in the colloquial context.

Instead, they learn it in an academic setting. So don’t be all that surprised when the transcription comes back and parts of it reads like a term paper. This is okay if your dictation is formal in tone. Maybe you’re talking about scientific research or you’re dictating a term paper for a client.

But if you are dictating a blog post on a review of stereo electronics, that’s going to be a problem. Generally, when people read reviews or other forms of consumer content, they get turned off by overly formalistic tones.

Make it a point to hire a transcriber or transcription agency who are staffed by people who can tell just by the way you dictate the overall tone that you’re looking for. Usually, if you start speaking in slang or using colloquialisms, they will pick up that this is an informal type of transcription. But you can’t be too sure.

Tone is important. Look at the transcription and make sure that it fits the tone that your audience is used to.

Mistake #10: Stammering, false starts, and gaps are included in the transcription

The reason why you’ve hired an edited transcription service company is that you’re looking for something that is smooth, flawless, and ready for publication. You might also have hired them for their editorial expertise.

Nothing slaps you in the face and reminds you that you made a bad decision than looking at the transcript and discovering that there are gaps. What’s worse is when the transcriber doesn’t include the gaps.

Basically, I instruct my transcribers to hit the shift and the key next to the zero on the keyboard to indicate a gap. Maybe these are missing words or sounds that they can’t quite figure out. However they do it, they let me know that there’s something that went wrong in the transcription.

I’ve been lucky enough to find really intelligent and professional transcribers that I don’t have to do this. But if you hire a company or a freelancer that just transcribes text and doesn’t let you know that there are issues, this is going to be a problem.

It’s a big headache actually cause you’re going to have to read the text at a surface level and then read it again at a deeper level and even then, you might not even know that there’s something wrong. You find out too late when a customer complains or your publisher gets you on the phone and calls you out. It’s a mess!

It’s really important to cover these rules first with your transcription provider. The good news is a lot of professional transcribers already know this. In fact, their consensus enough to email you and say “There were some rough spots here. Maybe your app or software tripped up during that segment. I’m just going to mark it in the transcription.”

That’s professional courtesy and most transcribers, and I know all of the people who work for me, are professional enough to do this. But just in case, you need to know that this is an issue. There are transcribers and transcription companies out there that don’t really care.

So they just crank out the text and they leave you to figure it out. The worst thing that you could do is to take that transcription and just post it automatically to your blog. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Mistake #11: Grammatical errors left untouched

As I mentioned above, I prefer that my transcribers plug in the transcribed text into Google Docs. They protect themselves when they do that. Not only does Google Docs have a built in grammar checker, but they use a cutting edge technology called machine learning.

What happens is there’s so many people all over the world using Google Doc and the stock grammar correction system would notify people. But here’s what’s awesome about Google. It actually pays attention to how people correct their grammar.

They don’t just store this locally. Google Docs learns from all these millions of corrections so that when other people make those mistakes in the future,Google Docs will recommend the best solution as judged by how most people fix that error.

The best part is Google Docs is absolutely free and it works very quickly. You just need to look for blue underlines and see if the proposed correction makes sense. This is why it’s inexcusable for edited transcripts to contain any kind of grammatical errors.

There is one exception though. If you are dictating a novel and it includes dialogue with people with bad grammar, this should remain. In that situation, the challenge is different. Your problem is to keep the grammatically incorrect portions in those key parts of your book or story.

Common errors made during verbatim transcription

There’s a big difference between edited transcriptions and verbatim transcriptions. Edited transcriptions give the transcriber a lot of leeway as to how to fix the text.

Verbatim transcription, on the other hand, comes in 2 flavors: Intelligent verbatim transcription and raw verbatim. As the term implies, raw verbatim transcription is just listening to the text, as spoken, and just typing whatever you hear.

If the person says “umm” or “ahh”, that makes it to the transcript. It’s raw. No refining, no editing, nothing! Word for word. In fact, some services even use sound for sound. So if somebody coughs, that makes it to the record.

Intelligent verbatim transcription is the middle way between edited transcription and raw verbatim transcription. In intelligent transcription, a lot of the “um”, stammers, false starts, and gaps are taken out, but the speaker is notified of any gaps or incomprehensible sections.

Also, the intelligent transcriber would pay attention to self-editing. This is, as far as I’m concerned, the biggest difference between raw and intelligent verbatim transcription. The way I dictate my blog posts, articles, novels, video scripts, and what have you is that I would speak out the general idea and, from time to time, I would correct myself.

Maybe I forgot something in a verbal list. Maybe I realized that there was a better way of phrasing something. When that happens, I would backtrack and it would seem that I’m saying the exact same sentence.

But in reality, there is a change in the sentence. I’m lucky enough to have intelligent transcribers who can detect this, so they use the last section. In a raw verbatim transcription, you don’t get that. You just get a raw dump of everything that you say.

So if you’re editing yourself several times within the same paragraph or, if you’re really unlucky, the same sentence, it would seem like you’re a broken record beause you keep saying the same sentence over and over again. It gets annoying because somebody’s gotta edit that and that person is usually you.

Keep this in mind as we go through the common verbatim transcription errors listed below.

Mistake #12: Gaps, stammers, false starts are taken out

For a variety of reasons, certain types of transcriptions need stammers, false starts, and gap fillers like “umm” and “uhh”. Usually, these are court transcripts. Generally, the reason why all this “junk” needs to remain in the record is to establish a context. It also gives the person reviewing the record some indications of credibility.

If, for example, somebody died and all the information they can get from that person takes the form of an audio recording, they would have to piece together the overall picture of that person’s trustworthiness and accuracy using audio.

In a court setting, they would need the transcription. By including these gap fillers, false starts, and verbal tics and whatnot, the decision makers and lawyers involved can rest assured that this is an accurate record of what the person actually said.

From this information, they can then make conclusions as to who’s trustworthy and who can easily be discounted. But generally speaking, if you are writing a novel, a blog post, or an article, these have to be taken out.

That’s why I suggest that your default standard when it comes to transcription is intelligent verbatim transcription. IVT, for short, doesn’t just knock out these items, but they also involve intelligent self-editing.

So if you’re repeating the same sentence over and over with slight changes, an intelligent transcriber will take the last version because that’s basically your statement to yourself and to them that “This is the sentence that I am most comfortable with.”

Mistake #13: “Misheard” words

I wish I could tell you that the only way to mishear something takes the form of similar sounding words like “seen” and “scene”. Unfortunately, I can’t say that. There are other words that have silent words or, when spoken really quickly, kind of morph into other words.

For example, “I’m going to go to the store.” You can transcribe that as “I’m gonna” or “I’m going to”. Verbatim transcription must stick to the words as pronounced. So it’s really important to look at accuracy errors because if you mishear certain words and you step in with what your judgement of what those should’ve been, you probably end up changing the meaning.

Transcription isn’t as good as it could be. In fact in some cases, it can just change the whole meaning altogether. The value of the transcription goes down the toilet. The company that I work for has hired transcribers before that has this issue.

They would then have to take the same audio file and reassign it to somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. It does happen and the problem is it kills a lot of production time.

Mistake #14: Shifts in breathing and ways of talking are omitted

Again, the whole point of raw verbatim transcription is to give you a written snapshot of the person giving the statement. If a criminal confession is transcribed, you best believe that the lawyers, both prosecution and defense, as well as the judge would want every single detail transcribed.

They pay attention to background noises, the overall tone, emotion, and breathing. Emotion can be indicated in the text. Make no mistake, there’s a big difference between a period, a comma, and an exclamation mark when it comes to emotion.

The person is doing a lousy job when they cut all this out and they just stick to the text when doing a raw verbatim transcription.

Mistake #15: Correcting grammatical errors

Again, with raw verbatim transcriptions, you want a textual snapshot of the audio so all the warts, wrinkles, lines, creases, and pimples of the speech have to be there. So if the person is making grammatical errors, leave it in because this is going to be used in court. This text has to accurately reflect the personhood of that individual.

Generally speaking, this type of raw verbatim transcript is only important when you can no longer talk to the speaker. Maybe they escaped jail, so they’re presently unavailable, or they died. But this type of transcript isn’t going to be that big of a deal if the prosecutor can directly cross examine or talk to the person who gave the statement.

But if all we have is the person’s audio record, the raw verbatim transcription must provide an unvarnished and authentic true to life depiction of that person. This includes grammar issues, verbal tics, and whatnot.

Mistake #16: Inability to transcribe every word

When you’re listening to a raw verbatim transcription, strap in. It’s going to be a long read because you’re going to go through every word that came out of the speaker’s mouth.

In intelligent verbal transcriptions, you don’t have to suffer through the “umm”s and “aah”s. You don’t have to hassle with the many times they have to repeat a sentence because they’re correcting themselves. You get all of that with raw verbatim transcriptions.

Mistake #17: Failure to show overlapping conversations

There is one type of extremely challenging raw verbatim transcription. Generally speaking, if you are transcribing a statement made by one person, it wouldn’t be an issue because this person would stop and then start. Maybe they have all sorts of weird verbal habits, but you can manage as a transcriber.

Things get really hairy when you have more than one speaker. You know what’s going to happen. They’re going to talk to each other. When things get heated, they try to interrupt each other. In many cases, more than one person is talking at the same time. Tempers might flare, so there’s a lot of cursing and emotional heat.

When you’re doing the raw verbatim transcription of all of this, you’re going to have to capture all of that. Basically, it’s hard enough to transcribe one person. Can you imagine transcribing several conversations at once?

To make things even worse, you have to tag the speaker as they talk to each other. If they’re Hollywood voiceover actors with really distinctive vocal sounds, this probably is not going to be a problem. But if they’re regular people off the street, there’s a good chance that some of them sound similar enough to each other.

In fact, people might not sound all that similar at first when they’re speaking in their normal voice. But you can bet that if they get all emotional, their voice can change. That’s when it can get extra tricky.

Mistake #18. Failure to indicate if the audio had pauses or failure to indicate how long these pauses are

Again, with verbatim transcriptions, you want a snapshot of what it’s like to actually talk to the person who is being interviewed.

And the person inspecting the transcript makes all sorts of findings based on how the person is talking and what kind of words were being used. They’re trying to paint a picture as to whether this person is believable or not.

This type of raw verbatim transcription is intended for fact-finders. Maybe this will happen in the context of a lawsuit, a criminal investigation, or maybe even a job interview.

The key is to get an accurate portrayal of the person speaking so the decision-maker or group of people making the decision can determine trustworthiness, credibility, or level of authority.

Unfortunately, when the transcriber leaves out pauses, this can get in the way of getting a realistic and accurate snapshot the decision-makers need.

Mistake #19. Failure to Note Unintelligible Sections of the Audio or Failure to Suggest Possible Transcription

As a general rule on raw verbatim transcription, transcribers cannot step in and place their educated guess as to what the missing word is. The best they can do is to put an underline and put question mark notations.

This should notify the reader that there’s something wrong with that part of the audio. They have to either listen to the audio again or look at the totality of what’s been said before and after to come up with some sort of idea of what the missing word is.

All of this goes out of the window if the transcriber completely skips the unintelligible part. They don’t put any sort of notation such as an underline or a question mark.

The speaker is saying something, and all of a sudden, there is a twist in the statement because there is a missing section.

Of course, the more words that are unintelligible, the more damage could be possibly done in raw verbatim transcriptions. In fact, this can be a fatal flaw.

It may well turn out that a few unintelligible parts here and there at the right points in the transcript may be enough to either throw out a testimony or a narration of an interviewee or weaken it so much that whatever is being decided can swing the other way.

Mistake #20. Spelling, Punctuation, and Formatting Are Completely Neglected

The funny thing about raw verbatim transcriptions is that a lot of people assume that when you record somebody talking that all the basic rules of English get thrown out. This is not true, not by a long shot.

If I start with just saying random words together with no relationship between them and completely forgetting about grammar rules, a transcriber will probably be able to turn that speech into text. I have no doubt about that.

But it’s not going to make much sense to you reading that stuff and it’s not going to make much sense as far as I’m concerned because, last time I checked, when people talk they usually do this to communicate, send a message, and understand each other.

They want to get something done or explained. There is a reason for talking and we need to remember this. That’s why most people who speak English or any other language follow grammar rules.

It doesn’t matter how deep a person’s vocabulary is or how many years of education they have. If you want to be an effective communicator, you have to follow basic grammar rules. These include sentence construction, punctuation, and even a certain flow which can be translated into a format.

You know you’re looking at a really bad piece of raw verbatim transcription when the transcriber thinks that they can disregard all rules because they are doing that type of transcription.

They think that as long as they hear certain words and transcribe it in a rough order, it is “authentic” enough. Absolutely wrong. If you want to stick to what the speaker is saying, you also have to follow the rules that they’re following.

This is the difference between a high-quality raw verbatim transcription and somebody who is just winging it. Again, important decisions might depend on what gets transcribed and what gets left out.

And just because you’re transcribing somebody who might not have an education or speaks very roughly, it doesn’t mean that you can assume that that person has no command of grammar.

Making this assumption is wrong because if that person is, in any way, functioning today in society that means that the person can communicate well enough. The transcription must at least reflect that fact.

Common Mistakes In Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

Intelligent verbatim transcriptions transcribe what the speaker is saying word for word but with several modifications.

First, you’re not going to transcribe “ums”, “ahs”, stammers, and gaps. As a transcriber, you will automatically clear that out because it doesn’t add value to the text.

Second, intelligent transcriptions detect whether the person speaking is editing himself or herself. As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, sometimes I say the same sentence three times when I dictate.

It’s not the exact same sentence. There are always changes either in the middle or near the end of the sentence. What I’m doing is spitting out different versions of the same sentence to try to communicate an idea.

The final version of the sentence is the one that I’m most happy with. It is the version that the transcriber should commit to writing.

Intelligent verbatim transcription uses this rule. You don’t blindly transcribe every single word coming out of the speaker’s mouth because if you transcribe everything along with the “ums” and the “ahs” and the gaps, it’s hard to make sense of all of that.

Especially if you are dictating a blog post, a novel, a book, or anything that is intended to be consumed as a ready-made form of content.

This is very different from transcribing every single word and sound where you are trying to create a snapshot of the speaker in the context of a murder case.

You best believe that both the prosecution and the defense would want a faithful transcription of the recorded testimony of the original witness who had died.

This way they can attack the person’s credibility or support it. When it comes to intelligent transcription, you’re not dealing with those considerations.

Instead, you want clear, easy-to-understand text that is faithful to the ideas being shared by the speaker. Keep this in mind when looking at the following errors:

Mistake #21. Including gap fillers

You know you’re dealing with lousy intelligent transcription when the transcriber puts in gap fillers like “um”, “ah”, and stammers. Their job after all is to edit that stuff out and get to the good stuff.

There is one exception though. It makes sense to keep this stuff in if I’m dictating conversations or dialogues. For example, if I’m dictating a novel, I would like to include “ums” and “ahs” to lend some authenticity to the exchange.

Usually, people stammer when they are under a lot of pressure or stress. The dialogue would seem more believable if that was left in. This is the only exception to the rule that I can see when it comes to this error.

Mistake #22. Excessive deletion of passages

You know you’re dealing with a newbie transcriber when they cut out whole paragraphs and shrink sentences. It’s one thing to have a good idea of what you think clear and effective writing should look like. It’s another to override the speaker.

Please understand that it’s the speaker who is the author of the transcription. The transcriber is simply the means or the intermediary that turns the speech into text.

They have a certain level of discretion but it doesn’t go so far as cutting out important details, automatically shortening sentences, or otherwise making very important strategic editing decisions without the previous approval or instruction of the speaker.

If you hire a transcription company that is in the habit of doing this, keep in mind that there is a real danger that a lot of what you’re saying is being reworded or edited in such a way that it may end up meaning that is different from what you had in mind originally.

Usually, this problem is fixed when you set the right ground rules with a transcription company, agency, or an individual freelancer. Just let them know that you’re supposed to edit the text to make it understandable.

In other words, they would transcribe your speech as is and then they would read through the materials to look for confusing sections. At that point, they have to listen to the audio again and see which editing decision would clarify the transcription.

This is the difference between intelligent transcription and “brute force” transcription that replaces your creative authority with the editorial discretion of whoever is handling your text.

Mistake #23. Addition of Slang When It’s Obvious That It’s Not Needed

I use the words “gonna” and “wanna” a lot. This should be enough to let my transcriber know that these words should be transcribed as “gonna” and “wanna” respectively.

Because if I wanted to, I could have instructed them to automatically translate “gonna” into “going to”. This is going to trip my transcriber up because I use the word “gonna” a lot. Be on the lookout for this because this is a failure of communication.

What will happen is if you are getting your dictations transcribed and you trust it to somebody who is very literal or who writes in a very formalistic, academic type of way, there’s going to be stylistic problems in the transcripts.

It’s as if two different people wrote the piece. As a writer, it should be your product. The transcriber is just an intermediary. The process is to turn your speech into text.

But if there’s miscommunication or confusion regarding how to handle slang terms, your final text is going to look weird to say the least.

Mistake #24. Includes background noise, laughter, and non-verbal cues

This is usually not a problem with intelligent transcription services. They know well enough to keep this stuff out. But if you’re dealing with a newbie freelancer who doesn’t quite know the difference between raw verbatim transcription and other forms of transcription, this can be an issue.

Mistake #25. Repeated Sentences Are Kept in the Transcription

If there is one hallmark of intelligent transcription it is probably the ability to detect speaker self-editing. If you are hiring transcribers, this should be one of the key skills that you should test for.

When people talk, a lot of times they open their mouths and verbalize when the thought hasn’t fully crystallized yet. Things are hitting them at a rate of a thousand miles per hour and they just want to get stuff out there.

This is understandable. But as you quickly think through the ideas that you are trying to get across, you often come up with a better way of saying things. This is where the repetition comes in. I do this a lot.

When I dictate, many times the first sentence is not the ideal way of saying the idea that’s popped in my mind. You have to understand that when I write a book or a blog post, or any other kind of creative work, I only have a few lines in front of me.

It doesn’t matter if that book is supposed to be 10,000 words or the blog post is scheduled to be 4,000 words. I only have a few lines so I have to deal with ideas that come to mind based on those outlined lines.

And you best believe that the first version is not always right. Either it’s fuzzy, badly formed, or incomplete. None of those situations is good.

So I mix and match, throw it around, and kick backward and forward ideas in my head. And a lot of times the ideas come at me much faster than my ability to pick and choose the words that best match them. This is why I tend to repeat sentences.

You know you’re dealing with a very professional and highly-intelligent transcriber when they can detect your self-editing. Personally, this takes the form of me just saying what seems like the same sentence over and over again.

In reality, I’m actually editing the end. It’s the final sentence that should be transcribed because that reflects the most crystal clear version of the idea that I’m trying to get across.

Another area where self-editing is a problem involves lists. For example, I’m talking about making money online using cashback apps like Swagbucks. This program encourages you to go to different places to shop and if you buy the right promotional products you get a discount.

But as I describe the program, it turns out that there is more to it than that. So at first I would say, “Swagbucks enables you to make money online by getting cash back for every qualifying purchase you make from their partner online stores.”

Usually, I’d leave it at that but I remember that Swagbucks actually pays you to view ads, fill out surveys, that kind of thing.

This comes out as Swagbucks enables you to make money by doing a; then it dawns on me that Swagbucks enables you to make money by doing b. Then finally, it dawns on me that Swagbucks enables you to make money by doing c and d.

If you’re an English teacher reading this transcription, it looks like a mess. An intelligent transcriber would then detect the list and pack it into a tight compact form so it’s easier to read.

So the final form should be: Swagbucks enables users to make money in the following ways: getting cashback discounts, watching videos, filling out surveys, and otherwise surfing the internet.

Isn’t this version much better? Nice and tight, right?

It gets the same information across in a concise way. That’s the hallmark of a truly intelligent transcriber. The problem is when the service that you’re using just lists out the same sentence over and over with slight changes.

Not only does this tire out the reader but it makes you look like a bad writer. So there is space there for tight editing and I would think that intelligent lists are not all that difficult.

All it takes is to listen to what is being said and quickly realize that it is part of the sentence that should be condensed into one sentence instead of making it seem like a repetitive loop.

Mistake #26. Digressions and Off-Topic Content Are Included

From my personal experience, this rarely happens. Most of the time, when I dictate something I would say, “Note to transcriptionist.” When that happens they’re on notice that I’m giving them instructions.

Usually, when I dictate outlines and I come up with an insight, I would say, “Note to transcriptionist: Stop here and then create another file or put this in another section of the transcript.”

This happens because as I already mentioned in “The Benefits of Dictation Blogging”, new ideas come to mind when you are verbalizing ideas. It would be great if all these ideas are tightly connected or there is some sort of overriding theme but you can’t count on that.

That’s how weird the human mind works. This is what’s awesome about creativity. You may be dictating a review, an article, or a consumer guide on air-conditioned dog houses, and all of a sudden, you have this amazing string of ideas regarding cat food.

What are you going to do in that situation? This is a tight spot because you don’t want to let go of a potentially valuable idea. After all, it’s free content. It beats having to think about that stuff later on.

On the other hand, you don’t want to get thrown off track. What I do is I would quickly say, “Note to transcriptionist: Put this in another section or place it in another document.” Then I would blurt out the rough outlines of the idea.

It may be inspired like the outlines of Michelangelo’s David in a piece of rough marble or it can be just a brain fart. It does happen but what is important is I got the transcriptionist to get it down in writing so I can deal with it later.

At that point, I go back to where I was in the article on air-conditioned dog houses and keep nailing down the ideas based on my outline. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

But I understand that other writers might have not established a method for communicating off-topic or off-track thoughts to their transcribers.

At that point, everything is put in the transcript. Good luck trying to cut through all those different strands of thoughts, ideas, and half-baked insights with a machete.

It is not surprising that when all that stuff is left in without any kind of organization, it reduces the overall impact of the content.

Mistake #27. Failure to Follow the Basic Rules of Spelling, Capitalization, and Punctuation

Intelligent transcription should be intelligent. And the bare minimum for this, of course, is to follow the basic rules of spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. It also has to follow grammar rules. In fact, there is no excuse in this context.

People can be forgiven if they are doing a raw verbatim transcription. If you’re transcribing somebody who is borderline illiterate and doesn’t care for the basic rules of grammar, the transcript will be rough but will be perfectly understandable.

Not so when it comes to intelligent transcription. As a client, you’re paying extra for the transcriber as well as the transcription company to have some sort of quality control system.

This way any errors involving spelling, capitalization, and punctuation is removed from your text so you won’t look bad. This is not much to ask. You should filter hard for transcribers who cannot follow these basic rules.

Mistake #28. Missing Words and Passages That Affect The Overall Coherence of Transcription

You have to understand that transcripts operate at two levels: context and content. Both have to be present for the transcript to make sense and to do the job you want it to perform.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen all the time because when a transcriber is under a lot of stress and pressure, it’s very easy for them to take shortcuts. I can understand this.

But the problem is you might think that condensing certain passages or leaving out a sentence here and there isn’t going to do much for the overall flow and content of the transcript. That is too much of an assumption to make.

In fact, it’s not a decision for you to make as a transcriber. That decision can only be made by the content creator which is the speaker. If you’re reading this and you’re looking for a transcriber, understand how important this is.

This is why you have to clear this up with the transcription company, agency, or the individual freelancer you’re thinking of hiring. What policies do they have? Do they have a quality control standard that ensures that this doesn’t happen?

The problem here is that these people are not mind-readers. They don’t know that you actually place heavy importance on one passage. If they touch that passage, the overall effect of the piece (at least, as far as you’re concerned) goes down the toilet.

You have to communicate clearly with your contractor to make sure that they do not cut out anything that affects both the context and content quality of the transcript.

Mistake #29. Careless Paraphrasing

From time to time transcribers can justifiably paraphrase. As I mentioned in my list example earlier, I have the habit of spitting out complete sentences when I’m actually listing items.

I could say, “He had pet dogs, he had pet cats, he had pet rats, he had pet parrots.” That could all be boiled down into a form that cuts out as much of the phrase “he had”. It could have been, “His pets included dogs, cats, rats, and parrots.” You get the point.

Paraphrasing is needed in certain cases but when it’s excessive you end up twisting the words of the speaker. This can lead to all sorts of trouble. At the very least, it changes the context. At the very worst, the overall value of the transcript goes up in smoke.

It’s much better to limit paraphrasing to where it makes the most sense. A lot of times, paraphrasing is effective when you’re dealing with somebody with certain verbal habits.

For example, I’ve issues with lists. I also have issues with saying the word “so” at the beginning of my sentences. Depending on which side of the bed I wake up on, I also have a problem with using the word “well” when starting a sentence.

Paraphrasing can make sense in those situations but you have to be careful that the transcriber you hire for manual transcriptions does not become overly aggressive with paraphrasing. If anything they should study how you normally talk and anticipate your habits so they don’t become problems.

Mistake #30. Letting Your Emotional State Dictate How They Transcribe Your Speech

When you’re speaking out a blog post, book, article, or novel, a lot of times you are in a certain emotional state. For example, I’m not all that excited when I dictate about make- money- online types of articles.

A lot of the time, this shows up in my voice. It seems distant, bored, even distracted. But no matter how my voice sounds, I’m still thinking through the concepts and making important decisions as to which words to say. Put simply, I’m still on the ball.

With other types of content, it’s easier for me to get excited. For example, when I dictate novels and there is a battle scene, I really get into it. I talk about the weapons drawn, how hot it was; which direction the wind was blowing and all sorts of details to pump up the emotional urgency of the scene.

In both of these situations, you can physically hear the emotion in my voice but it’s a bad idea to make editorial judgments based on my emotional tones. Sure, when I’m dictating my one-thousandth article on how to make money online using cash apps, I sound dead inside.

In fact, if you were looking at me and I was dictating through Zoom, you can see the tombstones in my eyes and the ash in my tongue. That’s how dead certain topics are to me. But none of that should affect how the transcriber approaches the words I’m dictating.

The ideas are still there. I would hope that the sentences are constructed well enough. Work with that. The problem with some transcribers is that they get excited. I get this. They’re empathetic people. When they’re in front of somebody, they feel what that person’s feeling.

That’s a great skill to have for face to face interactions and customer service and sales-type situations. It doesn’t pay all that well when it comes to transcriptions though. Focus on the text of what is being said, not necessarily on how it is being said.

What a lot of transcription customers such as yourself fail to realize is that when you hire a transcriber, they are constantly making all sorts of decisions on how to process your words. This is unavoidable and a lot of it is subconscious.

This is why you must control your emotion. Try to manage the tone of your voice when you’re dictating because at a subconscious level it can impact the actual transcript. It’s important to remember that emotion is a factor.

But with that said, as far as the transcriber goes, focus on the words. Don’t focus so much on the emotion because you‘re not being hired to do raw verbatim transcriptions. Angry tones are important when you are transcribing the words of a witness who died and their testimony is crucial to a murder case.

But when you’re transcribing an article on making money with Swagbucks, those concerns are not important. Your focus should be on the text.

The Final Word on Common Manual Transcription Mistakes

As you can tell from this massive list of the 30 common mistakes made during manual transcriptions, human error is always a big risk in the transcription process. You might be even tempted to order automated transcription.

Thanks to recent developments in artificial intelligence, automated transcriptions are no longer the stuff of science fiction. If you pay close attention to the voice portion of Google Docs, it’s nothing short of scary.

Still, a lot of writers would be better off dictating their work and having it manually transcribed. Personally, I don’t think human transcribers will be out of jobs anytime soon.

While machines may be great in dictating the meaning of specific words as you string them out while you talk, they’re lousy when it comes to punctuation. They also cannot paraphrase when needed. Forget about context.

To say that automated transcription systems, whether through apps or some sort of an online interface, need work would be to put it lightly.

Human transcriptions are here to stay. If you are on the market for this type of service, read all the errors above so you can work well with the agency or the freelance transcriber you’re thinking of hiring.

Once you’ve cleared up the issues I raised above, there is a good chance that you won’t have to worry about the quality of the content that you dictate.

How Much Should I Pay Transcribers For My Blog Post Dictations?

transcriber costs

You have a very important dictation recording of a blog that needs to be posted as soon as possible.

The audio file is about an hour, and with a very tight deadline. You can’t type very fast and don’t have the proper equipment, to begin with.

What do you do?

Well, don’t worry because there are a lot of online audio transcription companies ready to serve you. All you need to do is go to their website, upload your audio file, choose your options, and provide a payment method. After that, you wait a little while, and you get a readily usable transcript you can rush off to beat the deadline.

Here are some factors that you may want to consider before you choose an option.

1. Type of file-this will determine if your job will require an automated or human-based service.
2. Accuracy- depending on the level required, again influences the type of service to be employed
3. Cost-most transcription companies charge on a per-minute basis. But there are a lot of options like bulk plans that offer better value.

The following are the most important factors to consider.

Different methods of transcriptions


You do the listening and type exactly what you hear. This type is the cheapest and probably the most accurate. However, this is the most cumbersome and time-consuming method. Just trying to keep the pace with the speaker against your typing is challenging at best. Then there’s the formatting and editing. Before you know it, you’re ready to give up.

• Automated Transcription Services

This type is the middle option in terms of price and accuracy. As described in the introduction, these companies provide convenient services that produce decent transcripts as easy as ordering pizza. Accuracy is not as good and also varies depending on the company itself. Most of these companies have automated transcription and only a handful offer human-based services.

• Trained Transcriptionists

This type offers highly accurate service, since usually more than one transcriptionist work on your file.

However, that means higher costs and longer turnaround times.

You may also have some security concerns, but most operate under strict NDA policies, so they allow removal of your files from their servers anytime.


The industry standard is $0.80 – $1.50 per transcription minute for automated services.

$3.00+/minute is average for the higher-tier human-based services.

Typical hourly rates start from $30 on up.

BEWARE: Some services have ‘hidden’ fees, such as additional costs for noisy recordings and poor quality audio.

Other providers bill extra for rush jobs.

Still, others offer subscription fees or special rates for groups/teams. Another consideration is the number of speakers in the recording, which can mean additional charges.

Turnaround times

Companies such as Rev boast an industry best turnaround time of 4 hours for recordings that are less than 10 minutes.

TranscribeMe’s Machine Express automated transcription service claims a 3:1 ratio turnaround time.

Some companies, like GoTranscript, have the slowest at five days but of course, are the cheapest.

Human-based services such as Drennan Transcription commits 48 hours and does not charge extra for rush requests.

They try to juggle their operations to accommodate the client.

Cognoplus charges the lowest rates (at $0.60 per audio minute based on 50 minute blocks) and usually deliver with 60 hours.


Both Rev and Drennan Transcription guarantee 99% or higher accuracy in their transcriptions.

They hire only highly experienced transcriptionists that have passed rigorous training.

Rev even has a quality assurance and client feedback system that ensures only the best transcriptionists remain on their team at all times.

Cognoplus doesn’t offer an accuracy guarantee but this is included in the free proofreading and formatting services they include in their transcription service.

File security

Most of the companies like Rev have handled millions of video and audio files with proprietary information, security data, and varying degrees of sensitivity. They assure clients that nothing is ever shared outside of their company. Files are transmitted and stored with TLS 1.2 encryption, the highest available security level. Lastly, files can be deleted upon client request.

The Leading 9 leading online transcription companies


Offers the best overall value. Rock bottom pricing for completely human/manual transcription at 60 cents per audio minute plus proofreading and formatting.


Offers a good balance between accuracy and speed

Rev provides a wide range of video and audio transcription services, as well as captions, subtitles, and translations. It has a very high accuracy rate of 99% and usually returns the transcription in a few hours (4 hours for 10 minutes of recording or less). They charge $1 per minute for transcription and captions; and $3-$7 for translations.


iScribed provides general transcription services and specialized legal and medical services. They have a two-phase process of reviewing a file, which results in 99% accuracy. Turnaround time is relatively fast at 48 hours. Transcription charges start at $0.89 per minute plus $0.20 per minute for verbatim and timestamps. If you are in a rush and want a result before 48 hours, you can pay an extra $0.60 per minute. Aside from the mentioned transcription services, iScribed also offers closed captioning, subtitles, translations, and content writing services.


Scribie offers both manual and automated transcription services. Their manual services have an accuracy rate of 99%, charges $0.80 per minute of audio, and has a turnaround time of 36 hours. However, they have an additional cost of $0.50 a minute for speakers with accents, noisy backgrounds, and poor quality sound files. All a user has to do is upload the file, choose the plan option, pay the fee, and get the transcription in Word format document within the quoted time.

Scribie has a FREE automated transcription service for documents with lower sensitivity and accuracy expectations. For this service, you upload the audio file, wait for 30 minutes, and get a transcription with 80%-95% accuracy. This place is a reliable source of clean audio files with American accent speakers.


Premium automated transcription service

Temi boasts of its affordable automated service that many established companies use, such as ESPN, The Wall Street Journal, and PBS. They use advanced voice recognition software to transcribe a video or audio file in just 5 minutes. They guarantee a 90-95% accuracy for ideal recordings (clear speakers with a minimal accent and minimal background noise). Transcript files are typically obtained as Word documents or PDF files.

Transcription is $0.10 per minute. And there are no minimum volume requirements, no subscription, and monthly fees. So if you’re a user with fewer transcription needs, Temi is a solid choice.


Offers manual and automated transcription service at competitive prices

Offers manual transcription services starting at $0.79 per minute of audio, accuracy at 98%, 24 hours turnaround with speaker ID and timestamps included. For higher accuracy rates, additional costs and longer turnaround times apply.

TranscribeMe also has an automated transcription service, which they call Machine Express.

The cost of transcription is at $0.10 per minute, with no required volume, and with a turnaround time at a 1:3 ratio. To put it simply, for every 1 minute of an uploaded audio file, it will take them 3 minutes to transcribe. Once ready, the text the customer receives it (often through email) in different file formats (Word, PDF, HTML).

TranscribeMe claims their Machine Express uses an advanced voice recognition software that can be tailor-made to fit any business requirement.


Free automated voice transcription service

Speechnotes started as a free web-based voice transcription service that uses advanced voice recognition software to transcribe speech in real-time. It’s perfect for users who are more comfortable speaking rather than typing. The interface is very straightforward to use. Just click on the microphone and start dictating to the browser-based notepad. It even has commands for punctuations like “period.” The resulting text can be downloaded to the computer or emailed to you.

Recently, Speechnotes started its automatic transcription service for pre-recorded audio and video files. Transcription charges are $0.10 per minute.


UK based 100% human-generated transcription services

GoTranscript only offers manual transcription services done by a team of top-notch professional transcribers.

They back this up with a system of reviews and checks to ensure quality and 99% accuracy.

Their transcription prices start at $0.72 per minute with a turnaround time of 5 days, up to $2.50 per minute with a turnaround time of 6-12 hours.

They have a customer loyalty program that gives a 5%-20% discount depending on the length of uploaded audio that needs transcribing.

GoTranscript ensures that your information is secure by having their transcriptionists sign a confidentiality agreement. Furthermore, they give the clients the option to erase the transcripts from their database.

Drennan Transcriptions

Drennan Transcriptions offers human-based transcription services only. They do not use voice recognition software. They specialize in transcribing ready and usable podcasts, blogs, online content, market research copy, and others. They charge starting at $1.32 per audio minute but guarantees 99.9% accuracy. Turnaround time is about two days. But depending on their current load, they can accommodate rush jobs at no extra costs. Drennan Transcripts also guarantee no additional editing required to all transcripts they provide.

The Final Word

Depending on whether you prioritize cost, accuracy, or turnaround times for your transcription requirements, there are a lot of options available at your disposal.

Of course, choosing any one of them is worth having than letting your recordings simply go to waste.

Good luck and happy blogging!

How To Save Money on High Quality Human Transcription

If you haven’t tried automated transcription, you might not be missing much.

Generally speaking, fully automated transcriptions still suffer from accuracy compared to the works of human transcriptionists. You’ll find plenty of dictation apps and software out there but nothing will beat a human’s professional quality and accuracy.

For general blogging purposes, human transcription is the best option among the most common transcription methods out there.

By choosing a human transcriptionist or getting your transcriptions done by hand you bring up the accuracy rate and make sure that your files are free from errors. No need to spare some time to edit those text.

Finding a high-quality human transcription service is easy, but it often comes at a price. In contrast, automated dictation apps offer basic services at a much cheaper price. Some of them are even free apps.

When you don’t want to compromise quality, you go for the more expensive plan sparing yourself from reviewing the texts to check for errors.

Reasons To Get A Human Transcriptionist

One of the biggest advantages of getting an actual human being to transcribe your audio is the transcriber’s flexibility. Unlike machines, humans can handle noisy backgrounds and poor audio quality better.

When using automated transcription services, you will be asked to pay more when the speakers have accents or if there are multiple speakers. Humans can easily understand words despite the accent or dialect resulting in inaccurate words. By understanding or analyzing the context of the sentence, the right word makes it to the text.

A person can easily identify how many speakers there are. A dialogue may confuse dictation software, but humans can easily follow who is speaking and what is being said.

Homophones often present a problem for machines. Homophones are words with different spellings but the same pronunciation.

A human transcriptionist would easily know which spelling to use. This makes the sentences on the text free from eyebrow-raising mistakes and confusion.

Best Human Transcription Service Providers for Bloggers

1. GMR Transcription

A US-based company that ensures file security. Straight forward rates without hidden charges.

2. Cognoplus

Only $27 per 50 minute block. No hidden charges. This includes free proofreading, editing, and formatting!  They also offer VA services.

3. Words Wizards

With more than 20 years of presence in the industry, they have established a name for themselves.

4. Do it Now

Based in Australia, they offer a 4-day turnaround for a dollar per minute. You can also have your texts in just a day for 2 dollars per minute.

5. Go Transcript

Your audio files are in good hands with their experienced transcriptionists. They charge 72 US cents per audio minute.

How To Get Cheap Transcription Services

Of course, everyone wants a quality transcript, and it’ll be more amazing if you don’t have to spend a lot to get your hands on it. Beginners usually have a hard time actually finding excellent transcription service on a budget. This article will help you boost your luck in looking for one so you don’t have to resort to making a transcription yourself.

hand dictation

Get A Dictation App

The cheapest option you have when you need to turn speech to text is to head to Play Store or App Store. There are some of them which are for free.

Or you can also take advantage of the free trials they offer. Even if you decide on a paid app, the standard rates are way cheaper than the services of human transcriptionists.

The issue with dictation apps is that you’re lucky if you find one that’s compatible with your recording. You shouldn’t get your hopes high and ask for 100% accuracy.

At best it’ll only be around 80%. Background noise, poor quality audio, multiple speakers, and accent cannot be overcome by automated speech-to-text software resulting in poor transcription.

Dictation app works best when the recording is clean from background noise and the pronunciation of the speakers is well-rounded. Or else, you’ll have to brace yourself on your seats and dedicate some time to edit. Very time consuming if you ask me.


Compromise between features and security?

You’ve got to make your choice between paying fifty cents or a dollar for a minute of recording. They are set apart by how many features they offer and how much they value security.

You might think that a cheap option will do until you discover that it isn’t exactly cheap. Yes, you may be lured by the cheap price, but that might mean that you’ll be getting the most basic features unless you cough out more money for additional features which are charged separately.

If your recording has only one speaker, then you don’t have to pay more to set the app to identify multiple speakers. They also adjust the price depending on the quality of the audio, accents, and how many speakers there are.

Companies that offer better security charge higher, of course. They promise that your privacy is safe because they have in-house transcriptionists.


You save money when you aren’t in a rush to get your hands on your transcripts. Longer turnaround time cuts off the price up to 20% compared to rushed transcriptions.

This is the most helpful tip on this list because you don’t have to compromise quality nor security. If you really want to spend less, you just have to make a schedule.

verbatim dictation

Consider which verbatim is suited for your needs

Intelligent verbatim is a standard in the human transcription industry. This feature eliminates fillers like “uhms” and repetitions along with stutters. If your recording is clear and free from these distractions or you don’t find them necessary in your transcripts, you’ll be saving some money.

A strict verbatim will include every detail. But for those satisfied with basic transcription, you can look for transcription services where summary options are offered.


Keep the following in mind if you’re manually transcribing your audio files or if you’ve hired someone else to do it for you.

1. Make notes before you start the transcription. Organizing the content and giving a brief description beforehand will make sure the message or ideas get across to your audience.

2. Increase your focus and minimize distractions. It pays off to be well equipped. For instance, the proper type of headphones helps ensure that you are able to listen to what you are transcribing clearly all the time.

3. Steer clear from busy and noisy surroundings. Transcribing in a quiet room eliminates the chances of you getting distracted.

4. Pay attention to source guidelines. Clients do not always give the same set of instructions.

5. Stand from your seat from time to time. Regular breaks will help you be more productive. It can be taxing to sit for hours, and it won’t be long before you start making mistakes.

6. Download software that cleans up the audio. This way you’ll be spending less time analyzing and have a smooth time working.

7. Invest in a good quality keyboard. Keyboards are not made the same. Finding the best keyboard for you will help increase your typing speed.

8. Mind your punctuation. Be sure that you have them where they need to be.

9. Check your grammar all the time.

10. Don’t forget to proofread. You may want to download grammar checkers. Even the best writer needs someone to proofread his/her work. You are more prone to ignore your own grammatical slips, so getting a free app to check your grammar isn’t a bad thing.

transcription scheduling


A professional transcription doesn’t happen overnight. After transcribing for a while, you’ll be able to discover your own style and have a smoother time transcribing. Even a professional was a beginner once.

When you don’t want to transcribe it yourself, you have two options: get an app or hire someone to do it for you. A human transcriptionist is still no match with dictation apps.