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.
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.
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 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!
I’ve been dictation blogging for over 9 years now and it’s truly changed my life. I teach fellow bloggers the ins and outs of voice blogging so they can take their productivity to a whole new level.