Monday, 31 October 2016

More on Transcripts

This post follows on from previous threads on transcription (here, here and here).

Antija Allen, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Bethel University of Tennessee, posted a question earlier this year on LinkedIn's Higher Education and Learning group. She asked "Can anyone suggest a quick, accurate, and affordable transcription service OR a tool I can use myself to transcribe interviews?" (11 June 2016).

A number of academics came back with a range of suggestions, which I decided to list here, in order to keep track of them, in order of overall cost.
  • VoiceBase: This is a machine/human interface looking for call leads and sales trends, so the analysis is quite good. Apple & Google aps. The first 50 hours free if you are a student or an individual, thereafter prices are from USD$0.02/minute. It supports the following files: *.mp3, *.mp4, *.flv, *.wmv, *.avi, *.mpeg, *.aac, *.aiff, *.au, *.ogg, *.3gp, *.flac, *.ra, *.m4a, *.wma, *.m4v, *.caf, *.cf, *.mov, *.mpg, *.webm, *.wav, *.asf, *.amr. This seems the cheapest option, but I have yet to trial the fifty free hours. I will do a trial (and report back), as it almost seems to good to be true.
  • This is a DIY piece of transcription kit, like Dragon. You install it on your PC and play back audio using a transcription foot pedal or keyboard (with 'hot' keys). You can get the 'free' version (without bells & whistles) for USD$20 once the licence runs out or can the pro version for USD$25.
  • provides an unlimited call recording service with apps, with in-house professional transcriptionists/editors, starting at a cost of $8/month. Apple & Android aps.
  • A 5 day service for a 1 on 1 interview is USD$0.90/minute; a group discussion on the same plan is USD$1.10/minute.
  • This company is bound by a non-disclosure agreement to ensure confidentiality (important for research!). Basic is USD$1/minute cost, at a low priority turnaround of 3-5 days, of .pdf, Word, .html format files.
  • Rev also costs USD$1/minute (plus USD$0.25/minute for a verbatim transcript OR for a timestamped transcript). They can handle many file types including meeting notes, normal documents and MP3, MP4, WMV, AIF, M4A, MOV, AVI, VOB, AMR, WMA, OGG or WAV.
  • SpeakerText processes high quality video transcription quickly by splitting video files into 10-second clips and sending them to thousands of transcribers. Costlier though: USD$1.50/minute with a two day wait.
  •  Pricier. USD$1.50/minute
All of these transcription services were rated by those who posted them. I think we are waiting for a Siri that will hear other people's voices.

Still holding out for a Siri, but it is possible that VoiceBase might do it. Will let you know!


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