Archive for the ‘General’ Category
Having your podcasts transcribed and publishing the text content on your website may sound unintuitive at first, but it has several advantages and is worth considering.
Reading vs Listening
Reading is a much faster process than listening. Many of your visitors would want to quickly scan through the transcript instead of listening to it. Some of these visitors might even end up as subscribers for your podcast. This goes for your regular listeners too. Sometimes they just might just want to scan the podcast quickly before deciding to listen to it.
Social Media Sharing
Having the complete text of the podcast online makes it easier for people to share it via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the myriad of social media sites which are there nowadays. Your listeners can quote a part of the text or highlight a particular section which they want to emphasize and share it with their own circle. Higher sharing rates means more traffic for your website and associated benefits.
Indexing & Search
The biggest advantage is that the search engines can now easily index your content since the text of the podcast is available. Better indexing will lead to more search traffic and more visitors to your site. You will also benefit from the long tail search traffic, those obscure terms for which your site appears on the search result. Your podcast might be linked by others which in turn will mean a higher Page Rank and even more search traffic.
If you are using Google AdSense then the transcripts will lead to better contextual advertisements being displayed on your site and higher earnings from AdSense for you. This happens because the Google AdSense crawler first mines the text content on your website and matches it to the ad’s. Since the text content will now be closely related to your niche or topic, your visitors will get to see more relevant advertisements and a higher click-through-rate for you.
Selling e-books based on the content of your podcasts is a direct way of monetizing your podcast. Once you have the transcripts it becomes an order of magnitude easier to create an e-book. There are various sites which help you sell digital information content, ClickBank being one of the popular one’s. You can also sell these e-books to your listeners and visitors. An e-book is also a perfect freebie to give away if you want visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
There are several ways you can get your podcasts transcribed. If you are good typist you try transcribing yourself or outsource it via Scribie.com for $0.99 per minute of audio. It is ultimately an investment which will pay off very handsomely in the long run.
If CallGraph Browser fails to start or if you get an error message similar to the following
Error: Platform 5.0 is not compatible with minversion> =1.8 maxversion<= 2.0
Then please download and install the following setup to fix it.
After the install finishes, please restart CallGraph. To restart CallGraph, please right click on the CallGraph System Tray icon and choose Exit from the popup menu.
Please note that CallGraph will still work fine without the CallGraph Browser. Skype calls will still be recorded and saved in your PC’s My Documents\My Call Graphs folder (or wherever you have set it to). The CallGraph Browser is User Interface which allows you to manage your recorded calls. It is a Mozilla XULRunner application and depends on the XUL runtime. If you update Firefox or uninstall it CallGraph Browser might stop working.
So, you have an audio file which needs to be transcribed to text and have no idea how to go about it. Here’s how to do it.
The first thing you would need is ExpressScribe. It’s a free tool which enables quickly to start/stop/pause playback with hotkeys (or foot pedals) so that your hands are freed up for typing. To setup the hotkeys go to Control -> Hotkeys setup and enter your preferred keys. We suggest the following.
- F7 -> rewind
- F8 -> forward
- F9 -> play
- F10 -> stop
The useful thing is that these hotkeys are global. So you can control ExpressScribe even if it’s not the active application, which means you can type, play, stop, rewind, and forward without leaving your text editor. Very useful. Load up a test file and play around with the setup.
The second thing you would need is a good headset. Transcription is time consuming and when you wear it for long periods of time you may start feeling a bit of pain around your ears. Any headset with some padding around the earpiece will do. Do not play it on your speakers because then you will make lots of mistakes.
The third thing you would need is a text editor. You can use Word, OpenOffice.Org or any other editor of your choice. At a minimum it should have word completion and spelling auto-correction. While typing you’ll find that you misspell lot of words and to correct them you’ll have to stop and go back constantly. Auto-correction will save you time. Similarly auto-completion will save you typing, at least for common words.
Once everything is set up, you’re good to go. Bring up your editor, play the file, pause and type whatever you understood. Play-pause-type. Rinse and repeat till the file is complete. One pro-tip is try not to rewind too much. Rewind as few times as possible. Better still, instead of rewinding just mark the inaudible portion with a blank or make a guess, and after you’re finished go back and review the file. You’ll finish the file faster this way.
On an average it takes around 4 to 6 hours to finish 1 hour of audio. It varies by your typing speed, the audio file quality and/or the diction of the speaker. Difficult files take longer. Plus, you’ll notice sometimes you cannot catch a few words, no matter how many times you rewind and play it back. Ask for a second opinion if you can.
As you would have guessed by now, it’s a painstaking task. It takes a lot of time and effort. That is exactly why we have the Audio Transcription Service. We do all the work for you and deliver a high quality transcript after 1 business day. For $75 you can get an hour of audio transcribed. We have a rigorous process and have transcribed over thousands of hours of audio to date. Try it out and check out the results for yourself.
On the other hand, if you like transcribing then check out our Freelance Transcription Program. You can work as a homebased freelance transcriber and get paid on an hourly basis for the work done.
If you’re looking to sell our your own e-book then have a look at Jared’s post at Startups Open Sourced. He’s had great success with it and has written up a detailed how-to of the steps involved. One of his tips is, get your interviews recorded and hire a transcriber to transcribe everything which you can work off.
One of the things to remember while hiring a transcriptionist keep in mind the difference between audio hour and man hours, which Jared mentions in his post. An hour of audio can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours to transcribe. If you’re paying by the hour then your cost will basically be multiplied by that factor. On the other hand if you’re paying by the audio hour, then the amount of effort spend does not matter. You’ll pay for the amount of audio transcribed and not time taken for it to transcribe.
On Scribie.com we charge always by the audio hour. You don’t have to worry about the amount of actual time taken. Even if the audio is hard to transcribe and takes a more effort, you wont have to pay extra. At the end of the day you’ll still get a high quality transcript of your audio file.
Due to an incorrectly configured SSL certificate on our server browsers were showing an security warning whenever any secure pages on Scribie.com were accessed. We have corrected the configuration now and the security warning should go away. If you had faced the issue then please try now. Technical details follow.
The problem was that the intermediate certificates supplied by our CA was not specified. When we moved our domain to Scribie.com we also changed over from Apache to Nginx. In Apache the intermediate certificates where specified by the
SSLCertificateChainFile directive. But Nginx does not have a corresponding directive. In Nginx the intermediate certificates have to combined into the server certificate PEM file. Once we did that, the security warning went away.
The odd part was we had run into the same error when we did the domain transition and were testing it out. But that error went away when we did force reloads of the page. So we thought it was an intermittent error which would go away eventually. But it did not and one of our users complained about it yesterday. In the end it turned out to be a simple fix.
Thanks to Chirag at iamstarting for the podcast on CallGraph and Scribie. We go into back story of CallGraph and some general startup stuff. Check it out.
There’s some amazing stuff on this blog. If you’re interested in the Indian startup scene then this is a blog you must subscribe to.
We have been fine-tuning our transcription process to improve the accuracy of the transcripts. Our process is a bit more involved from the usual transcription process where a person works on the complete file. Instead we split up the file into smaller parts and several transcribers and reviewers work on each part individually. The parts are then collated into the final transcript.
Our process tries to remove, to the extent possible, tediousness from the transcription work. Since files are small (around 6 minutes) a transcriber has to spend no more than 45 minutes to 1 hour on each file. Studies have shown that the average human concentration span is around that mark; a person can maintain the same concentration level on one task for no more than an hour, after which a break is required. Therefore splitting up files has an noticeable impact on the accuracy.
But this also introduces the problem of inconsistency. Since different parts are worked on by different people, a specific term which appears in one part may not appear the same way in the other parts. Our first approach for solving this problem was to use a dictionary. After the final transcript was done we used to cross check the file against a vocabulary of commonly occurring terms and correct the mistakes. But this approach only solved the problem partially since it was hard to catch all the inconsistencies.
The best we accuracy we could get to was around 95% with this process. But we wanted to improve it. So now, we have added another step of review. This final review is done by a single transcriber who goes through the entire file and corrects all the inconsistencies. We have been doing this since the past few months and have found this to be much more effective than the dictionary approach. Consequently our accuracy has gone up to 98 to 100%.
Because of the additional review step our costs have also gone up; from 50 cents per minute to 75 cents per minute. This rate has been in effect for around 3 months and we are quite pleased with the results. We are still around 25 to 50% cheaper than other professional transcription services available. That is the result of our transcription process and the system we have developed to manage it.
The increased price also gives a little bit flexibility. Therefore we have also started offering discounts for bulk orders. If you order for more than 10 hours at a time then you can avail a 10% discount on the total price. We will also initiate a seasonal discount program sometime in the future.
So try out our improved transcription service and order a transcript today!
The Information & Technology Magazine has published an article on Call Graph. Here’s the link to the online version.
A big thanks to Vandana for her efforts. Do have a look.
Thanks to Andy for making our day. He ran into some issues with an important podcast and but we managed to salvage his recording. Here’s his post about it.
Call Graph is still a beta software and things can go wrong once in a while. It has however been designed in a way that even if the PC crashes in between the recording, only a few seconds of the conversation will be lost. In case something does goes wrong, please do not hesitate to contact us.
It is truly heartening to see your efforts appreciated. Thanks to Andy for making us feel great about our work.