Why Scribie Charges Extra For Non-North American Accents

We have often been asked “Why does Scribie charge extra for non-North American accents?” so we decided to clarify and expand on the reasons behind our decision. Here’s what you need to know:

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Most files that are uploaded on Scribie for transcription are from the US, or at least the speakers are mostly North Americans–so for that reason, we specialize in transcribing North American accents. Naturally, it makes sense that most of our transcribers are based in the US. And this ensures they are familiar with the accents, which in turn ensures flawless transcription in much less time. The result? Faster turnaround, better accuracy, and happier customers.

Generally, we have a flat rate for all high-quality audio files with North American speakers. However, we do charge a bit extra ($.50 per minute) for high difficulty files due to the time these files are. Similarly, we charge a little more for files with a non-North American accent. The main reason is, these accents require specialized transcribers that are familiar with wider accent patterns and can transcribe files with non-US speakers at the same accuracy level. The problem is that these transcribers are rare, which means, if we get too many files in this category, the files tend to get stuck in the pipeline. And nobody likes that.

Basically, we charge more for these files because it costs more to transcribe these file types. It also keeps the transcribers motivated and encourages them to continue to work on such files.

So in closing, the pay rate occasionally changes, but what doesn’t change is Scribie’s commitment to one of the highest levels of accuracy in the industry  Upload your files now and find it out for yourself.

Top Five Recording Apps For iPhone

Looking to record a conversation, interview or business discussion? Forget the age-old voice recorder; rather grab your iPhone. There are loads of cool apps that ensure clarity, so that the final recorded file is easy to understand and transcribe. Here are the industry toppers:

iphone recording app

Voice Recorder: Here is a really simple app that’s easy to understand and works great. What’s more, it also comes for free. It is also passcode protected, just in case you want to make sure your recordings are safe. The app is compatible with iOS 8. Use it to record and store unlimited number of recordings, add them to your favorite list for quick future reference, and for loop function.

Audio Recorder: While this app is also free and simple to use, it is definitely more versatile when compared to the Voice Recorder. Apart from recording your ‘piece’ you can email the file for easy sharing. The app also gives you the freedom to specify the format in which you would want to record or save the file.

Voice Record Pro: This free app takes the recording experience to a whole new level with its impressive import and export functionalities. You can easily access the Google Drive and Dropbox, among many others. What’s more, you could even post your recording as a movie clip on Facebook and YouTube. Cool, isn’t it? Apart from recording, you can attach notes and photos, and keep everything safe with the help of a passcode.

Super Notes: If you are ready to shell out a few dollars for a professional quality recording, here is the perfect app for you. Like most other apps in this category it offers superb recording features and clarity, and is cut out for any situation that you have in mind. What sets it apart is its ability to allow you to add notes and annotations to your recording while you are still at it.

Dictate + Connect (Dictamus): Compared to the other apps in this genre, this one is on the higher end of the price chart. But once you look at the features, you would know why. With this app on your side, you can actually forget all other recording devices. Apart from recording, you can even rewind and overwrite without hampering the audio quality. The app comes complete with instant dictation controls, barcode scanner, easy saving and sharing options, and more.

The world has moved light years ahead of traditional, run-of-the-mill voice recorders. However, before jumping on the digitised bandwagon you must ensure that the app you choose is of top quality. It is also indispensable if you are looking to transcribe the audio files. A good quality file does not only make the job of a transcriptionist easier, it also ensures that the transcription is error-free. That means less back and forth, less wastage of time, and optimum use of resources.

Got a file that you need transcribing? We can help. Contact us today for an accurate and affordable transcription service.

What Qualifies As A High Difficulty File?

Audio Quality photo by Alex Ruban

Explaining High-Difficulty Files

At Scribie, we follow a very straightforward process from ordering a transcription to delivering it. You upload a file, select the desired turnaround time and place the order. Next, our transcribers start working on it while you monitor the progress online.

Once transcribed, the file is quality checked by our dedicated team and delivered to you. The effect? 99% or more accurate transcriptions. While most things remain constant, there is something that keeps on changing in this system — the nature and quality of the audio files.

When it comes to a file that needs to be transcribed, nothing matters more than clarity or sound quality.

In fact, this factor becomes crucial in determining whether a file should be categorized as ‘high difficulty’.

What Is A High Difficulty File?

As you might have guessed, it is a file that is very difficult to transcribe. Maybe the audio is not very clear or maybe there is a lot of background noise, which makes listening in pretty challenging. Here are some common characteristics of high difficulty files.

  • Non-American accents (e.g. British, Australian, Hispanic, Native American, Indian, Asian, African, European etc.)
  • High ambient/line noise (e.g. AC noise, hiss, hum)
  • Noisy background (e.g. if the recording was done in a café)
  • Distant speakers (e.g. if the recorder was kept far away from the speakers, faint voices)
  • Distortions (e.g. clipping, high pitched voices)
  • Disturbances (e.g. typing sounds, audio breaks)
  • Diction (e.g. slurring, rapid speaking, mumbling)
  • Quality (e.g. low sampling rate)
  • Reverberation (most frequently caused by bad room acoustics)
  • Echo (e.g. while recording Skype calls)
  • Inaudible parts

Who Determines If A File Is Highly Difficult?

Your file may sound ‘fine’ to you, but that might not be the case. Since we receive files of varying quality and content, the audio quality of your file is judged by numerous transcribers in our system. The difficulty level then becomes is a relative concept. We believe our transcribers have a better perspective and are in a more informed position to understand the difficulty level of a particular file and hence they are the ones who decide if your file should be categorized as a high difficulty file. We found this is the best solution for ruling out any possibility of subjectivity.

How Does It Affect The Rates?

If you are an existing customer you know that Scribie charges a flat rate for all files. BUT the high difficult ones are an exception. As of January 2016, we have implemented new policies that ask for additional charges for high difficulty files. Since high difficulty files require more time and effort from the transcribers, it is only fair that we compensate them accordingly for it. Plus, the additional pay is the motivation that the transcribers get to ensure that quality is not compromised. Generally, the extra charge varies between $0.50/ minute and $2.00/ minute.  We always inform the customer in case a file is found to be of a high difficulty level. The customer also has the liberty to cancel the order in case he is not willing to pay the extra charge and get a full refund.

We do our best to give you quality transcription within your deadline, even if it’s a highly ‘difficult’ file, and we ensure that the transcription matches the highest standard of accuracy.

Start uploading today.

Default Format That Scribie Offers For Transcription

Know what’s the first thing that chases potential clients away in the online world? UI complexity. Why? Because things online are supposed to make life easier. Plus, no one has the time or the energy to spend in figuring out how a convoluted system works. The result? They switch to a better, easier website. We, at Scribie understand it too well. And we know how important it is to make the whole process simple for our customers. That is why we use the default format while transcribing all the files that you upload on our website.

But wait, what’s the default format? Nothing too complicated, I promise. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect out of this format.

default transcript format

Speaker Tracking: In case there are a number of speakers in your audio file, we will identify each one. If the audio identifies each speaker by his/ her name, our transcription will do that too. But what if it doesn’t? Don’t worry. We make a good use of our ears and distinguish each speaker as Speaker 1, Speaker 2, and so on according to the order of their ‘appearance’ in the audio. And what happens when there is only one speaker? Say, if the audio file is a monologue? No problem. We use the name of the speaker (if that’s available) or identify the person as Speaker 1 throughout the transcription. If it sounds too complicated, check out one of our sample files available on the website.

To enhance the ease of understanding, we begin a new paragraph with every change of speaker or every three minutes, whichever is earlier. You even have the option to name the speakers in the audio file while placing an order. You can change it later on, even after the transcription, with the help of our Integrated Editor.

Timestamps: Timestamps, also known as time coding, is yet another feature that we offer as a default. This means, we put the running time of the audio file at which a particular speaker begins talking. You can expect an accuracy of +/- 1 second for timestamps. We also add the running time at the beginning of each new paragraph.

Non-strict verbatim: Our transcription follows the non-verbatim format as a default. This means the ‘fillers’ such ‘ummm’, ‘uh-huh’, and the likes are omitted from the transcribed file unless such words are indispensable. However, if you want a strict verbatim format, you can specify that too while placing the order.

You can trust our default format for an impeccable transcribed file turned around within the specified deadline. However, if you want to modify the requirements, you can do that too. Upload your files now and let our superb team of transcriptionists work their magic.

Why Do We Still Need Humans For Transcribing Speech

siri errorsSo, how is Siri doing on your iPhone. Would you happily replace her with your secretary?

Personally, I won’t, because there are just too many ‘misses’ and ‘trouble spots’ that I wouldn’t want in my business.

The case is almost the same when you count upon software to transcribe your audio files instead of their ‘time-consuming’ human counterparts. Unfortunately, despite several attempts, science has not yet come up with a software solution that would act like Aladdin’s magic lamp. And from what it seems, the genie isn’t coming out any time soon. Why? The reasons are many.

The English language can be very tricky and hence very difficult to master especially when the learner in question is a transcription-software. Homophones pose a problem that most software find impossible to overcome. For instance, will it be sale or sail, no or know, fair, or fare? The list continues. Unlike us humans who are blest with critical analyzing skills, software cannot comprehend the difference. Plus, making these finer differentiations may be very difficult without a context, which might not appear until further into the conversation.
The problem aggravates when the software needs to transcribe an interview or a dialogue involving many speakers. It is easy to guess why. Each of us has a unique style of speaking. This speech distinction becomes far complex as this personal style of speaking is influenced and shaped heavily by our geographical location, our culture, and our upbringing, to name a few. It is impossible to ‘teach’ so accurate a speech recognition to any software.

Audio quality is yet another issue. And a very important one. Any speech recognition and transcription software would need a clear piece of audio. Anyone in the transcription business would know that an impeccable audio file is a rare phenomenon.

Talking about the accuracy rate of a human transcriptionist versus a software-driven one, Xuedong Huang, a senior scientist at Microsoft says, “If you have people transcribe conversational speech over the telephone, the error rate is around 4 percent. If you put all the systems together—IBM and Google and Microsoft and all the best combined—amazingly the error rate will be around 8 percent.”

Now the real question is, would you settle for something that is twice as bad as humans? We know the answer. That is why we offer transcription service that is among the best in the industry. Start uploading your files now!

Track Your Transcript In Real-Time With Scribie

Ever faced a communication black hole?

Let me explain.

You come across a service provider who seems responsible, eagerly answers all your questions, and promptly replies to your emails. You are impressed enough to give him the job. But then something changes, and your super-responsive provider goes silent until one fine morning when you see your work delivered. You are not very happy with the final product and recommend a few changes, but nope that’s not possible because your provider informs that revisions are not a part of the contract. Now you are stuck with a bad provider, an unsatisfactory product, and an empty wallet.

Sounds familiar? We know.

That’s why Scribie has introduced three new features that give you the controls. You can monitor the transcription process, keep a tab on its progress and leave a comment about your experience. How cool is that? Here is what you need to know:

Progress Meter: This is kind of self-explanatory. It serves as a reference point and lets you check the progress of a transcription. For instance, you can see files that are say, 98 percent complete. The number changes to 100 as the work is finished. It gives you the peace of mind to know that your job is being worked upon and you also get an idea of when to expect the final product.

Draft Transcript: You can find this tab just beside the Progress Meter. Click on it to see the transcript. You can even download the draft if you want. This feature is very useful in case of a good quality audio file. For transcriptions that are 100 percent complete, the Draft Transcript button changes to the Check and Download option. You have the option to download the transcribed file in Word, PDF, Open Document Text or Plain Text formats. However, you don’t have to accept the file yet. If you are not satisfied, you can request a re-review, which we do free of any extra charge.

Add Comment: This is the feedback section. Let us know what you think. Share your experience and suggestions.

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 11.33.20 AMWe at Scribie are always trying to enrich our client’s experience, and these new features are an attempt in that direction. If you have not tried our transcription service yet, you got to try it. Start uploading now!

Why Is Transcription Important For Online Tutorials And E- Learning

Scribie Online Learning Transcriptions

Online Learning & Transcription

As the world is waking up to the immense possibilities of e-learning and online tutorials, transcription is witnessing a surge in popularity. This is largely due to the flexibility that transcription offers, which in turn facilitates the learning process. But why exactly are students banking on transcriptions while learning through online tutorials? Here are a few reasons:digital-learning

1. Easy comprehension

Having a transcript right in front of the eye helps students understand better while listening to an audio. The process engages a multi-sensory tutorial method, which is efficient especially in explaining complex subjects.

2. Great for students learning English as a second language

Many students from across the world are turning to the Internet to get a grip on the English language. Transcription in such cases has proven to be an effective learning aid. It lets the students, who are obviously not too familiar with the language, understand the words more clearly. Transcripts also help students keep up with the various accents of teachers and professors, which is not too uncommon among people hailing from the different parts of the world.

3. Helps students stay focused

Bite-sized information, including shorter videos enhanced with transcribed copies, is always more desirable when explaining concepts. Students find the highlighted texts in transcripts effective in holding their attention than the video alone would be able to.

4. Effective for students with poor Internet connectivity

Low Internet bandwidth is an issue that many students face. This is common with online learning as students hail from various corners of the world where Internet connectivity is not always available at the desired speed. It also allows the students the ability to read ahead even when the video is slow to load.

5.  Multiple usages

Apart from being used as subtitles to a video, transcriptions can be used in their own accord. In other words, depending upon their format, students can download and print transcribed documents and use them as study material.

There is little doubt that transcription is an important aspect of the e-learning process. But, it is not the students alone who benefit from it. Even the e-learning providers can help their online business by using the transcribed files to enhance their on-page SEO. This is applicable for all the material that they make available online. In case you are looking for assistance with your transcription, we can help. Start uploading files today and enjoy flawless transcription service delivered within budget and time.

BITC (Burnt In Time Code) In Video Transcription

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If you are in the editing industry, you probably already know about Burn-in Time Code or BITC. For the uninitiated, this is the time code that you can actually see on a video. The next time you watch the extra features in, say, a recorded TV show, take a closer look. You will see a group of rolling numbers right at the bottom. That’s BITC for you.

So, what exactly is BITC?

Like we said, it is a time-code that’s superimposed on a video. This means, it is not a part of the original video, but is burn onto the picture frame. You can even remove it later on. You don’t usually use BITC on the master tape. It is rather used on copies of the original material on a non-broadcast format.

How is BITC different from regular timecodes on a transcript?

That’s a good thing to ask because this is the part that confuses many people. To begin with, BITC is strictly video. A regular timecode, on the other hand, is the timestamp that you find on your transcribed file. This refers to the running time of an audio before every paragraph. For instance, if you see something like [00:10:12] on your transcribed file, this means the time stamp was made exactly 10 minutes 12 seconds into the audio fie. Scribie offers this as a default service and guarantees an accuracy of +/- 1 second.

But, why do we need BITC?

Ask anyone working on the post-production phase of a video project, and he will tell you the many advantages of BITC. Think of a situation when many people are working on the same project. How do you communicate about a particular point of the video? Maybe do a lot of back and forth until you arrive at the desired moment you wanted to work on? Introduce BITC and your problem is solved. Simply refer to the time stamp on your video for easy reference and for saving time.

If you need BITC in your video transcription project, we can help you. Scribie now offers the service at an additional charge of $0.50 per minute. Contact us today!

How To Record Good Quality Audio To Ensure Accurate Transcripts

RodeRec_main_640Nobody wants the words ‘inaudible’ interspersing the final transcribed script. Unfortunately, you will get a lot of it if the audio quality is not good enough. The good news is, this is easily preventable if you can ensure a good quality audio file. How? That’s pretty simple too! The first step is to have the desired result in mind and work towards it. The rest will follow. Here are some quick tips to help you on your way:

Face to face interview

While virtual calls are fast routing out this system from the good old world, by no chance is a face to face recording extinct. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind the next time you go for it:

Take care of the background noise: Yes, complete soundproofing is not possible. However, keep the background noise to the minimum. This includes anything from a noisy air conditioner to a creaky chair. Even your location matters. For instance, is there a school or a playground just beside your recording room? In short, you need to take a complete stock of the situation before you begin.

Prepare the participants: One of the best ideas is to let the participants know what is expected. Tell them to speak slowly but clearly. Ask them to refrain from shuffling papers or talking among themselves. If someone starts coughing, sneezing or laughing, ask the others to wait for it to pass. Introduce each participant at the beginning of the interview.

Look where you place the microphone: If your interview involves many people, place the microphone at equal distant from all of them. Moving it around is not a good idea as it will introduce a deafening sound, which will drown your words. Choose an external recorder over a built-in option for better sound quality. Using a limiter-equipped recorder is a good idea. It limits the level at which a sound is recorded. This means, any sudden outburst, such as laughter or a loud horn, won’t be recorded.

Virtual interview

Recording a conversation over the phone or a computer is all the rage now, and for obvious reasons. In order to make the most of the flexibility that this arrangement provides, you need to ensure that the quality of the recording is top-class. The basic things such as a quiet environment and clear voice are mandatory here as well. Here are the added ones:

Use your smartphone: A smartphone’s in-built recorder is generally of a good quality and works great. You can even count upon the various free and paid recording apps for the purpose. However, some apps work in specific geographical locations only. Make sure your area is covered by the app, before you plan to use it.

External Recorder: If recording is done through external recorder for a call through computer, then ensure the computer speakers are of best quality as well as the sensitivity of the recorder is good since recorder usually catches 2-3 notches lower than what we can actually hear during calls.

Use Skype: Opting for Skype is a good choice. Pair it up with a high-performing microphone and you will get a recording that’s almost as good as a studio.

Third party conference call: There are many third party con-call services that you can utilize to record the call. You can use Scribie’s teleconferencing option for a great quality audio file that will be automatically recorded and transcribed

Contact Scribie today for the best quality audio transcription. Upload your file here.

Career In Transcription Industry

career in transcription
Career In Transcription Industry

Introduction to General Transcription:

General Transcription could either be of an interview or a conference call or just a conversation or discussion on a certain topic. The topics can be varied and there is usually more than one speakers. Unlike medical transcription it does not require a formal training or a certification for the company.

Skills required:

The basic skill required for general transcription is a good typing speed of around 40-50 wpm and excellent english comprehension. In addition, you should be able to comprehend different accents native (American, British, Australian) and non native ( Spanish, Italian, French etc). By excellent comprehension, we mean ability to get the context right and understand the usability/difference between similar sounding words as per the context etc. Of course, for some, the comprehension skills are inherent. However, there are many ways to improve you comprehension skills for e.g watching all kinds of English movies or series and try to understand whats spoken without looking at the subtitles.

Work Content:

While the work involves listening to the audio and typing it out, there are cases where some words are unheard of and some research is required to get it right. Google search is most widely used for this purpose. The more files you do, the better it gets in terms of comprehension and vocabulary. On an average, a person can do 2 audio hours of transcription/Verification and 3- 4 hours of QA (which involves going through around 50% of the file) in a day. If a person tries to stretch beyond this, it might affect the quality of the file.

Tools:

There are various tools (hardware/software) available for transcription in general. While many companies, like Scribie.com, have their own Integrated editor, there are other who use tools like Express scribe. Many are used to foot pedal, which can be configured to play/pause etc using your foot while your hands can do the typing.

Career Growth:

The work flow that we follow here in Scribie is as follows:

1. Raw Transcription: In this step, the audio for each part file is played back and transcribed as accurately and cleanly as possible. The incomprehensible parts are marked with blanks.
2. Review: During Review, the Raw Transcript is checked for correctness and quality. The audio file is played back again and each transcribed word is checked against the audio. The blanks are filled, if possible. Timestamps and speaker tracking are also added at this stage.
3. Verification: During verification each part files is checked once again to correct mistakes and address inconsistencies among them. At the end, all part files are collated together and the final transcript is prepared.
4. Quality Analyst( delivery): In the last step, the final transcript is quality checked and delivered to the customer.

The experience required as well as the responsibility and remuneration given to people in each phase increases as one goes from doing Raw Transcription to Delivery. The role of QA is very important as he/she is the interface to the customer and lot of business depends on his abilities to do his/her job well.

The good news is, you could do all this from comforts of your home by joining our freelance transcription program. If you really think this career is for you, then Apply here now and become a certified freelancer with Scribie.com .