We are happy to announce that we now support billing accounts on Scribie.com. Billing accounts are where you can order your transcripts online and pay on a Net 15 or Net 30 basis. We send you a bill at the end of the month or whenever you request it. The volume requirement for billing accounts are higher though. We can only consider it for order amounts of more than $1000. We also require a contract to be signed before the billing account can be set up.
We were unable to support billing accounts previously as we followed a different model where we paid our transcribers as soon as their work was reviewed. That meant that we had to charge our customers upfront. This was radically different from other freelance marketplaces where there are restrictions on withdrawal of earnings. We decided to do away with such restrictions as our aim was to build the best place for audio/video transcription.
But Net billing is an important requirement for Enterprises and SMEs and many of our customers requested it. Our solution to this problem was to get a line of credit from our bank. We finally got the approval for it last week. A big shout out to our bankers for this!
So if you are looking for a billing account with us, just get in touch with us and we will start the process.
Starting this year, we made an important policy decision; to charge for transcription of audio/video files based on the difficulty level instead of just by the audio minute. It is an important policy change and can destroy our business. As the founder of Scribie, I firmly believe that it is the right thing to do.
Let’s start by defining the difficulty level. The industry standard for transcription of a clean audio file is around 4 times the duration of the file (1 hour long file takes around 4 hours to transcribe). Any issues in the audio file such as accent, background noise, distortion, distant speakers etc., adds a multiple to that time. E.g., files with accented/distant speakers can take twice the time to transcribe just because those parts have to replayed over and over again. That multiple is what we define as the difficulty level of the file.
It is, however, a tricky thing to measure as the customer and the transcriber will have differing opinions. We internally have a voting system and an algorithm which flags difficult files for our admins. The algorithm uses a statistically significant sample size and we believe this is the closest we can arrive to an un-biased consensus opinion.
Once we have measured the difficulty level, we can estimate the cost which it will add to process of transcription. There are four ways we can account for the cost.
Compromise on the accuracy
Absorb the cost ourselves
Ask our transcribers to spend the additional time and effort for free
Charge our customers more
The first option is the easiest one. It’s a good compromise as long as it’s acceptable to both parties. However, it is a slippery slope and has disastrous consequences for a meritocratic system like ours. We grade our transcribers by the mistakes at each step of the transcription process and we cannot trust the grades if there are unknown number of mistakes. Also, it contradicts our quality guarantee.
Until last year we used to absorb the cost. It was viable since our rates were higher. It was however grossly unfair to our transcribers since we demanded the same accuracy without any additional compensation but still graded them based on the same criteria. We lost many good transcribers as a result. I still feel terrible about that.
The third option is a non-starter since basic economics defeats it. We pay our transcribers by the audio hour and a flat rate just leads to a terrible quality transcript most of the time.
That brings us to the fourth option; pass the cost on to the customer. Logically it is the best option to choose, but also the riskiest since it is hard to argue with customers. Operationally, it enables us to compensate our transcribers by the difficulty level which in turn distributes the effort required evenly across our 4-step process and optimizes the accuracy/effort ratio.
Since implementing this policy we have lost many customers and have even been ridiculedpublicly. But that is a price we are prepared to pay. We firmly believe that our customers deserve the best quality transcript irrespective of the file and our transcribers deserve the best possible compensation for their efforts. Charging by the difficulty level is the only way we do both and achieve our goal of maximum possible accuracy.
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:
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.
Businesses today are always looking for new ways to stand out. You want to keep your current customers and you also want to draw in new ones. There are a variety of ways to do this and using videos is just one of those ways. However, if you’re not using the video to your advantage, you may be doing more harm than good.
With all of the possible marketing strategies out there, one that may be overlooked is audio transcription. You’re probably thinking: “Why do I need to have my video transcribed? People are just watching it after all aren’t they?” Well, yes and no. Here are a few reasons why transcribing your video is so important.
One key reason to have your video transcribed is accessibility. Think of those who might be in an atmosphere in which they can’t listen to the video, i.e. work; having the words right there along with the video makes it easier for them to still get all of the information included. There are also those who are hearing-impaired. Transcribed script allows for all potential customers to have the access to your content.
Another area is customer experience. This allows customers to follow along with the video and if later there’s a certain part of the video they want to go back to, instead of playing it over again, they can just find it in the transcript. It also allows them to easily share content with friends, family or co-workers.
Similarly, there are those out there who would rather not watch the videos. It could be more time consuming for them to sit through a video than if they have a transcript they can read faster. There’s also the possibility that some may just scan the transcript for information and take with them the things that are important to them. Even if you don’t want script scrolling close to your video, you have the option of putting your transcript on a separate page and posting a link with the video. You can highlight key areas to ensure that consumers are getting the best information possible.
One of the biggest reasons to have your video transcribed is due to Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short. If you just post a video online, and let’s say it’s without a title, how is Google supposed to help you? No title means there’s no way of knowing what is the content of your video. Even if you have a title, that’s only a few words for Google to utilize. The more content you have, the better chances your business has of being found and of being indexed higher on the list of searches by customers.
Of course, depending on the length of your video, transcribing it can be time-consuming. If you add in multiple speakers, it could take you or your co-workers a long time to get it done. That time could cost you potential customers and valuable online presence. That’s where a top transcription service like Scribie comes in. With a variety of options and turnaround times, you could have your video and corresponding transcript up and running in no time.
You finally decided that you wanted to get that project, business proposal, meeting, interview, etc. transcribed and you have selected Scribie as your choice of company with whom to do business. You select which turnaround option works best for you, but then you get to the payment page and discover you have to prepay. Why can’t you pay for your transcribed document once it’s completed?
For starters, the default payment type that Scribie uses is prepayment. Scribie strives to do what’s best for its customers and by having prepayments, Scribie can keep the costs down. If post payments were used, the overhead costs would be increased and it could impact the rates you currently pay for transcription.
Another reason is found in that Scribie uses freelancers, not employees for their transcription. In our current business model, freelancers are paid immediately after the files are submitted and graded. It’s the preferred method of payment by the freelancers and it keeps them happy. Happy freelancers are freelancers who are motivated and they come back for more work.
There’s also the issue of small payments. When orders include small payments, it might be better to pay via a credit card and then get that money reimbursed. Now, we aren’t saying that post payment is completely out of the picture. It is possible that post payments may be supported for bulk orders of 20 or more hours ordered at the same time. The payment would have to be made within 30 days at the latest.
At Scribie, we work to make things the best we can for the customers, for you. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us and let us know. Making sure you’re happy makes us happy.
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.
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.
So, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
Scribie is proud to announce their partnership with Amolto Call Recorder for Skype. This partnership allows you to order transcriptions of the Skype calls directly from within the Amolto Call Recorder. Amolto Call Recorder provides you with software that makes it easy to record your Skype calls. When you start your Skype call, Amolto starts to record automatically. A simple and easy to use interface pops up on the screen. (It’s important to note that this is only available for Windows).
To utilise this new feature, register for a new Scribie account from the special partner page. You will get an API key which you need to copy in the Amolto Call Recorder options page.
Once you’ve done that, you can request new transcription directly from Amolto Call Recorder by opening the “Recording history” window.
Select the recording and click on the ‘Transcription menu’ to upload to Scribie.
You’ll be able to see the progress of your transcription in ‘Recording History’. Once the transcription is complete, you can choose any of the supported formats e.g.Microsoft Word (.doc), OpenDocument Text (.odt) and Adobe PDF (.pdf) and plain text (.txt), to download your file.
With this partnership both Amolto and Scribie intends to give their customers a seamless experience. There’s no need to download recordings or upload files in multiple places. The combined services of Scribie and Amolto brings you, the customer, the same service and accuracy you have been accustomed to with Scribie, plus the added benefit of convenience to get your Skype calls transcribed in one easy place. Consider your time yours once again.
If you’re ready to create your account, head on over to Scribie and if you already have an account, go download your copy of the Amolto Call Recorder now.