Scribie Announces Partnership With Amolto Call Recorder

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.

Average Cost For Transcription Services

Transcription costYou find yourself with audio or video from work, school, a seminar, or a meeting, but you do not have time to type up the notes yourself. You may be wondering what are your options. That is where a transcription service comes in. If you do a Google search however, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed with all the different companies and prices.

One of the first questions you may ask yourself is how much should you expect to pay for services? The industry standard is to charge $1 to $1.50 per audio minute, with some companies charging per speaking person. You have a price, but what do you get for that price? Some places may only offer quality with no guaranteed turnaround time. Others will provide a minimum 98% accuracy, but the turnaround times vary. Some services will have a standard turnaround time of 3 to 5 business days, others a turnaround time of 2 to 3 business days, and yet a few will have a 24 hour turnaround for audio or video transcription and 48 hour turnaround for video caption or subtitles.

Of course, there may be some special circumstances with your files. You may have multiple speakers, speakers with accents, noise in the background or need language translation The industry offers a variety of additional services for a fee. Services in the industry will charge an extra $.10 to $.25 per audio minute for time-stamps, time-codes, background noise, light accents, digitising, and technical terminology. The charge for having your file transcribed verbatim can run from $.25 to $.30 per audio minute.

If you have audio with heavy background noise or strong accents, you can be charged $.50 to .$75 per audio minute. Foreign language transcription can set you back an additional $1 per audio minute.

If you have multiple speakers in your audio, some in the industry charge a fee per speaker. The starting rate can be $.25 a person per audio minute up to 3 speakers and $.50 a person per audio minute for 4 speakers. The price is can be capped at 5+ speakers at an additional $.50 per audio minute.

While most companies have standard turnaround times, if you need things in a certain time frame, be prepared to pay extra for speed. Fast turnarounds in the industry are typically over a 24 to 48 hour time period. If you need a turnaround time of 48 hours, expect a standard fee of $.75 per audio minute. For a 24 hour turnaround, the fee can be $1.25 per audio minute and same day service charges can be $1.50 per audio minute.

With all these fees, it is nice to know that a few companies may offer discounts for academic, non-profit, religious and volume transcripts.

As you can see, no matter your needs, those fees and extra charges can really add up. You are the only one who can determine what’s best for you. Regardless, you cannot go wrong with Scribie. If you are flexible with time, you can get your files done in 2-30 days for $1.00 to $.80 per audio minute. Need it a little faster? Rates for 24-36 hours is only $1.50 per audio minute and $3.00 per audio minute for express services completed in 8-12 hours. The best part is that Scribie includes word documents, time-coding, multiple and accented speakers, background noise and speaker tracking in the pricing. That’s right – unlike their competitors, you don’t pay extra for those things. The next time you are in the need of transcription services, think of Scribie first.

Start uploading your files and get high quality transcription within the timeframe that you choose.

 

Scribie’s Delivery Limit And the Rationale Behind It

delivered_on_timeDelivery is an important aspect for transcription service. The results of transcriptions are time bound. It has to be delivered on or before time to make it worth for customers. There are a lot of inquiries about delivery limit in our customer’s mind and here are a few details which might help you understand the reasoning behind it.

The most prior reason is to serve all our clients impartially. Every file is first transcribed, reviewed by proof reader and then send to the client. As correctly said “every good thing takes time” so does our QA team. They go through each and every word of the audio file to ensure you get perfectly transcribed files with no corrections or inconsistencies. They are there to ensure that you get high quality transcripts.

Scribie provides various delivery TAT.

Express
In this category, for a 2 hour file turnaround is 12 hours. There is a delivery limit of ordering only 2 hour audio file per day for each customer.

1 Day
We also have a day delivery in which transcripts are delivered within 24 hours if the order is placed before 2:30 PM EDT (US), or within 48 hours if ordered after.

Flexible Week or Day

If our client opts for flexible week or month then the delivery date will vary anytime within the week or month as opted for.

Bulk Order Delivery

For bulk order Delivery, we don’t want to overwhelm us with lot of files so we try to keep a pre informed way of handling them. We always want to deliver best for all our esteemed customers and in a fair way. Hence, for bulk orders the delivery dates will be adjusted depending on the number of hours ordered. We impose a delivery limit of 2 hours of transcripts per day per user. If you order more than 2 hours of transcripts in a day then the deliveries are divided in a way to receive around 2 hours of transcripts per day.

How does our delivery model works? Here are some examples based on hours of file.

  • If you have three files of an hr each and TAT chosen is 1 day, then the first and the second file will be received on next day and the third file will be received the day after.
  • If you have ordered 10 hrs of files with turnaround time of 2 – 7 Days, Then the first two hrs will be delivered on 7th day and then the next 2 hrs on 8th day and so on.
  • If you have ordered 4 hrs long single audio file with turnaround time of 1 day and then the complete file will be delivered only on 2nd day.
  • Similarly, for 2.5 hrs. With turnaround time of 2-7 days. Then the files will get delivered only after the 3rd day.

Rationale behind our strategy is that our proofreaders can work only on a 2 hour file each day and we would want only one proofreader to work on same file to maintain flow which causes less errors more consistency. Hence a 4 hr long single file will take 2 days to deliver.

Everyone is in hurry so we serve equally to everyone without any partiality. Files with poor audio quality, distortions, non-native speakers or difficult accents may take up additional days since it take 2 -3 rounds of proofreading before it reaches our quality standard.  We intimate our clients about the delay through email notification. In case we fail to transcribe we refund their amount.

Please send a mail to support@scribie.com or you can chat with us directly for any further queries.

Distinctive Features of Scribie’s Audio Transcription Service

Audio Transcription Service
Audio Transcription Service

“Scribie is one of the best ways to get audio transcription”.

These days we have unlimited options available in market for every need and want of ours. This goes same for audio transcription as well. We have many audio transcription services out there who promise us a bag of good things but deliver none. In this scenario where every single detail of conversation is of utmost important, we need to be extra cautious of what is promised versus what is delivered.

How Scribie is rendering a unique experience.

  • We provide hassle free and easy to use services for our clients.
  • How awesome it would be if you get fast and correct transcripts of files every time you upload and order it.
  • We offer free re-review if you are not satisfied with the quality of files delivered.
  • We have various turnaround option at different rates, from express (8 -12 hrs) to monthly (30 days) and you can choose whichever suits you the best.
  • We don’t charge according to difficulty level in files as we have the best potential working for us. Even if your files are with heavy background noises and are heavily accented then also we will transcribe it the way you want.
  • Many transcribers play with pricing whereas at Scribie there is no hidden cost,  just flat rate pricing.
  • Our process is a four step process transcription, review, proof reading, quality check. The in-house QA team ensures a great quality and accuracy in transcriptions.
  • We ensure that a number of people collaboratively work on each file, which results in a higher quality transcript. Every one works as a team at Scribie.
  • We ensure the accuracy and effort to be same irrespective of size of file. Even the shortest file is worked upon by more than three people.
  • We have set of protocols to follow which delivers consistent and certified results.
  • Are you the one, who is interested in tracking the progress, we have with us a WIP (Work in progress) transcripts as well.
  • Integrated Editor, helps you check the quality of delivered files and you can even go ahead and make corrections or fill in the blanks.
  • We will send email notification in case of delay. We keep our clients informed about the entire process.
  • We have recently launched teleconferencing and phone call recording service integrated with transcription service. So if you want to record a phone call or conference call and then order for transcripts then just book a call with us and the recording and order for transcription will happen automatically.

We have no competition as we deliver a unique and great transcription services.

Please send us a mail at support@scribie.com or you can chat with us directly.

Chunked Upload With Nginx And NodeJS

installing-nodejs-with-nginx-proxyUploads is an integral part of our audio/video transcription service. It is usually the first step for our customers. And since we work on audio/video files, the file sizes can be in GB’s. Sending GB’s of data in one single HTTP POST is not very reliable. Unless you have a very good internet connection the chances are that such POSTs  will time out. Therefore we decided to implement the chunked uploads on our website. In this post we’ll go through the steps we followed.

We use Nginx 1.5 as a reverse proxy for NodeJS which is our application server. Nginx supports chunked uploads natively since version 1.3.9 via the client_body_in_file_only directive (earlier versions required the upload module). The documentation is not very helpful, but as implied in the name, the body of the POST is parsed and written to a file. For chunked uploads each chunk is written to a separate file and the application has to then reassemble it. We used the following Nginx configuration.

    location = /files/upload/xhr {
        client_body_temp_path /tmp;
        client_body_in_file_only on;
        proxy_pass_request_headers on;
        proxy_set_header X-FILE $request_body_file;
        proxy_redirect off;
        proxy_set_body off;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_pass nodejs;
    }

The key parameter here is the X-FILE header which is where the POST data was written to. The application has to then process these individual chunks.

    
    /* Chunked upload sessions will have the content-range header */
    if(req.headers['content-range']) {
        /* the format of content range header is 'Content-Range: start-end/total' */
        var match = req.headers['content-range'].match(/(\d+)-(\d+)\/(\d+)/);
        if(!match || !match[1] || !match[2] || !match[3]) {
            /* malformed content-range header */
            res.send('Bad Request', 400);
            return;
        }

        var start = parseInt(match[1]);
        var end = parseInt(match[2]);
        var total = parseInt(match[3]);

        /* 
         * The filename and the file size is used for the hash since filenames are not always 
         * unique for our customers 
         */

        var hash = crypto.createHash('sha1').update(filename + total).digest('hex');
        var target_file = "app/uploads/" + hash + path.extname(filename);

        /* The individual chunks are concatenated using a stream */  
        var stream = streams[hash];
        if(!stream) {
            stream = fs.createWriteStream(target_file, {flags: 'a+'});
            streams[hash] = stream;
        }

        var size = 0;
        if(fs.existsSync(target_file)) {
            size = fs.statSync(target_file).size;
        }

        /* 
         * basic sanity checks for content range
         */
        if((end + 1) == size) {
            /* duplicate chunk */
            res.send('Created', 201);
            return;
        }

        if(start != size) {
            /* missing chunk */
            res.send('Bad Request', 400);
            return;
        }

        /* if everything looks good then read this chunk and append it to the target */
        fs.readFile(req.headers['x-file'], function(error, data) {
            if(error) {
                res.send('Internal Server Error', 500);
                return;
            }

            stream.write(data);
            fs.unlink(req.headers['x-file']);

            if(start + data.length >= total) {
                /* all chunks have been received */
                stream.on('finish', function() {
                    process_upload(target_file);
                });

                stream.end();
            } else {
                /* this chunk has been processed successfully */
                res.send("Created", 201);
            }
        });
    } else {
        /* this is a normal upload session */
        process_upload(req.headers['x-file']);
    }

The target file hash plays an important role for resumable uploads. If the same file is being re-uploaded, we detect that via the hash and tell our client to start from the last received byte. The same logic is followed for error handling; we tell the client to upload the file once again from the last byte received.

On the client side we use the excellent jQuery File Upload plugin by BlueImp. It supports XHR chunked file uploads. The resumable uploads is implemented via the add callback where we send a GET request with the filename and the file size. The application responds with the last byte received which is then set as the uploadedBytes. The upload then resumes from the next byte.

    $(".file-input").fileupload
        singleFileUploads: true
        multipart: false
        maxChunkSize: 1024 * 1024 * 10
        retries: 0
        maxRetries: 300

        add: (e, data) ->
            $.ajax
                type: "GET"
                url: "/files/upload/bytes-received"
                data:
                    fn: data.files[0].name
                    sz: data.files[0].size
                dataType: "json"
                success: (res) ->
                    data.uploadedBytes = parseInt(res.s.sz) if res.e is 0
                    data.uploadedBytes = 0 if data.files[0].size is data.uploadedBytes
                    data.submit()

We use a chunk size of 10 MB. The singleFileUploads is necessary so that each file is sent via a separate POST since our app implementation supports only one file per POST. Multipart false is set to true as suggested in the plugin documentation.

We have had this implementation live since the past few months and we have not seen any upload failures since then. Sometimes uploads have gone on for 12+ hours and succeeded in the end! Imagine the frustration it would cause if the uploads fail after that time.

Business Podcasting: Are Transcriptions REALLY Worth It?

podcast headsetPodcasting has grown to be one of the hottest marketing channels of 2014. It makes sense why this relatively new form of content is making such a buzz. It allows business owners (and bloggers/brands) to demonstrate their voice and build relationships with listeners.

If you’re a business or solo-entrepreneur trying to make the most of your podcast, the topic of  transcription services has probably came up. This is a tricky subject because podcasting is normally seen as a “free” channel of marketing. On one hand, most people don’t want to turn podcasting into a “paid” channel.

First off, here’s why that assumption doesn’t hold up:

  1. Podcasting requires your time… for most marketers/business owners, this is going to be your most valuable asset in the long-run.
  2. Podcasting benefits from your own social media promotion along with any organic visitors that come in from search engines (in many cases, companies will spend money on advertising their podcast to kickstart the growth)

Essentially, podcasting may seem like a “free” initiative, but in reality you have to pay for it in some currency.

Here’s where audio transcriptions come into play:

Think about the business goal of your podcast — Are you trying to drive more traffic to your website, blog, landing page? Then there is a specific monetary benefit from maximizing your podcast’s viewership.

More listeners on your podcast = more leads, signups, sales. It’s as simple as that.

For this reason, you need to treat the podcast just like your website or any other branch of online marketing for your business. Transcribing the audio from your podcasts and making it available on your website is a huge piece of this.

Check out just a few of the huge benefits of getting a transcription for each of your podcast episodes:

  • Convenience for the listeners — Sometimes your listeners don’t have an hour to sit down and listen through the podcast… in this case, having a transcription allows them to skim through to the important parts or copy and paste the info they were looking for.
  • Added benefit for search engine optimization — Currently, search engine “crawlers” cannot understand audio content… so they aren’t going to index and value your podcast episode the same way as a blog post. For this reason, the transcription acts like a textual map of the content on the page. More indexing, more ‘searchability’, more traffic.
  • No headphones… what do I do? — What if your listener is in a place where audio can’t be played… a waiting room perhaps and doesn’t have headphones? Most people aren’t going to bookmark the page and come back hours later to play it. This is why audio transcriptions can help get the message across to previously lost traffic.

Having a transcription done for your podcast might seem like a complicated question… but it really comes down to your business goals.

Do you really NEED to get the most views from each podcast episode? Do you really WANT to make the most of your time?

Remember that you’re dedicating hours upon hours into podcasting to craft quality content for your listeners… now take the final step and make sure that everyone can find your podcast so they can benefit from it.

How to Transcribe Audio/Video Files Using the Scribie Editor

Audio/Video transcription can be very arduous task. It takes around 4-6 hours to transcribe one hour of audio. There are several tools however which can make it easier. Our Editor is one such tool. It presents the audio and the transcript document together in a single interface to facilitate the process. The following is a step by step guide on how to transcribe a file using our Editor.

Step 1: Upload

As a first step, the audio/video file has to be uploaded to our server where it will be processed and converted to an mp3 file. We support a variety of formats. Generally the video files are large and you can save some time if you convert it to an audio file. We also support importing file by URL or via Dropbox. You can even import a YouTube video for transcription.

upload-files

 

Step 2: Open the Editor

Once the file has been uploaded, you can then launch the editor from the Transcribe menu option.

self-transcribe

The Editor will open in a new window and automatically be sized to fit your full screen. This way you’ll have the maximum amount of space for entering the transcript as well as cut out the distractions.

self-transcribe-editor

You may have to wait for some time for the mp3 conversion to complete.

 

Step 3: Play and Type

The next step is to play the audio file. There are buttons available on the Editor for it, but a more efficient way is to use the shortcuts; F10 for play/pause, F7 for rewind and F9 for forward. All these shortcuts can be changed to suit your preferences. You can assign any key combination to the shortcuts and use it as you like. Play for 5 seconds and then pause and then type whatever you heard in the text box. Repeat the process for the rest of the file.

self-transcribe-editor-typing

We recommend that you add timestamps at the start of each paragraph so that it is easier to jump to that paragraph later on. Press F12 to add the timestamp.

You can also use the dictate functionality in the Editor. Dictating what you hear is much faster than typing it out and saves valuable time and effort. This feature is supported only on Google Chrome currently.

self-transcribe-dictate

 

Step 4: Analyze

Once the transcript is complete, click on the Analyze button. The analysis will highlight the most uncommon terms and phrases in the transcript. These are the parts that need a review since they might have mistakes.  Just scan through the underlined parts and play the paragraph if required.

analyze-underlines

 

Step 5: Download

Click on the Download button at the bottom. The transcript will be converted to a Word Document and you can then save it locally. You can also save it to Dropbox if you like. PDF, ODT and TXT formats are also available for download.

self-transcribe-download

Remember that you can always order the transcript instead of transcribing it yourself. Try it out once; we assure you that you will not be disappointed with the results!

Transcription Skill

One of the misconceptions about of audio/video transcription is that it’s all about typing. Typing is definitely one of the key skills required, but there are other skills which are equally important, if not more. In this post we’ll elaborate on some of those skills.

Context:

Applying meaning to words and interpreting them is a uniquely human ability. It’s a feat which machines are yet to achieve. We listen to spoken words and combine it with our own knowledge and thoughts to interpret it. During transcription we come across a lot of words which sound similar and have to use context to arrive at correct word. Eg. illicit vs elicit. These words sound similar, but the meanings are vastly different. The correct word depends on the usage.

Memory: 

We often face the situation that the speaker’s voice is partly un-clear and only a syllable or two can be heard. These are the places where we leave blanks. However,  sometimes we can recall the word or the phrase being used in a similar sentence, which fills in the last piece of the puzzle. This is quite similar to the fill-in-the-blanks type of exercise, with additional hints from the audio file.

Research:

Research is one of our strengths. Since multiple people are involved in the transcription of each file, we have that many hands for the research. Google is our best friend for the research, but even searching on Google is a skill in itself. We have to use context again and add something to the search terms. It requires few tries before we find what we are looking for. Names of people and products, acronyms etc. are good examples. Google Maps works amazingly well for names of places.

Knowledge:

Knowledge is not a skill per se, but we use it everyday in our work. The discussion topic in our files vary widely. So general knowledge, current affairs, etc. is good to have.

At the end of the day, it’s accuracy which matters the most. We have to rely on much more than our typing skills to ensure that the transcript is 98% or more accurate. If you are looking to start transcription and/or getting your audio/video files transcribed, then you should consider these factors as well.

Express Delivery: A First For Scribie

The one option we always wanted to support was the 12 hour delivery. Last week we were finally able to launch this feature. It’s sort of a big deal since it’s the first time such a option is being offered in the General Audio Transcription industry. You can now download the transcript within 12 hours of placing the order, with a quality guarantee of 98%. This means that you can order the files in the evening and download a highly accurate transcript by the time you start work the next morning. This was one of the most requested feature from our customers.

However it’s a difficult feature to support (which is one of the reasons why nobody else does it) and presents several hurdles. First of all, it has to be available 24×7 to be useful. This is mostly an operational issue and not that hard to overcome since it required setting up a night shift team to start off where the day shift team left off. We laid out plans for it in the first quarter of this year, started hiring and training. We were able to get the night shift operational this month.

The other big issue was quality. We cannot sacrifice quality for speed; a rework is not an option if you’re on a tight deadline. This was quite hard since it required lot of tuning of our transcription system. We follow a rigorous four step process. The first two steps, Transcription and Review, are done by our certified freelancers. The last two steps, Proofreading and QC are done in-house. For the 12 hour delivery to work, the file should be reviewed and ready for our in-house team as early as possible. Right now, we can get to that stage in around 3 hours, given an hour long file. The industry standard for 1 hour of audio is 4 hours for transcription and 2-3 hours for review.

Finally everything fell into place and we are very proud present the 12 hour TAT option. We are the first among the new crop of online audio transcription services to offer this. It shows off the maturity of our transcription system and gives us some bragging rights. So keep us in mind when you are under that tight schedule and need a transcript done in like yesterday.

Career in General Transcription

General Transcription is a relatively new field compared to Medical or Business transcription. Because the field is young, and growing, it presents a promising career choice for people with the right skill sets. In this post we are going to talk about what this job entails and the opportunities in this field.

Skills

The basic skills required for general transcription is good typing speed (minimum of 40 words per minute) and excellent comprehension of spoken English. Most of the time you will encounter North American, British and Australian accents of English. However exposure to non-native accents is a plus. The ability to apply contextual judgment is also important in transcription to differentiate similar sounding words. Internet research for names of places and people is another skill required in this job. You have to be able to construct search terms which return the most relevant results.

Job Profiles

There are two broad categories of work: typing and review. Typing, as the name suggests, involves listening to the audio and typing it out.  It’s the most effort intensive step of the transcription process. It generally takes around 4 hours to type 1 hour of audio. The most important skills required here are typing speed and comprehension.

Review is the step after transcription where the audio is matched against the transcript and all mistakes are corrected. Review is much less time-consuming than typing and it takes around 2 hours to complete a review of 1 hour of audio. However, it greatly depends on the quality of the transcript. The important skill in reviews is ability to spot mistakes and apply context.

At Scribie, we have also hire Proofreaders and Quality Analysts. Both of these are specialized types of review and requires higher degrees of skill and experience.

Career Growth

The typical career in general audio transcription starts as a typist level and goes on to QA, on the technical side. To reach the QA level it takes around 5 years or so, but depends mostly on the ability and merit of the individual. On the managerial side the opportunities vary depending on the structure of the organization,  but management positions would involve managing a team of few transcribers and reviewers.

Conclusion

General audio transcription can be rewarding career for those who pay attention to detail and excel at doing repetitive tasks. It is also a good choice for people who absorb knowledge of any kind and like learning new things. If you would like to try it out then come visit us at our office (if you’re based in Bangalore, India) or apply online.