Google I/O Announcements: What This Means for Podcasters, Video Producers, and Businesses

Android Live Captions - Google I/O 2019

Wondering what Google I/O’s 2019 announcements could mean for your business?

We follow the variety of developments from major technology players like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. We monitor trends to stay on top of the latest and greatest, making sure that we’re in the position to deliver the best transcription service offering.

Recently, the latest installment of Google I/O concluded. This annual developer conference showcases developments around hardware, software, services, and other updates. On stage during the main keynote, Google mentioned the following notable features:

  • Live Captions, which can automatically create captions for audio and videos. The feature can be used offline.
  • Podcast episodes will now show up in Google searches.

When enabled, Android Q’s Live Captions feature adds real-time captions to any audio or video playing on your phone.

Source: The Verge

At Google’s I/O developer conference, the company also quickly mentioned that Google Search would begin indexing podcasts. If you’re a podcaster, your episodes appear as playable and actionable entries within relevant search results.

If you’re wondering what that looks like, check this out:

Source: NiemanLab

Implications of the Emerging Tech

While it’s evident that it’ll be easier for folks to find podcasts online, it’s unclear what this means for the podcasting community. Google shared little about this announcement.

Definitely, though, this is solid proof that captions and accessibility are becoming a cornerstone in modern society. For instance, more successful video streaming sites and social video posts now noticeably include captions.

Why do captions matter? Captions and transcripts are critical for reaching a wider audience (including hard-of-hearing, non-native English speakers, and those who prefer watching without sound). In fact, 85 percent of social videos are watched with the sound off.

When it comes to watch time, subtitled videos increase view time by more than 12% and are watched an average 91% to completion. In comparison, videos without subtitles are only watched 66% to completion. When subtitles are included, 80% more people watch videos to completion.

The Reality of Live Captions

If you’ve seen YouTube’s auto CC feature in action, you can guess the accuracy level of live captions.

The University of Minnesota Duluth shares,

“YouTube automatic captions typically provides about 60-70% accuracy, which means that 1 in 3 words can be wrong. This accuracy rate will be improved with good audio quality and simple content, but worsens when there is background noise, accents, or multi-syllable words.”

Should you use an automated transcription service such as Google’s Live Captions?

For producers, this means that your productions could display captions with embarrassing or crucial errors.

Source: Imgur

Transcription software doesn’t have language inference systems. Without this tech, the machine won’t be able to make corrections based on context, as well as identify different speakers, appropriate paragraph breaks, punctuation marks, capitalization, quotations, and more. Live Captions’ capabilities are also pared down to accommodate your phone’s memory. (Speaking of which, this feature will be available on select devices only).

Privacy and control are concerns as well. Whenever one uses free (gratis) services, there’s a question of how the operation is funded. For example, you can use TikTok as a free video sharing platform, but agreeing to their terms means giving them permission to use your videos for their online ads.

Another thing, your live captions and automated transcriptions cannot be downloaded and saved for later review. They also can’t be edited. The Verge mentions in a Live Captions report,

“They’re there when the content is playing and gone when it’s done.”

There also seem to be no plans to let Live Captions support transcriptions.

The Cost of Low-Quality Transcriptions

While there are reasonable use cases for free, automated transcripts, it’s not for everyone. You’ll easily end up paying far more for the cost of errors.

Brands would lean towards high-quality transcripts to remain compliant with brand guidelines. TV Show subtitles, for example, can benefit from a transcription by hand.

Some content, such as medical and scientific papers are high stakes and need to have a human review and type out the correct findings. Manual transcription is also crucial for court transcripts, depositions, and other legal documents.

Who are manual transcripts for?

If you’re still on the fence between human vs. machine closed caption and transcription services, this summary may help:

Manual transcription services are ideal for enterprises and established brands, as well as the following industries:

  • Research
  • Media
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Legal

Despite the cost of manual vs. free automatic transcription, a skilled transcription specialist can save you money. Mistakes by automated transcription software can be costly. A missing punctuation mark once caused a NASA rocket’s engine failure and ended up costing $620 million. Yikes!

Setting Your Work Apart

Your audience can distinguish auto-generated transcriptions and give it generic, baseline treatment. Accurate and well-written captions or transcripts are a mark of quality productions, created mindfully with empathy towards audiences.

Live Captions, as mentioned earlier, also can’t be downloaded as a copy for repurposing or post-production editing.

As an editor, you might also miss the time-codes and timestamps feature provided by transcription services.

Although Live Captions does improve accessibility, it doesn’t help your SEO. Google knows if you didn’t invest in transcription, giving higher-quality productions higher SERP ranking treatment.

Human Parity

Speech and voice recognition software is advancing, but human transcribers are better at discerning the context of a webinar, podcast, or any type of video content.

There's a technical term used in AI called human parity. It measures how close AI is to humans in terms of performance. Automatic transcripts may be quick, but they eventually need intervention by hand for an error-free copy.

Scribie, a professional transcription and closed captioning service, has a unique defining feature that helps guarantee 99% accuracy: Scribie’s Four-Step Process. (Usually, other transcription services only offer a single or two-step process that leave room for errors.)

Sribie’s quality assurance system is meritocratic, meaning each subsequent step is accomplished by a more skilled transcriber. This is why Scribie’s system can be described as a super-human parity system.

Fun fact: Each second of the audio is played an average of 8 times before being delivered to the customer.

On top of those, as a Scribie customer, you’ll be able to edit your transcript in our online editor, save your transcribed file in various formats, and/or upload them directly to your content-sharing platform.

See the difference for yourself. Upload your audio/video file.

Building a Custom Deep Learning Rig

Deep learning is a very exciting field to be part of right now. New model architectures, especially those trained with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), have enabled machines to do everything from defeating the world’s best human Go players to composing “classical music”. We wanted to take advantage of its applications in speech and language modeling, and started with AWS G2 instances. We soon found that training even very simple models on a small portion of our data took days at a time, so we decided to build our own rig with specialized hardware. Continue reading “Building a Custom Deep Learning Rig”

Speech Recognition Software Falls Short on Transcription

Human Transcription is better

The Foibles of Speech Recognition

 

In this day and age, more and more of what we are doing is becoming automated. One example would be banking. You don’t have to go to a bank anymore to deposit or transfer money. You can do that from an app or just log on to their website. Some banks don’t even have physical buildings. Human interaction and the component of business is becoming more and more limited. Continue reading “Speech Recognition Software Falls Short on Transcription”

When YouTube Captions Go Wrong

Human Transcription > Computer Transcription

Have you ever used Google Voice’s visual voicemail option? How about YouTube’s closed captioning service? If so, you’ve probably encountered a wildly inaccurate and hilarious transcript.

Rhett McLaughlin and James Lincoln, the comedy duo behind Rhett & Link, used this amusing side effect and turned it into a series of hilarious skits on YouTube.

The concept is similar to the Telephone Game. A message is passed from person to person until the original message is mostly unrecognizable.

Here’s what they did:

Step 1: Record a short script.

Step 2: Upload it to YouTube.

Step 3: Record a new video with the garbled transcripts that YouTube produced.

Step 4: Repeat.

The result is a funny and an incoherent message similar to that of the famous “Bad Lip Reading” videos.

These skits were filmed between 2011 and 2013 and demonstrate just how inaccurate Googles’ automatic transcription services used to be. Since then, Google’s automated voice transcription service has improved significantly – hence the reason the series eventually fizzled out.

Given these modest improvements, automated transcription services still pale in comparison to the level of accuracy that human transcription services, such as Scribie, can provide.

We believe the English language, in all its complexity, nuance, and beauty will never be completely mastered by artificial intelligence.  And while this video is in jest, it’s an excellent example of why knowledge work will always require a human component to maintain quality assurance.

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.

Our Transcription Rates Have Gone Down!

downloadScribie is pleased to announce the new reduced rates with faster turnarounds. We have been working hard to improve our transcription process and tools. With more efficient process and improve technology, we are able to pass on the benefit to our customers.

The following is a comparison of our old and new rates.

Type Old Rate New Rate
Flex 30 $0.80/min $0.65/min
Flex 15 N/A $0.75/min
Flex 5 $1.00/min $0.85/min
1 Day $1.50/min $1.00/min
Express $3.00/min $2.00/min

The rush hour delivery is now @ $2/min with 8-12 hours turnaround. Now getting a file for an urgent report is not as costly as it was before. The efficient 4-step process that we follow, ensures that transcripts meet guaranteed quality standard.

The standard 1 day delivery is at $1.00/min. The turnaround is actually anytime between  24-36 hours. A good quality audio file will be delivered within 24 hrs while a tough file might need additional rounds of proofreading and hence more time.

The Flex 5 type is now $0.85/min. This was earlier the 5-7 day turnaround tier and called as Flexible Week. It is more suited to customers who do not have any urgent requirement for the transcripts and hence can save on the cost.

On popular demand, we are also introducing a new tier called Flex 15 for $0.75/minute. The delivery is guaranteed within a fortnight, but may also get delivered earlier at around 10 days provided we are able to slot it.

The 1 month turnaround is now called Flex 30 and is best suited for customers who might be working on long running projects and have some time left before they can start working with the transcripts.

The new pricing will benefit the customer both in terms of cost and turnaround time. Scribie is now faster, cheaper and the best in the industry in terms of quality. So start uploading your files now.

Click here for more details on pricing. Comments and feedback are most welcome.

Online Audio Transcription

The Integrated Editor is a one of a kind online transcription tool that only Scribie has to offer. We’ve touched on a few of its features in a previous blog and now we’ll continue to talk about more features that the Integrated Editor has to offer.

The Integrated Editor comes with a featured packed text editor that helps you while going over your files. You can click on a line in the text editor and it’ll take you to that point in the audio or vice versa.

The Integrated Editor also supports a variety of audio and video formats. Some the formats supported are mp3, wav, m4a, avi, flv, mp4, wmv, and mov. You don’t have to worry about whether your file will be supported as there are many types supported in the editor.

A fun feature included in the Integrated Editor is the multi-cursor. This allows you to select a word and change all occurrences of that word to another word. All you do is select a word, press CTL+ALT+G, which highlights all occurrences of that word, and simply type what change you want to make. It’ll change all occurrences to that new word.

Another feature that you’ll find in the Integrated Editor is text analysis. You can utilize this feature by clicking ‘Analysis’ at the top of the editor and the least common words and phrases or words not recognized by the editor in the document will be underlined. This allows you to go through your document for accuracy and cohesion. For further analysis, simply right click on a word to provide you with more options.

Want to learn more about the Integrated Editor? Simply click here to see all the features. Next time, we’ll discuss the last few features of the Integrated Editor in more detail.

Scribie Audio Transcription Software

integrated Editor 12If you’ve been keeping up with our posts, you know we’ve already introduced the Integrated editor, available only through Scribie. Here is the video which shows how to open the Editor. It’s a new, one of a kind tool that allows you to put the finishing touches on your transcription or helps you as a freelance transcriber with Scribie. Over the course of the next couple of posts, we’ll take a closer look at the features included with the Integrated editor.

For starters, the text editor provides a unified interface which means you no longer have to keep switching back and forth between the text and the audio. It’s all right there for you so you save time. Another time saving feature is the keyboard shortcuts. You’ll be given standard shortcuts like F7 for rewind and F10 for play, but you can also change and customise the shortcuts to suit your needs. Simply click the drop down arrow in the right of the editor, click shortcut preferences and check out the default list or make changes as you see fit.

There is also the feature of dictation, which is only available for Chrome. This allows you to save even more time by dictating your words instead of typing in the editor. You can select your speaking style and accent and then start dictating.

Other features include auto correct, auto save, and auto capitalisation. These features are similar to what you see in Microsoft Word. The Integrated editor will automatically correct commonly misspelled words, capitalise the first word of a sentence, and save your work after each keystroke so that even if your browser crashes, you can go back to right where you left off.

Live spell check is a feature that helps out with words that auto correct can’t identify. Similar to Word, these words will show up underlined in red and clicking on them will produce a drop down menu with suggestions for the word, add or ignore, Google search or the option to analyse the word.

These are just a few of the great features of the Integrated editor provided by Scribie. It’s a user friendly editor that also helps to save on time. For more information, check out the Integrated editor here. Stay tuned for more on the other features that the one and only Integrated editor from Scribie has to offer.

Ways To Improve Video SEO Through Transcription

Studies show that online videos are much more than a passing fad. According to the B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey for 2012, more than 90 percent of the respondents prefer video over white papers, case studies, and even live demos with reps. In another study, Cisco predicts that 84 percent of the online content will be videos by 2018. While all these might sound super-exciting, it makes finding any content more difficult than ever. This is where video SEO can help. A video transcription is an integral part of such an SEO practice.

Why video transcription?

Transcriptions are a textual representation of all that is said in a video. Since a search engine only crawls texts and do not watch videos, a transcription helps it to understand the content and to index it. Also, the concept of SEO revolves around the use of keywords and hence using transcripts below your videos is a natural and effective way of increasing the keyword density of your website without running the risk of ‘keyword stuffing’.

How does video transcription work?

A video transcription provides that extra mileage to your videos which meta description and video tags fail to offer. Plus, Google depends upon ‘blended results’ for determining a website’s search position. Blended results give more importance to videos. Transcriptions help to amplify this result. Studies show that transcriptions increase user engagement which in turn is rewarded by Google for having longer view times. The possibility of increased web traffic also enhances your income possibilities from AdSense.

You can also put your long-form transcripts on separate pages in order to target additional keywords. This is a great way to improve off-page SEO apart from providing internal cross linking opportunities. The content of transcripts can easily be repurposed into blogs, how-to articles, infographics and more depending upon its nature. It is hence a great source of derivative content.

How effective is video transcription

In a study, Liveclicker compared 37 web pages before and after adding transcripts, and the results are quite inspiring. Pages with transcripts recorded 16 percent more revenue than when they had no transcripts at all. Video transcriptions also help to break the barrier especially when more than 80 percent of internet users do not have english as their native language. Hence if you are targeting a global audience, transcriptions must be an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Start uploading your video now for transcription.

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