Human vs. Machine: Should You Use a Manual or Automated Transcription Service?

Speech and voice recognition software is getting better than ever.

In the age of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, we expect more advanced transcription software. However, are any of the automatic transcription services good enough for your audio or video?

How many times have your automatic transcriptions included potentially grave (and often tragically embarrassing) errors?

Transcribing words is relatively easy for machines, and they’ve gotten really good at it. Just take a look at this chart by Kleiner Perkins.

What’s difficult is to infer what you truly mean by saying these words, which makes it more prone to error. Humans, on the other hand, are much better at discerning and recognizing the context of a conference call, webinar, podcast, or any kind of content.

Transcripts produced automatically are quick and private. Yet, they eventually need intervention by hand for proofreading. Others who are looking for accuracy and convenience think that they might as well order manual transcription services.

If you’re unsure whether automatic or manual transcription is the better solution, we’ll be comparing and discussing the pros and cons of both options in detail.

Find out whether you should purchase a manual or automatic transcription service…Human or machine?

The Benefits of Automated Transcripts

First, let’s go over the benefits and downsides of each option, beginning with automatic transcription services.

Transcription tools like Scribie, AWS Transcribe, or The Cloud Speech API by Google converts speech into text transcription from audio. Sometimes, you don’t even need a recorded file. Scribie, for instance, lets you directly make in-app calls where conversations are recorded for automatic transcription.

Automatically turning your video or voice file into a transcript is fast and easy. The average time it takes Scribie to transcribe a 2-hour file is 30 minutes. You’ll have a fast, first draft of your recording in no time.

Besides speed, it also comes at a lower cost for those whose needs don’t require a perfectly documented version of their audio.

Concerned about privacy and confidentiality? With automatic transcription, no other person would listen to your audio. Although some platforms, like Google and AWS, transfer your data to Google servers or others. Scribie is unique in that we have our own tech for privacy concerns and don’t require 3rd-party platforms to process your recordings.

Is It Good for You?

That depends on how you’ll use the transcript. If you’re simply using it to refer to while listening to the recording, you’ll have an easier time processing the information and content of the recording.

Transcripts of interviews, video content, and raw footage are often used by media outlets and journalists as a first draft. Scribie also provides automated subtitles along with the transcript. Users will be able to download the file, as well as upload it to their YouTube account and add it as a caption.

Researchers whose files may contain highly-technical terms or crucial data might prefer automatic transcriptions. Later, they’ll be able to edit the copy themselves for preciseness and accuracy.

For highly sensitive transcripts, such as psychotherapy sessions, rest assured that no other person would listen to the audio or watch the video.

Many businesses also use automated transcripts as a backup for detail discussed in a meeting. It’s also useful for contact centers who record a high-volume of calls with customers.

Automated transcripts are Ideal for:

  • Journalists
  • Medical
  • Research
  • Businesses
  • Contact Centers
  • Media

Get a fast and easy transcript of your recording. Upload a file on Scribie for automatic transcription now.

The Downsides to Automation

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, and more.

Scribie, however, has a highly-advanced speech recognition engine tuned specifically for transcription of all file types. Unlike others tuned only for conference calls, Scribie can automatically recognize multiple speakers, whether on the other side of the call or sitting right next to each other.

If you find transcription technology that guarantees 100% accuracy, they’re either overshooting claims or over-optimizing for one particular scenario.

Of course, accuracy will also depend on certain factors such as the speaker’s accent or whether the audio is of high quality.

Typical Errors in Automated Transcripts

There are a few usual errors you can expect based on the limitations of today’s transcription automation software.

Artificial intelligence has difficulty detecting speaker turns, especially when there is fast back-and-forth between multiple speakers. All systems have a 20% to 30% failure rate for fast turns. In the most ideal scenario, a system will be able to figure out 90% of the turns. This means paragraphs won’t be broken correctly, words will be missing, and speakers won’t be tracked.

Names of people and places are also often mixed up. There is a village in Wales, for example, called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which will most likely never be recognized by transcription software.

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You can also rule out an automatic transcript from accurately displaying single or double quotes. A voice recording with “He said,…” will show the start of a quote but can’t determine where to close them.

Punctuations, such as hyphens, quotations, and exclamation marks, as well as proper capitalizations, are often unrecognized by systems. AWS, Google Web Speech, and Speechmatics don’t support quotations.

Fortunately, Scribie has an 80% accuracy rate for punctuations. We support all types of punctuations, including quotes and hyphens. Our speech recognition engine also uses Continual Learning to consistently decrease the word error rate (WER). In five to ten years, we’ll be able to reach a 95% accuracy rate for most audio files with good quality.

Automatic transcription is usually the first step to transcription of data and the first draft is rarely the final one. As Scribie keeps your transcript synced to audio, you’ll have an option to manually edit the transcription afterward through our built-in editor tool.

The Benefits of Manual Transcription Services

Transcription by hand is great for a high-quality text version of your file, with an accuracy rate of anywhere beyond 95%.

Nothing is more convenient than handing over the task of transcription to a specialist. Manual transcription services can be beneficial for large files, fast talkers, speakers with accents, and audio challenges, like background noise or distortion.

Manual transcriptions can also be secure. When you use Scribie, your covered by an NDA. Our transcriber directly works through our editor and won’t be able to download the file.

A time-coding feature for manual transcripts helps you determine when a sentence is spoken, so the subtitle shows up at the right time.

Is It Good for You?

Hire a manual transcriber for a clean and polished copy that is presentable to audiences.

Brands and enterprises might need 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. It might be preferable to have a human type out the findings. Manual transcription is also crucial for court transcripts, depositions, and other legal documents.

Despite the higher cost of manual transcription vs. automated, a human with attention to detail can save you money. Mistakes by automated transcription software can be costly. A missing punctuation mark once caused a rocket’s engine failure and ended up costing $620 million.

Manual transcripts are ideal for:

  • Enterprises and Brands
  • Research
  • Media
  • Education
  • Marketing
  • Legal

How Will You Use Your Transcript?

Deciding between a human or machine mostly boils down to the application of your transcript.

The modern tech of transcription software is impressive, with an accuracy rate higher than ever.

If you prefer a low-cost alternative and a more hands-on approach, you can use platforms like Scribie to quickly turn your recordings into written text which you can then edit afterward. Of course, doing-it-yourself may be impractical for large files.

Manual transcription services ensure your transcript is high-quality, convenient, and error-free for public or internal use.

Try Scribie’s manual transcription service by 100% humans. Order transcripts online today.

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.

Support for Post Payment by Scribie

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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!

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 .

How To Clean The Audio File

Whatever your transcription needs are, you will all have the same start – the audio file. You may be asking, ‘Why would I want to provide clean audio?’ and that’s a very good question.

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It is what transcriptionists use to take your notes, lectures, meetings, interviews, etc. from a few or multiple voices to a readily accessible document that you can use at any time in the future for your reference. With this audio being so vital, it’s important to give transcriptionists the best audio you can provide.

Of course, simply saying that the audio needs to be clean isn’t enough. You’ll want to know how you can do this. Well, fortunately for you, you don’t have to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars on software or equipment to get this done. In fact, you don’t even have to spend a dime. There is great audio software out there and you don’t have to look any further than Audacity for your needs.

Many people use Audacity, whether they are musicians, voice over actors, or even those who need it for their transcription needs. That’s the great thing about Audacity – its versatility. You can even use it to record your files if necessary, but that’s another blog post.

To clean up your audio, first download your copy of Audacity. Once that’s done, open it up and open your audio file. You’ll want to go to ‘Effect’.

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You’ll click on ‘Noise Removal’.

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From there, you’ll need to get a noise profile.  Find the section of the audio file that you need and highlight that section. Click ‘Get Noise Profile’.
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Once this is done, you’ll want to go back to ‘Effect’, ‘Noise Removal’ and click ‘Okay’ to remove the noise.

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This should help clean up your audio.

For more tips and tutorials on how to use Audacity, simply do a Google search to find ways to maximize your new find. You can even out sound, normalize your audio, export to MP3 (with the help of a plugin), cut and copy files together and so much more.

As always, don’t forget to use Scribie for all your transcription needs.

How to Review or Check the Quality of Transcripts

As a business professional, student, teacher, or whatever reason you may have for using a transcription service, you want to know that the service you used has done their job and done it well. You want your work or project to be up to the highest standards.

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With that in mind, did you know that Scribie offers you a simple approach to check and review the quality of your transcripts? It’s a few steps that can be done with the use of a tool that only Scribie offers, their free Integrated Editor.

The Integrated Editor provides a variety of tools at your disposal including a full feature text editor, unified interface, auto-capitalization, auto-correct, text analysis, and variable speed playback, just to name a few. With the editor, you’ll want to analyze your transcript, check for underlines and blanks, and do random spot checks. Let’s get started.

You can analyze your document by simply click ‘Analysis’ at the top of the Integrated Editor. It will underline words that either are not recognized by the editor or words and phrases that are not common. Scan the underlines and play those portions to ensure that things are correct. If you want to analyze any word or phrase further, you can right click on the word for a list of options.

If you see blanks in your transcript it’s due to transcribers not being fully sure what was said in your audio. Easily find those blank spots using the editor by holding down CTRL+B. It’ll play the audio just prior to the blank and you can fill it in with the appropriate word or phrase.

Scribie recommends that you randomly check portions of your transcript instead of going through the entire document. If you find key mistakes in your spot checks, then check the entire paragraph for any further issues. To check a paragraph, click in any part of the paragraph and hold down CTRL+ALT+N.

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By doing these few things, you can ensure that the transcription is all that you need it to be. Scribie strives to provide you with no less than 98% accuracy and by providing this service, we want to show you we take that guarantee seriously.

So start uploading you files on Scribie now!!

Conference Call Transcription

conference call transcriptionAs business working professionals and business owners, having your company run smoothly and efficiently is top priority. The less you have to be concerned about, the more you can focus on providing customers with the best service possible. Every now and then, it may be important to get together as a team, get in contact with board members or customers. That is where conference call recording and transcription come in to play a major and vital role.

Conference call recording can be of great use to businesses. Whether it’s to make sure that customers are receiving the best service possible or to make sure that your employees have up-to-date information, conference call recording and transcription is important to companies. In regards to having records of board meetings, current status meetings, or making important decisions in regards to the company, businesses can use the transcription notes for permanent records.

One benefit of utilizing conference call recording is that you can capture the moment and use it later for transcription reasons. It helps to ensure that everything said is recorded and can later be put into word form for future use in the company.

By having a record of the meeting, those who may not have been present can go back over the transcription notes and get all the information as if they had been there. Even if people were on the call, if they missed something or can’t remember how something was said during the call, having a transcription file is an easy access way to review. They can also search the documents easily for certain words or sections by using keywords.

Another benefit of conference call transcription is saving time and money and the ease of use. Not only can everyone on the team be on the same page, but it can prevent any future disagreements or conflicts. It’ll be easy enough for everyone involved to access the file.

For your conference call transcription, you want to ensure that the audio quality of the recording is of the highest quality. Not only does this provide good quality for your business for any future needs, but also for the person who has to transcribe the call. It may be necessary to look at an outside company, like a transcription service, for one or both of those needs.

Scribie offers conference call recording at reasonable rates. For only $0.03 a minute, per caller for the call, you can have your conference call recorded for free in the form of an MP3 file. In addition, all calls are recorded and transcribed automatically; you just pay for the transcription at the regular rate.
There’s no need to worry about your future meetings or calls. Keep record of all your information in one place with the convenience of conference call recording and transcribing and remember Scribie for your recording and transcription needs.

Book a call now with Scribie and get the transcripts with just one click or just upload your file for transcription.

 

Educational Transcription Service

educational transcriptionWhen you think of transcription services, who typically comes to mind as using their services? Doctors, assistants, researchers, but what about students? As a student, you may need to have lectures, notes, academic or research interviews, meetings, speeches, dissertations and a list of other things that need to be transcribed.

Students who are working on dissertations spend hours gathering information, working on interviews, doing research and jotting down their own thoughts. That’s a lot of your time and effort put in over the course of the year and now it comes down to one dissertation.

Add in the varying ways and formats you may have your interviews and research and all of a sudden, the thought of putting it all into an understandable and useable format can be daunting. You’ve put hundreds of hours of work in and now you need to understand all of those interviews.

Imagine writing your dissertation and you remember something that an individual or yourself said that you want to put in your dissertation, but you can’t remember exactly what was said or where in all of your hours of notes it could be located. It could take a while just to find that information if you had to transcribe it all by yourself.

Why spend so much time trying to interpret your research and interview transcription when you could outsource it to a transcription service? Time you could be using studying, putting in finishing touches or even just taking a much needed and well deserved break!

By using a transcription service, you can have your dissertation notes and interviews in a format of your choosing with a quick turnaround. When you use Scribie’s transcription service, you get multiple and accented speakers included in our already low price. Plus, when you upload more than 20 hours, you get a 10% discount on your order. Perfect for students who are low on funds, but have a lot of data that needs to be sifted through.

With Scribie, you can keep tracker of speakers and utilise our one-of-a-kind Integrated Editor, just to name a few. Scribie lets you choose your turnaround time, your price and with 98% accuracy guarantee, you know that all of your treasured and valuable data is in safe hands. Consider using Scribie’s transcription service for your dissertation needs or any of your student needs and spend the time where it really matters.

Start uploading you files now and order!