Constraints And Opportunities in Interview Transcription

audio transcription headphoneTranscription has always been an integral part of research and analysis, but its age-old existence doesn’t naturally make it a simple thing to perform. The reasons are many. To begin with, accurate transcription needs time, patience, and trained ears— a combination that is sometimes difficult to find all at once. For instance, you may be an adept interviewer, but you might not be the best transcriber around. Why? Because you might not simply like transcribing. As Michael Agar in “The Professional Stranger: An Informal Introduction to Ethnography” writes, “Transcription is a chore.” Lack of interest towards the job is one of the first constraints that you may face while transcribing. But that’s just the beginning.


A group interview in which more than one person is involved is especially challenging to transcribe. It needs trained ears to distinguish between the speakers by virtue of their voices alone. The situation becomes tougher if the speakers have very different accents. A professional transcriber, hence, is the best person to make an accurate transcription because he/ she will already be trained in the art of making such fine-line differentiation. This would again minimize the time required while dramatically increasing the accuracy.

Interestingly, the possibilities that an interview transcription presents also stay hidden within its challenges or constraints. The same interview that a non-professional would find tedious to transcribe would give a professional exciting opportunities. This is especially relevant for denaturalism where the transcribers remove idiosyncratic elements of speech and as well as other aspects that are irrelevant to the overall interview. This includes the filler words (such as umm, you know, etc.) and nonverbal components (such as pause). In other words, denaturalism gives a transcriber the freedom as well as the responsibility of taking out the irrelevant bit while keeping the essential parts intact.

In the “Constraints and Opportunities with Interview Transcription: Towards Reflection in Qualitative Research” (2005) authors Olivia, Serovich, and Mason elaborate on the two methods of transcription: denaturalism and naturalism. Contrary to denaturalism, the latter takes into account every bit of the recording in as much detail as possible. Naturalism is used more when the “how” is as important, or more so, than the “what” was said. The authors also say that there is no right or wrong way of transcribing an interview, and often the most common approach is a hybrid of these two methods. At Scribie we use the denaturalism method. However, in cases you want us to follow the naturalism method, please let us know when you upload the file and order the transcript.

Which is better: Board meeting transcription or Board meeting minutes?

Board MeetingEver wondered what the difference, if any, was between meeting minutes and meeting transcription?  Wonder no more because we’ve tackled that subject for you.

Taking minutes in a meeting happens to ensure that proper procedure is followed and that all key points are addressed.  A person who sits in on a meeting to take minutes needs to be aware and alert at all times to ensure that nothing is missed.

There are various types of minutes that one would take during a meeting.  There are summary or discussion minutes that are the most common type and they do what the name implies – summarizes the meeting.  It provides a historical record and information for those who may have been absent. Secondly, you have purpose driven or action minutes.  These are done when a specific action needs to be taken and decisions are made.  Lastly, there are verbatim or transcription minutes.  This is the need for every last word said in the meeting to be recorded.

When someone transcribes a board meeting, they are taking down everything that is said in the meeting, with the exception of stutters or utterances.  These individuals may use short-hand for their convenience and ease.

Oftentimes, the person who takes the minutes of the meeting will later transcribe the information for the official record.  It is important for the minutes of the meeting to be accurate as they can have impacts on the future of the company and they are put in the permanent records.

Due to this importance, the person in charge of the minutes would want to do the best that they can do.

Why would someone want to have a transcription service outline the minutes of a meeting?  Quite simply, the benefits outweigh the cost. Consider the amount of time one has to put into to taking the minutes during the meeting and then composing those minutes into a legible document for the record.  It’s also important to realize that the person tasked with taking the notes must be good at multi-tasking.  You must pay attention to the meeting and take accurate notes at the same time.  Add to that the possibility of the additional stress to ensure that things are written in the proper manner; the political side of it all if you will.

If one is so focused on all of these concerns, the work could suffer as a result.

For these reasons alone, using a transcription service saves a person and a company a lot.  What better transcription service to use than Scribie?  You don’t have to worry about confidentiality with Scribie and there is no additional cost for more than one speaker.  Plus you get the added benefit of knowing that even speakers with accents will be transcribed accurately. With Scribie, you have the peace of mind that your meeting and minutes are taken care of and you end up with an extra copy of notes to ensure nothing was missed.  Whatever your transcription needs, Scribie has you covered. Click here now to start uploading your files.

Want to know more? We are available on Live Chat and via Toll Free on the phone, and also on email.

New Feature: Vimeo Importer

Vimeo videos can now be imported to directly for transcription. We have added a new tab to our uploads page where the Vimeo video links have to be copy-pasted.

The importer can import both public and private Vimeo files. For private files, the video needs to be password protected and imported (the password can be specified in the import page). Go to your Video Settings/Privacy on Vimeo to do that, as shown in the screenshot below.


And, since we now support video time-coding you can turn on the option directly when ordering the transcript!

If for some reason the import fails, please do not hesitate to contact support and request the file to be imported to your account. We will be happy to assist you.

The Transcription Service REST API

We have just released the first version of our REST API. Till now, our web interface was the only one could consume our service. With the API, any application can now use it. Please visit the following link for the documentation.

This release marks somewhat of a milestone for us. When we started working on our transcription service six years ago, in 2008, we had exactly this goal in mind; a transcription service API where you can post your files to be transcribed, with a minimum quality and turnaround guarantee. We actually looked around but didn’t find any. That’s how we started.

In these six years we have built a transcription system which is scalable, repeatable and provides a minimum quality and turnaround guarantee. So after a lot of trial and error, and a lot of engineering, we have finally achieved what we had started out to do. That definitely feels great!

Feedback and comments are most welcome.

Confidentiality Of Transcripts

ConfidentialityTeleconferencing is an eminent way of conducting meetings through calls globally. With such advantage these days, we have an added benefit of transcribing. Transcribing is a new way of jotting down the entire conversation of meetings. Transcription report has many advantages like it acts as a review report, MoM (Minutes of Meeting) etc. As a customer, you must be pondering about confidentiality of transcripts. At Scribie, we take care of every minutest detail and confidentiality is significant for us. When interview recording take place or meetings are held, the entire recording needs to be kept safely as it contains confidential data and information. Scribie has watch dogs to keep a check on security of data as we assure our clients. We deliver best in less time.

How Scribie guarantees confidentiality?

  • The entire conversation file is split into small chunks which are further given to transcribers to type it into text.
  • No one is provided with entire audio file to make sure they have access to a part of file; partial data would be of no use for them.
  • We vet for professional people who work with all their heart and soul to bring the best of their capabilities. We look for people who have strong values and skills.
  • We have an In-house team that also has access to it on a need to know basis and the team is bounded by confidentiality agreement.
  • Transcribers have hundreds of files to type which keeps them well occupied and hence wouldn’t have time to think about selling information.
  • We use industry standard 256-bit SSL encryption on our website so that all communication between servers and browsers is well encrypted.
  • We keep a track of activity of every transcriber, only authorised person can work for organising and arranging such confidential files.
  • We know it’s a highly competitive world but our values and business ethics comes first so we do not sell, rent or share personal information with third parties.

Please check the link below for more details.

If you require an NDA signed, we will be glad to provide it. Please send a mail to or chat with us directly if you have any further queries.

Why You Should Care About Audio Quality While Recording

Good Audio QualityIt is very important to ensure that the audio recordings that you make for transcription is of high quality. High quality recordings will give you better returns for your investment in equipment and time. The quality could be bad because of many reasons for e.g. bad quality recording tools, recording in a noisy place etc.

The higher the quality of the recording, lesser errors a transcription will contain. Clear recordings mean that the transcribers will spend less time doing its transcription. If the recording is clear the transcriber will not have to replay a specific section over and over to figure out what all the parties are saying.

If these factors are all combined, it is natural that the accuracy of the transcription will also improve.

Time, as Benjamin Franklin said, is money. Clear recordings will save the transcriber’s time. This is self explanatory. This means that the employer saves money. The transcribers will now be free to do extra work, that would not have been possible if the recordings were of sub-standard quality.

The client will also benefit seeing that the transcripts of the recording is delivered quicker. A satisfied customer is much more likely to return than one who received the service that was just adequate.

These are but a few of the reasons why quality audio recordings are worth it.

To get a good audio quality of a phone call or teleconference call recording for transcription, use Scribie’s recently launched teleconferencing and phone call recording service integrated with transcription service. The recording is done off the wire which is the standard and the best way to ensure good quality. Please check the link below for more details.

Please send a mail to for further queries or you can chat with us directly.

Free Podcast Transcript: TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt

Note: This file has been transcribed as part of our Free Podcast Transcription program where we transcribe podcasts pro-bono for the benefit of the podcasters and their listeners. Learn more about the program at the following link.

Transcript Links:

TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt.doc

TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt.pdf

TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt.odt

TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt.txt

00:01 Sean Wycliffe: Hi, my name is Sean Wycliffe, and I’m the CEO and co-founder of Dealflicks, and you’re listening to the App Guy Podcast.

00:10 Speaker 2: The App Guy Podcast. Straight from your host, Paul, the App Guy. Sharing his app entrepreneur journey with you for your enjoyment. The App Guy Podcast. And now, Paul, the App Guy.

00:36 Paul Kemp: You’re listening to another episode of the App Guy Podcast. I’m your host, it’s Paul Kemp, and I am here to serve you and bring you some of the best guests I can find who will help you develop your business, help you with your app world, whatever that maybe. So, we often talk to a lot of individuals, but today, I really wanted to focus on social because I have managed to get the attention of two of the co-authors of a book called, A World Gone Social. This is a fascinating journey. I recommend you go and search for it now. All recommended good book stores and Amazon. If you look at it, you’ll see that the co-authors are Ted Coine and Mark Babbitt. Ted, Mark, welcome to the App Guy Podcast.


Continue reading Free Podcast Transcript: TAGP137 Ted Coine Mark Babbitt

Transcription Allows Your Audio And Video To Be SEEN!

blindfolded-computerYour content is invisible.

Well, not exactly… it’s invisible to a pretty good portion of the internet.

Let me explain: With the web shifting more towards mobile browsing (along with the multitude of tablets, and other computer-derivatives hitting the market) it is more important than ever to make sure your content is “visible” to everyone.

Most people worry about getting their videos and podcasts into everyone’s screen — but they forget that lots of people can’t even view that content.

  • The Stressed Worker – Do you operate a B2B service or product? Well then you know the plight of reaching your prospects through email + the telephone. When it comes to online marketing, the sales “barriers” appear with added intensity. Most employees aren’t allowed to view videos or listen to podcasts while at work. That means without an accompanying text transcription the non-text video or audio is invisible to them!
  • The Old-School Mobile Browser – Unfortunately, there’s also a very significant segment of the market that DOESN’T have an iPhone (or otherwise modern web browser) which means lots of video or audio content is completely stripped from web pages. This is another huge issue, because often the end-viewer doesn’t even realize what they are missing out on. This even applies to other multi-media when it comes to advanced phones. (For example, iPhone’s to-date have never accepted flash-based content.)
  • The In-Depth Researcher – Research has shown that a large segment of online buyers do not respond well to non-text content. While a video or podcast might allow you to reach a certain segment of the market, don’t neglect the overwhelming majority of the internet that thrives on text content. Many people who are doing in-depth research about a product want text so they can search for certain keywords, copy and paste features into a spreadsheet, or even just skim read for the important stuff.
  • The Low Attention-Span – You can’t always rely on your video content to do ALL the selling. Remember that people have an average attention span of what, 8 seconds? Use text in coordination with your other content efforts to ensure that people are engaged with your content. This is the only sure-fire way to keep hold of your prospects attention. If you’re putting in lots of money, time and effort into your content, it’s your responsibility to efficiently disperse that information to the masses. You deserve to be rewarded for all that work — right?

As you can see, there is a huge part of the internet that is blind to your non-text content. Maybe in the future, as hardware and software technology advances, this will become a non-issue… but for the foreseeable future, content (in text-form) is king! So remember to make the absolute most of your content marketing by utilizing a transcription service in the future.

Hopefully these examples have given you a good picture of the “invisible” web surfers that rely on text content. No matter your industry, business, or marketing strategy — you can’t afford to miss out on audio transcription.

Why Transcription Makes Sense For A Content Marketer

transcription-for-business-productivityIf you’re a high-performing marketer or business-owner, there is one thing you detest: wasting time.

In the same vein, you hate wasting opportunities… because missing out on opportunities means lost money.

Today we’re going to demonstrate why utilizing a transcription service is more of an opportunity for content marketers than it is an expense. In fact, after reading this article you will realize why your lack of video and audio transcriptions is actually hurting your business (hint: it goes along with lost opportunities).

In the past, we’ve covered why transcriptions help SEO rankings but today we’re going to take a difference approach. Instead of demonstrating the tangible benefits (more traffic, better user experience, and additional content types for viewers) we’re going to take a more strategic approach.

Essentially, today we want to explain how you can use transcription services to deliver an entirely new medium of content without doing any additional work. Here’s how it works:

The Initial Content Production

This is where you create content that is easy to produce — aka. audio podcasts or quick youtube videos (the normal question and answer kind that last 2-5 minutes). The reason people tend to love making podcasts or videos is because you can just speak to the camera or microphone and all of your knowledge is delivered without much work. No editing, no writers block, you just speak and are delivered high-quality content for promotion.

Do this for a few weeks (or a few months, doesn’t make a difference) and you should have a solid amount of content to pull from. Theoretically, if you’ve been video marketing (by posting to youtube and other search engines for video content) or getting downloads on your podcast, you’ve figured out exactly the type of content that your target audience loves.

Now, without doing a single word of writing yourself… you can introduce a new marketing channel without any additional effort.

How is that possible? With transcriptions of course!

Repurposing Content (without annoying your userbase)

Now, you might have noticed this tactic being used by some of the biggest bloggers/content marketers in the world.

  • They’ll create a podcast… promote it through the podcast marketing channels, then upload the podcast to youtube and add some graphics (this isn’t required, could just directly upload)… and boom now they have a content-rich video to promote.
  • One of the coolest ways to take this strategy to an even bigger level is to utilize transcription services to heighten the content promotion even further. Since you just took a podcast and syndicated it as a video — now you can do the same thing but with text.
  • Send the podcast over to a transcription service, and boom! Now you have nearly unlimited blog posts to upload to your company blog.
  • Do you see where this is going? One piece of audio content can be repurposed into a video and another blog post.

Just make sure to stagger the promotion of these pieces (even if you end up waiting a month or two between posting them), so that you don’t flood your website viewers with three different versions of the same content every time they check the site.

Disruption: Pioneering The Transcription Industry

Transition can be model

Here at Scribie, we’ve been pushing the limits in comparison to the traditional transcription industry. For better or worse, our business model is gaining momentum and causing a major shift in the way people and businesses view transcriptions.

Let’s take a look at the difference:

The traditional model…

  • High cost — you’re hiring an agency, or a specialist. It’s going to hit your wallet, hard.
  • Hard to stay consistent — What happens when the first project you send in is done to perfection… but then on your next transcription, a new employee at the agency takes over. What if there’s no oversight and the mistakes go unnoticed.
  • Slow turn around time — When dealing with a company that specifically does transcription, (with the traditional model) they have to either employ as little transcribers as possible to keep profits high, or increases prices. Unfortunately, both of these are negatives to the client.

Now, the Scribie “freelance” model…

  • Low cost — Affordable transcriptions 24/7, our availability of high-quality freelance transcribers allows us to keep internal costs low which we pass onto the client.
  • Perfect consistency — Through our proprietary transcription quality check process, we can guarantee a 98% accuracy. Multiple checks and balances, editors, and a killer review process let’s us perfect an imperfect industry. The use of intelligent technology and our expertise is a huge benefit in this area.
  • Turn around on YOUR schedule — Another huge benefit to having access to a huge quantity of transcribers is that we can work on your schedule… instead of the opposite. Shouldn’t it always be that way? Choose when you need the transcription done, between a month to as quick as 8-12 hours.

As you can see, through technology, innovation, and a smart business model we have created a triple win-win-win situation for our clients, our freelancers, and our business.

The transcription industry is a perfect example of disruption allowing additional benefits and value to the provided without cutting back. Essentially, through our strong quality check process we are able to mix the benefits of human transcription with those of a freelance model.

The other less-known benefit to our model

Another one of the huge benefits to this pioneering business model is that we add value to a whole new segment of the world. Instead of just benefiting the clients and the business — we are able to give work at home mom’s, and other segments of the population looking for work from the comfort of their home, access to a straightforward way to make money.

Almost anyone will a solid grasp of the english language, as well as strong communication and writing skills can be a great transcriber. Just put on your headphones, listen, and type. We’ll take care of the rest.

It’s just about that simple.