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Whether you're a journalist, a university student working on his or her dissertation, or a video content creator in need of captions, transcription services are a huge timesaver: why spend hours hunched over at a computer transcribing your audio file on your own, when for a small fee, you could save yourself the frustration and have your file delivered to your inbox in a matter of hours or days?
In addition to human-powered transcription, many transcription services offer speech-to-text software options - in fact, some companies offer only this model of transcription. Other services let the customer take complete control of the transcription process and provide them with dictation and in-site editing tools.
Thursday, September 29th
When it comes to transcription services, Rev does it all. From polished transcripts to foreign subtitles, Rev has a customizable service for practically every need and budget.
4 transcription services
A visit to their homepage displays the four transcription services they provide:
Generally positive results
So, what do customers have to say about Rev? The Better Business Bureau has given them an A+ rating. Looking under the cover, we discovered that most customers rave about Rev's accuracy, speed, and efficiency, while some complain about grammatical errors, typos, and missed deadlines.
Fantastic customer service
What is consistent, however, is Rev's prompt and thorough Customer Service response to such feedback. When an error has occurred due to difficult audio or a misunderstanding of the capabilities of the transcription service on the customer's part, Rev always provides a personalized and apologetic explanation for the incident. Should the fault be on Rev and its transcriptionists, the customer's file is reworked until the customer is satisfied. If that is not possible, a full refund is provided.
With their sleek web platform, competitively priced services, and excellent customer service, Rev is our favorite pick for your transcription service needs. They earn our highest rating.
Although it costs a bit more than other services we've reviewed, TranscribeMe has a great track record when it comes to accuracy. This is attributed to their polished two-step quality assurance process and their team of over a million highly qualified transcriptionists. TranscribeMe has broken their quality assurance process into two customizable services, ranging in price, so that customers may decide what best fits their needs (and budgets).
First draft transcription
The first step of this process is the First Draft transcription, transcribed by human typists and written in clean verbatim form, meaning no false starts or filler words like "um" and "ah" are included.
Standard quality assurance option
You will have to pay a bit more for the second step in TranscribeMe's transcription process, but if you tend towards perfectionism, it's well worth it. After the first draft has been transcribed, TranscribeMe's quality assurance team goes over it with a fine-toothed comb, making sure the text matches the audio file and adjusting punctuation and capitalization as needed.
Make changes after you download
Another reason you may decide to pay extra for TranscribeMe's quality assurance step is that there is no in-site editing capability. That is, should there be errors in your First Draft, you cannot correct them yourself before exporting the file. You may, however, choose to export your transcript in Word format and make any necessary edits there.
Automated transcription option
As is common among online transcription services, TranscribeMe also has an automated speech-to-text transcription option:
Work until it's right
If for any reason you should be unhappy with the quality of the transcript you've received, TranscribeMe will work until it is made right. As they are almost always successful in this, refunds are rarely necessary or offered.
High customer loyalty
For all of these reasons, TranscribeMe customers come back again and again, citing helpful and friendly customer service and speedy turnaround times. We're sure that this service will provide high-quality transcription services at a price you can afford.
To describe this service in terms as simple as its name, Transcribe is a transcription service where the only transcriptionist involved in the process is you. If transcribing audio is a necessary part of your line of work or study, or maybe you just prefer to do things your way, Transcribe is there to streamline the process for you.
3 methods of transcription
For a small subscription fee of $20 a year, you have access to three methods of transcription:
Save as you go
Though Transcribe is a web-based transcription service, manual transcription does work offline, so long as you sign in while you still have an internet connection. Additionally, Transcribe autosaves your work and stores it in your browser's local storage, meaning you can close or refresh your tab without the heart attack that comes with realizing you've accidentally erased hours of transcription!
Free 7-day trial
Customers say that Transcribe turns dull transcription work from something to dread into something that could even be called fun. Customer service representatives are attentive to questions and complaints, walking customers through solutions to any problems they may encounter while getting Transcribe up and running smoothly. And, if you're not sure you want to commit to the $20 year-long subscription, you can try Transcribe for free with their 7-day trial.
Great for do-it-yourself transcription
If you can get past the initial learning curve, Transcribe is a great tool for do-it-yourself transcription.
As is reflected in its somewhat nondescript website design, TranscriptionHub is a non-gimmicky, no-nonsense transcription service that specializes in medical, educational, and legal transcription work.
2 transcription plans
Their pricing is broken down as follows:
Express shipping available
Customers may also choose to pay more for Express 2-Day or 1-Day delivery and an additional $0.15/minute fee for timestamping.
The customer testimonials in the slideshow on TranscriptionHub's homepage praise their professionalism, great customer service and their typists' impressive knowledge of specialized medical, academic and legal technical terms - after all, when your customers are professors, doctors and researchers, your transcriptionists need to have more than a basic vocabulary.
Though customer reviews for TranscriptionHub are difficult to find elsewhere on the internet, we believe that in this case, no news is good news. TranscriptionHub's satisfaction guarantee speaks for itself. In the case that human error does occur, TranscriptionHub promises to rework your transcript until you're satisfied or it reaches 99.9% accuracy. You can't beat that! If they are absolutely unable to rework the delivered transcript, they will provide a 50% refund.
TranscriptionHub is also devoted to their clients' security. Only employees bound to a nondisclosure agreement have access to your files, and you can request the destruction of your files at their completion.
Based on their A+ Better Business Bureau rating, glowing testimonials, and the lack of any negative feedback to be found, we are confident that TranscriptionHub offers a solid transcription service, particularly for clients coming from industries with specialized vocabulary.
Originally developed in 2008 as a free Skype recording tool, Scribie offers an automated speech-to-text service as well as a manual transcription service.
2 transcription price plans
Scribie's prices range as follows:
Charges can add up
If you select the manual transcription service option, you can expect to receive a clean-verbatim Word document with speaker labels and audio timecoding. For a subtitle file, however, you will have to pay an additional $0.50/minute, and $0.50/minute more for each of the following: difficult audio, speakers with non-American accents, noisy audio, and strict verbatim (meaning um's, ah's, and false starts are all transcribed). It makes sense that transcriptionists must be compensated for their work on audio files that are more difficult to transcribe, but those $0.50 charges can add up, so beware!
Helpful cost calculator
Helpfully, Scribie has included a cost calculator at the bottom of their Pricing page so you can figure out exactly how much you'll end up paying before you even upload your file. If you have any questions or special requirements, you can also request a custom quote.
Something that makes Scribie unique is their progress tracking capability - you can check in on the draft of your transcription at any time while it is being worked on by transcriptionists. Then, once it's complete, you can use their in-site editor to make any changes or add any finishing touches before you download your file. Should you be unsatisfied with the transcription you've received, Scribie will review it and rework it until it reaches its guaranteed 99% accuracy score. No refunds are issued after the file has been completed, but it can be canceled anytime before 60% completion has been reached, and you will be refunded proportionally for the work that has not been completed to your original payment method. There are no refunds for automated transcription.
Being a smaller transcription service, Scribie has a limited capacity. If you often order transcription in bulk, keep in mind that Scribie can only deliver 20 hours of audio or video files per week or 4 hours per day. It is recommended that any files you wish to upload that are longer than 3 hours are split into smaller portions to avoid a delay.
4 step transcription process
Customer reviews say that Scribie is extremely accurate, reliable, and fast - many report having received their transcript days ahead of the deadline. Scribie's speed and accuracy can be attributed to their 4-step transcription process: first, your file is split into shorter clips and worked on by multiple transcriptionists simultaneously. This is faster and more secure. Second, the transcript is reviewed for errors and corrected, and the speaker labels and timestamping are added. Third, all segments are joined and the entire file is reviewed and corrected a second time. In the final step, the accuracy of the file is assessed, and if it isn't at least 99%, the reviewers repeat the previous step. It's easy to see why negative reviews for Scribie are difficult to find!
For all of these reasons, Scribie earns a solid ranking towards the top of our reviews, and we particularly recommend it as a transcription service if time is of the essence on your next project.
While certain transcription services may brag about how they refuse to use speech-to-text software, Temi has turned such software into a business. Let's say you have a recording of an interview between two incredibly polite, clear speakers who never talk over each other. If you already know the quality of your audio file is top-notch, why bother with the uncertainty of human transcription - and the hefty price tag that can come with it - when a robot will do it for pennies?
Just 1 transcription service
Temi offers just one transcription service:
Audio must be clean
Of course, as we mentioned previously, the accuracy of your transcription will be highly dependent upon the quality of your audio file. Temi's guidelines define difficult audio as containing strong accents, crosstalk, and heavy background noise. All three render your audio unusable, in which case you're better off paying a human to transcribe it.
Results match expectations
We submitted two files to Temi to test this for ourselves. The first we submitted was a video featuring multiple speakers engaging in quite a bit of crosstalk. The only words transcribed were the lines spoken by the person holding the camera. The second was a video recording of one speaker in front of a camera, and the transcription came back near-perfect - the only errors were two non-English words, which were easily corrected in Temi's sleek in-site editor. Temi timestamps every word and labels different speakers for no extra charge.
Good, simple transcription service
Overall, Temi provides users with a simple pricing structure, easy usability, and a lightning-quick turnaround, but you will have to do some editing yourself. Temi's advanced speech-to-text recognition software allows customers to avoid the messiness of paying for human transcription services, but if your audio is of poor quality, use a different service or brace yourself for some editing time.
Founded as a startup in Edinburgh in 2006, GoTranscript promises fast and professional transcription, and boasts a global team of human transcriptionists - no speech-to-text software found here. As is standard, GoTranscript employs a three-step process: upload your audio via link or file, pay online, and receive your transcription via email after the specified turnaround time.
4 transcription services
At first glance, a visit to GoTranscript's website under the Services tab provides a relatively straightforward layout of the transcription services they offer:
Prices go up fast
However, pricing is more complicated than that. In fact, upon closer examination, none of the services are actually quite as cheap as $0.72 per minute. After clicking on the Cost Estimate tab, you will have the option to specify the length of your recording, the format in which you want to receive your completed transcript, your desired turnaround time, how many speakers are in your audio file, and more. If you are using the Foreign Subtitling service, you will need to select a language. With every option set to its cheapest, the absolute lowest you will pay for basic transcription is $0.90 per minute. If you have a short deadline and difficult audio with multiple speakers, you are looking at a price tag of $3-$4 per minute.
Hundreds of positive reviews...
But does the quality of the transcription justify the price? It can be difficult to find reviews from customers on the GoTranscript site, as most of the reviews there are from the freelance transcriptionists working for them. Their transcriptionists have given them over 1,400 five-star reviews, many of them from as recently as a few days before the time of this review.
...or are they?
Visit independent consumer review sites, however, and you will find hundreds of dissatisfied one-star reviews, and several accusations that GoTranscript actively hides poor reviews from their site - and even pays customers to remove their negative reviews. The poor reviews that we could find complain of inaccuracies in the delivered transcriptions, missed deadlines, and poor customer service in response to these complaints; full refunds are reportedly difficult to come by.
Good with foreign language transcription
That said, positive reviews claim GoTranscript does a good job with foreign language transcriptions, including French, Spanish, and Italian, and many reviews praise the accuracy and efficiency with which their GoTranscript order was delivered.
Hit or miss
Overall, GoTranscript seems to be hit or miss, but, considering the questionable quality of their customer service in the event that your transcription doesn't meet your standards, why risk it? You'll have a much more reliable experience with one of the higher-rated transcription services in our evaluation.
Outdated, plain, and pricey, WeScribeIt has a tough time holding its own against the other transcription services we've reviewed for you. Upon visiting WeScribeIt's homepage, the first thing we noticed was the security alert in the search bar informing us that WeScribeIt uses an outdated security system that could expose its users' credit card numbers.
1 transcription service
WeScribeIt offers just one transcription service, with legal or medical transcription available for an extra fee.
Astonishingly, $1.50 per minute of audio doesn't get you very much - for a transcription of an audio file featuring two speakers, you are required to pay an additional $0.50/minute. Audio featuring three or more speakers will run you a hefty $2.25/minute. There is no mention of whether this includes timestamping or speaker labels.
Good to know
According to the FAQ page, WeScribeIt typists are US-based native English speakers who must have "exprience" (sic) and are required to adhere to non-disclosure agreements.
No recent customer reviews
Though there is no information about WeScribeIt's quality assurance process on their website, customer reviews featured on the Testimonials page praise the accuracy and speed with which their transcripts were delivered, as well as the quality of WeScribeIt's customer service. These testimonials, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt - one review mentions WeScribeIt's affordability, which is not a word we would use to describe this transcription service. Neither positive nor negative customer reviews for WeScribeIt written after the year 2015 can be found elsewhere - suggesting just how much traffic they really get these days.
No good reason
In other words, there's just no good reason to trust this transcription service with your audio files. Who knows what, if anything, you'll actually get back? With so many reputable providers out there, WeScribeIt just doesn't have anything that would convince the average client that they're the right service to get the job done.
However, when searching for an online transcription service, it can be difficult to know which one to trust. After all, most transcription services employ thousands of transcriptionists, leaving a lot of room for differing levels of quality between projects. This can make it difficult to get a clear idea of the quality of the service you will receive when reading customer reviews online. That's why you want to find a transcription service committed to your satisfaction.
Before deciding which transcription service best meets your needs, take a few moments to consider the following points to ensure that you know what you're getting into:
TopConsumerReviews has reviewed and ranked the best transcription services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right transcription service for your needs!
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