Transcription services may appear as simple tasks to the uninitiated. However, far from it, not only does it require a high level of concentration, it demands adequate knowledge about the domain to understand the content being discussed. All services are at an inflection point, primarily as a result of the advances in technology and various applications associated with it. However, transcription services continue to rely on human hearing and interpretation of nuances in speech to offer accurate conversion into text form. Despite the use of tools to stop and start recorded conversations and the ability to speed up the rate of the playback, it is still the human potential and ability that makes a huge difference to the task.
How to transcribe interviews and podcasts
Transcription of interviews and podcasts are a lot different than other requirements. The text that scrolls on the screen needs to have matching timecodes. While this is achieved by using the right kind of tools, it begins with accurate transcription of the spoken text and identification of multiple speakers. Here are a few practical methods of achieving higher accuracy while transcribing interviews and podcasts.
Mix of voice recognition and professional proof reading
Advanced voice recognition software and the giant leaps achieved in AI have expanded the capabilities of sophisticated software. For instance, conversational assistants possess the ability to understand commands spoke in natural human form. It is the same level of sophistication and technology that goes into voice recognition software. However, despite the advances, there are chances of errors, especially among words that sound the same but mean or spell differently. Contextual awareness is yet to reach the high level of human intelligence in certain applications. This is exactly why, it is best to use automation to carry out the first level of transcription, followed by a professional proof reading, which will then ensure that the contents are accurate.
Professional transcription service providers typically use software that convert the video into audio files which are then use for automated transcription. After the first round of transcription by software, the contents are then proof read professionally by experts in the domain to weed out errors that could be technical in nature or domain related. This is then followed up a final round of matching the text contents with voice in the video, with suitable changes being made to achieve highest levels of accuracy. This could include the use of suitable punctuation marks to reflect the pauses, emphasis and change of speakers in interviews.
Access to professional with exposure and experience in handling transcriptions
Freelancing sites offer a range of services for clients. The rich mix of resources, time, and professional expertise are available at competitive rates permitting clients to chose the most suitable service provider as per specific requirements. Time is the biggest differentiator and the advantage of using professionals for time consuming tasks is the cost effective nature of the engagement. Rather than spend time trying to compete a task by yourself in an effort to cut costs, it would make sense to use the services of professionals who take up tasks at reasonable rates. This also frees up valuable time which can be used for other productive work related to core activities. The digital revolution has enabled service providers and clients to meet in platforms that offer seamless and convenient engagement.
Tips to individuals/agencies choosing freelancing sites for availing services of professionals
Freelancing sites offer an extensive range of services from professionals who specialize in various niches. The services of the right experts for your requirements are certainly available in sites. However, it is important to identify and choose the right service provider to fully meet the requirement. For instance, all service providers may appear to be the same at first glance. However, a closer look at each freelancer will offer a better view of the services offered and the suitability of the service provider. Differences between service providers can be easily identified by taking a look at the following.
Use of tools, rounds of quality improvements – A description of the service provided should give a clear indication of the manner in which the services are provided. For instance, this could be the use of advanced voice recognition software, followed by progressive rounds of quality improvements through manual processes performed by an expert. This is the most cost effective and easiest method of availing high quality services. Complete manual processes are a good choice, but it may not be possible for the service provider to offer a quick turnaround.
Availability – The bandwidth of the service provider is of paramount importance. This acquires significance in the case of service providers who extensively use manual processes. Transcription requires undivided attention and a service provider cannot be expected to handle too many tasks on every single day.
Rates – Prices on freelancing sites, including Fiverr are not an issue, because most of the reputed sites follow a policy of transparent pricing. Clients using services of professionals get the choice of choosing a service provider after understanding the actual rates involved. This could, however, be tricky, especially if a client looks for very low priced offerings – there could be a tradeoff in terms of quality.
Expertise in domain – The domain expertise of the service provider is critical to the accuracy of transcription services. For instance, an individual with very high language proficiency may not be actually aware of certain terms that are intrinsic to domains or niches. It is therefore necessary to check the level of exposure of the service provider to the domain. This will help in ensuring that the final rounds of quality improvements will deliver higher accuracy.
Additionally, expert freelancers with the right tools can help in matching the timecode of text and the audio-video formats. This will help in getting the scrolling text to synchronize with the audio and lip movements of the individuals in the interviews/podcasts. Freelancing sites offer a world of convenience to clients in getting the best transcription services from professionals with high levels of expertise.