Choosing when to outsource transcriptions and if so, to whom, can be a difficult choice. Transcribing audio recordings is a precise task that requires expertise and the right equipment, and is not as apparent as consumers may think.
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Choosing when to outsource transcriptions and if so, to whom, can be a difficult choice. Transcribing audio recordings is a precise task that requires expertise and the right equipment, and is not as apparent as consumers may think. Many consumers are confronted with the choice between a professional, freelance, or do-it-yourself transcriptionist and don’t know what to look for.
The following paragraphs will therefore help you make a better informed choice in your transcription needs assistance, based on three criteria: accuracy, punctuality, and price.
AccuracyAccuracy is one of the most important elements of a transcribed document and it is the transcriber’s job to safeguard the highest level. Inaccurate transcriptions may introduce biases in research results, rend business reports unusable, and in some cases even require the entire transcription process to be repeated. Not every transcription provider can ensure a high level of accuracy. Freelance and do-it-yourself transcribers typically do not have the same level of expertise as professionals, and are more inclined to making errors. These may include punctuation, grammatical, and spelling errors. Additionally, some professional transcriptionists use extra features such as ListenLink. Whenever your audio recording is too unintelligible to be transcribed, ListenLink will simply insert a link in your document that directly refers you to the segment in question. When it comes to accuracy, there is no beating the professionals.
SpeedIt is estimated that 1 minute of spoken text takes a professional transcriptionists approximately 4 minutes of typing. This estimate is even higher for freelance and do-it-yourself transcriptions. As you can imagine, this greatly influences turnaround times that transcribers can provide. This goes a long way in telling you how capable your transcriber will be in helping you meet your deadlines.
PriceAlthough there is no uniform pricing model in the transcription industry, one commonly used system is the ‘pay per audio minute’. With a fixed price that transcriptionists charge per minute, consumers obtain the most transparent form of pricing possible. Simply look at the length of your audio recording, figure out your transcriber’s rates, and do the math. Some of the better transcription providers even feature a pricing calculator on their website to ensure total transparency. While it is true that freelance transcriptionists can offer slightly lower rates, these prices typically come at the expense of quality. Consumers are therefore recommended to consider what service they are paying for.
Not every transcription service provider is the same, and quality does vary significantly within the industry. Professional transcriptionists typically provide more accurate transcriptions and can deliver in a shorter time. Freelance transcriptionists on the other hand may offer slightly lower rates in some instances. These lower prices often come at the expense of overall quality however. Consumers should therefore carefully consider what service they are trying to obtain, and in doubt opt for the professional transcriptionist.