Photo: Rozette RagoThe human transcribers at GoTranscript returned nearly 100% accurate transcriptions in a couple of days and didn’t balk at recordings featuring heavy accents. If you need transcripts that come ready for publication, or a transcript of an audio file featuring speakers with accents, GoTranscript is the best choice.
Services that employ human transcriptionists take days to return transcripts, in contrast to minutes for AI-based services like Temi, and they are significantly more expensive. But the price is worth paying if you don’t want to spend time cleaning up transcripts yourself. GoTranscript (human) 97% 85% 97% 99% Scribie (human) 89% 90% 98% n/a Rev (human) 87% 90% 96% 78% Temi (AI) 73% 71% 73% 42% GoTranscript got high marks on a range of scripts and audio files, and in many cases produced the most easily readable transcripts from human transcriptionists.
When transcribing our control script, GoTranscript produced the fewest errors of any service we tried ((⇨ guide to audio transcripts)). The few errors included typing “part of” instead of “in part,” and writing “$1,440” instead of “$1,414.” On the pangram section, which featured phrases that contained all of the letters in the English language, GoTranscript was perfect.
Two words were replaced with “unintelligible,” a common tactic we saw from human transcriptionists to avoid inserting incorrect words; this approach makes the problem areas especially easy to spot so that you can jump in and edit the transcript yourself. GoTranscript is the only service we tried that accurately transcribed a recording of someone with a non-American accent.
But we found two spots where words had been replaced with “inaudible” or “unintelligible.” GoTranscript did get proper nouns like Mulholland Drive and Bala Cynwyd correct, but the service inserted “unintelligible” labels four times for other place names in the last section, which affected its accuracy score considerably. GoTranscript is the only service we tried that was able to accurately transcribe a recording of someone with a non-American accent.
Scribie didn’t return a transcript to us at all, stating that the file was too difficult. GoTranscript (human) $0. 90 Scribie (human) $0. 80 Rev (human) $1. 25 Temi (AI) $0. 25 The additional accuracy of having a person transcribe your recording comes at a much higher price. GoTranscript is the second-least-expensive real-people service we tested: 90¢ per minute for the first 180 minutes of recordings you upload, with lifetime discounts if you upload more.
However, there’s no way around paying more if you want the accuracy of human transcription. Multiple services offer trial credits or coupon codes, and GoTranscript gives you $10 of free credit to start. GoTranscript (human) 1 day 22 hours 1 day 22 hours 1 day 22 hours 1 day 17 hours Scribie (human) 3 days 8 hours 2 days 9 hours 3 days 8 hours n/a Rev (human) 8 minutes 2 hours 35 minutes 2 hours Temi (AI) 4 minutes 2 minutes 2 minutes 5 minutes Otter (AI) Under a minute Under a minute Under a minute Under a minute Trint (AI) Under a minute Under a minute Under a minute Under a minute Accurate transcriptions, done by real people, take time.
If you’re on deadline and you need highly accurate transcripts quickly, you need to either pay GoTranscript the premium for rush processing or go with one of its competitors. To get the cheapest price, we selected the slowest possible turnaround time: five days. You can choose turnaround times as fast as six to 12 hours for a fee.
Scribie took two to three days to return our transcriptions, but Rev easily beat GoTranscript on turnaround time by giving us our files within hours. All of the AI-based services were even faster. But we think it’s worthwhile to wait the several days and get a more accurate transcript if you have the time.
GoTranscript’s checkout screen is clear about how each add-on affects your total cost - (⇨ what is transcription?). transcribe files. Screenshot: Signe BrewsterGoTranscript’s editor isn’t the best of the services we tested, but because its transcripts have so few errors, you can expect to spend less time using it than you would with other services. Although it lacks features that competitor Rev includes, such as highlighting and read-along options (similar to how a karaoke machine highlights the words as you go), it makes up for that with its simplicity and ease of use.
In our tests, the transcriber accurately identified different speakers, and each time the speaker changed, a new paragraph began and the text was clearly marked with a time stamp (an option we paid for). The other human-transcription services also did this accurately, while none of the AI-based services were able to.
You can also select options such as time stamping or captions. It’s clear when extra charges are involved, and the form includes a spot to submit speaker names or special terms so that you can help the transcriber improve their work. GoTranscript makes a few promises related to security. The company says it uses 2,048-bit SSL encryption to transfer and store data, which we consider secure enough (transcribe files).
Audio files are also chopped into pieces five to 10 minutes long and spread among different transcriptionists so that no one person hears the entirety of a recording. After the transcription is complete, GoTranscript deletes the recording from its system, though you can still access the transcription on its server.
If you’re thinking about using a human-based service like GoTranscript, it’s worth considering the low pay that transcriptionists generally receive. GoTranscript’s competitor Rev has been in the news recently for its low wages, but GoTranscript’s Glassdoor page is also full of complaints about low pay. You should also consider whether the recordings you are submitting could be disturbing, and whether you’d be subjecting a person to an unexpectedly traumatic experience at work..
Many of us have had to transcribe a recording of some type at one point or another. Maybe you wanted a quote from an important interview. Perhaps you make personal voice memos and then write them all down later. Or you may just want to generate a searchable text from a long speech.
That's where transcription services can be of assistance. The process is simple; just upload a file, select your options, and add a payment method. Wait a bit, and the best of them generate very usable transcripts without the headache. There are a couple of things to consider before choosing a transcription service, however.
Accuracy is the most important concern of all, and choosing the wrong type of service at the outset might leave you with a significant amount of editing to do. Cost is also an important factor. Although most transcriptions services charge on a per-minute basis, prices vary, and some services offer bulk plans at better values.
The cheapest (and probably most accurate) way to transcribe an audio or video file is to do it yourself. In other words, you listen to the audio file and type or dictate what you hear ((⇨ what is transcription?)). You can do this with any number of programs, but it's often cumbersome to synchronize media playback to your typing speed.
Between laboring over every word, setting up the correct formatting, and reviewing the finished product, it's enough to steer most people towards a dedicated service (transcription online). Automatic transcription services are the next step up from the manual approach. For this method, you upload files to a program that processes the audio quickly using automatic speech recognition (ASR) and spits back out a transcript.
The downside of automatic services is that they are far less accurate than other methods. Otter, Trint, Temi, and Scribie all offer automated transcription services—Scribie also offers a human-based service. With higher-tier transcription services, a trained transcriptionist (often more than one) completes the work on your file. These services are highly accurate, but they're also pricier and typically require a longer turnaround time.
Many transcription services charge on a per-minute basis. For example, a 30-minute transcription at $1 per minute would cost $30. Costs can quickly add up, and some services bill extra fees for a faster turnaround, for verbatim files (including all the "ums" and "ahs"), or if the audio is of poor quality.