Where to Get Transcriptions

Brian Christiansen

July 6th, 2007

A number of our customers and podcast listeners ask us where we get our audio transcriptions done.

We are using CastingWords.

They produce transcriptions in plain text, Rich Text Format and HTML formats. They give you access to a handy RSS feed which allows you to download your file when its ready. They also notify you via email when the files are complete.

You may find it interesting that their company is built upon Amazon.com’s technologies. The prime tool they use is the Mechanical Turk.

We use their transcription service for just about anything we have an audio file of, from podcasts to recordings we make during field research. Converting them to text makes them easily searchable, both for people on the web looking to find good content, and for ourselves to find information from a field excursion. Since we use Macs in the office, we can take great advantage of Spotlight‘s ability to catalog within text documents (.txt, .html, .rtf, .doc) to find information inside hours and hours of information almost instantly. The transcriptions themselves become both our content and metadata for the audio files.

Are you using transcriptions to try to get a handle on your audio information? Have any tips to share?

5 Responses to “Where to Get Transcriptions”

  1. Michael J. Says:

    I’ve used Production Transcripts quite a bit.

    http://www.productiontranscripts.com/

    One thing I like is that they accept .dss files, the native format for Olympus voice recorders. So I can record my interview, download the file, and ftp it to them. They send back Word docs (and other formats I suppose).

    CastingWords looks like a more modern approach, and if they supported dss files that would be great.

  2. Ev Says:

    Mechanical Turk? Isn’t that where they pay 5 cents for half an hour of research?

  3. Aron Roberts Says:

    Another blog post on this topic, which – in combination with its comments – covers a fair number of audio transcription options:

    “Startup Watch: ‘castingWords.com (Podcast Transcriptions)”
    http://blogs.business2.com/business2blog/2005/12/startup_watch_c.html

  4. mark Says:

    hello, i’d like to recommend mt-stat inc. and their site of http://www.mt-stat.com they transcribe any kind of audio and only charge 75 cents per audio minute. they produce a file in MS-Word, rich text or whatever the client needs. They offer top accuracy and very fast turn-around-times.

  5. Riley Says:

    What is everyone’s thoughts on the public nature of Amazing Turk? Outsourcing transcribing via public release of audio files, etc.

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