The Best Automated Transcription Service
Automated transcription services can vary widely in cost, accuracy rates, and turnaround times. So how do you know which one you should choose? There are a few key features to look for when selecting a machine-generated transcription provider, and it all depends on how you’re using your transcripts. Before diving into how to choose the best automated transcription service, we’ll cover what exactly automated transcription is and how it works.
What is Automated Transcription?
Automated transcription is the process of converting audio or video into text with Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. Customers who need transcripts of their audio or video files can upload them to a speech-to-text provider like Rev, and the provider’s ASR engine will process the file and produce a transcript in a matter of minutes. There are many different services offering machine-generated transcription, but not all are created equal. These services vary in cost, speed, convenience, and (most crucially) accuracy.
A transcript’s accuracy (or lack thereof) can be affected by a number of factors, including background noise, voice clarity, accents, annunciation, distance from the microphone, and the overall quality of the audio or video file. Like all technologies, speech recognition solutions are always improving and evolving.
How Does it Compare to Human Transcription?
For someone who needs access to transcripts quickly, such as a content creator, journalist, market researcher, or video producer, automated transcription can be a great choice.
Automated transcripts are effective tools for anyone looking to improve their media production or editing process. For video or podcast editors, automated transcripts are an affordable, efficient way to better navigate minutes or hours of recorded content.
Automated transcripts have much quicker turnaround times than human transcripts, making them useful for projects with looming deadlines. These services are also scalable — you’ll be able to to process more content in less time. If you have high volumes of audio or video you need transcribed, such as multiple long interviews, machine-generated transcription will allow you to transform that content into text quickly and affordably, so you can meet deadlines faster and be more productive without the stress or pain (or boredom) of transcribing the files yourself.
If you’re including a transcript with a final deliverable for a stakeholder or using transcripts for direct quotes, accuracy is a necessity — and leveraging a speech-to-text provider like Rev will ensure that accuracy. Thanks to our network of more than 160,000 transcription professionals, Rev transcripts are 99 percent accurate. Human transcription services cost marginally more and take longer to complete, but they’ll require less spot checking on your end.
For industries where there is a need to uphold compliance rules and regulations, human transcription is the ideal option. It can also be worth the extra cost if your business has large files with multiple speakers, a variety of background noises, or speakers with stronger accents. Human transcription is used heavily in the legal, medical, and academic industries. Media and entertainment companies also regularly leverage human transcription to caption and subtitle movies and video content.
Which Automated Transcription Service is Best?
Cost, accuracy, and turnaround time are important factors to consider when choosing a transcription service. For machine-generated transcription, Word Error Rate (WER) will give you a good idea of the accuracy of the transcripts. WER is one of the metrics used to determine the performance of a speech recognition system, calculated by the number of errors (inserts + substitutions + deletions) divided by the number of total words processed. Look for a low WER score — this indicates that a transcript closely matches the audio. The lower the WER, the more accurate the transcript.
Rev.ai, our world-class ASR engine, is the most accurate speech recognition system on the market. With lower WER rates than major competitors like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Speechmatics, Rev.ai powers our automated transcription service and will provide customers with the best machine-generated transcript they can find.
Before ordering transcription services, first determine your needs and the most important factors to you. If affordability, speed, and accuracy are what you’re after, then check out Rev’s transcription options today.