Interview transcription services provide transcription of interviews…for money.
Captain Obvious over here, saying hi.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at ways you can save time and money and pay less for interview transcription services.
You need interview transcription services if you are a:
- PhD Candidate/Doctoral Student
- College/School Student
- Research Analyst
- Media Company
- YouTube Channel
- Radio Show
- Newspaper/TV News Channel
Can You Do It Yourself?
First things first, before we buy any service, whether online or your local yellow pages, you’d ask if you can do it yourself.
Can you transcribe interviews yourself? Absolutely yes, you can.
Do You Need Special Equipment?
Yes and no. A couple of things that help are:
- A computer with decent performance
- A USB keyboard (Better than a laptop’s)
- Word Processing Software
- Transcription Playback Software
And transcription hardware like a foot pedal, and good quality headphones. And a lot of spare time.
Even for expert interview transcription services providers, it takes a lot of time. Which is one of the reasons why a lot of our clients are grateful and happy for the work that we do for them, and the time and money that we save for them.
If you’re a fast typist, and fairly quick with using a computer and doing internet research, and have loads of free time on hand, you probably don’t need interview transcription services.
You can expect to spend anywhere between 8-10 hours on transcribing about 40-60 minutes of audio/video.
Interview transcription services have teams of experienced people using transcription hardware and software to cut that time by a third.
Transcription companies also employ quality analysts who ensure accuracy of the transcribed text. Which helps, especially if you want to keep your transcripts as accurate records or publish on your website to help other people, and in return get their gratitude and a nice SEO boost for your website.
How to Save Money with Interview Transcription Services
If you record interviews on a regular basis and have a full time job, you won’t have time to transcribe them yourself, period.
On the surface it sounds perfect. You record your audio and run it through a software, and voila! Ready-made transcript.
Not so straightforward.
You can use voice recognition software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking etc. But that’s AI, and no matter how much you train the software, unless it’s only you on the recording, speaking really slow in a quiet room, it will mess up the transcription. If there is even the slightest ambient or background noise, forget about it. You will have to spend a lot of time cleaning it up, which oftentimes can be longer than if you were to type the whole thing yourself! Because you will spend time deleting the mess and retyping most of it.
Voice recognition artificial intelligence cannot replace human intelligence……yet. So, while it may be useful for single speaker US accent dictation recordings, it’s useless for multiple speakers, international accents and recordings with ambient, background noise or any music in the background.
Which is why interview transcription services have to employ human transcribers, and cannot rely on software.
2. Choose the Right Interview Environment
It always helps to record interviews in a quiet place, preferably not in a coffee shop or a public park with background and ambient noise. Choose a quiet space, preferably a space quiet enough to read a book by yourself. There are a couple of reasons for that.
First off, the interview transcription services team may be thrown off context of the interview because the participant or the interviewer are barely audible.
Second, if you plan to use a voice recognition software, and there’s even the slightest background noise in the recording, it’s going to make a massive mess. Trust us, we’ve tried everything. This post is a result of knowledge gained over years of dedication to saving time and money.
It helps to plan ahead for most things in life. And the same is true when you’re dealing with interview transcription services as well. It helps to give the transcription company a heads up, so they can schedule you in. And if you stick to that schedule and deliver decent quality interviews, there should be no reason why you shouldn’t get your transcripts back in the needed time.
Planning ahead also means how many interviews you plan on recording, and what the approximate duration will be.
4. Avoid Interviewing Multiple Speakers
If interviewing multiple speakers is absolutely necessary and can’t be helped, make sure all participants are clearly audible in your audio recording.
One way to do that is to have a good quality digital recorder, as you’ll see in the next section. And have the microphone placed in the center, if what you have is a round table discussion. It’s also a good idea to ask all participants to speak louder, slower and enunciate clearly.
These small tweaks or “hacks” can help you save quite a lot of money on interview transcription services, because transcribers or companies often charge twice the money for audio files with multiple speakers who are hard to discern inaudible.
5. Get a Voice Recording App for your Smartphone
If you record interviews often, and feel like you could be saving money on interview transcription services, a voice recording app can help immensely. As we mentioned in the previous section, transcribers will charge you extra if your recording quality is bad. It just creates more work because the transcriber or QA has to rewind and forward multiple times, adding to the overall time, affecting the overall accuracy of your transcripts. Furthermore, you may have to spend time proofreading the file once yourself.
To avoid doing that, just head over to your smartphone’s app store and get a recording app. Luckily analog cassette tape recorders are a thing of the past, blown away by modern smartphones and great recording apps.
There are tons of free ones available, and paid ones with added functionality. We’ve published posts with a list of best audio recording apps for either iOS or Android. Click the links below that apply to you:
Best Audio Recording Apps for iPhones and iPads
Best Audio Recording Apps for Android
Bonus Tip: Invest in a Good Quality Digital Recorder
Some of you may be thinking “overkill” but hear us out.
No matter how good smartphones become, their microphones are tiny because of the demand from phone designers to squeeze into thinner chassis every year. And often times, even with the best apps, the hardware is just not up to the task.
If you record interviews regularly, and require interview transcription services on a consistent basis. And you like to keep your recorder and phone separate, perhaps investing in a digital recorder, purpose built for recording crystal clear audio quality, may be prudent.
Journalists and professional podcasters buy digital recorders and high quality microphones that pick up everything they’re pointed at. Take a look at this digital recorder with two massive microphones at the top:
Tascam DR-05: $79 on Amazon
Now that may look like an expensive piece of kit, but it’s really not. It costs about $80. The high end models can run you up to $200. But you don’t need to buy professional grade. This little upfront investment can help you save 100s to even 1000s of dollars in the long run, like I said, especially if you record interviews and require interview transcription services on a consistent basis.
How can We Help You?
Interview transcription is done for the purpose of documenting and having an electronic backup of your interviews. Especially when you’re doing research, it can help you immensely when you need to sift through the transcript to get to where you want to, or run them through qualitative data analysis software like Atlas.ti or Nvivo or Dedoose. A well formatted, accurate transcript is invaluable to a researcher.
Furthermore, it’s much easier to type Ctrl+F in a document than rewind and forward through a recording. The best part is you don’t have to hear your own voice in a recording! Studies have shown that nobody likes their own recorded voice. :)
Our specialty is academic and interview transcription services, honed over the last two decades, with our Quality Analysts totaling almost 50 years of combined experience. Our team members also have degrees in various different fields which include medicine, engineering, management, life sciences, marketing etc.
Which is why we don’t shy away from the challenge of transcription or the type of interview. We tackle the following on a daily basis:
- Student Dissertation, Thesis, Doctoral Research Interviews
- Marketing Surveys & Research Interviews
- One-on-One Interviews or Round Table Discussion with Multiple Speakers
- Legal Dissertations & Statements
- Medical Notes & Dictations
- Focus Group Research Interviews
- Conferences and Seminars.
- Group Debates & Press Briefings
- Earnings Reports and Conference Calls
- Psychological Analysis and Research Recordings
No Need to Convert Your Audio/Video File
We’re not limited by file types. So, whichever format your audio or video is in, we’ll handle it. Even if it’s a format we can’t work with, we’ll convert it. If you want the transcript back in DOC or PDF or any other format, no problem!
We’ve taken care of everything and that shows in our reviews:
Read our Reviews