Human transcribing services vs. automated speech recognition

Your guide to transcribing services and how to choose the best option for your transcribing needs.
August 28, 2020

Today's marketers are overwhelmed by the pressure to publish more and more content while growing their outreach and cutting costs. And with virtual events offering limitless audiences, capitalizing on all that content is near impossible. With huge demand and so much content to create, manual transcription takes up way too much time that you just don't have. 

With such a huge range of transcribing services available online, it can be overwhelming to know which to go for. Manual transcription has been the go-to for decades but huge advances in speech recognition software has revolutionized transcription workflows. It's a toss up between the machines and the humans. Understanding the difference will help you find the best transcribing service for your needs.


Transcription - recording - dictaphone



Winner: human transcribers

When it comes to accuracy, human transcribers outperform A.I. generated transcription, especially when transcribing specialized subjects like science, law, medicine and engineering.

To ensure the highest possible accuracy, manual transcribing services often include a review or proof-editing stage, a benefit that's not yet available with automated transcription.

Drawback: speed and cost

That high-level accuracy of a human transcribing service comes with a hefty price tag. Prices vary from $0.80 up to $5 a minute and with the average human manually transcribing at a rate of four minutes to every minute of audio, that cost can quickly spiral. 

If you're not put off by the price, then you may be by the delivery time. Depending on your budget, you could find yourself waiting up to a month to get your transcript. Of course faster services are available but when you've got urgent news to share, 24 hours just won't cut it.



Winner: ASRs

Automatic speech recognition (ASRs) software has revolutionized transcription. When we speak, our voices make tiny vibrations which are converted to digital signals and displayed as text. The turnaround is virtually instant and by far the cheapest option. Why? Because you don't need to pay the robots that are doing the transcribing. Google offers free transcription for up to 60 minutes worth of audio, while Amazon charges just $0.004 per transcript. No manual transcribing service can match that.

Drawback: onward workflows

So you've got the transcript but what do you do with it now? With ASRs like Google or Amazon, you're totally divorced from the actual raw recording, so exporting captions or subtitles to your video production software is not the seamless, smooth process you'd hope for.



Winner: Trint 

When it comes to improved productivity, Trint wins hands down. Trint taps into the power of A.I. to convert speech to text in a fraction of the time. In fact, we're so fast, we'll save you 75% of your time. 

But we don't just win at speed. Trint is more than just a transcribing service, it's a productivity platform. Teams can instantly share work and export transcripts to keep work moving through the production workflow. No more time wasted painstakingly going through long recordings to find the moments that matter. Find them instantly in the Trint Editor.

Our unique Trint Editor matches each word in the transcript to the corresponding part of speech in the recorded file, so you can listen to the audio as the transcript unfolds. Teams can now quickly search, edit and work on the same transcript, simultaneously. Plus, the Vocab Builder helps increase the accuracy of your transcripts by saving your custom words.

Drawback: well, there isn't one really.

Trint is fast. Real fast. It's pretty much instant if you're transcribing in real time. And while we admit no A.I. is completely perfect, Trint is pretty darn close. With clear audio and speech, Trint can get up to 99% accuracy. Plus, the collaborative workflows help you move your work forward on to the next stage or platform so you can make your content go further.


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