A while back I detailed how I was recording and transcribing interviews using RecordiaPro and Mechanical Turk and it turned out to be one of my most popular posts. It is still searched on quite a bit as transcribing audio files is a problem that many people are looking to solve. Speechpad may change the way I do things.
Speechpad is a new service I am trying out that I came across on the Mixergy site, another great resource for startups. The Speechpad website is straight forward and simple. As you can see from the image I captured off their website above, they offer three different services; uploading a file, recording a call, and phoning in a note. Here are my thoughts on these services:
- Upload an audio file – This is what I am trying first as I have a number of recorded interviews and am testing out one of them. I uploaded a 16MB MP3 file (about 35 min of interview) and despite my generally very fast connection it seemed to take quite a bit longer than I thought it would. In all it took about 15 minutes to upload. Once your file is uploaded they email you to determine pricing. In my case I received this message:
“Thank you for uploading your audio file. We would be happy to transcribe this audio file for you. Our rates are flexible. If you would like this file transcribed, please e-mail us with the details as to your budget, turnaround time, and any special formatting instructions. We look forward to hearing from you.”
I responded that I wanted basic transcription with no formatting and was comparing their service against Mechanical Turk who I thought could do it for less than $10, but with errors (minor errors were acceptable). They replied that they have a rate of $.35 per audio minute (if you promote/link back to their site) which is very competitive and much less complicated to work with than Mechanical Turk. Their normal rate with a quick turnaround and formatting ranged from $1.00 to $1.50 per minute of transcription which is also reasonable based on what you need.
- Record a call – I haven’t tried this one. In this case you enter your own phone number and the number you want them to call, then they make the connection and record the call. I probably won’t be using this service as I use FreeConferenceCall.com and am very happy with their ability to conduct and record a conference call for free with a downloadable MP3 at the end.
- Phone in a note – This is a very interesting service that allow you to call their number to record a dictation or meeting that they will then transcribe. I’m not sure I would use this one as I don’t take many audio notes, but could see where this would be good for industries that have a lot of dictation needs.
All in all, Speechpad looks like a really good site and resource for transcriptions. I’m not sure about their call or phone in service, but I am certainly planning on using their services for the next interview I conduct.