There is a cost to low-cost transcription.
When a company provides a service for such little money and expects to make a profit, it’s unlikely that it will compensate its transcribers well. For users, this may be a good and economical service, but for people who transcribe for a living, it is less ideal.
- Service with a 99 percent accuracy rate
- Very cheap cost
- Simple to use
- A bad reputation among employees
- Payment by credit card
Before we get into TranscribeMe, let’s go through how we evaluate these kinds of services.
In this series, we’ll evaluate at the features, pricing alternatives, competitiveness, and overall value of each transcription service.
These aren’t hands-on reviews, though, because judging a service based on a single performance would be subjective. Because this is a human-based approach, the quality of every transcription is entirely dependent on the work of one or a few people on a given day.
All of these businesses strive to deliver a high level of service, but it is up to their customers to evaluate whether the transcription meets their strict requirements.
We also take into account how the company is considered not only by its customers, but also by its staff, who will be responsible for providing the service. Employees who are happy are more likely to accomplish better work or go the additional mile than those who are unhappy.
The company touts this service as simple to use, accurate, and cost-effective.
Is it an accurate representation of TranscribeMe, or does the user experience differ slightly?
TranscribeMe’s ‘First Draft’ tier is one of the most affordable human transcription services available, starting at $0.79 per minute. You should be able to acquire a transcription that is 98 percent accurate on average for that money, and it should be delivered the next business day or within three days, at the very least.
TranscribeMe’s Standard service costs $1.25 per minute for customers who desire a better service.
The additional fee ensures 99 percent accuracy and delivery within 1-3 business days.
Speaker ID and timestamps can be added to both First Draft and Standard for an additional fee.
The top tier service, as the name implies, transcribes everything stated, including Speaker ID and timestamps, and the work is completed in 2–5 working days for $2 per minute.
In addition to the standard transcription service, HIPAA, Medical, and Legally accurate transcription alternatives are available for individuals who want to be quoted, and Enterprise customers can get special discounts.
TranscribeMe also provides AI-based translation in a variety of regularly used languages in addition to transcription.
What tier of service is acceptable and how accurate the transcriber truly is will determine the value of this item for any customer.
How does it work?
It’s difficult to find something to criticise here. The service of TranscribeMe is that it is simple to use. It’s a basic web-based interface that lets you upload audio files for processing, give the service a URL, or point it to Dropbox.
Wav, mp3, mp4, ogg, aiff, aif, m4a, mov, wma, avi, flv, 3gp, 3gpp, 3ga, amr, caf, m4v, and mxf are among the supported formats. Physical media of any kind is not accepted.
For those on the go, there’s a mobile app for both Apple and Android that can capture audio and send it straight to transcription.
For individuals who want to automate the processing of recordings from within an existing software infrastructure, TranscribeMe also provides an API.
The customer is notified when the transcription is complete, and they may subsequently download the completed work in Word, PDF, NVivo, or HTML file formats through the TranscribeMe portal.
One noteworthy feature of this service is that it only accepts credit cards for payment, which may be a deterrent to individuals who want to use it from outside the United States. Alternatively, lower-level employees won’t be able to use a company card.
Customers who use the service frequently can request invoice payment as an alternative to credit cards.
The final word
The cost of the service is something that customers will like about TranscribeMe. It is incredibly inexpensive if you can work at the First Draft level of transcription. Even the Standard level service isn’t too pricey if that tier turns out not to be insufficiently accurate.
Where this solution falls short is the same issue we encountered with Rev (opens in new tab), namely how it regards and pays those who perform the work.
The TranscribeMe website claims that it pays between $15 and $22 per hour of audio transcription. That sounds great until you realise that, regardless of your abilities, you won’t be able to transcribe an hour of audio in an hour.
A highly experienced transcriber may be able to complete the task in two hours, while those with less experience may take four to six hours. Being paid an average of $5 per hour, or even less, now appears to be a lot less appealing offer. And those figures are based on good audio quality; decoding terrible audio can take significantly longer.
The highest monthly profits of $2,200 appear to be completed on completing 100 hours of transcription at the top pay band, or about five hours every business day.
In short, becoming a transcriber isn’t going to make you rich, and ex-employees’ negative feedback on Trust Pilot and elsewhere is significant.
Another difficulty, according to former transcribers, is that the work frequently dries up, creating unreliability in addition to the low pay.
With TranscribeMe, the customer receives a good deal, probably better than they deserve, in terms of transcription services.