There are a whole host of different transcription service providers available on the internet at the moment, including some large “disrupter” companies from Silicon Valley and other parts of the world. These companies take large amounts of transcription, auction it out to the lowest bidder and then return it.
In an overwhelming majority of cases the transcription is returned without any formatting at all.
This means that if you have a 25 minute recording of a research interview that you want transcribed, you can almost guarantee that the only detail you will get in the transcription from one of these transcription platform companies is the actual words spoken and not who spoke them and when. Furthermore the typing will be returned in block paragraph and without any separation between the speakers.
25 minutes of recording is going to take you about 30 minutes to go through and put into a format you can use.
With this in mind, and also considering that the prices some of the new companies are charging are not that different at all to the prices being charged by conventional transcription businesses like universitytranscriptions.co.uk, you may as well have sent your work off to us in the first place and not bothered uploading it onto one of the new platforms.
Here at University Transcriptions we format all work into an accepted layout from the outset, so if you are a university with a preformed opinion on the correct layout for an interview, you can provide us with that layout from the outset and we will put your recording straight into the format for you. Furthermore, if you are not satisfied with the layout, format or the content of the transcription work we will continue to work on it until you are. We recently tried out one of the large US transcription companies for a hard to hear focus group, but after 3 hours they returned our payment and the recording without any further comment or effort to do the work.
So much of transcription, particularly for academic research projects is all about accuracy, following dialects and knowing the various quirks of different regional variations. To use an international transcription business to transcribe a discussion between a Glaswegian and a Scouser is not going to be very cost effective at all!