When we begin looking for a transcription app we may be tempted to assume that they are all completely automated. The truth, however, is that transcription service apps are all simply a mobile-based way to interface with a range of transcription services. Some will be automated. Others will be human based.
Why we turn to apps
In the digital age, it would be easy to turn to apps to solve all of our transcription needs. After all, we turn to a mobile app every time we need directions, want to look up the price of a book or simply want to order in some fast food. When it comes to transcription service apps, there are certainly a plethora on the market from which to choose. However, this is not a decision to be made arbitrarily.
Before choosing an app we must first discover whether it is tailored to our specific needs. For many, this may start with finding out whether the app is a digital intermediary with a human service or a fully automated application that uses Automated Speech Recognition (ASR).
Human transcription vs ASR - What’s the difference really?
The main difference between human transcription and ASR is the rate of accuracy — ASR is typically around 80% accurate in ideal circumstances (where the recording is good quality, has little background noise and only has one clear voice speaking at a time).
In contrast to this, professional human transcribers deliver 99% accuracy guarantees. Human transcribers can also change the level of detail in your transcription, whether you’re looking for verbatim or detailed notes transcripts.
The reason some favour ASR is for the price difference — ASR is much cheaper, and some services are even free. But, you lose out on quality and options.
Both human transcription and ASR can be useful services, depending on what you want from your transcript. When looking to interface with either, a transcription app is the most convenient way to get things done. This does limit your transcription company choices. But, it means you have access on the go.
Because of that, here is our list of the top 5 human based and software based transcription apps on the market in 2019.
Transcription Apps: Human-based services
If you decide that you’d prefer the human touch here are your go-to choices:
Rev is a human-based transcription service well known for their low pricing structure. They offer the Rev Voice Recorder, a free app users can use to record any audio straight onto their phone. These recordings can then be sent straight to Rev to be accurately transcribed, from the price of $1 USD (around 77p) per minute. The app provides basic editing and review features, and they guarantee that transcriptions under half an hour in length will be turned around in less than 12 hours. When you first sign up on the app, you get $10 USD worth of transcriptions for free.
GoTranscript’s app allows you to record high-quality voice recordings that can easily be sent to them through the app to be transcribed. They offer a variety of transcription services, with audio transcript prices starting from $0.72 USD (about 55p) per minute. They also offer a free trial, a customer loyalty program and student discount, making them a more affordable service.
TranscribeMe offers an app that provides both human and ASR transcriptions. Similarly to Rev, TranscribeMe allows you to record high-quality audio within the app. The recording can then be transcribed into an unedited first draft of text, which comes at a baseline price of $0.79 USD (around 60p) per minute. There are extras available to add on such as a professional verbatim transcript, timestamps and faster turnaround times.
Transcription Apps: ASR-based services
For those looking for low-cost solutions, ASR delivers app-based interfaces as well. Here are what we consider the top contenders on the market at the moment.
Otter is a transcription service well known for their accurate real-time transcriptions. They are also one of the few services on the market using ASR that also has cross conversation speaker identification.
You can record straight onto the app or import recordings in order to get them transcribed. They offer a basic plan to users, meaning free users have a limit of 600 minutes of transcription per month but are still able to use most of the features the service offers. This means you can easily try the service before deciding to become a premium member.
Trint is an all-in-one transcription, editing and collaboration platform that offers a range of great tools at a very reasonable price. What’s more, it offers a free trial for your first 30 minutes of audio and can transcribe files in just a few minutes rather than several days.
It also offers a mobile app for editing and uploading on the move, as well as the ability to email your finished transcriptions to colleagues, clients or pretty much anyone else with a click. All-in-all, it’s an extremely handy and cost-effective app.
Temi prides itself on its ability to offer “speech to text transcription in 5 minutes”. This gives it one of the fastest turnarounds on the market, even by ASR-based service standards. It also has a generous free trial, allowing you to transcribe your first four uploads without charge. It has one of the lowest costs-per minute out there at just 10 US cents (8p) per minute. Temi also makes it fast and easy to upload files, although it does not have the wealth of features boasted by Trint. For those who prize speed, cost and ease of use above all, Temi is a great option.
What should you look for in a transcription service app?
So, what features should we look for in a transcription service app? Whether it employs human transcribers or ASR, we all have a baseline of expectations.
Pretty much all of us will be looking for speed, affordability and accuracy. But, depending on your reason for seeking a transcript, how these factors impact your decision will different.
Whichever service and app you choose to go with, the app should have an easy and clean user interface that makes it easy to upload recordings straight from your phone and order transcriptions. Most apps on the market do this, and some apps allow you to edit recordings and the transcripts you receive in-app as well.
Still not sure what app is best for you?
If you still don’t know which app will provide the kind of transcript you need, many of the services mentioned above offer free trials, such as GoTranscript, Rev, Otter and Trint. It might be a matter of implementing a method of trial and error by downloading the apps and creating an account. You can download each app and sign up for an account for free, with no obligation to pay for any transcriptions. By trying them out and getting familiar with the app interface, it will be easier to find the right app for you.
Trying them out will help you ascertain exactly what you want from a transcription service, whether that’s speed, accuracy or low costs. It’s important that you find one that suits all of your transcription needs.
You have been learning about the best transcription apps in 2019. If you have more questions about transcription service rates, ASR or industry-specific concerns (including medical transcripts, legal transcripts and transcripts for market research firms), we have written the Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services just for you!