The Hidden Truths of Voice Recognition Software

  • Q: Why the Audio Transcription Center cannot use Voice Recognition Software?
    • A: Because Voice Recognition Software is not yet capable of producing to our strict standards.
  • Q: What strict standards?
    • A: Let us count the ways:
      • VRS has difficulty in recognizing, simultaneously or not, two or more voices. Of course, two or more voices are intrinsic to oral histories.
      • VRS has difficulty with accents.
      • VRS has difficulty in dealing with less than broadcast quality sound.
      • VRS has difficulty with overlapping dialogue, idioms, collaquialisms, and especially ambient sound.
      • VRS – Formatting? Fuggedaboutit!
      • VRS developer IMB reached a 94.5% accuracy milestone which they are very proud of in its evaluation by “using the SWITCHBOARD corpus, a collection of telephone conversations that’s been used for decades.” “SWITCHBOARD is not the industry standard for measuring human purity, however, which makes breakthroughs harder to achieve.”
      • Finally, an important factor of VRS accuracy is the need for “training” the software to recognize the speech patterns and idiosyncrasies of the speakers. Imagine asking your narrators train the software that will be transcribing the session before each of your interviews. Oy!

BUT IT AIN’T ALL BAD

There are many projects where a very rough transcript is used as a quick reference source, and an actual verbatim transcript isn’t even required. In those cases, perfect transcripts are not needed, and VRS fits the bill… As well as lowers your initial budget.

In summary, if you don’t need a near-perfect transcript, VRS is a wonderful tool at a reduced cost. If you’re looking for an accurate transcript that is also 100% guaranteed, then the only option is to call your transcription vendor of choice. You might want to try us. Call us at (617) 423-2151, or click on the GET A QUOTE link in red.

 

7 Digital Recording Devices for Oral History Interviews

7 Digital Recording Devices for Oral History Interviews

In theory, research interviews could be recorded with any device — a phone, a laptop, or even a camcorder. But if you want to save big in the long run, it’s better to invest in a good digital voice recorder. These devices are specifically designed for recording long interviews at high quality, which makes the subsequent transcription process faster and more cost-effective.

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5 Love Stories That Started in the Most Unexpected Ways

Every year, it becomes more and more common to find one’s significant other online, using a dating website or app. So how did single people find their match before the World Wide Web brought us all together? As the song says, “Love comes from the most unexpected places,” and to prove it, five couples tell StoryCorps how their love stories started:

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How to Preserve Your Family’s Oral History

How to preserve your family's oral history - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Make all family events unforgettable by interviewing your relatives while they’re all together––you’ll hear amazing stories and gather surprising information that you did not know about them.
Just don’t get caught up in the trap of trying to make it perfect, or you’ll never start. Here are 2 easy ways to preserve your relative’s oral history:

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StoryCorps – Eat, Drink, Be Merry, and Record?

Eat drink be merry and record - Audio Transcription Center Blog

Holidays offer a perfect time for family to reminisce, and possibly to pass those rather embarrassing family stories around the holiday table along with helpings of stuffing and mashed potatoes.  This year though, make sure to grab a recording device (digital recorder, iPhone, video camera — there are so many options), ask questions you’ve always wondered about the answers to, and listen to the stories while you have the chance.

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