What are some of the variables that could affect the transcription process and costs, and why should this information be identified to the transcription company when looking forĀ an estimate?

  • Subject matter: general, technical, etc?
  • Accents/dialects, speech patterns?
  • Fast or slow talkers?
  • Quality of recording equipment?
  • Identifying speakers in group setting?
  • Do you want false starts edited out?
  • Umms & ahs? Stutters? Edited out?
  • Number of speakers interacting?
  • Recording environments, e.g. ambient noise?
  • Finished formats – standard or custom?
  • Purpose of the transcript – for notes (rough draft) or publishing (heavy editing)?

Why are these variations important?
Because each of these factors can make a difference in what you will eventually pay for your transcript and should affect a truly valid estimate.

How do these types of variables translate into predictable project costs?
With great difficulty! For example, most established services charge an hourly transcription rate for the type of work listed above.

The hourly transcription rate charged may be the same, but the final cost could vary substantially.

It should be noted that most of your established, professional firms will contact you immediately if they discover anything in the audio that could adversely affect the projected estimate of the total cost.