Affordable Human Transcription Service Recommendations, Please
April 27, 2012 7:19 AM   Subscribe

What is the best transcription service (humans, not software) for use by a small business person?

I write complex technical reports, and I've been considering using a transcription service to help me get them completed more quickly. Similar questions have been asked on AskMeFi, but I don't feel like the answers were very thorough. I'd like to use a service where I call in and speak my reports (or send an mp3). I'm not interested in dictation software like Dragon. I'm talking a LIVE PERSON who can hear and respond to me saying things like, "No, scratch that last part about her mother" or similar. I see several online, but I'd love to hear some real accounts of how good each of these services are for the price.
posted by abbyladybug to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is going to sound like self-promotion, but I work as a freelance transcriptionist and I've done this kind of thing for clients (usually through .mp3, but sometimes live). I started out as a transcriptionist at a research consortium, made some contacts, and started doing it as work on the side. So at least a couple professionals I know hire freelancers for this sort of thing. I believe their reasoning was that they wanted to deal consistently with one individual who would be familiar with the jargon and formatting in their field. (So if you're looking for a freelancer, feel free to shoot me a message!)
posted by stoneandstar at 10:38 AM on April 27, 2012

I'm a transcriber too, so feel free to send me a message if you want to compare prices (all my details are on my website and I've got an ad up on that Jobs page we have here).
posted by LyzzyBee at 11:45 AM on April 27, 2012

Mod note: Folks, if you work for a transcription service, please put the link in your profile and explain in this thread why it serves the OPs needs. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:54 AM on April 30, 2012

Hi Abbyladybug,

I work for a transcription service that offers this service (website link is on my profile). I have a couple of regular clients, one of which occasionally dictates letters and complex reports to me over the telephone or Skype.
Dictating to a transcriptionist in real time, provides the advantage of being able to clarify exactly what you want to say as well as the added bonus of the transcriptionist being able to ask you to repeat or provide spellings for any technical terms or brand names you may use. This means that you will receive a high level of accuracy.
What you will have to bear in mind, is that if you wish to dictate over the phone you will have to pre-arrange a time that is good for both you and the typist. The cost may also be slightly higher than general transcription, because the turnaround time is going to be so fast.
The company I work for will match you with a regular secretary and if possible, someone who has experience in your industry. They also provide the option of phoning a number that will record your dictations and convert them into mp3.
I hope this helps.
Feel free to message me if you have any further questions.
posted by Sophie0 at 11:48 AM on April 30, 2012

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