I’m very fortunate to love my job. As a freelance writer reporting on fashion, beauty and grooming, wellness, fitness, activism, and everything in between, I get to attend loads of insider events and talk to founders and entrepreneurs to hear how they got their start. I’m always privy to the latest launches in fashion, skincare and haircare and often get to try it out before it hits the market.
One thing I’m not crazy about, however, is the aftermath of an interview for a high profile brand, company, or entrepreneur. Conducting the research beforehand and actually sitting in on the interview are always extremely exciting, but going back and transcribing all that was said in a 15-75 minute conversation can be an exhaustion I never knew existed.
In the beginning of my career, I was not aware that there were apps that could record and transcribe conversations. For that reason, I would take a phone call and then record the conversation on my computer, or vice versa. From there, I’d spend upwards of 1-3 hours manually typing out each “um,” “er,” “so,” and “huh,” said by both parties. Like I said, exhaustion is an understatement.
Another writer friend put me on to an app, but, worried that things would get lost in the sauce, I continued typing until I had multiple interviews a week. Then, I simply could not fit manual transcription into my schedule. I finally succumbed to technology and invested a small monthly payment in an app that beautifully transcribes all of my interviews and have never looked back.
So writers, don’t make the same mistake I did and get into one of the apps below. They are guaranteed to save you time in your overall reporting and are crazy accurate that you won’t have to worry if they got all that was said. Plus, although most outlets have subscriptions with transcription services, if you freelance, it’s good to have them on deck as well. And yes, I know, you’re welcome.
If you only have one speaker audio to transcribe, you can get away with using automated speech recognition (ASR) that will provide 99% accuracy, and voice recognition (80% accuracy) as a less expensive alternative to the craft. For that, look no further than the British-based app, Take Note.
Here, automated speech recognition also gives you the option to get it verbatim or in summary with a great transcript of detailed notes. Not to mention, they have customer service 7 days a week if you ever need assistance. They can do audio and video files and even in-person live note-taking if you need that as well.
Most commonly used by freelance writers, Rev is great for folks who need to save coins. Rev allows you to use its services to record audio straight to your phone for free, and then you can drop in audios for $1.25 per minute transcriptions. Here, like many other services on the list, they allow your first 40 minutes to be free.
Transcriptions are guaranteed to be emailed over to you in less than 12 hours, although most of the time my 60 minute clips take less than 20 minutes.
Temi utilizes human transcription, ideal for those who want the highest of accuracy, delivered in 5 minutes — making this one of the fastest turnarounds on the market. They have a large free trial where your first 4 uploads, regardless of length, are free. Not to mention, it only charges 25 cents per minute. The best app for those that need something quick and cheap.
Photo via Brands