An app that transcribes your audio recording within a day
February 15, 2012 by Terence LEE
However, the process of convert audio to text can be time-consuming and repetitive, which is why many firms outsource their transcription work.
While many firms offer transcription services, TranscribeMe!, a New Zealand-based startup, wants to streamline the process even further.
It’s launching a smartphone app (currently in beta) that allows you to record audio and send it right away to a crowd of transcribers. The company promises a turnaround time of less than 24 hours.
The app is the brainchild of CEO Alexei Dunayev, who turned his idea into a prototype at Startup Weekend Auckland and won the event. Now, he will be attending DEMO Asia, sponsored fully by Microsoft BizSpark as part of the corporation’s Asia-Pacific scholarship program.
TranscribeMe! is certainly not the first dictation app out on the market, but it’s adopting a different approach. Apps like Dragon Dictation provide instant transcription using voice recognition software, although it’s nowhere near as accurate as manual transcription by a professional.
The TranscribeMe! app, on the other hand, sends the audio file through a server where it is processed to improve audio quality, and then crowdsources the transcription to a global network of workers. While the process takes much longer, it’s also much more accurate.
However, TranscribeMe! appears to differ from these two apps in one fundamental way: The use of crowdsourcing. While d2U Transcriber and SpeakWrite have their own in-house team to work on the audio files, TranscribeMe! utilizes remote workers from all around the world.
The advantage of this approach is that the company will be able to service a global clientele and adapt to different accents, nuances, and professional settings. This beats having an American transcriber trying to translate the spoken English of a heavily-accented Indian. Clients that require confidentiality will be matched with specialized workers who have signed an NDA.
One unanswered question about the app is its price point. But going by the cost and manpower needed to do human transcriptions, my guess is that it would be priced around the same level as its competitors, putting it solely in the reach of lawyers, doctors and corporate executives who have the means to spend on such pricey services.
In any case, we’ll be seeing more of Alexei and TranscribeMe! at DEMO Asia in end February. Stay tuned for more updates.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE