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5 CRITICAL QUESTIONS TO ASK, WHEN SELECTING A TRANSCRIPTION AND CAPTIONING VENDOR

by superuser on May 16, 2018

Selecting a transcription and captioning vendor is not as easy you think it may sound. It’s important to take certain elements and information into consideration when searching for a closed captioning and video/audio transcripts vendor.  As a customer you will need to identify, determine, and confirm what exactly it is you wish to gain from your vendor.  This will give you a deeper and better insight into which vendor service to go for. Remember all in all it’s about accuracy over prices.

As this process is performed using a specific technology and user interface we have combined 10 questions which we feel will guide you with your decision in choosing an appropriate vendor to suit your specified needs.

How accurate are your transcripts and captions?

The first question to ask is the accuracy rate of the vendor you are considering. Ultimately if transcripts and captions are incorrect they do not serve the complete purpose in which they were intended. Leading online video platform YouTube provide their own speech recognition captioning service named “automatic captions” which has a 60-70% accuracy rate, which means that 1 out of 3 words are wrong this is significantly lower than the standard Verbit has set which is 99% accuracy rate.

It’s also worth finding out whether or not vendors can still reach that accuracy level irrespective of volume limitations, accents, ,poor audio quality, background noise, and complex vocabulary, all of which make providing an accurate transcript all the more difficult.

Bare in mind within education providing content which is 99% accurate is highly important in regards to students with disabilities such has deafness, or hearing impairments.

Other accuracy aspects to take into consideration are, how accuracy effects SEO – this is specific where quotes have been taken out of text in order to rank higher in Google. Consistency – are your vendors consistent in maintaining accuracy despite the size or number of videos? And caption quality standards – do the processes comply with FCC, ADA, and the rehabilitation act requirements?

Will it recognise other accents

One of the main advantages of the worldwide web and modern technology is have access to information when and where needed. For online video transcripts it is important that the content can be read and understood by all users. Therefore, being able to pick up different accents is a viable aspect to take into consideration. At Verbit, one of our core values is to provide a unique experience for every customer. Therefore, the technology is trained to pick up different accents.

Does it pick up poor sound quality

In addition to being able to recognize different accents, being able to pick poor sound quality is also an important aspect to take into consideration.  The advances of Verbits technology means that there are little to no limitations in regards to volume and sound quality. For example, after or during a lecture or presentation where it may be difficult to hear amongst other students, or you may miss what has been said, the use of captioning and transcriptions gives students the chance to engage with the content via text, or alternatively go back and access the information later. This is particularly useful when students wish to use the content for revision purposes, or as a point of reference.

The way Verbit has been made means that it is able to recognize speech where humans would not necessarily be able to do so.

What is your turnaround?

In today’s day an age its safe to say that human beings lack patience. With almost everything being at our fingertips gone are the days of having to wait upto 5 working days for a result. Que the turnaround time...

How long does it take your vendor to transcribe a piece of audio? While most vendors propose a same day turn around, this can vary depending on the size and quality of the media file. Generally there are three main turnaround options, these are standard turn around, selective turnaround – where it can be flexible dependant on budget and other aspects; and extended turnaround – where you get to prolong the process. However, it is key to note here captioning companies are notorious for missing deadlines, so be sure to ask about their track record and policies for remedying late files

Price

Last but certainly not list is the price of your preferred vendor – what are they offering you and does it make sense? Sounds like common sense right? Well, you’d be surprised at the number of people who choose cost over accuracy resulting in poorly written transcripts and captions for a seemingly lower price.

Be absolutely clear on the pricing model, how and when you will be charged – when to expect invoices etc. Also, what are the perks the vendor is offering are there discounts? Special offers? How do the price ranges differ from competitors and also consider in terms of accuracy. In some cases prices can be competitive.

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