What is transcription?

Transcription is the process of turning spoken content into a written document. The process is widely used to keep a record of legal proceedings, reearch interviews, and other spoken exchanges. More recently, media companies have started transcribing videos to allow viewers to read along with the dialogue; and to garner higher positions in search engines.

What types of audio recordings can you transcribe?

Ubiqus On Demand can transcribe recorded audio in almost any format. We work mainly with digital files, but we can also transcribe cassette tapes, DVDs, or nearly any other physical recording. In some cases, we may have to convert your audio into a digital format before we transcribe it. This is why we highly recommend submitting digital files – they’ll save you time and money, and they can be turned around faster.

How do I submit audio files for transcription?

For digital files (MP3s, .wav files, etc.), simply register as a new client, then upload your audio file to our online transcription service platform.

If you have physical audio recordings like cassette tapes, you can send them with a submission form to our office:

Ubiqus On Demand
61 Broadway
Suite 1400
New York, NY 10006

Should I send you my original recordings?

We immediately make digital copies of the physical audio recordings that we receive. However, we recommend making a copy of your master tapes just in case the tapes are damaged on the way to our offices. If you are not able to make copies or do not want to, rest assured that we treat your masters with the greatest of care.

How can I get the best audio recording possible?

You can help us provide you with affordable, accurate transcripts by sending us clear audio recordings. Whether you request a human transcriptionist or machine transcription, the better the audio, the better the transcript.

Here are some tips for producing a top-quality audio recording:

  • Record your audio in a quiet place. Background music, silverware, street noise, air conditioners, and ice makers can make transcription more challenging.
  • Use an external microphone to capture voices more clearly.
  • If your audio contains multiple speakers, ask speakers to introduce themselves by name before speaking.

Why do you charge per minute to produce audio transcripts?

Charging a flat transcription rate for each recorded minute of audio minimizes the confusion of page counts, hours worked, and so forth. As a customer, you may not know how many pages your final transcript might be, or how long it might take our transcriptionists to create that transcript. However, you’ll almost always know exactly how long your audio or video file is.

How quickly will I receive my transcripts?

We offer standard (3-5 business days), rush (2 business days), next day, and same day service, all of which are priced very reasonably. With our large team of expert transcriptionists, we can typically meet almost any deadline without any problems at all. Completed transcripts are emailed to you as Microsoft Word documents.

The time needed to produce an automated transcript takes less time, but also depends on the length of the file, audio quality and the content (common phrases vs. slang, general terms vs. technical, etc.) Once the files are ready, you’ll be notified via email that you can log into your Ubiqus On Demand dashboard to download the final product.

What are time stamps and time codes?

Time stamps and time code are both used to easily link the content of your written transcript to the particular moments of your audio or video file. Time stamps are used for audio files; as each minute of the recording passes, the transcriptionist types that minute as its own line within the written transcript. The frequency of the time stamps is up to you – most of our clients have them added either at every minute or at every five minutes.

Time coding is used for video files; a sequence of numbers representing the hour, minute, second, and video frame (00:00:00:00) is superimposed on top of the original video. The transcriptionist then types this number sequence into your transcript at every minute, every thirty seconds, or in some cases, even every line. If you don’t work with video files, you likely won’t need to use time code. However, our friendly account executives are here to help in case you do.

How accurate is your transcription work?

We guarantee a 98% or higher rate of accuracy with good audio; typically, our accuracy is closer to 99+%. If your recording is in English, it will be transcribed by a resident of either the U.S. or Canada. For foreign language transcription, we’ll pair your project with a transcriptionist – either in the U.S. or the country where that language is spoken – that can best capture the meaning of what’s being said.

For automated transcription, the level of accuracy will depend on the quality of audio and the terms and phrases used. To check the level of accuracy, you may log into your Ubiqus On Demand dashboard and see the estimate based on the machine analyzing the first few minutes of your audio file.

How do I know you’ll keep my files confidential?

Ubiqus On Demand takes great measures to guarantee that your information will remain private. Our linguists are required to sign non-disclosure agreements when they start working for us, and we run background checks on translators. Ubiqus On Demand has also put in place several technical safeguards to protect your data from security breaches and other risks.