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Audio Transcription Services

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File Formats

We have yet to find a source of audio we can't transcribe. You can send us your work on CD, minicassettes, cassettes, European microcassettes, VHS, MiniDisc, and DVD. We also accept digital audio files from all brands of recorders including Olympus, Sony, Panasonic, Tascam, and Marantz. We can convert your files from nearly any format, including wav, mp3, real audio, dss, dvf, aiff, as well as digital video files.

We work primarily in Microsoft Word, but we can deliver many other word processing formats including text, rich text format, WordPerfect, or HTML. We can create your transcript as a PDF in addition to or instead of your word processing document. Whether you need your transcript ready for publication or ready for analysis in ATLAS.ti we can follow whatever formatting guidelines you have with regard to fonts, margins, page layout or time coding.

Transcription Styles

At Wordsworth we have found that our clients have many different transcription needs, depending upon the purpose of their project. For example, while it is important for some clients to have every word uttered -- or stuttered -- transcribed, for others that would only get in the way. If you already have specific transcription and formatting needs spelled out for your project, simply send them to us. However, if you have not thought about how you want your transcriptions formatted, take a look at our options below.

Most of our clients want one of three levels of detail in their transcripts: Exact verbatim, near verbatim or content only.

Verbatim Transcription. At this level of detail, we will transcribe everything that the speakers say. Repeated or unfinished words or sentences will be transcribed, as well as superfluous speech such as "um," "uh," "you know," and nonverbal sounds (laughter, sighing). Any pauses or interruptions will be included, as well as remarks (yeah, OK) by the interviewer that the interviewee does not respond to. Verbatim transcription is usually required only by researchers interested in speech patterns.

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription. Most of our clients are interested in some of the verbatim content, but not all of it. We can omit or include whichever details are of use to your project. Typically at this level we would include slang words, retain improper grammar, mark nonverbal content, and when useful for understanding indicate an unfinished word. However we would not transcribe every "um" or "uh" or include superfluous remarks from people other than the speaker. Intelligent verbatim transcription is used by our clients who require accurate recordings of their subjects, yet are not studying exact speech patterns.

Content Only Transcription. This level of detail is appropriate for any project where the content of the speech is the main priority. At this level of detail, anything irrelevant to the content will be ignored, including most non-verbal sounds, stuttering, incomplete or revised sentences, and superfluous speech by the speaker or others. In many cases we would also edit the text to remove incorrect grammar or slang words (editing yep into yes for example). Content-only transcription is often used by those publishing their transcript, such as in the case of a conference lecture or a Congressional hearing. If you are looking for a transcript of the content of the talk and are not interested in how exactly it was presented, this level is appropriate for your project.

Types of Recordings

Interviews. Many of our customers have interviews they need transcribed, perhaps for qualitative research or background for a magazine article. Transcribing interviews requires keen attention to detail, the ability to interpret a wide variety of accents, and a knack for gleaning words from context. At Wordsworth, we have all of these. We have transcribed interviews for Wired Magazine, Montefiore Medical Center, Northwestern University, and hundreds of other institutions and individuals.

Focus Groups. Focus groups require experience distinguishing voices and an ability to tease apart simultaneous speakers. At Wordsworth we have a great deal of experience producing high quality focus group transcripts. Our customers have included the CDC, UIC, and UC Berkeley, among many others.

Conferences. Between lectures, panel discussions and question and answer sections, conferences can produce a great deal of audio. We can transcribe that audio, whether for publication or internal use, and give you a written record to work with. Wordsworth has transcribed conferences for the JFK Center for the Performing Arts, Vermont Law School, and the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Association of Texas.

Broadcast/Webcast. Our customers in the media use Wordsworth to produce transcripts of their radio programs, television shows, online video, or podcasts. Customers include National Public Radio, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and Vermont Public Television. We are experienced with closed captioning work as well.

Oral History. Transcribing your oral history recordings is vital to preserving them for the future. We can transcribe oral history interviews or dictated memoirs in addition to typing journals, letters or diaries. Our customers have included the Irving Public Library and a great deal of individuals preserving their family history.

Affordable Rates

The cost of transcribing your audio can vary depending on the quality of recording, how quick your subjects speak, and the number of people speaking. For a one-on-one interview with average audio quality we almost never exceed a cost of $160 for each hour of audio, or $2.67 per minute, but we only charge you for the actual time your project takes. Focus groups can sometimes take longer depending on the number of participants, how well the group is facilitated, and whether the speakers must be individually identified. A focus group can cost up to $200 for transcription of an hour of audio, but often will be well below that.

We take extra time and care with our transcripts, and we're sure you will see that in the quality of our work. If you would like us to estimate the cost of a particular project, please contact us with the details of your audio transcription project. We are always happy to transcribe a sample of your audio so you can see for yourself the type of transcript you are paying for.

If you have not yet recorded your audio we suggest you read our recording tips to ensure the best and cheapest transcription.