by Sophie Hale Brown, ’18

For students in the social sciences or journalism, transcriptions are a reality of the job! And from those of us who’ve done interviews, focus groups, or field work, you’d better believe that transcribing audio is a serious task.  Tedious too!  If transcribing from audio files is something you do, and these factors sound attractive, then read on…

When I began, I knew I was searching for transcription sites that featured three features.  The features I most desired were:

  1. FREE services,
  2. the ability to transcribe uploaded audio files,
  3. and the ability to easily copy the material after the transcription into a friendly format (. . . for me this meant Microsoft Word)

In the process of searching for software that fit these criteria I met Kristen Dabney,  Access Support Specialist in Learning Enrichment and Disability Services. She set to the task, and found me a site called VoiceBase. After using this site for my research, I am hooked!

Now, what does it do?

  1. it transcribes audio files
  2. the first 50 hours of transcription are free (after that it costs $0.02 a minute)
  3. the transcription can, all at once, be copied to whatever word processor you use

But it does more than that. It also…

  • syncs the audio to your transcription, which allows you to click on the transcription and immediately jump to that place on the audio
  • gives you the ability to edit your transcription, and re-sync it to the audio
  • it provides word frequencies,
  • and, for an extra cost, it gives you the option to have your transcription transcribed by a human.

Yes, I had to go through the audio transcript because it does make mistakes (and I didn’t want to pay for someone to transcribe it!) but the program software itself drastically cut down on my transcription time.

Overall, it would be remiss to not thank Kristen Dabney for her help in this process. Ultimately, I highly recommend VoiceBase to anyone who has to transcribe research that was captured on an audio files. Happy transcribing!

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