A friend pointed me to Trint transcription services. They claim to have redefined transcriptions by creating a superior software algorithm to quickly and pretty accurately turn around transcriptions from audio and video files. I was very skeptical having tried software like this in the past. Well, after trying them out, I am quite impressed.
The way the service works is you simply upload your audio files and get your transcripts back in near realtime and often faster than realtime. I just uploaded 4 hours of interviews yesterday and had all the transcripts ready in just over an hour. What's AWESOME is that the text is sync'd to the audio file. Click anywhere in the transcript, click "Play" and you hear the audio play back as you read. No more searching through the video to hear what the SOT actually sounds like. This sync to sound is just the icing on the cake for me. Oh and if you highlight any portion of the transcript, Trint tells you how long that SOT is.
There's also a Adjustable Timecode feature allowing you to set the start TC time for an interview. Perfectly matching it up to the original TC from the video.
Actually the BEST part is that the costs are incredible cheap. $120 for up to 10 hours of transcripts. Now some of the standard transcription elements like identifying each speaker is missing, you'll have to do that. And nobody goes through to check the transcription for full accuracy, you'll have to do that. I'm finding the transcripts to be about 85% accurate with deep South, Alabama accents, which is plenty good enough for me to edit. I am making changes to the transcripts as I read them.
You can sign up for a free trial which allows you to upload up to 30 minutes of audio for transcription. This is a great way to test the service and it's what I did. I chose the interview with the thickest Alabama, Deep South accent who spoke with a lot of 'localisms' to see how the service would work. Yes there were things in the test that honestly made me laugh out loud when I read them and then played back what my interview actually said. But overall it was about 85% accurate so that sold me on using the service for the full 4 hours of interviews.
Now if you work with a company computer that requires a secure connection, such as a VPN service, it's possible your uploads to Trint will fail if you are NOT connected securely. That happened to me. So if you run into failures via a secure company computer, make sure you are properly connected to their network.
Just had to pass along this tip. Hope it helps you too!