Transcribing from an Existing Recording
Publicity is important for any entrepreneur, and I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed for a local radio show, a piece that really should be on my business website. Audio recordings are great; however, search engines like Google or Bing can't access all the rich keywords that pepper audio-only interviews. For search engine marketing purposes, it's smart to post a transcript.
While I could have hired a traditional transcription service, or painstakingly transcribed it myself, there had to be a better way. To get my radio interview copy online, I used Cogi Transcribe (the transcription-only solution).
It then took about 30 minutes for me to clean up the interview (mostly proper names and removal of non essential filler words). The entire process was clean, simple and a good value.
Using Cogi for Call Recording and Transcription
The second project was a one-on-one telephone interview with Brent Lang, president of Vocera Communications, which was the basis for an article that appears on one of Small Business Computing's sister sites, EnterpriseMobileToday.com. I used Cogi's call recording and transcription feature and its desktop application for Brent's interview.
Before the call, I entered Brent's contact information into the Cogi Web app, and a few clicks later we were talking and recording. As with the radio interview, the results were impressive. The 30-minute interview produced a nearly 5,000 word transcript, which I had in my hands for editing within 24 hours.
Having the audio and transcription completely in sync within the same Web browser window was incredibly efficient. As I constructed my article copy, I was able to easily move back and forth between sections and properly capture the nuances of our recorded conversation. No fast forward or rewind.
There were some minor inaccuracies in the transcript, but no worse than traditional transcription services I've used. The added benefit to Cogi managing the call was that the two speakers (me and Brent) were properly attributed throughout the transcript.
What You can Expect
What you notice upon reading a Cogi transcription is the number of filler words. Cogi's transcription magic is going to capture every "uh," "um," "like," and "you know" scattered throughout the captured session. If you need to deliver a finished product to a customer, ridding your document of these empty words is easy enough in your word processor of choice.
In practice the transcripts were amazingly accurate; however, the 99 percent rate Cogi advertises is an impractical promise because your recordings are likely to include specialized terminology, proper nouns and filler terms. Still, being able to easily manage the entire recording and transcription process through a self-service mechanism is a powerful tool to have available.
The weakest part of my Cogi experience was moving the transcript from the browser to Microsoft Word, which I handled via old fashioned cut-and-paste. While this is definitely not a show stopper, I did wish I could convert the transcript into an editable format in one step.
The transcription-only service is available on a pay-as-you go service; however, the call-recording component requires an on-going subscription of at least $4.95 a month. Finally, the combination of call recording and transcription can quickly get pricey for a small business, so the call recording begs for a pay-as-you-go plan, too.
All in all, Cogi's service worked as advertised, and it greatly improved my productivity on two important projects.
Kenny Schiff is a regular contributor to Internet.com's EnterpriseMobileToday.com. He is also the founder and president of TPC Healthcare, a specialty provider of real-time location and point-of-care communication technologies to hospitals and health care organizations.
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