Transcripts from audio

The Public Sentence offers personalised and professional service for transcripts, proofing and editing in a range of fields. The team has a breadth of competence including degrees in engineering, medicine, science, journalism, philosophy, media and communications, theology and graphic design.

Transcription costs
Transcriptions from audio are charged per audio minute and the standard cost ranges from $2.20 to about $3.60 per minute (plus GST) depending on various factors. Discounts are available, especially for students.

A draft or research-quality transcript from good audio with 2-3 speakers costs about $2.20 per minute ($132 per hour of audio).  This is an accurate record suitable for research but not for publication without checking the original audio.

A proofed or publication-quality transcript of the same audio costs $2.80 per minute ($168 per hour of audio). This is a proofread transcript suitable for publication.

In both cases, as the number of speakers goes up or the audio quality goes down, the cost per minute increases. So, for example, a proofed transcript of poor audio that requires significant research of spelling names etc., might cost $3.60 per minute. More details on rates can be found here.

Our work in ‘print’
If you would like to see a sample of our work online, visit the ABC Radio National site and look at any 2012 transcript of Law Report, Religion and Ethics Report or Media Report. They are all our work. Unfortunately, the ABC transcript budget was slashed, but out of the ashes of disaster The Public Sentence was born.

Advice for interviewers
The time it takes to transcribe audio (and hence the cost) depends on various factors including the number of speakers, the accent of the speakers etc. But the two most significant factors that are within the control of the researcher are: 1. the quality of the original audio, and; 2. the degree of proofing required in the final transcript.

Your audio quality can be improved by using good equipment and ensuring the the sound level is high. It is advisable to do a sound test before recording interviews or focus groups. It also helps greatly if the person recording the sound uses headphones to monitor the audio level and clarity. In a group setting, make sure people speak into the microphone. We have a document with free advice for getting good audio; just ask and we’ll send you a copy.

The final transcript quality can be for either research or for publication purposes. Proofed or publication-quality means that the transcript has been proofread (including research for spelling names correctly etc.) and any doubtful parts are marked in square brackets. Draft or research-quality is cheaper but will still give the researcher a complete and accurate record of the audio; but it is not proofread. If parts of a draft transcript are to be quoted for publication purposes, the researcher should verify for themselves from the audio that the quotation is correct.

All transcripts are provided with time indicators every 3-5 minutes so researchers can easily find the place in the audio file.

Please get in touch to discuss your project
We are happy to discuss your project with you at no obligation. We offer a personalised service and we are more than willing to help you get your project done to your satisfaction, on time, and within your budget.

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