Transcribe by Wreally Review

I spend about 12 hours out of my week transcribing interviews. It’s usually late, I’m tired, and that spells a recipe for instant frustration. I always find myself searching for a better solution for transcribing interviews. I don’t search anymore.

Although I have yet to find something where I can import an audio file and a text transcript is generated, I have found something that takes the frustration out of transcribing interviews. It’s called Transcribe, made by software development company Wreally.

According to Jason Bosco, co-founder of Transcribe, the service was built primarily for journalists, but over time they are discovering that a lot of students and lawyers need an audio transcription service, and are flocking to Transcribe.

In essence, it’s a Chrome web app which outdoes Express Scribe’s paid features. The layout is far nicer. It’s simple, minimalist, and clean. The controls are simple too. Hit ESC to play and stop. Hit F1 to slow down. F2 to speed up. F3 to rewind 2 seconds. F4 to fast forward 2 seconds. And F6 to insert a timecode, which is absolutely brilliant as, if I can’t make something out, I know where it is and can cut a snippet of the audio file out to send to the interviewee.

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All the data is automatically stored locally in your browser data, so there is no risk of it not being saved.

There is also a dictation feature, which I was surprised to find is almost as accurate as Siri is on my iPhone.

Although it was originally free, the team behind Transcribe now charge $20/year for the lite version. They want everyone to have access to a completely useable product, and have migrated a few of the Pro features to the lite version as a result. I thought it was quite reasonable, being $1.67 a month.

About making the decision to begin charging, Jason said, “We were pretty nervous how people were going to take it, but thankfully we heard almost no complaint about the change. We tried to help people with the payment where we could and I think everyone appreciated that it was in the best interest of the product.

“Since going fully paid, we have rolled out quite a few features which were not previously available in the free version but only in the Pro version. We want to make all features accessible to everyone for a modest fee.

“We personally know how painful transcription can be, and we’re so happy to save so many hours of time and frustration for our customers. We’re not done yet, and have quite a few things planned for early next year – the idea is to improve the product without falling into the trap of making it too complex.”

The Pro versions offer storage of your audio and text files in the cloud, as well as SSL encryption, and the ability to have multiple users working on the same file.

Jason said that the they’re trying to bridge the gap between the Lite and Pro versions and at some point they will move the Pro features directly into the Lite app as a paid upgrade.

In regards to limitations, I would like to see a function where the text is exported to a Word document. Obviously a simple copy and paste does the trick just as well.

An auto-pause function would be useful. I know some similar software services offer a feature where the recording pauses every 5 or so seconds to let you catch up if needed.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend Transcribe over Express Scribe. The simplicity and functionality of it beats Express Scribe. It’s not only that – it’s also the fact that, when using it, you get the feeling it was built specifically for journalists.

As it turns out, that’s the case.

 

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