Original Audio Version
Go here to learn about how my reviews work (and why you should listen to/watch the original audio or video version first).
Welcome back, another review coming at you today. We’re looking at a really cool little service actually that was recommended to me by a member of a business networking education group that I’m a member here of in Christchurch, New Zealand.
But anyway, there’s a member of that group who’s got a really good grasp on emerging digital technologies and software solutions and software service and all those kind of things that can make running a business easier. And a couple of months ago now, he got up and spoke and he recommended a whole bunch of different software solutions for, I guess, various different business tasks that you might want to carry out.
And one of the ones that stuck with me was the service he recommended for audio transcription called Rev. It’s R-E-V, rev.com. And I made a mental note of going to use it because I immediately it jumped out to me how it would be beneficial for the work I do. For example, on this particular blog here, in the past, I’ve done all my reviews simply by writing them out. You know, sitting in front of the keyboard and typing away. But I find is actually I can get my thoughts about a product or a service down much better if I can just speak freely into a microphone. And yeah, you do get the filler words and the slightly unusually structured sentences that I guess are more organic and come with natural speech. But overall, I prefer that communicative style anyway. I think it really does help get the point across. And it’s a lot faster as well.
So I made a note to go try Rev but things got in the way and I got busy. But recently I did do my first sort of full content piece using Rev and that was my review of You Need a Budget. You can click the link here to go check that out. And now I’ve decided to do a review of rev.com and funnily enough, I’m doing this review by talking into a microphone, giving my thoughts, and then actually having it transcribed by Rev. So that’ll be fun. A bit of ‘Revception’ really for the people who are going to be transcribing it or who have transcribed it.
What Is Rev?
Anyway, what it Rev? Rev is a service that as I just mentioned, it’s an audio transcription service. So you upload an audio file. Whether that’s an interview session you’ve done with someone or a speech or anything like that. And then, you pay to have that audio file transcribed into written words. So, into a Microsoft Word file or a text file or something like that. And the reason that you might want to do transcription is well, it’s easy. It’s a lot better to pay someone else to do it as well than type it all out yourself. Unless you have a pretty small business and cash flow is super, super tight. Something like Rev can be very beneficial for turning spoken words into written words and saving a lot of time on content crash. And so that was why I was interested in trying it out.
And so, there are some other services that Rev offer. I think they offer translation as well but I haven’t tried that and haven’t had a need for it. And so I’m specifically talking about Rev as it stands and as it relates to audio transcription here. So what I would do first is talk you through the basic process of how you actually get a transcription set up.
How To Use Rev
Firstly, you go and create a Rev account. Really straightforward, easy process. Not too much personal information required or anything like that. Once you’ve created your account, you upload your audio file. And it’s cool, you can upload multiple files at once as well so if you’ve got say 20 different MP3 clips or web file clips that you want transcribed, just make sure that they’ve got unique names and then you can upload them all in one go as a bulk drop. So that’s good as well. I was a bit put off at first if I thought, all right, you’ve got to upload every single file separately because I like to record the different sections of the reviews I do. Often I’ll record them as separate audio tracks just so that I’m not speaking for ages and ages. And it helps me focus my thoughts. So that was a really refreshing thing to see.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll get the audio processing through the Rev platform. And that’s just to work out how long the audio is. The price you pay for transcription is tied directly to the link that the audio. So it’s a dollar, one US dollar per minute, of audio. So, I mean, I think that’s a really fair price to be honest. You could probably go on somewhere like Upwork or Fiverr and get it done for cheaper but I’ll mention shortly why you might not want to even bother with that. A 10 minute audio file might contain … It could, depending on your speech, right, contain potentially about oh maybe 1,500 words if you speak reasonably quickly. So 10 minutes to speak it and $10 to have it transcribed. And maybe another 10 minutes to just do a bit of editing and half an hour of your time you’ve pretty much got a decent length article sorted and for $10.
So look, the pricing is, I’m just going to come out with it now. The pricing is very sharp. And the other thing is that your transcription is done by a real human as well. I wouldn’t be half surprised to see Rev down the track add like a budget option that would be using some kind of automated speech-to-text software. And that could be potentially like a sort of entry level option that might be 50 cents a minute or something like that. But for now, you’re getting a real human transcribe your words which is pretty cool.
So anyway, you upload your files and then you’ll be shown what the price is for that job. And it’s just a straight $1 equals one minute of audio. So if you’ve got 30 minutes of audio, it’s going to cost you $30 US dollars. There are a couple of other options as well. You can pay a little bit extra per minute to have time stamping put in. I’m not quite sure why you’d do that. I’m not going to speak much about that because I don’t really understand it. The other one is you can also pay extra to have filler words put in. So that’s your um’s and ah’s. The thing with that is if you just want a verbatim transcription of something then you’ll need to pay for it. Otherwise, I don’t bother with either of those additional options. I just do the standard transcription.
There’s also an option to include things like funny abbreviations or specific words you’re using in your audio that your transcriber might not be aware of so just so when they hear the sound, they know what they’re typing down. So if you’ve got a … Say, you’re doing something about aviation and you’re talking about an instrument landing system, an ILS, well, you would add that as an ILS, you would add that as a note so they know when they hear that what to type down. That’s a cool little feature as well. It helps make things easier for the transcriber.
And then from there, you confirm the pricing and everything and you hit submit. And you pay, you can pay with credit card or PayPal. And then you’ll get an order confirmation. And you now wait for your audio to come back. And that’s really the process. Once the audio is returned to you, you’ll get … each file is transcribed as its own document. You can choose to either have a Word document or a text file. And then you can download them and review them and write them and everything like that. So it really is quite simple. It supports things like multiple speakers. You can give speakers their names or if it’s like male and female. They’ll note where it’s the male speaker or where it’s the female speaker.
So yeah, really easy platform to work with. Very straight forward and very fast. And that’s the basic process. So what I’m going to do now is talk about the benefits and downsides of the platform.
Things I Like About Rev
The benefits of Rev are really simple. Firstly, it’s very quick and easy. I mean, I was actually blown away, to be honest, by how quickly I got my first transcription back. I submitted about 25 minutes of audio, I think it was. It came to about four and a half thousand words by the time it was transcribed. And I had that returned in under an hour. I mean, that’s just incredible.
You know, that’s why I mentioned before. You could probably save some money by going on Upwork or Fiverr or Reddit Slave Labor forum, or whatever it’s called, and getting the transcription done there. But you’re going to hae a longer turn around time. Especially on Fiverr, you know, turnaround times seem pretty horrendous these days there. So I mean, look, unless you’re absolutely penny pinchering, $1 a minute to get turnaround that quickly. I mean, it’s not always going to be in less than an hour. But the turnaround time is fast, very, very, fast. And time is money so look, huge points to Rev for how quickly you get your audio back.
Next thing is the transcription quality is by and large very good. I have noticed the odd mistake usually it’s just words that are slightly wrong or sentences that are slightly off. But probably, to be honest, that’s also to do with my Kiwi accent and the fact that I’m not particularly a good speaker. I think if you had a sort of clear American style accent which is probably what the transcribers are expecting to hear, the accuracy would be better. It’s not bad at all. I would give the accuracy rating for the audio I’m having transcribed about a 95%. So I’m more than happy with it. If you do focus on speaking really clearly and making sure that you don’t mumble or anything like that, you should get an even higher accuracy percentage.
Another thing is the ability to rate and review the person who’s done the transcribing. So you just give them a star scoring and if you score them less than three stars, I think it is, they won’t work on any of your projects again in the future. To be honest, the transcribing I’ve had done, all the people I’ve rated really highly. So, that hasn’t been a problem for me. But it is good to have that ability to say, “Hey, I’ve got a bad transcription back and I don’t want to work with this person again.” You don’t get to pick. The platforms just sorts it all out for you. But it must have a way of keeping track of who’s worked with who. So, that’s really cool.
Yeah, and then the next thing I really like about Rev, as I’ve mentioned before, is the pricing. $1 a minute. You know, 10 minutes of audio if you speak at a decent pace, that’s enough to produce a good length blog post. And you know, even if you’ve got to spend another 10 or 15 minutes editing what comes back to improve the sentence structure for writing and things like that. I mean, probably in half an hour, you can have a really good blog post or article done. I just don’t think that unless you’re really good at it flowing with your writing, you just can’t do it as quickly with just writing. Speaking and then having it transcribed and then editing it is just so much better. It’s so much easier to get your thoughts down, in my opinion.
And other things that I like about Rev are just small things. The platform is very nicely polished. It’s easy to use. It’s clear what you need to do. The instructions are great. There’s good support. All that kind of thing. There’s lots of payment options available. So overall, yeah, really good, I think.
Things I Don’t Like About Rev
Of course, down sides, for some people it might be too expensive. They might want to only pay 50 cents a minute. I think at that price you’d be getting some pretty average transcription. You know, if money really is a concern you might have to look for a cheaper option.
Other things I don’t like about it. I have heard from the perspective of people actually doing the transcription, it’s not a particularly good service to work for. Basically, that they keep having pressure put on them to bring their rates down and increase the turn around time and everything like that. You know, I guess it’s sort of endemic in the whole gig economy, or whatever people call it these days. It’s an issue too big for this review and I do review products and services from the perspective of the people using them as the customer. But I think that’s it’s worth noting.
So, if you do get someone do a good transcription for you, make sure you give them a really good review just so you know they’re being appreciated. I actually think there should potentially even be a tip option added so if you’re really impressed and you got you got your transcription back fast. You know, if I’m spending $20 on a transcription and the job’s done in less than an hour and it’s pretty much perfect, I’m happy to tip them $5 or something like that as long as I know that tip is pretty much all going to the transcriber, not to Rev. Because I have heard that they aren’t the most generous with pay. That’s something to bear in mind if that sort of thing’s really important to you. If you go find an independent contractor and pay them a dollar a minute, are they going to be getting that full dollar a minute. So yeah, that’s just something to bear in mind.
Another thing to consider is there will be mistakes in your transcription file so you do need to allow some time for editing as well. Unless you’re just happy to throw up the content as it is or you want verbatim transcription. But look, I think I don’t need to keep this review too long so I’ll jump straight to the conclusion.
Rev.com, is it worth trying? Is it worth spending money on? If you need audio transcription done. You know, you want to create content for blog posts or articles or you want to turn a video series you’ve done into a written version and add it as a bonus to your product. Even if you do things like reviewing client websites. Let’s say you do SEO audits. I think it’s much better or much easier to actually sit there with a recording software running and your SEO tools open, and the client’s website in front of you and talk through it rather than just typing. Typing just does my head in. I’m even, I’m fast at it. I find that I just get distracted and sort of broken in my stream of consciousnesses way too easy.
Humans are made to speak. I think we all know that we learn to communicate verbally before we ever did in writing. If you back many thousands of years. And I don’t think anything’s changed really in terms of fundamental human nature. We are better generally at speaking than we are at writing. So, if you have a need to turn audio into words, spoken audio into words, rev.com is the place to do it. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s fairly priced in my opinion. It’s not the cheapest but cheap and fast and good don’t tend to go together.
So yeah, look, rev.com, give it a try. It will honestly speed up your content creation process so much. What might have taken me two hours to write, maybe even more, I’m thinking of my Wine Up review. You know, that’s come out at about seven and a half, eight thousand words I think. Now if I wrote that all myself, just typing on the keyboard, that probably would have taken me the best part of the day, to be honest. Even though I’m a fast typer in terms of the speed on the keyboard. It’s that getting the ideas down in a sort of very conscious stream. Instead, it’s probably been an hour’s worth of talking time in front of the microphone and then maybe another hour of editing and adding images, which doesn’t really count anyway. And so approximately a quarter of the time it’s taken and what, a cost of $50, $60 US to have the audio turned into words. That’s unbeatable in my opinion. It’s so fast and easy.
So yeah, look, rev.com. Absolutely worth using. Fantastic service. Just make sure you do rate your transcribers highly if they do a good job for you and hopefully they’ll get to work on future projects of yours. Go try it out. Just record something. Just record a minute of you talking about something you enjoy doing on the weekend or whatever. Or do your next blog post as a bit of a podcast type thing and have it recorded. It’s just so cool. It’s really one of the best services that I’ve used in a long time and I’ll be using it pretty much on a weekly basis now for as long as I can.
So yeah, rev.com. Check it out. You won’t regret it.
Ease Of Use
Value For Money
Rev.com is an excellent place to go for audio transcription. If you're serious about content creation and know that time = money, then you can't afford not to be doing audio transcriptions to generate written content. It's very rare that someone is better at turning thoughts into written words than they are at turning thoughts into speech. You'll likely find that by creating a brief framework for your content (e.g. the points you want to cover) and then recording your thoughts, you will create content in a much more fluid and efficient fashion. Rev.com then makes it super easy to turn that into words. Good value for money and content quality as well. Give it a try today!