Transcribing an audio file to text?

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Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:26 pm

Hello,

I've been asked to manually transcribe around 75 hours of audio seminars and of course, being the geek that I am, my first thought was to automate the process. In trying to find a solution, I've stumbled across a few pieces of very absurd, outdated, and mysterious software packages, the most prominent being called... "Wave to Text" http://www.research-lab.com/vexp007read.htm Which was last updated in 2006, is mired in interface/usability issues, and is the only result to appear in a search on google... The only other solution I've found is to have a speaker dictate to a microphone but that also comes with a number of basic tenants that I'd rather avoid

Question: Is there any legitimate software out there that can take a basic wav/mp3 file and transcribe it? Lower than 100% accuracy is fine, though anything below eighty percent is pushing it a bit.

Thank you in advance,

Draal
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:50 pm

Draal wrote:Hello,

I've been asked to manually transcribe around 75 hours of audio seminars and of course, being the geek that I am, my first thought was to automate the process. In trying to find a solution, I've stumbled across a few pieces of very absurd, outdated, and mysterious software packages, the most prominent being called... "Wave to Text" http://www.research-lab.com/vexp007read.htm Which was last updated in 2006, is mired in interface/usability issues, and is the only result to appear in a search on google... The only other solution I've found is to have a speaker dictate to a microphone but that also comes with a number of basic tenants that I'd rather avoid

Question: Is there any legitimate software out there that can take a basic wav/mp3 file and transcribe it? Lower than 100% accuracy is fine, though anything below eighty percent is pushing it a bit.

Thank you in advance,

Draal



You say "lower than 100%" as if you were being conservative...

You can get Dragon Naturally Speaking, and then set the audio input from the audio file you have instead of the microphone.

But seriously, 80% ? Not in this world.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:29 am

Accurate general-purpose speech recognition is one of those technologies like nuclear fusion -- it has been "just around the corner" for as long as I can remember.

Speech recognition has finally gotten to the point where it is useful if the universe of choices is limited -- like choosing items from a voice menu, or entries from an address book on a hands-free cellphone. But recognizing random spoken text at 80+% accuracy is a pretty tall order. At the very least, you are probably going to have to spend a fair amount of time training it to the speaker's voice; if the seminars aren't all given by the same person, you're screwed.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:44 am

Just sit down, start playing it back, and transcribe it yourself if you want to end up with something decent.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:08 pm

Google Voice's transcription is supposed to be shockingly accurate; you could try calling a GV number via Skype and leave a lot of voicemails. Thought I dunno how large the voice mailbox is and I don't see an obvious measure when I log in.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:41 pm

SNM wrote:Google Voice's transcription is supposed to be shockingly accurate; you could try calling a GV number via Skype and leave a lot of voicemails. Thought I dunno how large the voice mailbox is and I don't see an obvious measure when I log in.


I really hate to publically hijack a thread, but GIMME. I don't have GV. Got invites?
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:07 pm

Forge wrote:I really hate to publically hijack a thread, but GIMME. I don't have GV. Got invites?

Nope, you have to go through Google, but they just started accepting people a lot more quickly about two weeks ago. I dunno how long it takes if you go on the list right now, though -- I got on in March or April!

Sadly, they still don't have number porting. :(
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:40 pm

SNM wrote:
Forge wrote:I really hate to publically hijack a thread, but GIMME. I don't have GV. Got invites?

Nope, you have to go through Google, but they just started accepting people a lot more quickly about two weeks ago. I dunno how long it takes if you go on the list right now, though -- I got on in March or April!

Sadly, they still don't have number porting. :(

I got on the list back around January.. And again with three other emails in May and June.
Ah well.

Back on-topic. I've used Dragon and a few other voice-to-text/voice-control apps. They ALL require training. I seriously doubt you have anything in the recordings that would work.

I think you're stuck with listening and typing.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:37 pm

Forge wrote:
SNM wrote:
Forge wrote:I really hate to publically hijack a thread, but GIMME. I don't have GV. Got invites?

Nope, you have to go through Google, but they just started accepting people a lot more quickly about two weeks ago. I dunno how long it takes if you go on the list right now, though -- I got on in March or April!

Sadly, they still don't have number porting. :(

I got on the list back around January.. And again with three other emails in May and June.
Ah well.

Back on-topic. I've used Dragon and a few other voice-to-text/voice-control apps. They ALL require training. I seriously doubt you have anything in the recordings that would work.

I think you're stuck with listening and typing.



You can train it by imitating the people(s) (if its many people then you're screwed) and training the program that way.

Either way, Dragon was meant as a real-time speech-to-text, so even if Dragon recognizes the audio perfectly, it would still take 75 hours.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:42 pm

mph_Ragnarok wrote:Either way, Dragon was meant as a real-time speech-to-text, so even if Dragon recognizes the audio perfectly, it would still take 75 hours.

Which would be way faster than doing it manually...
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:12 pm

SNM wrote:
mph_Ragnarok wrote:Either way, Dragon was meant as a real-time speech-to-text, so even if Dragon recognizes the audio perfectly, it would still take 75 hours.

Which would be way faster than doing it manually...


Way less effort, though.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:24 pm

No, I really meant it would be faster than doing it manually. You do it manually you have to listen and type, and then you fall behind and find where you lost track and relisten, etc etc. I've done this sort of thing for short audio clips (5 minutes max) and it takes bloody forever.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:04 pm

Outsource. Hire 20 out-of-work Chinese gold farmers. :D
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:02 pm

There are services that can do this for you. I don't know how much they cost.
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Re: Transcribing an audio file to text?

Postposted on Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:25 pm

SNM wrote:Google Voice's transcription is supposed to be shockingly accurate; you could try calling a GV number via Skype and leave a lot of voicemails.
Eh, I've found the accuracy is okay, especially for no training and with the limitations of phone audio, but not at all what I'd describe as "shockingly accurate."
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