Episode 68 : Cheap Audio Transcription for Writing Your Life Story

by Ian

in Audio, Editing, Oral History, Podcast, Text

Transcribe your audio biography for as little as 20€ per audio hour and help people around the world.

A biography is not a book. A biography is a recorded story of someone’s Life Story using any system that is appropriate.

But a biography can be a book!Transfair

Once you’ve recorded your audio Life Story in conversation or as self directed storytelling you may choose to convert the audio into text. The advantage of text is, most people still think of a biography as a book and with the addition of photographs and diagrams you can tell the story in a richer more edited style, instead of the rambling of raw audio. An alternative is to also edit the audio to be more interesting and concise and possibly blending it with images into digital storytelling.

The problems of transcribing

The advantages test is to enable people to follow along with the audio or evolve it into a book with some editing and story structure.

North South Transcription PaymentThe issues normally start with the process of transcribing the audio. Unless you’re trained, transcribing is time consuming at a rate of about 8 hours per audio hour and  frustrating task. Alternatively you could outsource the work but for most people it can often be prohibitively expensive. Sadly this is where most people stop as there are normally no alternatives.

One day machine transcription will make it possible for any audio to be converted into text but for the moment the best we can hope for is an accuracy of 97% with fully trained transcriptions software. If we use untrained  software on a normal conversation particularly with two people, the performance plummets making it unusable. So for the moment we need to contend with manual, human transcription.

Millions of trained professionals without work.

In the second world there are millions of university qualified people who aren’t using their skills but forced into menial, untrained or manual labour work, just to earn an income. They want to use their skills but don’t have any opportunity. This is like spending 4 years to qualify in something just to end up as a waitress.

What if there was a way of giving intelligent, qualified and skilled people in developing countries an opportunity to earn a living and help us in the first world deal with the cost of  transcribing our audio.

A cheap alternative to transcribe audio to text.

Transcribe audio to text

Stephan de la Peña & Sandro Langholz

Transfair‘s creator Stephan de la Peña tells us in this episode of Create Your Life Story about how he’s developing the market and talent to transcribe your audio for much less than normal costs while helping less fortunate people to have a future closer to their skill base.

What Transfair is achieving is

  • Coordinating skilled workers with clients.
  • Testing skills before assigning work.
  • Assess tasks before assigning.
  • Checking completed work.
  • Coordinate payment.
  • Respect local customs and workloads so as not to impact communities.
  • Money back guarantee.
  • Assess client satisfaction.
  • Cost is from 20€ to 40€ per audio hour.
 Transfair is still ramping up their business model but are already very busy assigning work to people in second world countries with great results for people needing research and transcription.
Current services available through Transfair.
    • Transcription.
    • Translation.Transcribe audio to text best value
    • On-line research.
    • In country research.
    • In country surveys.
    • Data collection.
    • Cross culture assistance.
To find out exactly how Stephan and his team can help you with your transcription or translation project go Transfair.co and ask for more information


When it comes time to consider transcribing your audio look into the services offered by Transfair to see if they suit your requirements.

Have you had any successes with transcription not mentioned here or would you consider using this service? Mention in the comments below

Record or Write, Your or My Life Story Biography

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Record Your Life Story

Use some of the ideas in the e-Book Recording Life Stories. Just sign up for it in the side bar form.

To get a kick start, get the Quick Start Guide to Your Life Story by clicking hereand be underway in just an hour.

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Your Story podcast interesting life storiesLifeStyle Podnetwork← If you want to hear some other great stories about the interesting lives that people have, listen to my other podcast at Your Story or on iTunes.

…Or have a look at some other great shows available at LifeStyle Pod Network→

Music is from

Jeremy Cohen
“Rose Room” (mp3)
from “Jeremy Cohen: Violin Jazz”
(Violinjazz Recordings)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Zen FoodKevin Eubanks
“Adoration” (mp3)
from “Zen Food”
(Mack Avenue Records)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Jeremy Cohen
“Sweet Georgia Brown” (mp3)
from “Jeremy Cohen: Violin Jazz”
(Violinjazz Recordings)
Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

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