To view answer to each of the frequently asked question, click on the question and the answer will appear below it.


What is it the average turnaround time for transcriptions?

Turnaround time varies depending on the number of interviews or groups in a project, length of the recording, quality of the recording, etc. As a guide, the turnaround for an average 2-hour group would be is 48 hours minimum. Rush requests are available for an additional fee.

Do you charge a premium for time coding?

Yes. There is a $10 charge per audio hour over the standard fee.

What are your requirements for time-coding a transcript?

This service must be requested before transcription begins. We will note relative time-codes starting at 0:00 from the beginning of the transcript. For video; if the time-code is burned into the picture we will insert the visual time-code in the transcript.

Why are there so many “unintelligibles”?

The number of “unintelligible” notes in the transcripts is a direct reflection of the audio quality of your recording. We try every trick in the book to understand every word in a recording, but when all else fails, we will insert [unintelligible] for a word or passage we cannot hear or distinguish. Among the factors that contribute to making it difficult to understand what is being said are extremely low volume, machine noise including electronic interference, a high level of background noise, two or more people talking at the same time, background music.

What information do you need to correctly label the transcripts?

Before the project begins you should provide us with labeling instructions including any specific information you require for the document header. Unless otherwise noted, we will label the transcripts exactly as the recording is labeled.

What types of audio and video files do you accept?

While JS Martin Transcription Resources will convert virtually any format you provide at no additional cost, the formats that work best for transcription are:
Audio: MP3 or WAV
Video: MP4
Physical Media: CD, DVD, Tape
NOTE: Conversion might cause a slight delay in availability of the file to the transcriptionist.

How do you handle special requests like identification of speaker, inserting time-code, special or personalized format, etc.?

Any special request for speaker identification, time-codes, format changes, etc. should be clearly communicated at the beginning of the transcription project. If the subject matter includes specialized language or vernacular not common in everyday speech, it will be helpful to have a glossary of terms.

What can I do to ensure an accurate transcript and make the process smooth?

The most impactful issue relating to accuracy is the quality of the original audio. We offer audio improvement, but there are limits to its success if the background noise is loud or on the same frequency as a low volume speaker. Factors that affect and the steps you can take to insure accuracy, completeness and delivery time are:

  • Noisy backgrounds – Make sure you are recording your subjects in a quiet environment. Remember that a microphone cannot filter out background voices and noise the way we can. If you have no choice, make sure the speaker or speakers are as close to the microphone as possible. Record a sound test before you begin so you know what you’re getting.
  • Low speakers, mumblers and slurred speech – As above, make sure the microphone is as close as possible, ask them to speak a little louder if possible and as above, make sure the background noise is minimal. Again, record a test to make sure you’re able to hear and understand what they’re saying.
  • Multiple voices – Any conversation or group discussion can get exciting and animated. It only takes two talking at the same time to render an important piece of information undiscernible. Request, and remind your participants to speak one at a time or ask them to repeat their answer separately.