I finally got around to trying the Speechpad transcription service for a video for which I wanted to upload the transcript for search optimization purposes. Speechpad charges only $2.00 a minute, so if it worked, it would be a low-cost, low-labor way to additionally optimize YouTube videos.

Besides, Speechpad went to great lengths to assuage my skepticism on their About Us page:

Speechpad provides state-of-the-art text transcription services. Our unique combination of human and machine-based technologies allows us to deliver the perfect solution to meet your needs. Our system supports audio inputs from a variety of sources to fit your existing workflow. We provide the highest degree of flexibility for audio turnaround time, accuracy requirements, and transcription delivery mechanisms.

Speechpad serves a number of industries, providing solutions for business voice, financial services, and insurance customers, among others.

Did you notice that? Speechpad uses a combination of human and machine-based technologies. If humans are involved, it can’t be that bad, right?

Wrong. After uploading the three-minute video below, I submitted it to be transcribed at 11 AM and received the completed transcript at 12:28 PM the same day for a fee of $7.00. Pre-tty damn impressive, right?

Wrong. Here’s the video…followed by the transcript for which they charged me seven bucks:

Here’s the transcript. I just copied and pasted what Speeechpad delivered to me:

group on this was the best way to save some money to be out of these days more more of a start clicking coupons on the website of dvd else but how good are those deals and where can you turn if you want to get rid of that one tonight that c-17 favorite shows us how to find all that started in one place and how to resell the ones that you know honor what When held a radio logs onto her computer at least three coupon deals are waiting for her It’s close to have offered To subscribes to group on leading social in prague kat the real deal of the day websites that are popping up all over the wet leaving have won it wcco.com but group on this the biggest and the generic term most people seem to use my hair salon had a group of one-time obviously i’m going to buy that and use it to my vantage has to make seized dot ten to fifteen of these deals and one more memorable than the others that she kind of local court together to five years reveals almost two-thirds of the adventure itself out that way how funny it was still at pretty big purchased with that the coupon but that it was almost fifty percent off the plane if you want to take the plung here’s what you need to know most of the discounts are around have they’re sold for a short period of time to a large group of people and there may be someone takes it most important expire on the same day for all of the buyers now that i’ve bought some menus some unhappiness on my have figured out what not buy jennifer westphal knows her way around these components cooking classes and kids photography to talk about a dozen gotten deals that will change isn’t movie rental at signed a great restaurants dealt with fine print in beating deadlines and she was born to only by what she knows she’ll use wasn’t on efforts will expire that bad the wedding kirk and john marriage and that but see conscious now perfectly and that’s why new kind of state popped up cook recruit is a place to resell there coupons before they expire or buy from those people for even better those people for even better deal just by virtue of any internet infrastructure in place it’s not surprising that that would occur it’s relatively easy to throw up a site that you can you know gather community around and and do those types of transactions david erickson studies internet strategies and creates them he says the coupon pre started in 2004 and took off in 2009 economy turned down in the future he expects more personalized ers to better fit each customers needs has a question when the economy improves and people have more money is spent weather they will have trained by these daily deals to expect deals even after merchants are really ready to give them anymore lenses says there are two sides that try to collect although a daily deals and one place they are slickdeals.net and yet that .com can find this life and all the other one seven mentioned that that wcco.com/links

I guess what they meant by “human and machine-based technologies” was technology-transcriptions unseen by human eyes.

I know. I know. It’s only seven dollars. But I could’ve got that transcript for free from other services. So, by way of comparison, here is the same video transcribed by my Dragon Dictation app and by Google Voice.

Dragon Dictation Transcript

Coupons was the best way to save some money Gabonese Davmore Morven Park clicking Hubei that website for daily deal but how good Idledale and work eternity wondering about 19 Devizis of Manecita shows is how to find Alllis Vargos in one place Averliso the one thing you know Warwell radio Monsonde her computer MP3 coupon deals are waiting for her and his father ha ha that was Steven she subscribes to Groupon LivingSocial in Claup can’t believe Gielgud did websites that are popping up all over the wet even have wanted WCCO.com Ruban is the biggest in the generic term people seem to you hair salon onetime I didn’t buy that and give my bank account estimate she’s not into 15 of the deal and one more memorable than the other

Google Voice Transcript

Double wall’s aunt Dave auto clipping coupons. I wasn’t able to help. God, I’m still at work and I don’t want to rent back white and I got a ticket when they save a trip out a fine alright bargained one way and Harvey something like that. You know what a lot, the regular blog compete. If you can reach me. Bonnefield of leaving for Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho so quickly. Just let him subscribes to group on leaving social inquired. Com, review of the day website or popping up all over the Well, even if I don’t want to meet with you. Dot call, but we were going on. It’s a big And if you’re near term. People seem to you My Hair Salon had a coupon. One time I think I’m gonna buy that and it’s my van had to make sure you by 10:15 if you see you. And one more number below. The New York. Perr that he has to work together to sign it. We Are video. Almost. It’s agencies center is now I will definitely help. I mean it was so I think that process. That’s fine. I thought it was all a difference. Definitely. If you want to take the plunge. He was what you need to know most of the discounts around flights, versalle for a short period of time large group of people sender immediately. Patient, but important expire on the engaged for all of the buyer. Well, I have by filling in selling. I have figured out What happened. I. Jennifer, my phone does your way around these components, classes in cape town to sing. She don’t know. I just got a deal that will change it to the rental changes request on sounds fine friends and geating deadline think you’re the only by but she knows soon, otherwise I’ll talk to you later. Bye and So I heard, and Substance. Okay, bye bye just now, but that’s my new kind of thing popped up cool recruiters a place to resell these coupons before they expire. We’re barking those people for an even better deal. Just, buddy Birchfield earlier and it Infrastructure button It’s not Ruttenberg. With her. It’s. That was a really miserable, but it but you can. You know, debtor to. Maybe around and I’ve been to put some progress. David Erickson study Internet Strategy and we sent. Skeets is coupon rate started in 2000. Slower and took off in 2009, the economy from down off in certain aspects more. Personalize your. To better that he’s customers me. But has it when the economy improves. And people are more money is whether they will have been praying. By, The, it’s been revealed to expect feels even after merchant of really ready to give them. I think that’s it. Okay bye. I try to collect all allegedly killed in one place. They are supposed to go.

6 Comments

  1. Clint Lenard on June 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    haha the Google Voice version was the best. I can understand with Dragon, as you have to build voice profiles. I like it, although it’s not perfect. It definitely saves time when you don’t feel like typing.



  2. Iwilltellyouwhy on June 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    The google voice one is actually deep beatnik poetry (think Ginsberg or Kerouac) , about the economy, the internet and its effect on society (“We are video”, etc) , coupons, getting a ticket,  God, death/murder, money, scorned lovers (I guess Jennifer is leaving/killing herself because of either her lesbian lover (references to she) or a male lover involved with another woman). 
    ” I. Jennifer,my phone does your way around these components,” (her phone does your way around these components?) 
     Also at the end there are a lot of “allegedly killed” and they should be collect in one place? Also she got a ticket, even though she’s white (“white and I got a ticket”). And the person who wrote her the ticket is “Harvey”. She’s then expressing her distaste with tickets, “a fine, alright” “bargained one way”Double wall’s aunt Dave
    auto clipping coupons.

    I wasn’t able to help.

    God, I’m still at work and
    I don’t want to rent back

    white and I got a ticket

    when they save a trip out

    a fine alright bargained
    one way

    and Harvey something like
    that.

    You know what a lot, the
    regular blog compete.

    If you can reach me.

    Bonnefield of leaving for
    Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho

    so quickly.

    Just let him subscribes to
    group

    on leaving social
    inquired.

    Com, review of the day

    website or popping up

    all over the

    Well, even if I don’t want
    to meet with you.

     Dot call, but we were going on.

    It’s a big

     And if you’re near term.

    People seem to you

    My Hair Salon had a
    coupon.

    One time I think I’m gonna
    buy that

    and it’s my van

    had to make sure

    you by 10:15 if you see
    you.

    And one more number below. The New York.

    Perr that he has to work
    together to sign it.

    We Are video.

    Almost.

    It’s agencies center is
    now

    I will definitely help.

    I mean it was so

    I think that process.

    That’s fine.

    I thought it was all a
    difference.

    Definitely. If you want to
    take the plunge.

    He was what you need to
    know

     most of the discounts around flights, versalle

    for a short period of time

    large group of people
    sender immediately.

    Patient, but important
    expire on the engaged

     for all of the buyer.

    Well, I have by filling in
    selling.

    I have figured out What
    happened.

     I. Jennifer,

    my phone does your way around
    these components,

    classes in cape town to sing.

    She don’t know.

    I just got a deal that will
    change it

    to the rental changes

    request on sounds

    fine friends and gelating
    deadline

    think you’re the only by

    but she knows soon,

    otherwise I’ll talk to you
    later.

    Bye

    and So I heard, and
    Substance.

    Okay,

    bye bye just now,

    but that’s my new kind of
    thing

    popped up cool recruiters

    a place to resell these
    coupons before they expire.

    We’re barking those people
    for an even better deal.

     Just, buddy Birchfield earlier

    and it Infrastructure button

    It’s not Ruttenberg. With
    her.

    It’s. That was a really
    miserable, but it

    but you can.

    You know, debtor to.

    Maybe around and I’ve been to
    put some progress.

    David Erickson study Internet
    Strategyand we sent.

    Skeets is coupon rate started
    in 2000.

    Slower and took off in 2009,

     the economy from down off

    in certain aspects more.

    Personalize your.

    To better that he’s customers
    me.

     But has it when the economy improves.

    And people are more money

    is whether they will have
    been praying.

    By, The, it’s been revealed
    to expect

    feels even after merchant of
    really ready to give them.

    I think that’s it.

    Okay bye.

    I try to collect all
    allegedly killed in one place.

    They are supposed to go.



  3. Chuck on October 16, 2012 at 6:22 am

     Wow, that is a terrible transcript. I do transcriptions through Amazon Mechanical Turk for Speechpad’s sibling company, SpeechInk, and I would be ashamed to be associated with that work product (actually, I probably wouldn’t have been paid if I’d done such a piss-poor job). Did you ever follow up with Speechpad and find out if a human being had ever actually worked on that transcription?



  4. David Stack on January 31, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    What we’ve received from Speechpad was much better than that. This look like someone didn’t even look at it but just ran it through software. 



  5. T Bird on March 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    How did you put that video into Google Voice to produce the transcription?



  6. Mike Essex on March 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Very surprised by the results for Speechpad. We’ve used them for over 100 videos and have never seen a transcript as bad as the one above. I do suspect that perhaps they outsource the results which could explain why the above example was so bad if they had a bad supplier, although the worst we’ve ever had has been the occasional typo (of about max 5 typos on a 10 minute video is great in my opinion).