When I was completing my research for my master’s degree from the University of Missouri, I had hours of interviews that I needed to transcribe. I tried to hire a college student to do it, but he didn’t think he had the time. I certainly didn’t want to go through the tedious work either, so I started looking around at my options.
That’s when I stumbled upon Trint.
The company was founded by Jeff Kofman, an Emmy-winning reporter, foreign correspondent and war correspondent, and the service it provides is transcription. Specifically, according to Trint’s website, the service is “[a] text-based toolkit for transcribing, searching, editing and sharing media content online.”
In short, you can upload your audio file from your interview, and in minutes it gives you a text transcript of the audio. It is time coded and can be edited in your favorite Internet browser. Once you have a transcript you are happy with, you can download it as a Word Document or other file type.
It’s a lifesaver!
Sure, I had to go through and clean things up a bit, especially if my source and I talked over each other. However, the time it saved is mind boggling.
So I was happy to pay the advertised price of $15 per hour.
As a researcher, this tool is great, but it also has wonderful implications for journalists. With journalism being a deadline-driven industry, time is important. The traditional method of transcription, which involves listening to and re-listening to audio until a verbatim transcript is produced takes too long. This is where Trint shines. It is fast and effective, requiring only minimal corrections if the audio is clear.
The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, tested Trint against other top transcription services and found Trint to be the best option due to a combination of “functionality, accuracy and ease of use.”
There is an iOS app for Trint, and there is a Adobe Premier Pro plugin to allow captions for videos.
I can’t say enough positive about Trint, and I look forward to showing it to my students this year. It is a wonderful tool for journalists.