Athens, GA


1. How do I begin?

E-mail matchlesstranscription@gmail.com with the following details of your project:

  • – Have the interviews already been recorded or is the project in process?
  • – How many files?
  • – Approximate length of the files?
  • – Number of speakers per file?
  • – Does the project have a specified or desired turnaround time or deadline?
  • – Any other questions you may have regarding our service.

Answering these questions helps give us a sense of how to best process your files and the approximate cost. We are aware of the various constraints on researchers, whether those be budget or timing, and as a small company, wish to accommodate you in whatever ways we can. After this information has been received, we’ll determine how best to receive your files, whether via a service like DropBox or a university’s proprietary system. We do not use our own server simply because not everyone feels comfortable using a company’s server, and we want our customers to use whichever service makes them feel most comfortable with how their data is handled.

2. I have video files. Can those also be transcribed?

Yes. The pandemic greatly accelerated the use of Zoom and other video services for academic research. As such, we made the decision to also process video at no additional cost. A 45 minute interview on a handheld recorder is the same as a 45 minute recorded video call. Our transcription quality is much higher than that afforded by auto generated AI captions.

3. What is your standard format?

Our standard format denotes the interviewer with “I:” and the participant as “P:”.  The delineation of participants in focus groups is not standard and is subject to a higher rate. Please specify beforehand if you would like the participants identified throughout the file. Double spacing will be used in between the speakers.  Emotions such as crying, sighing, or laughing are included along with time stamps every five minutes. Files will be formatted as a Word Document, though other formats are supported upon request. Special notations will be used in the transcription to mark difficult spots in the audio, such as where a spelling may be unclear or a speech is inaudible. These notations come with a time stamp if one would like to give a second listen.

4. What if I have a specific formatting request?  

We try to accommodate special requests from clients when possible.  Please discuss your specific request by e-mail.  We are not always able to comply, due to time constraints or conflicts with our formatting that cannot be changed, but we will do our best.  Your job isn’t just another number to us, and one of the benefits of working with a smaller company is our ability to find individualized solutions for our clients. Common requests include .rtf files instead of Word Documents, line numbers, “R:” instead of “P:” etc.

5. Who processes my work? Do you use AI?

All work is done by one of two people in Athens, Georgia.  We are a small team of dedicated professionals, not a consultancy firm sending files out to be processed overseas or by AI. We do not use any AI when processing your work. Human transcription means that we understand things AI simply cannot such as emotion, accents, acronyms, proper nouns, irrelevant noise, crosstalk, etc. All this ensures you receive the highest quality transcriptions possible, so your time can be spent analyzing data and not in fixing transcription errors. It also means you know exactly what is happening with your participants’ information, and you can trust that nothing is being seen or heard outside of us and your research team. We take the security of participant data very seriously.

6. Will my audio and information be kept confidential?  

Your files will be 100% confidential. No audio that is uploaded will be used for any purpose other than transcription. All information contained within the audio will be kept confidential. We will not use your personal information (name, e-mail, phone number, etc.) in any way that does not directly relate to the service you have requested.  Any data you share will typically be seen by a single transcriber and no one else under any circumstances. Any folders shared between our clients and ourselves are the responsibility of the client once the project is completed.

7. What is the difference between Standard and Verbatim? 

Verbatim: “I, uh, just go — wanted — wanted to go to the store and, um, get grapes.”

Standard: “I just wanted to go to the store and get grapes.”

For many researchers, there are extraneous parts of speech are not important and get in the way of extracting useful data.  Standard is a very light, on the fly edit which makes information easier to read and sift through.  It is not paraphrased or heavily edited, but simply made into a format which is far easier to understand the speakers and pull relevant information. We do not include listening sounds when the main speaker isn’t talking.  Things such as mhm, right, okay, and yeah, which simply confirm a person is following along are not included in the Standard service for greater clarity.  However, verbatim processing can be done for an added charge of $0.50 per minute of audio as it takes longer to process.  Please discuss which service you would like in your initial e-mail.

8. How does payment work? 

You will receive an invoice upon completion of work unless otherwise requested.  We do not have hidden fees and do not want your final total to be a surprise.  It is our goal to be transparent in our pricing.  We often do projects with clients that last months and sometimes even years.  In those cases, we bill periodically as work is completed in order to best keep track of the project.

9. Can you provide references? Who have you worked with?

Due to the confidential nature of our work, we cannot give specific names.  However, in the past ten years, we’ve established ongoing relationships with researchers at dozens of universities, both the R1 variety and smaller liberal arts institutions. Researchers we work with have been at universities such as Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford, UCLA, Brown, UT Austin, UGA, Florida State, University of Illinois, University of Chicago, and many, many others. Our work is strong enough that we’ve grown organically through word of mouth and references by our many satisfied customers over the last decade.

10 . I haven’t done my interviews yet.  How can I get the best quality transcript? 

Using a high quality recorder is often most important. Arecorder which records and outputs at a high kpbs rate can greatly enhance the quality of the transcript you receive back.  The higher the kpbs rate, the clearer the audio.  Shooting for at least 128 kpbs for .mp3 files is optimal.  Managing the amount of background noise can also greatly improve the quality of the audio we receive and the transcriptions you get back.  Many people do their interviews in places such as coffee shops and restaurants.  Espresso machines, music, clinking dishes, and neighboring conversations can greatly obscure the speech of the participant.  Being aware of subtle sources of added noise such as loud air conditioners and fans can also help.  Lastly, making sure the recorder is equally between the interviewer and the participant can also add greater balance and clarity. All that said, if your audio needs to be cleaned up to provide a higher quality transcript, we do what we can (as one of us is also an audio engineer) and even send the enhanced audio file back if it will help the client.