In celebration of our 1 year we are launching our first ever monthly newsletter. The technology used for video conferencing is constantly changing and staying current with updates and new developments can be a challenge. We facilitate hundreds of video conferences a month and all of our staff are up-to-date with all of the technology in the field. We hope to use this newsletter to keep you informed about developments, share some tips and tricks you might find useful, and share with you developments at FCCF.
A number of our clients have asked our facilitators to use a transcription service to create notes of their zoom hearings. The reasons expressed include the ease and speed of creating a transcript; not being able to take notes due to an injury or disability; wanting more legible notes; not being able to keep up with the speed of witnesses speaking; or simply wanting to be able to focus on the proceedings without the stress of note-taking.
There are a variety of services out there. We would be pleased to discuss the various alternatives, and the pros and cons of each with you. The two most popular for labour arbitrations have been Zoom’s transcription service and Otter.ai. While Zoom and Otter have partnered, the services they provide are different.
Zoom transcription service works with cloud recording and is only available on Zoom Business accounts and above. A Business account requires a minimum of 10 licenses and each license is $27/month. Everyone on our team is licensed with a Zoom Business account ready to record and transcribe meetings. By default, Zoom cloud recordings do not provide the transcription feature and it must be enabled in your recording settings. With cloud recording enabled there are a list of features available, most importantly Audio transcript. This allows you to record your hearing in the Zoom main session and gives you access to a transcript with names, timestamps, and a recording of the meeting.
Otter on the other hand provides live transcription notes with the ability to highlight text, upload documents and images, and comment on different sections of text. These features are only available on Otter Business accounts which cost $30 USD per month. Unfortunately, this means an additional license on top of a Zoom license, but it will work to generate notes in the main session of Zoom. The speaker detection will not work the same, rather, they will be named in increasing number values.
Available Transcription Services
In addition to Zoom and Otter, is Rev, a service very similar to Otter in which an API token is generated to create accurate live captions as well as a post-meeting transcription, and Transcribe Me!, which requires you to provide them with an audio file for them to transcribe post-meeting. Transcribe Me! and Rev guarantee a 99% accuracy but are costly, charging a fee per minute of audio to be transcribed.
How Our Team Can Help
Our team members are experts at using and setting up this virtual transcription software. If you don’t know where to start, or if you don’t know what software best meets your needs, contact us to set up a meeting during which you can experience both Zoom and Otter live. If you have a proceeding coming up with someone on our team, and are interested in integrating virtual transcription into your meeting, let your facilitator know and we will get you set up! Remember, audio transcripts are only available on Zoom and Otter Business accounts and we have both available for you.