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CastingWords makes audio searchable by teaming up with Mechanical Turk on audio transcription

Amazon Mechanical Turk is the core of our business. We are in a people-hungry business. All of our work is done by people. It's not mass-production; but individual hand-crafted work. Our entire workforce is Mechanical Turk. There are vast amounts of service-oriented businesses on this planet, and all of these businesses could leverage the sort of hand work that is doable on Mechanical Turk.
Nathan McFarland
Co-founder, Casting Words

Transcribing audio files quickly and accurately

CastingWords was created to make audio searchable. The founders loved podcasts but had a difficult time finding them, so they started transcribing the podcasts to make them more searchable. This eventually became a business, because very few companies do good voice recognition of untrained audio.

Transcription is a task that requires human judgment and interpretation skills. One of CastingWords' key differentiators is that all transcription is done by people, not machines. CastingWords guarantees that all transcripts are reviewed through a Mechanical Turk powered workflow that edits and checks transcripts for accuracy, resulting in the most precise text possible.

CastingWords' business depends on an outsourcing solution to quickly and cost-effectively transcribe audio files for its customers and picked Mechanical Turk because of the lower costs, quality of work and quick turnaround.

Outsource transcription to the on-demand, scalable workforce on Amazon Mechanical Turk

CastingWords first used Mechanical Turk to transcribe several podcasts. The company found that it was easy to create the Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs), and that the quality of work was good. This enabled CastingWords to scale up its business and become profitable, so that eventually the founders were able to quit their day jobs.

CastingWords continues to use Mechanical Turk to transcribe audio and has expanded its use of Mechanical Turk for a broad range of projects, from editing the company website to marketing to proofreading. They have even outsourced transcription quality checking to Mechanical Turk by having Workers proofread other Workers' HITs. Using Mechanical Turk to do the work and then proof the results increases quality and saves money.

Casting Words reports that Mechanical Turk delivered:

An on demand workforce that can manage its own quality.

Learn more about CastingWords by visiting their website,