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Online transcription service from scratch

Customer

Startup entrepreneur, who signed the agreement with our team on software development for the startup from scratch. The terms of the contract gave us full responsibility for Web application design and startup platform development, back office desktop application and iOS mobile app development. We also were in charge of knowledge transfer to the employees of the startup company.

Challenge

Main goal of the project was creation and launch of convenient and reliable online audio and video transcription service for Russian speaking market.
At first stages of the project implementation, newly created transcription service used manual transcription approach. On further stages of startup development and knowledge accumulation, the startup was aimed for speech recognition technologies implementation, our contract terms didn't include voice/speech recognition part.

Three main components of the project:

  • Audio/Video transcription Web service development for transcription orders placement. The transcription orders module functionality included: calculation engine, which would allow accurately calculate total service fee for any audio/video recording depending on the duration of the records,number of speakers and desired time for transcript delivery for the client; payment processing system; order delivery feature,which would allow the clients to track the progress of transcription in real-time, get email/sms notification once the transcript is ready, and download the transcript in any chosen format(RTF, TXT and HTML for transcripts with interactive captions feature).
  • Back-office application, with user friendly order processing interface for professional transcribers. Application features: keyboard shortcuts for media playback control, transcription metadata automation, custom text replacement and speaker's names insert; Order segmentation/media segmentation/transcript creation out of transcribed media parts for team work.
  • iOS app, which could be used as both voice recorder and order placement/processing system.

Solution

Online transcription platform was developed using Microsoft tech stack, Azure was chosen for cloud platform.

Web application was designed as cloud Azure application, leveraging ASP.NET MVC, AzureDB, Azure Blob Storage and KnockoutJS technologies. Mobile app's API was developed on ASP.NET Web-API. We initially planned using Azure Media Services for media duration detection, however, after several tests we refused to use this approach and opted for ffmpeg.

Back-office desktop application was developed on .NET WinForms. We used Windows Media Player features for transcription media player development.

Mobile app was developed on native iOS SDK.

Result

Finally, web, desktop app and mobile app were delivered to customer. Customer received full infrastructure for his business and launched advertising campaigns and business activity.
Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-12.30.17-AM-1
At some point customer decided to start distribution of his back-office tool as an independent shareware application.
transcriber-pro-screenshot

Mobile application was published to app store:
Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-12.22.28-AM

Tools and technologies

.NET Framework, WPF, ASP.NET MVC, AzureDB, Azure Blob Storage, Stripe, iOSSDK.