Today let's do an extensive review, of Rev.com!
We'll pick apart this online caption and transcription provider. Having used Rev quite a bit, I hope update this review as often as necessary to make this the ULTIMATE Rev transcription review...
Writing captions and subtitles can be a severe hassle, even in your own language! It becomes an absolute thorn in your side when those subtitles need to be translated into a completely different language.
But that's where Rev comes in.
Rev is a service that caters to not just creators, but people who need to tailor messages to fit foreign audiences. Rev can also be a major help for those needing a better understanding of a foreign message for themselves.
In this review, we'll take a closer look at everything you need to know about Rev.com:
By the end of this review, I hope you have a crystal clear understand of what Rev is, what it isn't and whether or not it's the right service for you.
If you do decide to try Rev.com using any of the links on this page,
FULL DISCLOSURE: I do earn a commission.
However, as I always mention in these reviews, I would NEVER recommend you a product (or service) that I haven't personally tried, tested and vetted. In addition, I would NEVER recommend you a product or service that I didn't GENUINELY think would help you.
I started using Rev in mid 2017 and I continue to use them. Please know that this review comes from my personal experiences as a real Rev customer. This is a review you can trust.
Now, It's time for a deep-diving, no-punches-pulled review of Rev.com - my go-to service for getting captions, subtitles done.
Rev.com is a one-stop, professional, online service that offers everything from captions to transcriptions, from foreign subtitles to translations. Founded in 2010, this company is the brainchild of five M.I.T (Massachusetts Institute Of Technology) students who use the power of artificial intelligence and freelance to create a valuable service for YouTubers, podcasters, and a slew of other business professionals. I like to think of Rev as an online transcriber on steroids.
I've used Rev for more than 30 different transcription projects, mainly on my YouTube channel, and for good reason!
Here are six things that make Rev a really hard service to beat.
Currently, Rev doesn't offer a laundry list of different services. I personally think it's better that way. Is there a possibility that the company could expand and add more services? Absolutely. But the thing I like about Rev right now is that it doesn't try to do every service under the sun. Even the translations are a very recent addition. The company does great transcriptions and captions and, for the most part, they stick to that core business.
It's a relief to know that I'll get an accurate file from the transcribers at Rev. Initially, I was worried. But file after file, quality transcription after quality transcription, I've become a believer. Yes, I still read my captions to be sure there aren't any mistakes. However, discrepancies are usually due to using Japanese words that a transcriber might not know, or more stylistic differences than blaring errors.
Transcription files are usually finished faster than you might think. For example. The last order I placed with Rev was for captions - one 14-minute video and another 12-minute one. Both files were completely captioned within 4 hours. And this is WITHOUT me paying for the add-on for faster turnaround!
There was a time, believe it or not, when I would do my own transcriptions for videos that I really felt needed them. Even now, I still have to do them for some videos (see the cons section for foreign language transcriptions). Time-consuming doesn't even begin to describe that process.
If you're a bootstrapping professional, doing this on your own...I UNDERSTAND! The good thing is that you don't have to waste time with that anymore with a service like Rev around. You can literally send them a link to your video, add any notes that you think your transcriber should know, and leave it to them.
You get notified via email when your file is ready, and that's it!
Honestly, this is more of a minor pro for me because the regular service is so incredible that I've never had to use them. But it's nice to know that you have these options available to you should you need them. These affordable add-ons include "Rush My Order," "Timestamping," "Verbatim," and "Instant First Draft."
This really impressed me. But you have so many file formats to download your file in, that it should work for virtually anyone doing captions for web, video or otherwise. From srt to txt and everything in between. Rev has you pretty much covered here.
These are some of the very pros the make me a fan of this service. If you need captions, subtitles, foreign subtitles, or translations done...
While I don't have very many cons to mention in this Rev.com review, I do have a few that I think you really should be aware of before using the service:
However, the not-so-cheap side of all that rev.com goodness is the foreign translations. Why?
I think it's because there are far fewer bilingual freelancers who could do that same job.
In addition, the job of hammering English into another language, in a way that makes sense is FAR MORE time-consuming!
This has got to be my biggest gripe with the Rev's service, but I get it. When it comes to English, I would imagine that there are potentially thousands of native-English-speaking freelancers with solid typing skills. The result? English projects get done in no-time flat.
Which foreign language costs the most to get captioned or transcribed? Yep, you probably guessed it...it's Japanese at a whopping $7 per minute! DANG IT!!
I can understand why getting Japanese subs & captions done for a video costs nearly seven times more money, but that doesn't mean I like it. But hey, at least the service is available with a 24-hr turnaround time.
What the heck is the difference between a subtitles and captions? I found this kind of confusing.
But Rev.com does a pretty good job of explaining the difference:
Transcription converts your audio to an editable text document. It is useful for capturing the details of nay audio recorting to review later (i.e. meetings, interviews, etc.).
Captions are timed text shown on screen (i.e. on TV YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) used to communicate splken content and sound effects as the video plays.
I've definitely made the mistake of ordering captions when I wanted subtitles and vice versa. The good thing is, if you're doing captions for a service like YouTube (which is why I mostly use it) it's fairly easy to enter your text from your file (caption or transcription) and have YouTube automatically set timings.
I'm going to wrap the cons section up with a minor con, consistency. This applies mainly when you don't do verbatim subs or transcripts, and I almost never use the verbatim feature. Because you have different freelancers working on different projects, there's no person or face to go with the transcript. As a result you may end up with different transcript styles for different projects.
A good example of this is if I were to say the word "something" on a video.
One Rev freelancer will transcribe it as "something" but another may write it as "somethin'."
Who's right? Well, they both are, especially if I'm speaking casually. But they are two different styles of the same thing. Make sense?
The reason this isn't a huge deal is because you still end up with a solid, easy-to-work-with file when it's complete. But it's something to be mindful of.
I've noticed that Rev costs more than it did when I started. I specifically remember paying one dollar per minute of video in 2017-2019. Unfortunately, those same transcriptions now cost $1.25 per minute.
Now, a quarter increase may not sound like much to some, but when if you use Rev often enough, or for larger projects, those quarters can turn into dollars quite quickly.
It's not a major concern because the company overdelivers, but I know once price hikes happen, it's highly likely you won't see the old prices ever again. Let's hope this doesn't become a regular thing.
Rev.com is no exception. But if you see that pros of this service far outweigh the cons, it might be the perfect fit for you...
One of the best ways to give you some true insight into Rev's caption service (and other services) is to show you my customer dashboard. It's the perfect way to show you what I see when I do project with them. Hopefully, you'll get a better idea of whether or not it's the right online transcription service for you.
A. File Information - Here's where you can find all the files that you've purchased from Rev.com, your order history, settings, and even a place to invite members of your team (if you have one).
B. Billing - Need to update credit card or payment info? Here's where you'll do it! This is the place to make payments, search your transaction history and adjust your billing settings.
C. Folders - Working on multiple projects in Rev? Keep those projects organized by putting them in their own folders.
D. File Names - These are the names of every file you've purchased and the date you purchased them, in plain sight.
E. Ratings - As soon as a project is done, leave feedback! This is the best way to keep Rev awesome and to make sure the transcribers are doing their jobs well.
F. Status - Know the progress/status of your Rev project.
The person looking to get a quality transcription, caption, or translation done
at a reasonable price
People who need to speak to a foreign audience but don't speak that language.
Those who need their subtitles and subscriptions done in a hurry.
People who aren't willing to pay more money for foreign subtitles (e.g. Japanese or Korean).
Those who genuinely enjoy wasting loads of time.
A person who has no need for subtitles, translations, or transcriptions.
The standard Rev transcriptions and captions costs the same thing - $1.25 per minute. Other services include foreign subtitles from $3-$7/minute, business language translations for 10 cents per word, and certified translations for $33 per page.
If you're interested in trying rev transcriptions for yourself, it's very easy to place orders through the Rev.com website, or you just click here. I don't have any special deals at the moment, but if I come across any, I'll post them here or in a notification bar above this post.
Rev is one of those services that I recommend without any reservations. I'm not saying it's perfect - those who read my reviews know that I like to point a product's or service's strengths and weaknesses. But I am saying Rev.com has way more strengths than it does weaknesses at the time of this writing. On top of that, Rev continues to provide way more value than what you're paying.
If that changes, I will simply update this review.
If I had to give the subtitling, captioning, transcribing powerhouse a grade A through F (A being AMAZING and F being a FAILURE) I have to give it a well-deserved A-.
You've gotten my full, honest-to-goodness take on Rev.com, the online transcription service, in this review. Interested in trying Rev for your captioning, translation and transcription needs?
Click the Button Below!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I've done over 30 successful projects with Rev, which is why I recommend them so highly. If you've got questions, leave them in the comments, or contact me, and I'm happy to answer them.
Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of thejapanguy.com blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
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