Scales/standards for measuring audio quality
Thread poster: Neil Coffey

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:10
French to English
+ ...
Jun 13, 2012

[Sorry, this would probably most adequately fit a "transcription" category rather than "subtitling", but there doesn't seem to be one.]

When a transcription job is posted-- or indeed a subtitling job or other job where listening to audio material is required-- there is no standard indication of the audio quality in question.

It occurred to me it might be handy to have some kind of scale, e.g. 1-10 where a 1 is something like "sounds like one of Alexander Graham Bell's first wax cylinder recordings and many words are barely discernible" to 10 "studio quality recording with all content readily comprehensible".

(Yes, this has occurred to me after a client just sent me a file closer to a 1 than a 10 on this scale...

I can imagine that such a rating could even be attributed objectively by a computer algorithm (based on things like signal-to-noise ratio, how readily a formant extraction algorithm could extract speech components etc).

So... does such a scale exist? If not, would one be useful?

[Edited at 2012-06-14 00:35 GMT]

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Difficult Jun 13, 2012

Having such a scale might be handy, but I think it would be very difficult to implement. It would have to be very subjective, so you would be inclined not to trust it.

There is just no substitute to hearing the audio yourself and passing judgment on it yourself, all of this BEFORE accepting the job.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Impossible Jun 13, 2012

In most cases, the prospect will say that it is a professional recording.

As I define it, it means that someone was actually paid money to do it and/or that the equipment looked impressive.

Neither says anything about audio quality.

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Scales/standards for measuring audio quality

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