CastingWords API: To Transcribe is... Human?

Greg Bates
Nov. 01 2012, 02:00PM EDT

The CastingWords API allows you to put their 100% human transcription service into your company's workflow. The API's technical webpage describes the API as "RESTish," with responses returned in a variety of formats.  The site states that, "The goal is not to follow REST's practices closely, but rather to make an easy API to get up to speed with using a dynamic language or curl. It accepts data as URL encoded key value pairs. An HTTP body of type JSON in a POST request and with content type application/json is also accepted."

Access to the API requires an API key and an account.

CastingWords uses Amazon's Mechanical Turk to get the transcription done. MTurk farms out  HITs--Human Intelligence Tasks including transcription--to people working from their computers. In an interview with Amazon, CastingWords co-founder Nathan McFarland noted that MTurk's "quality is astounding."

Oversight of the quality is also done by MTurk--by other MTurk workers checking the transcription. As McFarland continues, "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 a mass-production thing; it is individual hand-crafted work."

CastingWorks guarantees its deadlines for high quality submissions. Transcriptions are delivered back to the customer in plain text, HTML and RTF formats.

CastingWorks customers include: NASA, the Wall Street Journal, ABC, SAP, the Obama campaign, and the BBC.

Located in Seattle, CastingWords accepts jobs from anywhere in the world.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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