Experts in language transcription and qualitative analysis of text
Transcription and analysis of recordings is our passion and pragmatic work facilitation our mission.
20 years experienceThe audiotranskription team
Having started out as graduate pedagogues from the University of Marburg, we now have almost 20 years of industry experience with our problem solutions developed from practical experience and are experts in our field. We offer didactically designed and easy-to-use software solutions that provide reliable and fast support for transcribing speech and analyzing texts. We also develop transcription rule systems, to which many scientific research projects refer.
Our corporate culture is based on trust, respect and team spirit and we have been working together for over 15 years. We live an appreciative interaction internally and externally, are authentic and helpful and always act at eye level. All software products we offer are Made in Germany. We place the highest value on the protection of your data and consciously work DSGVO-compliant.
2003 – 202320 years „audiotranskription”
Necessity is the mother of invention. This is also evident in our company history: It begins in 2004, when our managing director Dr. Thorsten Dresing was asked to type up twenty recorded interviews for his dissertation. Wanting to minimize the time and effort involved, he set out in search of a user-friendly digital solution. But in vain. So he introduced his fellow student Thorsten Pehl, our second managing director, to the subject. The two student friends finally sit down with some computer science students, one of whom is Helmut Neubauer, who is still a permanent employee today. They come up with first ideas to program a simple, functional software to put an end to their transcription suffering and that of future students.
No sooner said than done. The first version of f4transcript is born and already promising in its function. What is still missing is a footswitch to operate the software intuitively. So the two tinkerers decide to invest a not inconsiderable amount of equity for students in the production of their own USB footswitches and to found their own small company. In 2005 the time has come: The self-made homepage with a simple order form and free download function of the f4transcript software goes online. The living room of our managing director is converted into an office and storage room and the first USB foot controls are sold. The first 500 switches are sold after one year and until today many ten thousand units. In 2007 the former GbR changes its name into a GmbH (limited liability company). In 2009 our managing directors Dr. Thorsten Dresing and Thorsten Pehl win the Hessian Founders Award in the category “Intelligent Business Idea” and draw the attention of the regional media to audiotranskription. You can read more about us “back then (2012)” in this press article.
f4analyse, f4transkript & f4xFrom hardware to our software suite
A lot has happened since then. For example, as early as 2006 there were people who wanted to use the technology we used in the footswitches in other buttons as well, for example in a red buzzer, as we know it from various TV shows, or in production lines, for puppeteers to change the light, on the live stage at concerts, for ultrasound equipment in doctors’ surgeries, etc. These also trigger other commands on the computer instead of the play pause. These also trigger other commands on the computer instead of the play pause. And to this day, there are still customers for our switches who come from completely non-university areas and for whom we have developed a completely separate site: www.f-pro.de (Programmable USB Buttons).
2006 – 2014 we also sold digital recorders and wrote extensive and demanding reviews on almost all relevant recorders. These were read hundreds of thousands of times and at times we sold more recorders than the largest online retailers (according to information from Olympus, for example). At one point, this sector accounted for more than half of our turnover. But here, too, the market developed further, was saturated at some point, price wars became stronger and so we decided in 2015 to give up this area altogether.
(Sales) software became more important for us. From 2012, f4transcript became chargeable and in 2013 we supplemented the offer with our second software product f4analyse, a program for qualitative research and analysis of interview data. The guiding principle here was the desire to offer a deliberately simple product with few but central functions, with which especially newcomers to the field of qualitative social research would feel directly at home.
But back to the transcription. Let’s face it, almost no one liked or wants to type up interviews themselves. The most frequent question at conferences was therefore “when will it finally be automatic? Before 2019, automatic speech recognition could not be used for interview data in any meaningful way. Today, this is no longer really imaginable, because fortunately, our ki-based, fully automated and, above all, DSGVO-compliant solution f4x has been available since 2019. With its current 2023 version, it is the absolute star in our portfolio.
The really good functioning of f4x, i.e. automatic speech recognition, was also one of the reasons why we discontinued our manual transcription service in 2022. Until then, we had two permanent employees and around 30 freelancers for more than 12 years, with whom we had manually transcribed more than 1,000 interview hours per year for research projects in a GDPR-compliant manner.
We are very proud to already count 150,000 people and companies from a wide range of industries (including business, research, media, legal and health) among our customers. With about two thirds, the majority of them come from university environments. Departments of almost all universities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have campus licenses from audiotranscription and provide their students with our software as a standard work tool. So they are still used in a very classical way for the purpose for which it was invented by us in 2004: to support the work of people transcribing and evaluating their (interview) recordings.