The 20 Best Transcription Tools to Convert Audio to Text
With subtitles and captions enjoying their time in the limelight, transcription is quickly becoming a high-demand field.
Social media content aside, many fields have always required transcription services. From legal professionals looking to convert recorded depositions into text, or journalists looking to transcribe the audio files of their interviews to have an easy reference for quotes, transcription is an integral part of the job.
Before technology made its way into the field, transcription was a tedious manual job that took hours.
Technology has drastically changed things; a process that used to take hours can now be done in minutes. In more recent years, the transcription services market has exploded with more companies coming onto the scene that provide both automated and human-created transcriptions.
Why use a transcription tool?
There are many benefits to using a transcription tool for your audio or video files. For starters, it’s a much faster process than human transcription, but that aside, transcription is quickly becoming an essential part of content creation as it helps with discoverability, accessibility, and reach.
Below are just a few of the benefits of transcribing your content.
Transcription helps increase your discoverability
If you’re a vlogger, captions and subtitles are essential as they trickle back into your SEO. Transcribing the audio from your video into text helps YouTube and other search engines crawl the keywords and, as a result, increases your discoverability, allowing more of your audience to discover your content.
Transcription increases the accessibility of your content
Transcribed audio and video files can make your content more accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Many smartphones have accessibility tools for the same purpose so it’s worth using them.
Transcribed files can also help you reach a wider audience who might prefer to read a text file, rather than listen to an audio recording. By converting your content, you can target a new audience and increase the exposure of your content.
Transcription provides more outlets for distribution
As a content creator, repurposing your content is key in making sure your message is heard by more people on more channels. Transcription can help with that as there are many more text distribution channels than audio or video channels. If you have a podcast, an instructional video, interview audio files, or any other type of audio or video content, you can turn them into text and distribute them in different formats, such as blogs, manuals, eBooks, or white papers.
20 best transcription software to convert audio to text
In no particular order, let’s dive into the best 20 transcription tools on the market today.
Happy Scribe offers a lot of time-saving features, including automatic transcription and speaker identification, as well as a wide range of video formats and language support. It has a user-friendly interface that allows you to bring your team members, such as proofreaders and editors into the platform for a seamless collaboration workflow. Happy Scribe supports over 60 different languages and users get a free trial with 30 minutes of free transcription.
Express Scribe is a popular transcription tool that supports both audio and video files, with features such as foot pedal support, real-time playback, and voice commands. It works with a range of formats, including encrypted dictation files. You can also load audio files from a CD and work on that as it loads. Express Scribe can be integrated with tools like Microsoft Word, FastFox Text Expander, and even text-to-speech tools out there. Once the transcription is done, the software can automatically send it to your client, if it's set that way. It's compatible with Windows and Mac and offers a free version.
Otter is an advanced transcription tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide accurate results. It allows you to record audio from your phone or use a web browser to transcribe it on the spot. Rather than just plain transcription, it can add speaker ID, notes, images, and key phrases, so you don’t have to play around with additional third-party tools. You can also create a group and add members for easy collaboration on your transcripts. On top of that, Otter allows you to search for keywords and jump to them within the transcript, speed up the playback or skip silent parts to jump straight into the talk. It also offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, as well as integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.
Rev is not software but rather a professional transcription service that offers manual transcription by human transcribers, as well as automatic transcription software. It has a user-friendly interface and excellent transcription accuracy. It saves you a lot of time because you don’t have to do anything apart from uploading the audio file. It also integrates with Google Drive and Dropbox for faster workflow.
Temi is an automatic transcription software that uses speech recognition technology to convert audio recordings into text. This tool has advanced features such as speaker identification, custom timestamps, and a simple editing tool to polish the transcripts. Moreover, you can also download their mobile app for IOS and Android devices to record audio and order transcripts on the go. It offers a free trial with 45 minutes of free transcription with access to all its features to get a taste of everything the tool can do.
Trint is an AI audio transcription software that uses natural language processing to create accurate transcripts. It can turn your audio into 31 different languages of text. All you have to do is import the file which needs to be transcribed and you’ll get a text file ready to go for you to edit, if necessary. Trint also offers integrations with Google Docs and Microsoft Word and has features such as automated transcription and a text editor.
Descript is an all-in-one tool for editing and transcribing audio and video content. It has features such as automatic transcription, voice recognition, and text editing, making it an excellent choice for content creators. Some features include auto-save and sync progress, sync files from your cloud storage, importing already-done transcription for free to blend with your media, and the ability to add speaker labels, and timestamps. You can sign up and get started for free to try the features out.
SCRIBE, an AI-powered transcription and translation software, is a newcomer on the scene by the Australian-based translation company, LEXIGO. This automatic transcription software, with the option for human transcription for higher accuracy, is available in 171 languages, more than any other software we’ve seen. The built-in editor allows you to make edits to the text, if necessary and gives you the flexibility to use different fonts and colours for your captions and to add your logo to the video to make it look more professional. The best part of the software is the ability to automatically translate or professionally translate your transcript into another language to make it more accessible to multilingual audiences.
Sonix is an automated transcription service that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide accurate results. Each line of text comes with timestamps providing an easy reference. There’s also a text editor that can be used to polish things up if necessary. On top of that, it has automatic speech recognition and punctuation, speaker recognition, noise cancellation and a global vocabulary that can understand over 35 different languages. It has a user-friendly interface and offers integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox.
Speechmatics is a transcription tool that uses advanced speech recognition technology to create accurate transcripts. It offers real-time transcription, as well as a batch operation of recorded audio input, in 34 languages, along with dialects. When it transcribes audio, it also applies the correct punctuation to the text, using full stops, commands and other appropriate symbols. With no option for free transcription, Speechmatics is more suitable for enterprises.
Verbit is a professional transcription service that offers manual transcription by professional transcribers, as well as automatic transcription software. Software AI technology is initially used to listen to and interpret the audio, and then it is passed to humans to pick up any errors. It has features such as speaker identification and supports various formats such as SRT files and subtitle files. Verbit’s packages are customized for certain industries, such as Corporate Learning, Court Reporting, Education and Media Production, focused mostly on enterprises.
TranscribeMe is a solid mid-range transcription tool that offers a low-cost automated transcription service with online editing software and a quality mobile app. It has a user-friendly interface and supports various formats, including video recordings and phone calls. TranscribeMe also offers human transcription for those looking for more accurate transcription. While it offers competitive rates per minute, there is no free option with this audio transcription software.
oTranscribe is an open-source, free transcription software that’s great if you’re not ready yet to invest in paid transcription tools. Some of the main features of this free transcription tool include export to Google Docs, Markdown or plain text, interactive time stamps for easy navigation through the transcript, and support for video files with a built-in player which also features rewind, forward, pause and play through your keyboard. oTranscribe automatically saves every change so you never have to worry about losing your data for any reason.
Scribie is a highly trusted transcription tool that offers manual transcription by professional transcribers, as well as an automatic transcription software. It has transcribed over 7M minutes to date and has a community of over 42,000 professional transcribers who work in different locations around the world. It has features such as speaker tracking tools and offers integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox. The turnaround time for automatic transcription is 30 minutes, while the manual transcription turnaround time is 24 hours. The downside to this tool is it’s only available in English.
Audext is an automatic transcription software with a good price tag that delivers fast results in over 60 languages. It houses essential features such as speaker identification, audio format support, a built-in editor and auto-save progress. It can recognize voices despite background noise and timestamps for each text block. Audext offers human transcription within 3 days if you want to level up for more accurate results.
Amberscript is a popular transcription tool that uses artificial intelligence speech recognition to create accurate transcripts. It offers an online text editor and human transcribers for more accurate transcription. It supports 39 languages for automatic transcription and 11 for manual transcription. The platform is fast, accurate and secure (with GDPR compliance). A free 10-minute trial is available for those looking to try before they commit.
GoSpeech is a transcription software based on artificial intelligence that automatically converts audio and video files into text files. This software runs exclusively on German servers which offers a very high level of data security. GoSpeech offers speaker identification and an intuitive online editor for post-editing your transcription. The online editor featured a group function that allows you to invite your team to collaborate on the transcript with you. The software impressively has a search function to make the audio searchable which can help improve productivity while editing. GoSpeech also offers a local on-premise solution for organisations.
Transcribe is a privacy-focused transcription software that can turn a variety of audio and video files into text, in over 80 languages. They offer both manual and automatic transcription, with features such as voice diction to help you clear up areas of your file that are inaudible. Their manual mode has workflow tools that can slow down the audio and auto-loop it. It also integrates with a foot pedal so you can control the playback speed. Transcripts can be exported into DOC, TXT, or SRT files.
Nuance is more of a speech-to-text software but comes in handy for transcribing as well. It’s a great productivity tool because you can control areas of it with just your voice. There are versions of it that are tailored to your needs, with plans for individuals, professionals, law enforcement, etc.
GoTranscript is an exclusive human-based transcription software. It supports over 60 languages with professional native transcribers that convert your video files to text. GoTranscript offers captions and subtitles for your video, as well as translation. Each captions order includes a free transcript, and each subtitle order comes with free captions and a transcript. Since every order is handled by professional transcribers, GoTranscript can guarantee high accuracy even for videos with lower audio quality and heavy accents. They also have a 4-step process - Transcription, Review, Proofreading, and Quality Check - to ensure high-quality results.
Transcription tools have become an essential part of content creation. Transcribing your audio or video files can increase your discoverability, accessibility, and reach. It can also provide more outlets for distribution and help you reach a wider audience.
There’s a wide range of transcription tools available today that make the process faster, more efficient, and more accurate. From automatic transcription services like Happy Scribe, Temi, and Rev, to advanced transcription tools like Otter and Trint, and all-in-one editing and transcription software like Descript and SCRIBE, the market offers a wide range of options for transcription needs.
Whether you are a content creator, a journalist, or a legal professional, there’s a transcription software out there that aligns with your needs to help you save time, and effort, and improve the quality of your work.