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In a post-pandemic landscape where podcasting is a billion-dollar industry, hybrid work is now the norm and businesses are more sensitive than ever to the accessibility needs of their customers, transcription software is a booming industry across the globe.
While human transcription services have been around for decades, particularly in the legal and medical fields, automated transcription software has now taken off, providing businesses with accurate records of meetings and interviews and providing accessibility to podcast and vodcast users with hearing difficulties who were previously locked out of this market.
I’ve spent the last week rigorously researching and testing over 20 transcription tools to determine which software offers the best transcription in different use cases across several verticals.
In this article, I’ll take you through our top 7 choices of audio transcription software, noting the main features and pros and cons.
While the process of taking recorded speech and translating it to text format has been around for decades, it used to be a long, arduous, and expensive process. With the advent of speech-to-text technology and a move to automated work, this is changing. Audio transcription software offers several benefits for users. Here are some of the key advantages:
Time-saving: Transcribing audio manually can be a time-consuming task. Audio transcription software automates the process, significantly reducing the time required to transcribe audio recordings. The software can process and transcribe audio files much faster than humans, enabling users to complete transcription projects more efficiently.
Convenience and flexibility: With audio transcription software, users can transcribe audio whenever and wherever they want. They can upload audio files to the software platform or use real-time transcription features for live recordings. This convenience and flexibility allow for greater productivity and adaptability to varying transcription needs.
Collaboration and sharing: Many transcription software solutions offer collaboration features, allowing multiple users to work on the same transcription project simultaneously. Furthermore, transcripts and recordings can be easily shared through various file formats or cloud-based platforms.
Language support: Advanced audio transcription software can transcribe audio recordings in multiple languages. This feature is particularly useful in international or multilingual settings where language barriers may exist. Users can transcribe and translate audio content in different languages, enhancing communication and understanding across diverse linguistic backgrounds.
It's important to note that while audio transcription software offers numerous benefits, the accuracy and quality of transcriptions may vary depending on factors such as audio quality, accents, background noise, and the complexity of the content being transcribed.
Users should consider these factors and choose a reliable and reputable audio transcription software solution to maximize the benefits. There are several factors to consider:
Accuracy: How accurate is the transcription software? You want to ensure that the software can accurately transcribe the audio or video files with minimal errors.
Speed: How quickly can the software transcribe the files? This can be an important factor if you have a large volume of files that need to be transcribed to tight deadlines.
Customization: Does the software allow you to customize the transcription process to fit your specific needs? This can include things like adjusting the playback speed or adding speaker identification.
Security: Is the software secure and can you trust it to handle sensitive information? You want to make sure that your data is safe and protected.
User-friendly interface: Is the software easy to use and navigate? A user-friendly interface can save you time and reduce frustration.
Pricing and scalability: How much does the software cost and does it fit within your budget? How many people will be using the software? Consider the cost of the software and any additional fees for extra features or services.
By considering these factors, you should be able to make an informed decision in order to pick the software that best fits your needs.
Best free transcription service for audio and video files.
Notta is an AI-powered automatic transcription software that supports 104 transcription languages and 42 translation languages. With Notta, you can transcribe real-time conversations or pre-recorded audio files with ease, making it an ideal choice for creating meeting minutes, recording interviews, or simply recording your latest great idea.
What makes Notta stand out from other transcription software options is its versatility. Notta offers app versions, a web version, and a super handy Chrome extension. It can be used on a range of devices such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, making it accessible to users on the go.
Additionally, Notta ensures that all data is encrypted and security-protected, so you can use it with peace of mind, even in meetings that include confidential information.
Notta offers several options, including Notta Free and Notta Pro for individuals and Notta Business and Notta Enterprise for teams. For individuals looking for quick, easy automated transcriptions, Notta Free is one of the best free transcription audio-to-text options on the market.
Offers live or pre-recorded audio and video transcription.
Web Version, iOS app, Android App & Chrome extension.
Supports multiple languages for both transcription and translation.
Generates automated summaries powered by AI.
Excellent text editing capabilities.
Allows multi-device login.
Supports importing multiple audio & video file formats.
Supports exporting to TXT, DOCX, SRT, XLSX, and PDF.
Does not offer manual transcription.
iOS, Android, Web, Chrome extension.
Notta transcribes, analyses and summarizes your audio and video content in real-time, converting spoken words into searchable text for easy comprehension on any device. This allows you to easily discover knowledge from any content, wherever you are.
Best free voice transcription app for mobile recordings.
Otter.ai is designed primarily for professionals and academics to record meetings and lectures. Otter uses AI natural language processing technology for its transcription and contains speech identification software to recognize individual speakers.
Users can add speaker labels, notes, images, and key phrases, meaning there is no need for third-party additionals. Otter allows you to edit and manage transcriptions directly in the app, which is intuitively designed and easy to use.
Otter can also be connected directly to your Google or Microsoft calendar and can automatically join and record meetings on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.
Offers fast and free transcription directly from your mobile.
The ability to train AI to recognize individual speakers and assign audio to each speaker as it transcribes.
Excellent editing tools.
Easy-to-use mobile app.
The free plan includes 600 minutes of transcriptions per month.
Ability to identify multiple speakers cross-conversationally.
Does not offer multi-language support.
Does not always provide an accurate transcript.
iOS, Android, Web, Chrome extension.
Best for live captions and transcription by professional transcriptionists.
Rev is a fantastic transcription option for businesses needing accuracy that can only be achieved via the human touch. Rev offers manual transcription, closed captions, and a cheaper, automated transcription service.
While it is a more expensive option than a lot of other transcription software on the market, it is a great option for businesses needing to transcribe large amounts of data including sensitive information such as those in the legal or medical fields.
Rev does all the work for you, however, this may have limitations for those who want to edit the transcription as they record their audio.
Rev offers optional extras such as fast turnaround and time stamping, however, these come at a premium and the custom pricing can be quite complicated and add up quickly.
Strict confidentiality policy.
Web and app versions.
Provides English and foreign subtitles.
Accurate and fast transcription and translation services.
Option to add timestamps to the transcripts.
Easy-to-use platform with a user-friendly interface.
99% accuracy guarantee.
Secure and confidential service.
No free option.
May not support all languages or dialects.
Limited editing options once the transcript is completed.
Can be more expensive than other transcription services for large projects.
iOS, Android, Web.
Best automatic speech recognition software for vodcasts and podcasts.
Descript is an automatic transcription software for creators in the vodcast and podcast space. It offers video editing, podcasting, accurate transcriptions, and extremely realistic text-to-speech voice clones for voiceovers and podcast intros.
Descript offers the ability to record directly into the app or to upload your audio files for automatic transcription. It also offers accurate transcripts with robust editing functionality.
Free and premium options.
Filler word removal.
Text-to-speech voice clones.
Excellent podcasting features.
Video editing options.
Thorough customer onboarding.
May not be the best option for corporate teams.
Does not integrate with other apps.
Mac and Windows desktop apps.
Best for large teams looking to integrate their transcriptions with their CMS for workload management.
Meetgeek is a speech-to-text software that is designed for large corporate teams. Meetgeek transcribes meetings and offers a range of functions that allow teams to make the most of their time.
Meetgeek creates automatic video summaries of a meeting's most important points which can be shared with multiple stakeholders, along with the ability to create your own highlights or use the AI suggestions to capture the most important moments of the meeting or interview.
Auto-recording and transcription.
Highlights and keyword detection.
Repository of conversations.
Meeting insights and templates.
Workflow and integrations.
Automatically launches the recording and transcription as you start a call.
Offers meeting insights in the form of useful data.
Everything is stored in one secure repository.
Some users have commented that the transcripts aren't 100% accurate and the highlights of the meetings aren’t always useful or reliable.
Software updates often remove previously useful features or require reconnecting apps.
Best for marketers and researchers looking to turn their video and audio files into actionable data.
Speak AI is slightly different from the other transcription software in this list, as it is primarily designed to turn language data into actionable insights quickly, without the need for coding skills.
This software is designed to easily upload individual and bulk audio, video, and text data for transcription and language analysis. The platform's speech recognition and NLP engine automatically transcribes and analyzes data, revealing important keywords, topics, key phrases, and sentiments to provide you with actionable insights. Speak AI also generates powerful research repositories, allowing for data visualization, deep search, and media playback.
Automated transcription of audio and video data.
Embeddable audio and video recorder for easy data capture.
Integration with popular tools and platforms.
Sentiment analysis to uncover emotions and attitudes in data.
Keyword and topic extraction to identify important themes.
Comparison of trends over time and across datasets.
Customizable and shareable media repositories.
Deep search and media playback functionalities for research repositories.
Stand alone in the market for turning language analytics into datasets.
Converts your audio, video, and text files into shareable content, through Word cloud, bar charts, and automated summaries.
WordPress integration makes creating SEO content as easy as AI.
Currently only available via the web.
The free version of the software only allows you to generate up to 500 characters of text daily.
Best text-to-speech transcription software for advertisers, podcasters, and voice-over artists.
Murf Studio is a cutting-edge platform that offers a range of voice-over and text-to-speech solutions for businesses and individuals alike. With its user-friendly interface and a vast array of advanced features, Murf Studio makes it easy for users to create high-quality voice-over projects in minutes.
One of the standout features of Murf Studio is its extensive library of voices, which includes both basic and professional-grade options. Users can choose from a variety of accents and languages, and can also upload their own audio files for customization purposes. Murf Studio also offers an AI changer feature that allows users to upload their own voice recordings and convert them into AI-generated voiceovers.
Murf Studio also provides users with a robust set of editing tools that can be used to fine-tune the details of their projects.
For instance, users can add emphasis to specific words or phrases, adjust the timing of their voiceovers to match video clips, and even use auto-ducking to ensure that the background music doesn't overpower the narration. The platform supports a range of file formats and allows users to upload scripts of up to 15,000 words in length.
Speed and pitch control.
120+ realistic voices to choose from.
A range of podcasting templates.
Text-to-speech tool to generate high-quality audio files from text-based scripts.
Offers robust data protection through two-factor authentication.
Videos can be synched with audio within Murf’s software.
Pricing makes the premium options expensive for users who may not be yet generating an income.
The free trial only comes with 10 minutes of voice generation time.
It may not be suitable for users looking for speech-to-text recognition software.
Now that we have covered the top audio transcription software in detail, we compare and contrast them to help you decide the best one.
|Best free transcription service for audio and video.
|iOS, Android, Web, Chrome extension.
|Best free voice transcription app for mobile recordings.
|iOS, Android, Web.
|Best for live captions and transcription by professional transcriptionists.
|iOS, Android, Web.
|Best automatic speech recognition software for vodcasts and podcasts.
|Mac and Windows desktop apps.
|Best for large teams looking to integrate their transcriptions with their CMS for workload management.
|Best for marketers and researchers looking to turn their video and audio files into actionable data.
|Best text-to-speech transcription software for advertisers, podcasters, and voice-over artists.
Whether you're on a desktop, mobile, or tablet, Notta AI supports multi-system, simply upload or embed your audio, and it unleashes the full content within moments through highly accurate, searchable transcripts.
Choosing one of the best free audio transcription programs above will go a long way to ensuring you receive an accurate transcription. Further to this there are several things you can do to help these automatic transcription tools improve the accuracy of the transcription tasks:
1. Using high-quality recording equipment: Using the best recording equipment available to you will help ensure that audio is captured in the clearest, most accurate way possible, giving the AI software the best chance of creating an accurate transcript.
2. Reducing background noise: Background noise can interfere with the accuracy of the transcription. Reduce background noise by recording in a quiet space and using a high-quality noise-canceling microphone.
For users looking for accuracy above all else, they may want to consider a human transcription option.
As I’ve covered in this article, there are several easy and free ways to transcribe a video.
Manual transcription is always an option, but let's be honest, it tends to be a dull and time-consuming process.
Therefore, making use of one of the above free transcription software or app options is one of the easiest ways to transcribe a video. For videos you have recorded yourself, most of these apps offer an easy and free method for uploading your video files and receiving a transcript within minutes.
For videos on the web, there are a couple of easy ways to receive a free transcription.
The first is via Notta’s free Chrome Extension. Ensure you have downloaded the extension from the Chrome store and given the extension relevant permissions in your device settings.
Then, simply navigate to the video URL, open the Notta Extension, and hit the Record button. Your transcript will appear in your dashboard within seconds.
Another method is using the Google Docs hack which I will address next.
Google provides two free ways to transcribe video to text. The first way is to use Google Docs Voice Typing, which is a user-friendly tool that transcribes audio in real-time, making it suitable for video conferences, meetings, lectures, and more. Using Google Docs to convert video into text is easy.
To begin transcribing audio using Google Docs, first, create a new document. Then, go to the "Tools" tab and select "Voice typing."
If your language is not already shown, click the link above the microphone icon to choose your preferred language. Once you are ready to start recording, click on the microphone icon, which will turn bright red, and begin transcribing.
It's important to note that you should only click on the microphone icon after you have started playing the video you want to transcribe in another window or app. This is because if you navigate away from the Google Doc the recording will immediately stop.
The second way to transcribe video to text using Google is to use Google Live Transcribe, an Android app that allows users to transcribe live video to text. While this app is free, easy to use, and can be used offline it has limited language support and can only store transcriptions for up to three days.
While these free options may lack the accuracy and features that paid transcription services offer, they are a cost-efficient and easy way to transcribe video to text quickly.
The accuracy of transcription software can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the audio file, the clarity of the speakers' voices, the complexity of the language and accents, and the sophistication of the software itself. Notta transcription software can achieve accuracy rates of over 98.86%, while others may struggle with certain types of content. It's important to choose software that is suited to your specific needs and to review the transcripts carefully for accuracy.
Yes, many transcription software programs are designed to handle multiple speakers, including conversations, interviews, and group discussions. The software may use speaker identification technology to differentiate between different speakers and assign timestamps to each speaker's speech. Some software may also have features that allow you to label or identify each speaker like Notta, making it easier to follow the conversation.
The costs of transcription software can vary widely depending on the type of software, the level of features and customization, and the payment structure. Some software may offer a free trial or a pay-per-use model, while others may require a monthly or yearly subscription. The cost may also depend on the amount of audio you need to transcribe and the turnaround time. It's important to compare different options and consider the overall value and benefits of the software when making a decision.
Audio transcription software has become an essential tool for businesses, podcasters, journalists, and anyone who deals with video and audio files on a regular basis.
There is a wide range of free transcription software options available, each offering something unique to the marketplace.
Remember to assess your needs carefully before making your final choice, and you'll be on your way to accurate and efficient transcription in no time!
Whether you're looking for fully automated transcription software or a hybrid solution with human assistance, there's an option out there that will suit your needs.