If you transcribe meetings and interviews often, you may be aware of the many players in this space today. One such company in this field is Otter ai. It promises to handle anything from speaker recognition to dialogue systems with ease. But just how good are they?
This article will review some key features, strengths, and weaknesses of Otter.ai. Then we'll determine whether the Otter app is worth purchasing.
Otter Pricing & Plan
Otter offers a variety of pricing & plans that you can customize to fit the needs of your organization. They've designed various services and packages to suit your organization's needs, whatever those may be. Here’s an overview of the plans that Otter offers:
|Pricing||Free||$16.99 per month||$30 per month||Contact Sales for pricing|
|Features||300 minutes of recording and transcribing audio |
Insert and highlight commands
|Includes a trial assistant to transcribe Zoom, Teams, and Meet |
Upload an audio file to transcribe within the online portal
Alternate exporting options
|Full access to transcription assistant for Teams, Zoom, and Meet Multiple users can access the software on one plan Priority customer support|| Advanced security features like SSO and data encryption |
Dedicated account manager and customer success team
Priority phone and email support
|Best for||Best for casual users||Best for individuals who need more minutes||Best for teams that need to collaborate and share||Best for large companies that need to transcribe lots of audio|
Otter offers a free plan for those getting started with transcription. This plan includes 300 minutes per month and is great for occasional use.
● 300 minutes of transcription quota for transcribing uploaded file or real-time recording, the maximum length for each audio/recording is 30 minutes
● Insert and highlight commands
● Two-Factor authentication
● Casual Users
The Pro plan is excellent for those who need more minutes and features than the free plan offers. With 1,200 minutes per month, you can transcribe a lot of audio and save it for later. However, you should note the maximum length of each conversation or recording is 90 minutes. You can also share your transcripts, archive them, and download them for offline use.
● $16.99 per month
● Includes an assistant to transcribe Zoom, Teams, and Meet
● Upload an audio file to transcribe within the online portal
● Alternate exporting options
● Custom vocabulary allows you to add 100 names and 100 other terms to improve transcription accuracy
● Power users who need more transcription minutes
This plan is perfect for larger organizations with multiple employees. With this plan, you can transcribe up to 6000 minutes per month per user.
● $30 per month
● Full access to transcription assistant for Teams, Zoom, and Meet
● Multiple users can access the software on one plan
● Priority customer support
● Businesses and teams that want to create and share documents
Otter's Enterprise plan is the most comprehensive and feature-rich option. It's available to organizations that require more security, control, and support. You'll get all of the features of Otter Business plus customized access to the platform.
● Varies with custom installation
● Advanced security features like SSO and data encryption
● Dedicated account manager and customer success team
● Priority phone and email support
● Custom branding and integration options
● Large companies with multiple users of the software
Otter online transcription software has some standard features available in most transcription software. Let’s take a look at some of the supported features below.
Otter's live transcription is one of its best features. It allows you to transcribe interviews, lectures, and more in real-time. It's a great way to get accurate transcripts of important events. Plus, it's cool to see the words appear on the screen as you speak them.
Transcribe Imported Audio/Video Files
Otter can transcribe imported audio and video files. You can upload AAC, M4A, WMA, MPEG, WMV, Mp3, WAV, MOV, and MP4 files to Otter, and the software will transcribe them.
You can also use other features while it processes your file in the background.
This feature allows you to add recognition for names, jargon, and acronyms. These can be words that are specific to your industry or company. You can ensure that Otter accurately transcribes the words that are important to you. For the Basic plan users, you can add 5 custom vocabulary, and for the Pro plan, you can add 100 names and 100 other terms after the new updates on Otter's pricing structure.
Otter's speaker identification feature is one of its best. It can automatically identify different speakers in a recording and label them accordingly. It makes it easy to go back and review who said what later on.
One of its most valuable features is the Outline panel. This panel curates a meeting summary in an accessible format. Otter makes it easy for you to review the main points of your discussion. It will ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Otter can transcribe Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meetings. You can also send an assistant to transcribe meetings for you. Copy and paste the link to your session. Then a virtual assistant will join the discussion and transcribe it for you.
Automatically Sync Files from Dropbox
Otter online transcription software is a great way to sync your files from Dropbox. You can keep your transcriptions organized and up-to-date without manually transferring them.
It will save your transcriptions in the cloud so that you can access them from anywhere. And if you ever need to transcribe a file that's not in Dropbox, you can easily add it to Otter with just a few clicks. You should note that Dropbox sync is now not included in the Pro plan.
Live Transcription via RTMP
Otter is one of the most popular ways to transcribe live events. One of the most popular features is live transcription via RTMP. RTMP allows you to connect your Otter account to a live event and transcribe it in real-time.
Transcribe Conversations Up to 4 Hours Long
Otter online transcription software is pretty good for transcribing long conversations. You can transcribe up to four hours of discussion.
Syncs to Zoom Cloud Automatically
Otter syncs to the Zoom Cloud automatically. All you have to do is start your meeting, and Otter will take care of the rest. When you replay your recording from Zoom Cloud, Otter will already have the transcription ready for you. Note that you will need to have a Zoom Pro subscription in order to use this feature.
Support for Android Widgets and Siri Shortcuts
It also supports Android and iOS widgets. You can use Otter on your phone or tablet. It will automatically transcribe your speech into text. And because it’s an online service, you can access your transcriptions anywhere.
You can play back your recordings at speeds as low as 0.5x and as high as 3x. It's great for when you want to hear something again. It's also useful if you're transcribing a recording and want to go back and check something. If you are a Basic plan user, you can not change the playback speed.
This feature makes tracking what you need to do and when easy. Plus, you can add comments and notes to each annotation. That makes it easy to remember why you made the note in the first place.
Otter's TLS encryption ensures that your conversations are private and secure. With Otter, you can be sure that your conversations are safe from prying eyes.
This feature means you can have an extra layer of security for your account. It also makes it more difficult for someone to hack into your account. Plus, if you ever forget your password, you can always use the 2-factor authentication to reset it.
Most transcription services claim to provide superior accuracy. Still, we were curious whether this was just marketing hype or if there was substance behind it. So, we decided to put Otter to the test and see what results we’d get from it.
The Steps For Testing
Otter has automatic speech recognition (ASR) built-in for transcribing audio in real-time. Machine learning powers ASR. The more data the algorithms have, the more accurate they become.
Otter trains its algorithm on a vast audio file database. It can handle long and short sentences with some noticeable errors. We tested its accuracy by speaking into the app and uploading an audio file.
We found significant differences in accuracy between the two methods of transcription. Note that a variety of factors mentioned above will determine the accuracy.
Dictating Into the Software
We used the built-in microphone on a laptop to dictate the software. The results were not very accurate. In fact, in some cases, they were downright comical.
Otter’s transcript of the Wikipedia article referenced above.
We had to correct multiple errors. It did not transcribe Homophones, words it misheard, or names correctly. Overall, we found that Otter was about 70% accurate.
That means you'll have to edit your document after you've completed dictating. And if you don't take this step, the meaning of what you're trying to say might be lost.
Even when Otter is accurate, mistakes can confuse readers. For example, one sentence was "spaces of balance very good metrics." What I said was, "Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent."
Uploading an Audio File
We decided to test Otter's transcription accuracy by uploading an audio file of 3 people on a talk show. Overall, we found that it did a pretty good job at transcribing the conversation.
However, it didn't always recognize when another speaker started talking. It also did not register some words.
The software only detected two speakers speaking when there were 3. Despite these minor flaws, we think that Otter is an ok tool for transcribing audio files.
It might be helpful if you only try to capture what you say in one or two short conversations. Plenty of free services can do this. But as with most voice recognition software, it's not perfect.
If you need a more accurate transcript, there are other apps available for less price.
What this Means For You
Overall, we were indifferent to Otter's transcription accuracy. In some cases, it was able to capture speech quite well.
There were a few instances where words were misheard or misunderstood. It's an issue with most transcription services. We can't say it's necessarily a reflection of Otter's quality.
We think Otter is a decent option for transcription. Its accuracy is good enough for personal applications.
Now let’s take a look at Otter’s UI. We investigated if Otter transcription software is user-friendly enough for your business needs.
The first thing we noticed about Otter was the interface. The hub is a home screen with sections for organizing notes and transcriptions.
You can also search through your recordings. It's helpful if you want something specific. The interface is clean and straightforward, which makes it easy to use.
The web portal for Otter is very user-friendly. The layout is simple and easy to understand. There are three main sections: Your Conversations, Shared with you, and Apps.
● You can see conversations you have recorded in the "Your Conversations" section.
● In the "Shared with You" section, other Otter users can see conversations shared with you.
● And in the "Apps" section, you can manage your integrations with other web apps.
Overall, we found the web portal very user-friendly and easy to navigate.
UI & UX
All of the functions are responsive and work pretty quickly. You don't need prior experience with transcription software to use Otter effectively. You can pick up how to do it in just a few minutes.
The interface is also customizable, so you can make it fit your needs. You can choose:
● Which features do you want on your screen
● How large or small the font size is
● Change where you want the toolbar to appear on your screen if that's what you prefer.
There's no waiting for downloads or installation. Otter stores everything in the cloud, which may raise some security questions.
Security & Support
Otter may have pretty good transcription software, but can you trust it with your data? If so, how does it keep your information secure?
Otter's Security Methods
Security is a very legitimate concern for people who use transcription software. After all, it's your work on their servers.
You can probably trust Otter transcription software when it comes to data security. They use AWS S3 storage and enable AWS SSE (Server Side Encryption) on data.
It means it will encrypt your data on their servers, and only you can decrypt it. They have a policy of only allowing access to information by authorized personnel.
Do their Techniques Work?
Amazon SSE encrypts the key using a root key that is changed regularly. It's a pretty good security measure, but it's not foolproof.
If someone were to get ahold of the root key, they could decrypt all of the data you encrypt. So, while Otter's security measures are suitable, they're not perfect.
Otter Customer Service and Support
Otter's customer service and support are thorough. The help center provides introductory articles to help new users get started.
It also has a troubleshooting tab. Customers can search for their specific problem or issue, followed by a list of solutions. Various FAQs provide detailed instructions on how to use the software.
When it comes to transcription, there's no shortage of competitors. Rev, Airgram, and Notta are all popular choices, and each has its own set of features that make it unique. Check out the top 15 alternatives to Otter.ai to get a wider choice range.
Notta, for example, can transcribe Zoom meetings without a Zoom Pro license. It can also transcribe audio on YouTube by simply copying and pasting the video link.
Otter.ai is an excellent tool for user friendliness and integration. Its accuracy varies depending on the speaker. You'll want to be sure to test it out before the purchase.
Otter.ai is also pretty secure, so you can feel confident using it for confidential meetings or calls. It's great for small businesses if you pay someone to edit the transcriptions.
When you're ready for a more advanced transcription platform, you can use Notta. Notta is a voice-to-text app that has several different packages you can choose to enlist.
They have plans for what kind of business you have and how many hours per month you need transcribing. Their deep learning algorithm ensures you're current with the most recent AI technology.
1. What is Otter.ai?
Otter.ai is an app that uses speech-to-text to transcribe your conversations in real-time. You can effortlessly search through them later for critical points and details.
It's great for professionals who want to go back and review what speakers are saying in a meeting or lecture. You can even use it to generate meeting minutes. Otter.ai is available on both iOS and Android, and there is a web app as well.
2. Is Otter.ai Safe?
Otter uses AWS S3 storage for all customer data. It enables AWS SSE (Server Side Encryption) to protect that data in transit and at rest. Otter also encrypts all customer data with AES-256 before it stores it on AWS S3.
Additionally, Otter has implemented physical, administrative, and technical safeguards. They protect customer data from unauthorized access or disclosure.
3. What App is Better Than Otter?
Otter is a good app with a very nice UI. Other apps such as Notta have more practical features like native Zoom transcription. It's also highly accurate and supports transcribing YouTube videos from a link.
4. How Accurate is Machine Transcription?
When it comes to machine transcription, there is a wide range of accuracy levels. Some AI transcription programs are as low as 16%, while others, such as Notta, are as high as 95%.
5. How to Choose the Best Speech-to-Text Tool
When looking for a speech-to-text tool, there are a few key features to keep in mind. You'll want a tool that:
Generates transcripts quickly
Natively transcribes Zoom meetings without a Zoom Pro subscription
Highlights key points
Exports in various formats
Transcribes videos by copying and pasting a link
Finding a real-time tool that records and transcribes is essential, so you don't miss a beat.