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What audio transcription software would you recommend?

Fantods's Photo
Posted Jun 09 2010 11:36 AM

Can anybody recommend audio transcription software, meaning software that will transcribe audio files, if such a thing exists? I'm working with several hours of WMA files of an interview.

31 Replies

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  macslocum's Photo
Posted Jun 10 2010 06:01 AM

If you find such a thing please let me know!

YouTube can kinda-sorta do transcriptions, but that's for video and the results are not ready for primetime (i.e. you'd still need to read through and edit).

You could also chunk up the audio into 5-10 minute clips and crowdsource the work through Crowdflower or Mechanical Turk.

If you're doing the transcriptions yourself, you should check out ExpressScribe. I've used it many times. It's a fantastic, free application that gives you a ton of control.
Mac Slocum
Online Managing Editor
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  BrianSawyer's Photo
Posted Jun 10 2010 06:19 AM

You might want to try Dragon Dictation. I haven't used the desktop software, but I've been fairly impressed with the free iPad app, which feels at least a little more accurate than, say, Google Voice transcriptions. For example, here's a transcription of me reading this response to the app on my iPad:

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 : Jun 10 2010 12:21 PM
Thank you for the responses!

However, I'm looking for something a little different: I have a three-hour audio interview already recorded, so Dragon would need to learn to recognize both my speech and that of my interview subject. Is such a thing possible?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
  msilver's Photo
Posted Jun 11 2010 02:07 PM

Dragon's NaturallySpeaking software for Windows looks like it allows you to input audio from some other source. It'd have to be processed in realtime... you couldn't just send it a wav file and expect it to process the audio in a matter of minutes unless all you had was a few minutes of audio.

Their "Feature Comparison Matrix" shows that everything but the $99 version "allows transcription from digital recorders, Pocket PC, PalmOne Tungsten." The software starts at $199 for that feature, and the price goes up steeply from there.

It doesn't look like they have a demo, however.
  Phrankie's Photo
Posted Apr 20 2011 12:03 PM

I think Adobe's Speech Analysis software in Premiere Pro and Sound Booth is pretty amazing. You import the file, select the clip and push the analyze speech button. It will take a couple hours for that length of clip, but it comes out fairly accurate (depending on the sound quality) and is timecode accurate. You can also copy and paste the file into word. The product is pretty amazing and they have a 30 trial for CS5 which includes both Premiere and Sound Booth which would probably be enough time to get what you need done. I realize you are probably done with this project now, but this info's always good to know.
  djtrouten's Photo
Posted Jul 19 2011 08:23 PM

You might try "Voicebase" (www.voicebase.com). It's free for basic use, and will give you a fairly decent transcription, but you'll have to clean it up.
  Obbie_Z's Photo
Posted Jul 21 2011 10:24 AM

Fantods: here's the workaround for transcribing interviews with Dragon Naturally Speaking:

You train DNS to your voice. Play the interview in headphones, and repeat every word into the microphone for DNS to transcribe.

It's a hoop, but a relatively easy one. A lot easier than manually typing every word.
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  andrewp's Photo
Posted May 02 2012 01:01 PM

The audio voice recognition may not be identical in most software. Hence, your audio files might get transcribed wrong using the software.

Audio and Video files should be transcribed by humans manually because multiple speakers are recognized by any software.

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  Tinemarie's Photo
Posted May 11 2012 09:23 AM

If you want accurate transcription I prefer real humans transcribing and analyzing word for word. Try the transcribers at Fiverr.com, very affordable, accurate and fast services.
  girlmac's Photo
Posted Jun 05 2012 09:25 AM

Yes, I also had a need to transcribe AUDIO files, as opposed to direct dictation sitting at my computer in real time.
A lot of people didn't understand this when I asked them and there still seems to be a real hole in the market for this, so I understand your frustration....

Eventually I found the only way that worked with my Mac setup was this:


Macspeech Scribe is a program for Mac.
Perhaps I should describe how I use it to highlight how it is different from Dictate and the like.

I record audio on my ipod/ iphone, then upload that audio file to itunes so I have a WAV file that I want transcribed. I export the WAV file to Desktop.

I then open the MacSpeech Scribe application on my Mac and select that WAV file to be transcribed from the Desktop and the program transcribes it while I am off getting a cup of tea.
Transcription is a bit faster than real time and takes a few minutes.
I come back and clean up some of the errors (this gets better over time as it recognises the way you speak) and then I copy and paste the transcription into a word doc.


Works best with shorter audio files than one big long one.
This is the only way I have found to do this on a Mac setup.

But be warned. There are many bugs still.
And you do need to train it up to recognise your profile. Probably wont do two people in an interview.
For some reason it crashes on Lion a bit and I need to reinstall the program every so often, but overall it does what you need.
  Alden Poon's Photo
Posted Jul 07 2012 10:34 AM

I am looking for a audio transcription software as well that able to transcript Chinese/Mandarin
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  Andrew Robl's Photo
Posted Jul 16 2012 03:35 AM

Speech to text service. I am happy with the service I am receiving. It's cheap and accurate transcription.

I have used Dragon software, but... In my opinion for the average person this software is frustrating and almost never seems to work right.
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  Mariam Abbas's Photo
Posted Jul 20 2012 06:14 AM

Through Speech to Text Service you do not need a transcription software such as "Dragon Naturally Speaking" or "Express Scribe". All you have to do is to upload the text file, and choose within how many days you want it to get transcribed.
It is really as simple as it sounds.
  Ms Kay's Photo
Posted Jan 26 2013 11:28 AM

I am an at home transcriptionist. I use Expressscribe and TheRecordPlayer. They are free downloads and work very well. I use TheRecordPlayer the most. CaseViewer is another program.
  jayare's Photo
Posted Feb 02 2013 04:18 AM

Can someone who has had success with this audio transcription post some step by step instruction about how they got it to work? i downloaded the free version of Express Scribe and I have Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking. It would be so good to be able to have these automatically transcribe some discussions I have loaded on to my computer. B)
  Transcriptions Services's Photo
Posted Feb 08 2013 09:47 AM

Using audio transcription software, it is become necessary to spend time behind proofread. So I recommend do it manually or outsource to other company instead of using audio transcription software. There are many online transcription company available that transcribe audio files instantly and also at very economical rate.
  Henry Scott's Photo
Posted Feb 18 2013 09:44 PM

I think you should not purchase any audio transcription software for transcribing your audio files into text, as it will charge you a high amount. Instead outsource your requirements to a professional transcription company.

Get quick, accurate, affordable audio transcription services at Hi-Tech BPO Services Transcription Solution.
  Habile Data's Photo
Posted Feb 18 2013 09:55 PM

I know many programs that can efficiently handle audio and voice recordings but I can say there is virtually no audio plus video transcribing software available! After that no proofreading or editing is required. Even pro versions, high priced software have the same basic functionality!

I would rather prefer to stick with audio video transcription services process that we follow now! Combination of advance, customize software and our expertise of years. Its best for all format, complexity transcribing need and cost less, trust me!
  tom2_2804's Photo
Posted Mar 08 2013 09:26 PM

There are many transcription softwares like dragon and they need extensive training.

The software may be fine with single speaker audio and if the audio involves 2 or more then it will be a collapsed.

If there are bulk audios ie.above 2 hrs of audio,then i will surely suggest http://intellecttranscriptions.com/

They provide cash discount on bulk audios. You may use this Offer code ''ITSTM2103" to get some cash discounts for all audio types and duration.
+ 1
  BPO Outsourcing Services's Photo
Posted Mar 13 2013 06:32 AM

Why should you not outsource your audio transcription services to professional transcription company? Because they provides http://www.bpooutsou.../transcription/ by using advanced software.

This post has been edited by BPO Outsourcing Services: 04 September 2013 - 02:50 AM

  Aaron Wiseman's Photo
Posted Mar 20 2013 07:33 AM

I recommend, you should go to outsourcing transcription services provider because they use advanced transcription software & committed to deliver quality transcription solutions at cost effective prices.
  Habile Data's Photo
Posted Apr 02 2013 05:24 AM

Companies are hiring professional rather than investing on expensive software for transcribing audio to text, and the only reason for it is the best quality, reliability and accountability they are getting from experienced transcription service providers. I believe employing experts is best method to get transcription done if you don't have in-house transcription facility.
  Transcriptionwave's Photo
Posted Jul 03 2013 01:22 AM

The audio to text services cost anywhere from $60 to $90 per hour. At these rates it is your right to get the best quality audio to text transcription or transcription services. Look up the company's testimonials and ask them to provide a list of their previous clients. Get in touch with these clients and find out what they have to say about their experience with the particular transcription company.

Transcriptionwave Inc is an established organization that is operating in this transcription domain since last several years. With rich experience, consummate workforce, state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern & advanced equipments and a great vision, Transcriptionwave Inc is moving ahead leading the entire domain and guiding the immature customers and audio transcription service providers.
  Zach Riah's Photo
Posted Dec 18 2013 02:21 AM

Hello Fantods,
I am working in a Transcription Service provider company, you may avail our Audio Transcription Services. We assure you to provide high quality transcription services at affordable rates.

Zach Riah
Portiva Inc

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  janetkissho's Photo
Posted Dec 20 2013 09:07 PM

Hello everyone,
Ive been doing manual transcription for years. Recently I also used dragon dictation software, the software is good.
Having said that let me warn you the best software you would find will also make mistakes, here I always recommend people to go for manual transcription.
  kwame's Photo
Posted Jan 13 2014 07:28 PM

Audio transcription software is only suitable for one voice only. That's provided you have successfully trained the software to recognize your voice If there are more than one voice in the file, it means you are going to spend a lot of time cleaning it up. That time could have been used by yourself doing manual transcription with 99.99 % accuracy. If you do not have the time to do it yourself, the next best option is to outsource the work to a Transcription Services Company.
I am an individual. I can do your Audio or Video transcription in both English and/ or French for only $0.50 per minute. You can contact me through: kwame69mensah@gmail.com
  RJacobsen's Photo
Posted Jan 17 2014 08:30 AM

Hi Fantods,

I had a project last week and I found about TranscriptionWing. Let me introduce you to these cool guys. They pride themselves in having client-centric features, turnaround times that fit any deadline and transcription rates that fit any budget. I tried them. It seems their transcription services are closely managed by a set of talented people. In fact, I have found that no other transcription companies take into account the ratings from their customers! They also promised to safeguard the confidentiality of my info. Check their audio transcription formats to test their services. It's worth a shot I tell you. :)

  Alecia01's Photo
Posted Jan 26 2014 10:50 PM

I do not know of any software that will directly transcribe audio to page. However, I use a program called LightScribe. It is free and it works really well for me. It gives you the ability to slow down the audio, so you can make faster and more accurate transcriptions. Plus like I said before, it's free! You may contact these people, they will let you help better.
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  Irina's Photo
Posted Feb 10 2014 05:55 AM

If you do manual transcription, I'd recommend Transcriber-pro transcription software for Windows.
Now I have everything I need in one app to transcribe anything. I like Transcriber-pro for easy transcript and media navigation, intuitive interface, time code, speakers insert, keyboard shortcuts and text replacement features. Smart speakers insert is very helpful when you deal with multi-speaker recordings, you can even describe someone's voice or any speaker details you consider important for your transcription work. Interactive captions with social media posting is another great feature. They offer a 30-day trial and reasonable license price.
You can find more details and download the software visiting Transcriber-pro web site :)

  David Harper's Photo
Posted Feb 20 2014 09:55 PM

I have seen a lot of post and comments mentioning different software for audio transcription here, but as i have tried some of them for my few of 1 hr 15 minute audio recordings but what i get was real scrape.

Then i made my mind to hire some one for these and found a reliable company in India for transcribing audio files to text and i am very satisfied with the quality, accuracy and services they are providing.

I would rather suggest to check professional available for regular audio to text transcription work.
  André Pestana's Photo
Posted Mar 13 2014 08:26 PM

Thanks a lot for the answers. I was looking for it too!
André Pestana