12 Best Transcription Software for Audio and Video to Text

Transcribing all by yourself can be a pretty daunting task. But thanks to Artificial Intelligence, now we have the best transcription software applications readily available to convert any audio or video into text quickly and easily.

You not only save a ton of time and become more productive, but with these speech-to-text tools, you also improve the accessibility of your content to your audience as well as to search engines.

Whether it is for educational purposes, journalism, interviews, or podcasts for your YouTube channel, transcription software is here to make your life a whole lot easier by quickly converting your audio and video files into text!

Choosing the right speech-to-text software depends on a number of factors, such as level of accuracy needed, budget, time, workload, language compatibility, etc.

For your convenience, we have reviewed and ranked the best transcription software platforms available in 2022, helping you better understand the key features and applications of each so you can find the one that best fits your needs.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.

 

What are the Best Transcription Software Programs?

Here are our picks for the top audio and video transcription programs available in 2022:

1. Best for Transcribing Meetings: Otter.ai

Best for Transcribing Conversations
Otter Otter

Otter.ai is great for transcribing notes from meetings, lectures, interviews, and other talks. Enjoy automatic transcription with Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and Cisco Webex.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Otter is a renowned automatic transcription service that uses artificial intelligence technology to transcribe audio to text in real-time.

In addition to a desktop app, it also has its application available to use on iOS and Android which means now you can efficiently transcribe audio with your smart devices and export them.

otter.ai app

With Otter, you have the option to either record and transcribe audio in real-time or integrate it with several virtual communication apps such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and Zoom to import recordings. It is a highly efficient tool both in terms of time and cost.

After your audio has been transcribed in real-time, you can search the document for specific keywords, adjust the playback speed and skip silences to get the gist of a tedious recording.

Powered by Ambient Voice Intelligence, Otter gets smarter with every recording. It lets you train the software to recognize voices and learn context-based language.

They even offer a Basic plan with free transcription software for up to 600 minutes of transcribing per month.

Click here to check out Otter.ai.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Real-time transcription from Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, and Zoom
  • Accessible on-the-go, iOS, and Android apps
  • Speaker Recognition
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Efficient Collaboration features
  • Ability to feed names and terminology
  • Various playback speeds
  • Multiple export formats (mp3, txt, pdf, docx, srt)
  • Secure (TLS encryption)

Cost

Otter.ai pricing is as follows:

  • Individuals
    • Basic: Free, up to 600 minutes per month, and other limited features
    • Pro: $8.33 per month, more extensive providing its customers with up to 6000 minutes per month
  • Organizations
    • Business: $20 per month, allows you to add a greater number of names of team members and other terms
    • Enterprise: suited for large organizations, contact the Sales department for costs

Click here to check out Otter.ai free today.

2. Great Choice: Rev.com

Great All-Around Service
Rev.com Rev.com

Rev.com is a popular audio and video-to-text transcription service that combines human transcriptionists with AI technology.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Rev provides multiple audio to text conversion services to fit your needs, including both human and automated AI-generated transcriptions.

Whether you want your file to be handled by professional transcribers with 99% accuracy, English or foreign subtitles and captions, or live captions for Zoom meetings Rev has you covered!

Rev provides automatic audio transcription and live captions for your Zoom meetings, virtual conferences, video presentations, and webinars and manual transcription, captions along with both English and Foreign Subtitles (15+ languages).

Professional transcriptionists at Rev can transcribe audio and video files and provide 99% accuracy and are available 24/7.

rev transcription

By adding captions and subtitles to your videos, you enhance the viewer’s experience. They not only convert the audio to text but also add note-worthy non-vocal elements.

Furthermore, using foreign subtitles for your videos increases your potential to be reached out by a global audience.

Live captions for Zoom enable the deaf community and the hard hearing to be involved and are a great way to act as a socially responsible organization.

The Rev app on iOS and Android comes with a voice recording feature as well so you have one application for all your transcription needs.

Click here to visit Rev.com and to try it yourself.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Both manual and automatic transcription services
  • Foreign subtitles for 88+ languages
  • Live captions for Zoom
  • English captions and subtitles
  • Upfront and simple pricing
  • Audio and text is highly secured
  • Quick delivery – manual transcription within 12 hours for audios less than 30 mins, automatic transcription in 5 mins
  • 24/7 available customer support from professional transcriptionists and experts
  • All captions compliant with FCC and ADA

Cost

  • Manual Transcription – $1.25 per minute
  • Automated Transcription – 25 cents per minute
  • English Captions and Subtitles – $1.25 per minute
  • Foreign Subtitles – $3-7 per minute
  • Automatic Live Captions for Zoom – $20 per host
  • See our full Rev pricing guide for more info

Click here to learn more about Rev.com.

3. Best for Accurate Automated Transcription: Sonix

Also Great
Sonix Sonix

Sonix offers an easy-to-use transcription application that's accurate, quick, and fits your budget.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Trusted by companies like WarnerBros, Adobe, and Uber and used by over 40 million customers worldwide, Sonix is an ultimate solution to your transcription needs.

It comes with all the features which would be desired by anyone looking to transcribe audio and video files: one of them is automated translation both in text and subtitles.

Moreover, it has a user-friendly interface which makes it convenient even for those who do not call themselves tech-savvy to transcribe audio or video file recordings.

sonix transcription

What’s even better is that you can watch the satisfying process of the file being transcribed in real-time!

The built-in editor allows you to tweak transcribed and subtitle copy to gain perfection.

Click here to try Sonix today.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Incredibly fast transcription, whether an audio or video file, ready within 5 minutes
  • Provides automated translation for 30+ languages, helping in expanding reach to a global audience
  • Automated and customizable subtitles for greater accessibility
  • Convenient publishing and collaborating features with flexible permissions
  • Timestamp provided with each word for easier referencing
  • Allows you to comment and make notes in your transcript
  • Export transcript in various file formats (Microsoft Word, TXT, or PDFs)
  • Download subtitles in commonly used formats (SRT and VTT)

Cost

  • Standard (pay as much as you use) : $10 per hour (ideal for short tasks)
  • Premium: $5 per hour, plus $22 per user/ month. If billed annually, you can save up to 25%

Sonix offers a free trial with 30 minutes of free transcription.

4. Best for Flexible Pricing Plans: Audext

Also Great
Audext Audext

Audext transcription software offers flexible pricing plans for different applications to fit your budget.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Whether you’re looking for a one-off transcription service or multiple ones, Audext has efficient pricing plans tailored to your needs.

Through its Professional and Automatic audio transcription services, it provides potential customers a varied choice, with one being 99% accurate and the other 80%.

Furthermore, it comes with an inbuilt text editor where you can perfect your transcription using the time stamps for each second.

Click here to try Audext today.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Quick transcription service – an hour of audio files transcribed in just 10 minutes
  • Timestamping for later reference
  • Speaker identification
  • Two transcription methods: Automatic Transcription and Professional Transaction
  • In-built text editor: find and replace words
  • Compatible with various audio file formats MP3, M4A, WAV to name a few
  • Quick transcription service: takes 7 minutes on average to convert an hour-long audio file into text
  • User-friendly interface
  • Various payment methods

Cost

  • Professional: to get your audio transcribed by professional transcribers with 99% accuracy, Audext charges $1.2 per minute and an additional $0.5 for additional parameters such as verbatim and noisy audio. Timestamps, speaker, and accent identification features are provided free of cost.
  • Automatic
    • Classic one-time purchase: $12 an hour
    • Subscription-based $30 per month – 2 hours worth of transcription, $5 for every additional hour. As the number of hours increases, the fee per hour decreases.
    • Enterprise for businesses – custom pricing option
    • Discounts are provided for 10 and 20 hours long audios.

You can get 30 minutes of Audext transcription service free to check it out with no risk.

5. Best for Secure Transcriptions: Transcribe by Wreally

transcribe by wreally

Transcribe by Wreally is a transcription service that offers multiple methods for converting audio and videos to text, including automatic transcription.

The service prioritizes customers’ security and privacy through its stringent policies. This allows its customers to transcribe audio and video file recordings with highly confidential data in over 60+ languages.

Transcribe provides flexibility in the way it transcribes by allowing customers to choose from three methods. The first one is the Magical Automatic Transcription which typically transcribes in less than an hour.

The other two methods: Voice Type with Dictation and Self Transcription involves human intervention.

The former allows users to dictate their audio or video into text in real-time. This can be really useful when the audio is not clear. The last thing you would want to do is transcribe your file manually.

To make it much less of a hassle, Transcribe lets you use a foot pedal and define acronyms which it later expands using the Text Expander technology for efficient typing.

Click here to learn more.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Transcriptions tools work with foot pedal to control audio playback allowing you to free your hands
  • Supports 60+ languages
  • 3 Transcription modes: Magical Automatic Transcription, Voice Type with Dictation, and Self Transcription
  • Auto Loop: Enables your audio to pause and resume on its own while you edit your transcript
  • Text Expander: Preset acronyms to let Scribe automatically expand them as you type
  • Works Offline
  • Automatic Subtitle creation
  • Transcript files can be exported in Doc and TXT format
  • High profile data protection policies

Cost

  • Self Transcription (Voice Type with Dictation and Self Transcription) :$20 a year
  • Automatic Transcription: $20 a year + $6 per hour

Click here to learn more about Transcribe.

6. Best for Fast Transcription: Express Scribe (NCH Software)

express scribe

Who knew automatic audio transcription could also be done for free? If you work with common audio file formats such as WAV, MP3, WMA, and DCT, you can use the free transcription software version which comes with just enough features to get the job done.

Express Scribe allows users to convert their audio to text effortlessly through various convenient features. It can transcribe audio files from both analog and digital voice recorders.

Moreover, to make the whole process even more efficient, you can also set up file automation to send completed transcripts to your client without needing to do any extra work.

It also offers plugins such as the FastFox Text Expander and Express Invoice Invoicing to speed up the process.

Click here to check out Express Scribe.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Available in both Free and Pro versions
  • Can be integrated with other word processing software with utmost ease, including Microsoft Word, Corel Wordperfect, Lotus Word Pro, etc.
  • Variable Speed Playback
  • Variety of formats compatible in both free and pro version
  • Hot-keys enabling a mouse-free experience and faster turnaround time
  • Set up automation to allow transcripts to be effortlessly sent to your clients
  • Can load files through the internet (FTP), email, and local computer network
  • Compatible with both analog and digital voice recorders
  • Low system requirements
  • Supports USB Transcribing Pedals

Cost

Express Scribe pricing is as follows:

  • Free Version
  • Paid
    • Express Scribe Basic $60

Click here to try Express Scribe.

 7. Best for Users of Apple Products: Trint

trint

Trint is an AI-based audio transcription software that uses sophisticated technologies to understand human audio and then convert it into text.

If you are an Apple User, Trint can be really useful as it seamlessly supports MacOS and iOS. With its mobile application, you can input phone numbers, record calls, upload files to Trint, preview transcripts and download files directly to your device.

Trint can efficiently transcribe audio and video files, interviews, archives, and phone calls. While AI-based transcription is not perfectly accurate, Trint has a high accuracy rate of 99%.

Moreover, Trint also offers the ability to edit search through the transcripts. Trint’s partnership with Adobe Premiere Pro, Zoom, and Zapier allows easy transitioning between apps.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Compatible with Windows, MacOS, and iOS
  • Supports up to 31 languages including
  • Real-time transcription in 15 languages in under 3 seconds
  • High accuracy – 99%
  • Built-in Text Editor
  • No software download required
  • Supports most audio and video formats (.mp3, .mp4, .m4a, .aac, .wma, .avi, .wav, .mov)
  • Transcripts can be exported in several formats (.docx, .srt, .vtt, .txt, .stl, .edl, .html, .xml, .csv)
  • Personal dictionary – add jargon, people names, brand names, and non-standard spellings
  • Comments for efficient collaboration
  • Highlight and Mark text for emphasis
  • Flexible Pricing Plans

Cost

Can be billed annually (20% discount) and monthly.

  • Starter: small scale transcriptions (up to 7 transcriptions/ month) $48 per month
  • Advanced: Unlimited transcriptions, $60 per month
  • Pro Team: Ideal for teams that require collaboration features, $68 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Ultimate transcription solution for organizations, custom pricing

Click here to check out Trint.

8. Best For Team Players: Descript

descript logo

Descript is an audio transcription program and a whole lot more.

It includes a full-fledged podcast editor, a screen recorder, and a video editor along with transcription (automatic and human done by professional transcriptionists). It incorporates powerful collaboration features which make sharing data with other teammates a breeze. As soon as you complete a project, you can share it via a web link.

Additionally, it comes with a super useful Speaker Identification feature which allows you to add speaker labels in a jiffy. You can rest assured that your data is always secure as Descript employs strict data protection policies.

For more convenience, it allows you to sync your projects in the cloud making them accessible anytime, anywhere by any of the collaborators. An option to stitch an already transcribed audio is also available.

Top Features & Benefits

  • White Glove service – 100% accurate audio transcriptions by professional humans
  • Multiple solutions through one platform (transcription, podcast editor, screen recorder, and a video editor)
  • Export transcripts in various formats (.doc, .rtf, .srt, .vtt)
  • Overdubbing (create text to speech model of your voice)
  • Remove filler words with a single click
  • Save your files in different cloud storage platforms (Google, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box) through Zapier
  • High confidentiality of data

Cost

  • Free – up to 3 hours of transcription
  • Creator $12 / editor / month  – up to 10 hours of transcription per month
  • Pro $24  / editor / month  – up to 30 hours of transcription per month
  • Enterprise – custom pricing

Click here to check out the Descript service.

9.  Best for User-Friendly Interface: Inqscribe

inqscribe

Inqscribe is a digital media transcription software that facilitates manual self-transcription of audio and video.

Its simple interface shows the video and the text editor both in one window which makes it easy for users to make notes and/or transcribe.

You can also insert timecodes as frequently as you wish using simple instructions.

Despite Inqscribe’s easy-to-use interface, it has video tutorials, screenshots, and a knowledge base which makes it extremely easy for beginners to meet their video and audio transcription needs.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Compatible with commonly used audio and video formats
  • Mouse-free control
  • Compatible with foot pedal
  • Supports various export formats (plain text, XML, HTML, Final Cut Pro XML etc)
  • Unicode Supported
  • Low configuration requirements

Cost

  • Free – limited features
  • Paid- $99 per individual license, discounts available for students and on multiple licenses

Click here to check out this transcription software.

10. Best for Voice Over: Maestra

maestra

Maestra is a downloadable text-to-speech software with a built-in sophisticated text editor.

Along with quick automatic audio transcription, it also lets its users generate subtitles and captions in over 50 languages and instantly voice over videos in 20+ foreign languages using computer-generated voice.

Maestra allows its potential customers to test out the transcription software for free for 15 minutes before actually purchasing it. It also offers a cloud storage facility named MaestraCloud.

To enhance the collaborative experience, you can create team-based channels and set permissions to edit and view transcripts for your entire team.

Maestra accounts can be shared and used on multiple devices.

Top Features & Benefits

  • Transcription and subtitles and captions generation in 50+ languages
  • Automatic voiceover in over 20 languages
  • Inbuilt interactive text and subtitle editor
  • Export subtitles in  WebVTT (.vtt), Cheetah (.cap), Avid DS (.txt), PDF, TXT, SubRip (.srt),
  • Utilizes high data encryption technologies

Cost

  • Free Demo
  • 5 hours per month – $29/month
  • 10 hours per month – $49/month
  • 20 hours per month – $99/month
  • Enterprise – custom plan for greater than 20 hours per month

You can learn more about Maestra at this link.

11. Best for Free Transcription: oTranscribe

otranscribe

oTranscribe is an open-source web app that facilitates manual self-transcription.

With oTranscibe transcription tools, you can have full control of the application and perform functions such as pause, rewind, and fast forward with just the keyboard. It has the feature of interactive timestamps which makes it easier to navigate through your transcript.

What’s great about oTranscribe transcription tools is that even though it is a web-based app it can be used offline.

However, features such as YouTube support and Google Drive export will not work as they require a dedicated internet connection. To make it easy for beginners to transcribe mouse-free, the website has a couple of keyboard shortcuts.

Also, users can add their own shortcuts for an even more efficient transcription experience. The audio and video format compatibility depends entirely on the browser that you use to access oTranscribe.

To ensure the security of your audio, videos, and transcripts, all your data is stored locally using your computer’s storage instead of on a remote server or cloud. oTranscribe’s web app backs up your work progress every 5 minutes and recommends users export their work at the end of each day to prevent loss of data when transcribing audio.

Top Features & Benefits

  • One window – both video and text editor
  • Mouse-free navigation
  • Interactive time stamps
  • Automatically backups current transcript at set intervals
  • Secure as data is only stored locally on your computer
  • Export to Markdown, plain text, and Google Docs
  • Can only import .OTR oTranscribe file format
  • Can only export transcript in plain text (.txt) and Markdown (.md)
  • Customer support available through Twitter and email

Cost

oTranscribe is a free transcription program.

Click here to check it out.

12. Best For Large Files: Happyscribe

happyscribe

Have large and lengthy audio or video files to transcribe? Look no further!

Happyscribe provides subtitle and transcription services for files of all sizes at competitive rates. It allows users interested in its services to try out a free trial before getting their feet wet.

It has both automatic and professional human transcription and subtitling services. After receiving your transcript you can use the user-friendly interactive text editor to correct and replace words as you please.

Like other top-of-the-line transcription services, Happyscribe’s technology also identifies speakers and has a timestamp feature. There are extensive subtitle format options that enable you to personalize them to suit your brand.

Pricing plans depend on whether you want an automatic service that is 85% accurate or a 99% accurate human-made service. With Happyscribe, you can be assured that you will get a high-quality transcript with proper punctuation.

Top Features & Benefits

  • No uploading file size restriction
  • Supports wide range of import and export formats
  • Supports up to 62 languages including Japanese, Italian and Mandarin
  • Interactive text editor
  • One-click sharing
  • Integrations with Zapier, YouTube and more
  • All data is kept secure and confidential
  • Easy collaboration
  • Speaker Identification
  • Timestamps

Cost

  • Transcription and Subtitles
    • Automatic $0.20 per minute
    • Human-made $1.95 per minute
    • Note: Transcription and subtitling services are charged individually

Click here to learn more.

 

What is Transcription Software?

Transcription software assists in the conversion of human speech into readable text. With the development of speech recognition technology, the primary objective is to automatically convert any voice recording or video into text.

The best transcription software can turn everything from video lectures to podcasts to presentations into readable tetxt.

All you need to do is upload the file onto the cloud for seamless, real-time transcription. Once completed, you can edit the transcribed version because there is always a probability of minor errors.

 

The Benefits of Using Transcription Software Programs

Target a wider audience

By converting your audio into text, you will be able to cater to a large amount of diverse audience, hence applying your marketing tactics efficiently. Some people prefer reading instead of listening to audio or watching a video. This is particularly true in situations where a lot of subjective information needs to be conveyed (e.g.-research papers)

Facilitates people with disabilities

If your audience is deaf or blind, transcribed resources are very useful to keep themselves updated with current affairs or maybe even listen to their favorite novel, podcasts, etc.

Easy distribution

Apparently, distribution channels of text yield better results than those of audio, which means transcription softwares are a must have if you want to distribute your content through online blogs, E-books, or emails.

 

Are There Any Limitations to Using Transcription Programs?

Accent barriers

If some recordings consist of people speaking too fast or in a specific accent, it can be difficult for the transcription software to accurately churn out exact sentences. The result would be unclear, distorted information. Such recordings would have to be transcribed manually.

Lack of proper grammar and vocabulary

All machines require human intervention to some extent. Once the software completes its job, it is advisable to go through the text and correct any grammatical errors such as capitalization, commas, use of proper nouns, etc. In many instances, soft wares are not able to catch specialized terms or even company names so you have to input them manually.

 

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Transcription Software

Readability

This factor greatly depends on the mechanism of the speech-recognition software. A reasonably accurate speech-recognition software should be able to analyze pauses between text, different parts of speech, tenses, and different voices and dialects.

Turnaround time

The amount of time it takes to transcribe a file solely depends on its length. The longer the time frame, the more minutes it will take to turn around a file.  On average, a 1-hour-long file takes approximately 30 minutes.

Limited transcribing

Very few transcription tools may allow unlimited transcribing, especially those with custom plans. On other hand, there can be a limit on the length of the files or the number of times each month.

Cost

Transcription software usually charges on a per-minute basis and some additional fees if you want faster processing or verbatim files. Additionally, many transcription programs come with a variety of payment plans that are differentiated based on the features. You can also opt for the free trials before deciding on the final one.

If you’re a small enterprise or a content creator with a regular workload, you can opt for monthly packages, but if you have a high workload involving long recordings with a lot of details, go for the custom packages.

Audio quality

Eliminating static, background noise is of utmost importance for accurate transcription. Always capture crisp, high-quality voice recordings whether it’s an interview or any other informal content.

The key is to ensure that the participants in the recording use high-tech microphones and speak one at a time. Secondly, recordings of phone calls for smartphone are often not clear, leading to difficulty during transcription. Hence, invest in a digital voice recorder for once and you’ll be good to go!

Remember- automatic transcriptions work best in an organized setting where there is two-way communication with any interference from other participants. If you were to transcribe a debate session or anything of that sort, manual transcription will do the job perfectly.

User-friendly interface

An intuitive user interface is another feature to look for in transcription tools, especially if you are not computer literate. An easy-to-understand dashboard entailing all necessary commands such as navigation buttons, import-export options are the most common ones.

Add timestamps

Timestamps are often the most useful tool for vloggers and video editors, but they may also be used in audio transcriptions. These are tags within your transcribed file that enable the user to find out the exact time when the audio was spoken. Simply put, timestamps are synchronized with the exact timecode, hence making it easy to make last-minute edits in the file.

Transcription editors

Many transcription programs have built-in editors for you to highlight, modify any areas of the transcribed version. Before exporting the final version, make use of the playback controls and rewind buttons to check your work. You can also rearrange the text, make it more concise, etc.

If your organization often uses transcription services, having a robust, built-in editor comes in handy.

Mobile App availability

Some transcription software applications have the option of a Mobile App on both Android and iPhone. GoTranscript, Temi, Otter, and Rev are some of the top ones that allow users to use the app as a digital voice recorder and subsequently order transcripts for the recordings. However, mobile apps are only suitable for transcribing audio from small files such as voice memos or short interviews, but not recommended for heavy files.

Privacy policies

Given the rise in phishing attempts, make sure that privacy policies are in check when transcribing confidential information. Read the software’s privacy to know about the data encryption techniques. Find out whether the software tries to keep a minimal load on their servers and if you instantly delete any file by yourself.

Verbatim transcription

Softwares that allow you to include all minor details in the dialogue such as pauses, stutters (‘ahs’ and ‘ums’) are a substantial advantage, especially in high-pressure work environments where accuracy is the topmost priority. Verbatim transcription does not eliminate any word and simply converts the exact sound into text.

API integrations

Application Programming Interfaces (API) is another versatile feature that seamlessly integrates with other software applications. For instance, if your organization is spread out over different countries, you can simply set up your server in a way that facilitates all work teams, hence improving scalability and reducing costs.

 

Say Goodbye to Manual Transcription!

That’s a wrap!

Now that you are aware of the versatility of transcription software programs, look no further and get one.

You can get your work done in a minimal amount of time and also get a few extra hours on your clock. Overall, it’s a win-win situation.

Try out some of our top picks, like Otter.ai and Rev.com to find the best transcription program for your specific needs.

Happy transcribing!

Fatima Mansoor

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