The 5 Best Ways to Transcribe Audio to Text

Do you need to transcribe audio text? Trying to figure out the best way to go about getting an accurate transcription of your audio file?

Consider the following: An adult can read about 250 to 300 words per minute. On the other hand, with efficient comprehension, the average talking speed is about 100-150 words per minute.

These numbers clearly tell us that reading written material can be twice as fast as watching a video!

Although we cannot undermine the effectiveness of using video content, converting audio into text transcripts can still yield many more benefits if we think from a marketing or educational standpoint.

In essence, written material complements the audio and makes your content discoverable on search engines, and leverages your brand.

But how exactly do you go about transcribing audio that you have into text transcript?

You have a lot of different options for transcribing audio to text, but not all of them are created equal. Some methods might be less accurate than others, while other methods may be more time-consuming or costly.

In the guide below, we’ll go over all the different ways you can transcribe audio to text.

 

5 Different Ways To Transcribe Audio To Text

There are a number of audio transcription options out there, ranging from free of cost to very low-cost alternatives. 

Here are 5 of the best ways to transcribe audio to text to help you out:

 

1. Using Automated Transcription Software

It is possible to choose transcription software that can automatically convert the audio into text in a matter of minutes. There are many great transcription software apps, like Otter.ai, that make it super easy to transcribe large audio files in no time at all.

Using automated transcription software is highly recommended for those that have a lot of audio to transcribe. It can save potentially many hours compared to trying to manually transcribe the audio with a human.

Additionally, there are built-in editors in the software that efficiently perform the job of editing and refining the overall output. Another usefulness of automatic transcription services is that they allow the text to be converted into any language. This aids flexibility and better global outreach.

To put it clearly, using software to automatically transcribe audio is without a doubt the fastest and most efficient method available.

 

2. Trying Microsoft Word’s Transcription Feature

Microsoft Word is a widely available and used word processing software among people, but a lot of users don’t realize it has a transcription feature built into it. So if you are an MS Word user, then you do not need to run around looking for an alternative to manual typing. MS Word’s transcribe feature allows mp3, mp4, m4a, & WAV to be converted into plain text. 

You can simply record conversations directly in MS Word, and alternatively, you can upload files that will be transcribed in it automatically. Its features also include voice recognition and time stamps.

There are additional tools for transcription which are supported in Microsoft Office paid plans starting from $6.99 per month.

 

3. Manually Transcribing Your Audio Into Text

You could just choose to transcribe your audio file into text manually on your own.

The problem is this takes a lot of time and energy. It’s a very tedious job, and it’s definitely not an efficient way to use your time if you’re a professional or even a student.

However, manual transcription is an available option for people who don’t have tight deadlines around their work, have plenty of free time, and have a low budget.

 

4. Hiring a Human Transcriber

You can choose a company to transcribe your files if you want to ensure higher accuracy and have a higher budget to be spent on transcription.

Companies usually have high-grade professionals who can quickly and accurately transcribe your files to text.

Usually, it costs around $2 per minute of audio, and it takes at least a week.

These companies pay attention to intricate details and take into account the number of speakers, accents, and audio characteristics to preserve the quality & tone of audio in textual transcription.

All in all, manual transcription by a professional is probably the most accurate method available, but it’s also the most expensive and takes the longest amount of time.

 

5. Google Keyboard

Android users who already have access to a text-to-speech app on their phone will agree that the Google Keyboard is a relatively limited & restricted option in terms of its features. However, it is a decent option to transcribe your audio files into the text if you want quick results.

For instance, if you want to urgent interview or maybe to complete a report assignment, Google Keyboard is a  reasonable option.

It may not be the most ideal option but it still ensures 90% accuracy in its transcription process.

However, using Google Keyboard to improve your marketing tactics will not be profitable in the longer term due to the lack of advanced features that automated software offer.

 

Why You Should Transcribe Your Audio to Text

Audio transcription is a great tool to grow your brand and reach more people online. 

Some of the reasons why you should transcribe your audio files to text are as follows: 

Increased search engine presence

By turning audio into actual text and putting it on your website, you can increase your site’s visibility in Google. The more content you have, the more search engine traffic you stand to gain for your website.

Larger audience reach

Audio listeners have a wide reach, but expanding your content to different mediums can help you reach a wider audience. Some people listen to podcasts and others prefer to read. 

The written transcribed content can be used for purposes such as: 

  • Blog posting 
  • Infographics
  • Email campaign

Leverage your brand and attract more customers 

Captivate your audience and increase your share by giving them options of audio, text transcription, blog posts, different social media platforms, and so on.

People with different preferences use and prefer different means of information. By taking care of their preference, you will be able to engage more with your audience.

Transcribing content also increases its accessibility and shareability, and people generally feel comfortable reading anytime anywhere as compared just to listening and watching. This can get you more followers and engagement compared to your competitors.

 

How To Choose An Audio to Text Transcription Software

Personally, I believe using an automated software to convert your audio files into text documents is the easiest, most efficient option out there.

But when it comes to transcription software, there are many options on the market, so you have to choose wisely. 

Here are some things to look for when choosing transcription software tools:

1. Real-time transcription

The turn-around time for transcription software is one of the most vital features to look for when choosing audio to text converter. The length of a file determines how long it takes to transcribe it; the longer the file, the longer the time it needs to transcribe it. However, with this feature, transcriptions take place in real-time. A fast and accurate transcription takes place as soon as you start recording, eliminating the need to wait for transcription or missing out on important details during meetings or lectures.

2. Voice recognition

Transcription software is trained to recognize voices and dictation through their in-built AI technology. It is capable of analyzing the qualities of someone’s voice and matching those traits to a specific individual. This software not only identifies your voice amongst different voices and accents, but it will all pick up on the pauses between text and analyze distinct sections of speech or tenses amongst audio recordings.

3. Highlighting

This feature allows you to identify and highlight key sections in a document. You may use this function to comprehend the important elements of the speech without having to read the full script. Furthermore, it also provides you with a quick analytical report, which includes a summary of the audio file and allows you to have a better understanding of the concerned subject.

4. Keeping organized

This function helps you keep track of your transcriptions by creating a new folder on your device that you can share with others. This feature allows those who have access to your file to view the transcribed version.

5. Integration with different apps

This functionality enables integration with a variety of software programs, including Zoom, Google Meet, Dropbox, and Google/Microsoft Calendar. This allows you to be notified about any meeting or lecture taking place on these widely used third-party software. For simpler and faster access, the recordings and transcribed files can be synchronized to the cloud.

Meetings have been more time-consuming than productive in the past due to manual note-taking. Not only there is a greater probability of missing important items but it is also tiresome and makes communication difficult.

In today’s hybrid world, making communications easier and encouraging collaborations can be done with the above-mentioned features. Tasks such as joining the meetings automatically, transcribing conversations, and sharing notes can now be done under one source with the solution we are providing for you!

 

Otter.ai: Our Top Pick for Audio Transcription Software

Otter.ai is our favorite tool for transcribing audio files into text. 

Here’s why:

1. Real-time notes

Otter.ai live note-taking is a blessing disguised for any student or an assistant responsible for taking notes.

Taking notes is a simple task in Otter.ai and can be done with a simple tap of the finger. It allows you to highlight all the important key points and decisions in a matter of seconds.

Furthermore, these live notes are particularly collaborative because they may be shared with your colleagues or fellows for highlighting, revising, or adding photos to be used in transcripts.

One of its distinct features includes of summary, which is provided to save your time and give you a better understanding of the recording.

2. Customized Vocabulary

This is one of the most premia yet important functions for Otter.ai.

The artificial intelligence responsible for converting audio to text is unfamiliar with specialized terminology or firm names.

Through a customized vocabulary, you may teach Otter.ai accurate names, jargon, acronyms, and unique name spellings. A manually created customized vocabulary can complete the job, make the text more comprehensible and ensure that the text is free of any grammatical errors.

3. Advanced Search

Its advanced search feature allows you to easily and quickly find key terms required. Rapid search is an important feature needed during meetings or otherwise.

With this, you can rapidly search across all of your discussions by keywords, phrases, speakers, groups, folders, and time range and view the relevant sections of the recording.

4. Mobile app availability

Otter.ai has launched its own mobile app for both android and iPhone users so that it may be accessed from anywhere and anytime. This feature is ideal for transcribing audio on the go for small files including short voice notes or briefs. You may now effortlessly and rapidly record or transcribe in real-time using the app.

5. Supports different importing formats

This function is true to the meaning of the more the merrier! The software enables you to transcribe with different audio formats including the most popular ones including MP3, WAV, etc.

6. Meeting Gems

A new “Meeting Gems” panel has been added to Otter.ai to collect key points, outcomes, and significant points from meetings. The panel may be used to assign tasks, make statements, and express inquiries.

Otter.ai pricing includes both free plans and low-cost paid plans, so there are options to fit every budget.

Click here to check out Otter.ai free today.

 

How To Transcribe Audio To Text With Otter.ai

1. Create a free account with Otter.ai

Create an account with Otter.ai and choose the plan you need. Otter offers its users a free package or a trial with each plan to use its features. You can then log in on your Otter.ai profile to start transcribing.

2. Upload the file

Otter.ai  allows its users to either import the audio file or record it in real-time.

  • To upload, go to the top-left corner of the Home screen and click the Record or Import option.
  • Once you’ve imported the MP3 file, click on Go to Transcript.

3. Process conversion

Otter.ai then processes your file and transcribes it. Once the transcript file is ready, Otter.ai sends a notification and the transcript file is presented on the screen.

4. Export

The transcript can also be exported in different files including TXT, PDF, DOCX, and SRT files. It can also be shared with others and edited by them.

 

A Final Word on Transcribing Audio to Text

If you need to transcribe audio text, you have plenty of options at your disposal. From manually transcribing your audio files on your own to using a tool that automatically does it for you, there are lots of choices available.

The best option will really depend on what you can afford, how much time you want to spend on it, and what level of accuracy you need.

If you want accurate transcription delivered quickly and at a good price, we recommend trying Otter.ai. This popular transcription software offers real-time transcription of online meetings and multiple audio and video file formats.

Click here to check out Otter.ai free today.

Still have some questions about how to transcribe audio to text? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.

 

Fatima Mansoor

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