How to Convert Audio to Text Transcripts

Converting audio to text transcripts is an extremely useful skill in the digital age. Whether you need to transcribe an interview, meeting, podcast, or other audio content for work, or you simply want to increase the accessibility of your audio files, having accurate text transcripts is invaluable.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about transcribing audio to text efficiently and accurately.

Why Transcribe Audio to Text?

Here are some of the top reasons for converting audio to text transcripts:

  • Increase accessibility – Text transcripts make audio content accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also make it easier for people to skim and search audio content.
  • Repurpose content – Once you have a text transcript, you can easily repurpose the content into blog posts, social media updates, and more.
  • Improve SEO – Text content is much easier for search engines to index than audio files. Adding transcripts helps boost your website’s SEO.
  • Save time – Reading a transcript is faster than listening to an audio recording. Transcripts make it easy to quickly find and refer back to information.
  • Aid analysis – Text transcripts can be run through text analysis tools to extract key themes, concepts, and useful data.

Methods for Audio Transcription

You have a few options when it comes to transcribing audio files to text:

Manual Transcription

This involves listening to the audio recording while manually typing up a transcript. It is time-consuming but allows you to transcribe audio with high accuracy. Manual transcription takes at least 3-4 times the length of the audio file.

Automated Transcription

Automated transcription uses speech recognition technology to automatically convert speech to text. It is much faster than manual transcription but accuracy can vary greatly depending on audio quality. Many services offer automated transcription including, Trint, and Descript.

AI-Assisted Transcription

This hybrid model combines automated speech recognition with human editing to boost accuracy. Services like Rev and GoTranscript use AI to create an initial draft transcript which is then edited by human transcribers. This combines speed and accuracy.

Choosing the Best Method

The best transcription method for you depends on your budget, audio quality, need for accuracy, and turnaround time. Manual and AI-assisted transcription provide the highest accuracy but are more expensive and time-consuming. Automated services are affordable and extremely fast but have lower accuracy.

How to Transcribe Audio Files

Follow these key steps to transcribe your audio files accurately and efficiently:

1. Prepare Your Workspace

  • Have a text editor like Google Docs open to type your transcript
  • Make sure your audio player and text editor are easily accessible side-by-side
  • Use a foot pedal if transcribing large volumes of audio

2. Import the Audio File

  • Upload or import audio files to your workspace
  • Supported formats: WAV, MP3, MP4, AAC, FLAC

3. Transcribe in Short Segments

  • Transcribe your audio in short 5-15 minute segments
  • Take regular breaks to maintain concentration and accuracy

4. Add Timecodes

  • Timecode your transcript by adding a timestamp every 1-3 minutes
  • This helps you locate and review sections easily

5. Proofread and Edit

  • Review your transcript while listening to the audio to catch any errors
  • Correct any mistranscribed or inaudible sections
  • Format the transcript with proper punctuation, capitalization, etc

6. Export Transcript

  • Save your completed transcript as a Word doc, text file, or SubRip subtitle file
  • Include speaker names if transcribing a multi-person conversation

Top Audio Transcription Tools

Here are some of the best audio transcription tools on the market:

  • Trint – Automated transcription with 85% accuracy. Web and mobile apps.
  • – AI-based transcription with note-taking features. Free version available.
  • Sonix – Automated and human transcription services starting at $12 per hour of audio.
  • Rev – Human transcription with 99% accuracy. Costs $1.25 per minute of audio.
  • Happy Scribe – Automated transcription in 120 languages with 85% accuracy.
  • GoTranscript – Human transcription services starting at $0.80 per minute of audio.

Get Accurate Transcripts Fast

Following this guide will help you transcribe audio files to text transcripts accurately and efficiently. With the right tools and methods, you can unlock the value in your audio content by converting it into accessible and reusable text.

Whether you choose automated transcription services or roll up your sleeves for some manual editing, you’ll be on your way to searchable transcripts that increase accessibility and maximize your content ROI.