Discover the best audio to text software for podcasters & videos. Convert podcasts and YouTube videos into text with accuracy and efficiency. Start now!

audio to text software

Getting your podcast or YouTube videos to rank in front of viewers used to be simple: create excellent content, and the listeners come. But with 5 million podcasts and 51 million YouTube channels for people (and algorithms) to choose from, getting your content in front of an audience is a bit more challenging than it used to be. 

That’s where video and audio to text software comes in to save the day. 

The competition may be fierce, but with the right audio to text transcription software, you can teach the algorithms who’s boss in no time. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the best software solutions available to convert your podcasts and video files into written text. Whether you’re a podcaster, content creator, or just seeking efficient transcription tools, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Audio to Text Software and How Does It Work?

Audio to text software is a game changer because it eliminates the need for laborious hours of manual transcription. And call it like it is: the more time you have to craft new content, the better. 

The people want their content, and they want it now—we get it! 

So first, let’s explore how this software works and the different types of transcription it can handle.

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)

Automatic transcription software often uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology. ASR algorithms analyze audio and video file input and attempt to convert it into text using complex linguistic and statistical models. 

This AI-based transcription method is quick and convenient, and depending on what you use, it can be cost-effective, too. But it has its limitations in terms of accuracy—especially when it comes to challenging audio quality, multiple speakers, and accents. 

So unless your podcast or YouTube video is a single talking head with fabulous elocution, you should skip this one. 

Audio To Text Software Workflow Breakdown

If you’re considering automatic transcription services, you may be wondering how it actually works. Here’s a basic overview of how video or podcast audio can be turned into text with artificial intelligence-driven speech recognition software. 

  • Audio Input – Users upload audio files, such as recordings of interviews, podcasts, or videos, to the audio to text transcription software. 
  • Audio Processing – The software analyzes the audio input, removing background noise, normalizing volume levels, and enhancing audio clarity to optimize transcription accuracy. Some free software may have a transcription time limit. 
  • Transcription Conversion – Now, it’s time for the ASR algorithms to do their thing. ASR-based software uses advanced machine learning techniques to recognize and convert speech patterns into written form. They do pretty well, considering they’re just machines. A 2023 comparison study found Rev had the lowest error rate at 86%). 
  • Editing and Formatting – Don’t hold your breath here—speech-to-text software can’t edit or format your transcription. However, the software may offer editing features to correct inaccuracies or format the text according to user preferences.
  • Export Transcripts and Share – Once the transcription is finalized, it can be exported as a text document, integrated into various applications, shared with collaborators, or used for other content creation.

Human Transcription

Interested in polished, professional (albeit a bit more expensive) transcriptions that don’t need editing or formatting? You’ll fare better with human-based transcription than with automatic transcription software. 

Human transcription involves professional transcriptionists listening to the audio content and manually typing it out. It’s surprisingly fast (for instance, SpeakWrite delivers human transcriptions in about 3 hours or less) and remarkably accurate (99% – 100% accuracy). 

This method ensures a more precise transcript and is often the preferred method for industries such as law enforcement, legal services, and financial institutions due to its trustworthy level of accuracy. 

Benefits of Using an Audio to Text Software for Podcasts and Videos

Now that we’ve covered HOW YouTubers and Podcasters use audio to text software, let’s dive into WHY

Accessibility and Inclusivity

First and foremost, text transcripts make your podcast or video content accessible to individuals with hearing impairments. It also improves accessibility for learners who prefer reading subtitles for videos over listening. Transcripts can be easily repurposed as more than just subtitles—they provide easy drafts, how-to guides, or articles as well. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Speaking of how-to guides and articles, transcripts are an easy hack for boosting discoverability. Text transcripts enhance SEO by providing search engines with indexable content, increasing the visibility of your podcasts and videos. Transcripts allow search engines to better match your content to relevant users, improving your content’s ranking in search results.

Content Repurposing and Editing

Constantly feel like you’re in the weeds when it comes to social content? Need blog posts and newsletter content? With a transcript, you can easily extract key ideas, quotes, or entire paragraphs to repurpose into captions, email campaigns, and blog content. 

Spanish Translation & Transcription

You can easily translate transcripts into different languages, enabling global reach and audience expansion through foreign subtitles or PDFs. Translated transcripts make your content accessible to non-native speakers, breaking language barriers and broadening your listener or viewer base.

Manual Editing and Formatting

Audio transcription software usually provides tools for manual editing and formatting. You can easily adjust the text, correct punctuation, and ensure the clarity and coherence of the final transcript. Additionally, most software allows you to customize the layout, add speaker identification, and apply formatting options to meet your specific requirements.

Speaker Diarization

One common feature in audio to text transcription software is automatic speaker diarization. This feature uses advanced algorithms to distinguish speaker labels in the transcript. It’s handy for interviews, panel discussions, or other kinds of recordings with multiple speakers. 

Timestamps

Timestamps are another valuable feature offered by most transcription software. Having timestamps associated with specific portions of the text, you can quickly locate and replay the corresponding audio segment, saving time and improving overall productivity.

Customized Vocabulary

Many transcription software solutions allow you to add customized vocabulary or specific terminology to enhance recognition accuracy. This feature is necessary for specialized industries such as legal, medical, or technical fields, where industry-specific terminology is frequently used. 

Collaboration and Sharing

Transcription software often includes collaboration features that enable seamless sharing and a range of audio file formats and video formats. You can easily share transcripts with team members or clients, allowing them to review, edit, or provide feedback. 

Privacy and Security

Reputable software providers implement stringent privacy measures to protect sensitive audio files and ensure the confidentiality of your content. This may include data encryption, secure servers, and compliance with data protection regulations. 

Choosing the Best Audio to Text Software to Suit Your Needs

When it comes to picking the best audio-to-text transcription solution, consider the 3 T’s: 

  • Time
  • Tender
  • Special Traits & Key Features

Time: consider how quickly you need your transcription. 

Some speech-to-text solutions (like Otter.ai) provide real-time or near real-time transcription, delivering immediate results. Others can get it done in a matter of minutes. 

But beware—the time you save in transcription will almost certainly be spent editing and formatting. If you can wait a few hours, human transcription can provide transcriptions ready for use with no editing or formatting needed. 

Tender: your cost and budget requirements

Determine your budget and evaluate the pricing models offered by different transcription software providers. Many services provide subscription models or charge by the minute, but others charge by the word instead. You’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for,” so consider quality as you weigh your options.

Special Traits – consider the extra features you need for your transcriptions. 

Multiple speakers

If your audio recordings involve multiple speakers, ensure the software can accurately distinguish and label each speaker in the transcript. Look for features like speaker diarization that automate this process and improve the readability and comprehension of the transcript.

Language support

If you require transcription in languages other than English, verify that the software supports those languages. Some software solutions offer specific features or models designed to accurately transcribe non-English languages.

Audio quality considerations

Assess the software’s ability to handle different audio qualities, such as recordings with background noise, low volume, or poor audio clarity. Look for features like noise reduction, audio enhancement, or filtering options that can improve audio quality and enhance transcription accuracy. Human transcriptionists can often handle audio quality concerns better than speech-to-text software can. 

Accuracy and formatting

Accuracy is crucial in transcription. Evaluate the software’s accuracy rate and understand whether it employs advanced speech recognition technology or manual editing by human transcriptionists. 

Remember that speech recognition software offers up to 86% accuracy and no professional formatting, while human transcription services provide 99% – 100% accuracy with professional formatting included. If you’re using AI-based transcription, be sure you can access some kind of built-in editor or interactive editor to do a quick review and make adjustments. 

Customization and dictation requirements

Look for features that allow you to add custom vocabulary or create personalized dictionaries to improve recognition accuracy for specialized content. Human transcriptionists can follow directions for formatting, redactions, and more, whereas speech-to-text technology isn’t programmed to follow instructions. 

Integration and export options

Consider the audio transcription software’s compatibility with your frequently used tools or platforms. Additionally, make sure it can handle your preferred video file formats and audio file formats, such as Mp3 files. Check if the software offers export options in popular formats like text, PDF, Word, or subtitle files for easy sharing and integration with your workflow.

Transcription security & privacy 

Ensure the software prioritizes security and privacy by implementing encryption, secure servers, and strict data protection measures. If confidentiality is a concern, verify that the software adheres to relevant data privacy regulations and industry standards to safeguard your sensitive audio files and transcriptions.

4 Tips & Tricks for Getting The Most Out Of Audio To Text Software

Minimize Background Noise

To improve the accuracy of your transcriptions, it’s crucial to minimize background noise as much as possible. Find a quiet environment for recording, or consider using a noise-canceling microphone to reduce unwanted sounds. This will help the transcription software focus on your voice and produce more accurate results.

Speak Clearly and Enunciate

Speaking clearly and enunciating your words will significantly enhance transcription accuracy. Articulate each word distinctly, especially if you have an accent or the audio quality is not optimal. Pronounce words clearly, maintain a moderate pace, and avoid mumbling or slurring your speech.

Use High-Quality Audio Recordings

Providing the transcription software with high-quality audio recordings dramatically improves the accuracy of the transcriptions. Use a good-quality microphone or recorder to capture clear and crisp audio. Avoid recording in noisy environments or using low-quality recording devices, as they can negatively impact the transcription results.

Use Human Transcription For Complex Content

While automated transcription software has its advantages, there are instances where the expertise of a human transcriber can be invaluable. Complex content such as technical discussions, medical terminology, or industry-specific jargon may require human transcriptionists who possess domain knowledge and can accurately capture the nuances and context of the audio.

Manual transcription services can also handle challenging audio situations like multiple speakers talking over each other or audio with heavy background noise. They can discern dialogue more accurately and ensure a higher level of transcription quality. 

Plus, unlike audio transcription software, their servers don’t get overwhelmed—manual transcription services can handle unlimited transcription needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there software that turns audio into text?

Yes, several software options are specifically designed to convert audio into text. These software solutions utilize advanced speech recognition technology to analyze audio recordings and transcribe them into written text. 

Some popular examples include Sonix, Happy Scribe, and Otter.ai. These software programs are designed to handle various audio formats and offer features like speaker identification, punctuation insertion, and editing tools to enhance the accuracy and usability of the transcriptions.

How do I convert an audio file to text?

Converting an audio file to text typically involves using audio transcription services. The process usually starts by uploading or importing the audio file into the software. The software then utilizes speech recognition algorithms to analyze the audio content and generate a corresponding text transcript. 

Some software solutions employ automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, which uses artificial intelligence to transcribe audio. Others may involve a combination of ASR and manual transcription by human experts who review and correct the transcriptions to ensure accuracy. Once the transcription is complete, you can edit and export the text file in various formats for further use.

Is there a free audio to text converter?

Yes, free audio to text converters are available that can convert audio files into text on Word documents, PDFs, and Google Docs. These free converters often provide basic transcription functionalities and are suitable for simple audio files. 

Some examples of free audio to text converters can be found on Google Docs and Microsoft Word. However, it’s important to note that free converters may have limitations on factors such as audio file size, transcription time limits, or the number of transcriptions you can perform. 

Additionally, the accuracy of free converters may differ from that of paid or professional transcription services, as they often rely on general-purpose speech recognition models. Use paid transcription software or services for more advanced features, higher accuracy, and better support. 

Seamlessly Convert Video & Podcast Audio To Text

Say goodbye to time-consuming typing and hello to SpeakWrite’s team of human transcriptionists. Our quick and accurate transcription service can handle unlimited transcriptions and easily convert your podcast audio into accurate transcripts. 

Experience the ease of converting audio to text with 99-100% accuracy, lightning-fast 3-hour turnaround times, and a simple pricing structure of just 1.5 cents per word. Don’t let transcription hold you back. Unleash your creativity and productivity. Try SpeakWrite and save yourself hours of transcription time—place an order today. 

How to Mail Your Recorded Tapes


Many clients have recorded mini or standard cassette tapes to submit to us for transcription, but would rather not use their staff and resources to input these tapes into our system. In these instances, you can have these recorded cassettes delivered to us, and we will upload them into our system for transcription for you. To use this method of submission, you must have an existing SpeakWrite account. Send recorded tapes via overnight courier or USPS to the following address:

SpeakWrite Tape Processing Center
6300 Bridgepoint Pkwy
Building 1, Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78730

(800) 828-3889
Attn: Production Manager

With each delivery, you must print out a Recorded Tape Transmittal Sheet and enclose it with the tapes to be transcribed. Your package must include properly addressed and pre-paid packaging and label for the return of your tapes, using a service that provides for delivery tracking. If this is not included, we will return your tapes to you and charge your account a $10.00 delivery fee. Immediately upon our receipt of your tapes, we will input them into the SpeakWrite system for transcription. You will receive the transcription of the taped material via the email address on your account, just as any other SpeakWrite job. Your tapes will be returned to you via the delivery method you designate 48 hours after the completion of your transcript. All work transcribed will be charged at the standard, per word rate. There is no additional charge for handling or inputting the tapes. Be sure to erase all previously recorded tapes completely before recording any new dictation in order to avoid having old work transcribed by mistake or jeopardizing the quality of the newly recorded material.