How To Transcribe Recordings Online: The Ultimate Guide

Discover the ultimate guide on how to transcribe recordings, including step-by-step, plus expert tips for accuracy. Start transcribing effortlessly today.

Transcribing recordings online has become a convenient and efficient way to convert spoken content into written text. Whether you need to transcribe voice memos or you’re looking for courtroom transcriptions, online transcription services can be a game-changer. 

Be sure you read from top to bottom if you’re just learning how to transcribe recordings so you don’t miss out on any tips and resources!

How To Transcribe Recordings To Text In 4 Easy Steps

1. Record high-quality audio. 

Even the best audio transcription services out there rely on high-quality audio files to get the job done right. After all, the accuracy and ease of transcribing largely depend on the clarity of the source material. 

Invest in a good quality microphone. There are tons of options available, including USB microphones for podcasting and lapel mics for interviews. Research and select the one that fits your needs and budget.

Background noise can be a major hindrance to audio file quality. Find a quiet space to record, and consider using soundproofing materials if necessary. Close windows and doors, and minimize any potential disturbances. 

Proper microphone placement is crucial. Position the microphone close to the source of sound (typically the speaker’s mouth) but at an angle to avoid plosive sounds like “p” and “b.” A pop filter can also help reduce these unwanted noises.

Wear headphones during recording to monitor the audio in real time. This allows you to catch and address any issues, such as background noise or microphone glitches, immediately.

2. Select a transcription software.

There are so many online transcription platforms available that transcribe recordings to text. To help you choose one that fits your needs in terms of pricing, accuracy, and turnaround time, we put together a chart for quick comparison. 

Looking for the best audio to text software for podcasters and YouTubers?





Turnaround Time


Human transcription services. Also provides captioning and translation services.

1.5 cents per word. 

Exceptional accuracy, outperforms industry standards. 

As soon as three hours.

User-friendly and allows you to easily upload your audio or video files. 

Per-minute rate for transcription. 

Offers AI transcription with less accuracy, but you can pay a higher fee for human transcription. 

Range of turnaround options available depending on project type.

Allows you to collaborate with others by sharing transcripts and notes.

Free plan with limited transcription hours and paid plan with more features and higher limits.

Provides decent accuracy for everyday use (but not professional use). 

Real-time transcription feature, which can be handy for live events and meetings.

Google Speech-to- Text

Can be integrated into various applications and services.

Free trial available. Comes with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. 

Lower than human transcription, especially if audio quality is poor. 

Offers real time transcription. 


Provides audio and video editing tools, allowing you to edit your content directly within the platform.

Subscription-based model with pricing tiers based on usage, including transcription and audio editing features.

Accuracy depends on audio quality—you may need to do some editing. 

Very fast turnaround if you use the speech to text feature. 


AI-driven platform that includes an integrated text editor and search feature.

Subscription plans with a per-minute pricing structure. Also provide a free trial to test their service.

Trint claims to be 99% accurate. 

As fast as three seconds. 

3. Upload your audio or video. 

Once you’ve selected a platform, look for the “upload” or “submit” option to transcribe recordings. Before uploading, ensure your file is in a compatible format. 

Common formats include .mp3, .mp4, .wav, and .avi, but be sure to check the platform’s requirements.

A tip for first-timers: be aware of the file size limits. Large files may need to be compressed or split into smaller segments if the platform has restrictions. 

PRO TIP: The clearer your audio recording or video file, the better the transcription results. Minimize background noise and ensure good sound quality before uploading.

4. Review and edit your transcription. 

If you opt for AI-generated transcriptions, you will almost certainly need to invest more time in editing compared to human transcriptions (which carries a hidden cost!) Automatic transcription software produces more errors and inaccuracies—plus, it requires human formatting. 

Here are some tips to guide you through the editing process:

  • Carefully proofread the transcript for spelling and grammatical errors. AI transcriptions, in particular, may not always get punctuation and grammar perfect.
  • Be on the lookout for homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings), as they are often a source of errors in transcriptions.
  • Verify that the transcript accurately reflects what was said in the audio or video. If you’re unsure about a particular word or phrase, refer back to the original recording for clarification.
  • Ensure consistency in formatting throughout the transcript. Use a consistent style for timestamps, speaker labels, and paragraph breaks.
  • Use clear labels or timestamps to differentiate speakers, especially in interviews or group discussions.
  • If your content includes technical or industry-specific terminology, ensure that these terms are spelled and used correctly. Verify them against reliable sources or references if needed.

If this sounds like a lot to juggle, then consider opting for a human transcription service like SpeakWrite, so you don’t have to worry about editing or formatting. 

Benefits Of Using Human Transcription Services

Manually transcribing recordings to text can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. That’s where transcription services like SpeakWrite come into play, offering a range of benefits that not only save you time but can also lead to cost savings. 

Here are some key advantages:

You can save time (and time is money!)

SpeakWrite’s transcription services are designed to deliver quick results. You can specify the desired turnaround time, allowing you to receive your transcriptions in hours or days rather than spending hours or days doing it yourself.

Want to see how much time and money you could be saving with SpeakWrite? Check out this cost savings calculator to get the big picture. 

The accuracy and quality are second to none. 

Services like SpeakWrite employ skilled transcribers who have experience in various industries and are well-versed in handling different accents and terminologies. This expertise results in accurate and high-quality transcriptions.

Some transcription services combine human expertise with AI-powered tools or rely only on automatic transcription software. Unfortunately, nothing beats professional transcriptionists when it comes to the accuracy and quality of your transcriptions. 

Transcription services are more affordable than in-house documentation. 

Using a transcription service eliminates the need for investing in expensive transcription software or equipment, saving you money on upfront costs.

Most transcription services offer flexible pricing options, allowing you to pay only for the transcriptions you need. This eliminates the need for hiring full-time transcriptionists or committing to long-term contracts.

The convenience and flexibility make it all the more worthwhile. 

Transcription service platforms are typically user-friendly, making it easy for you to upload files, customize transcription settings, and access the finished transcripts. Since these services are online-based, you can access them from anywhere with an internet connection. 

You don’t need to worry about editing or formatting. 

Some transcription services offer integrated editing tools, allowing you to review and edit the transcribed text within their platform, further saving you time. You can often request specific formatting preferences for your transcripts, saving you the effort of formatting them yourself.

Tips for Improving The Quality Of Your Transcriptions

Provide clear, high-quality files for transcription. 

The quality of your audio or video source material significantly impacts transcription accuracy. Ensure your recordings are clear and devoid of background noise. 

High-quality files make it easier for both humans and transcription software to generate accurate text from spoken content.

Specify any industry jargon. 

If your recording contains industry-specific terminology, acronyms, or technical jargon, it’s beneficial to provide a list of these terms in advance. This proactive step helps transcriptionists or software accurately transcribe specialized vocabulary, ensuring your transcript’s precision.

Opt for human review or complete human transcription. 

When utmost accuracy is essential, consider services that offer human review in addition to automated transcription. Human reviewers can catch nuances and context that automated tools might miss, resulting in a more precise transcript.

Be sure to include timestamping. 

Timestamps are valuable for referencing specific points in the audio or video content. They help you quickly locate and cross-reference information within the transcript, especially in research or legal contexts.

How To Transcribe Recordings To Text Online: FAQs

Is there an easy way to transcribe voice recordings?

You can either power through manual transcription, use speech recognition software, or take advantage of online transcription services. Many online platforms offer voice recording transcription services, making the process faster and more accurate.

For instance, if you have a voice or video recording, you can upload it directly to SpeakWrite’s platform. Their team of professional transcriptionists will then convert your audio into a written document. This service is particularly useful for those who require accurate transcriptions, such as lawyers needing precise records for court. 

How do I transcribe a recording to text?

Transcribing a recording file is straightforward with online transcription services. Here’s a simplified process:

  1.  Choose a reputable online transcription service.
  2.  Upload your audio or video recording file to their platform.
  3.  Specify your transcription preferences, such as turnaround time, speaker identification, or verbatim transcription.
  4.  Submit your request.
  5.  Wait for the service to transcribe the file, and you will receive the transcribed text when it’s ready.

Wondering how to transcribe a file manually?

How do I convert a recording to text?

Converting a recording to text can be done efficiently with online transcription services. These services employ advanced speech recognition technology or skilled human transcribers to convert your recordings into written text. 

How can I transcribe recordings to text for free?

To transcribe a recording without incurring any costs, you can take advantage of SpeakWrite’s free trial offer. This trial period allows you to test their transcription services, which can be particularly useful for shorter recordings or for those who are evaluating transcription services within a budget.

Transcribe Recordings Online Today!

Ready to experience the convenience, accuracy, and efficiency of SpeakWrite’s transcription services? We invite you to start your free trial today. It’s a risk-free opportunity to discover the benefits of partnering with an industry leader in online transcription. 

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