Super Searcher Tools ~ Transcription Services

With audio and video being so prevalent recently, and the many podcasts being produced, it is becoming necessary to be able to transcribe them when the content is needed for research projects.

I have recently tried several services by uploading various types of audio which include phone conversations, podcasts, and audio taken from videos. I recorded the audio in three ways:

  • With a Logitech webcam microphone, placed next to my phone.
  • With my iPhone 6S Plus, using the app to record, placed next to the computer speaker during a Zoom meeting.
  • With a YouTube video placed next to my external computer speaker.

Some services I tested were free and others require payment.

Temi

Temi is an audio recorder that captures and transcribes recordings for $0.10 / minute. It is a favorite among journalists. Your transcript is synced to your recording so you can review the most important parts of your conversation.

Pros

  • Allows file search
  • It provides the ability to adjust playback speed and skip forward and back during playback.
  • Allows trimming.
  • Provides time stamps
  • Accepts all file types for upload
  • Save & export your transcript as MS Word, PDF, SRT, VTT and more.

Cons

  • Problems with transmitting
  • Included words that were not in the original audio.
  • Capitalization is not consistent.

Trint

Trint is an audio recorder that utilizes artificial intelligence to transcribe files you “drop” into their web-based AI transcription software.

Pros

  • The ability to upload from many sources including Dropbox, Google Drive, and FTP or by link.
  • Asks a few helpful questions about background noise, cross-talk and more before the upload begins for better accuracy
  • Speaker identification
  • Sends emails when transcription is ready

Cons

  • Included words that were not in the original audio.
  • Capitalization is not consistent.
  • A monthly payment plan is required but plans can be paused.

Recordly

Recordly is known as an interviewing and instant transcription app and is another app used by journalists. The company is a startup that was sponsored by the Mid-MO Tech Accelerator.

Pros

  • Integrates smartphone recording with smartwatch control.
  • It allows users to mark important passages with a tap.
  • Allows editing within the app and sharing.
  • Saves content to the cloud.
  • Free hours of audio transcription with app download.
  • Least expensive of the services reviewed.

Cons

  • Included words that were not in the original audio.
  • Capitalization and punctuation were almost non-existent and output was in one large block of text.
  • Transmission not consistent.
  • Recordly app doesn’t seem to accept audio recorded from other sources.
  • Was the least helpful out of context.

Happy Scribe

Pros

  • Most accurate of all reviewed.
  • Sends emails when transcription is ready.
  • Quick to transcribe compared to other services.

Cons

  • Often separates speakers into different paragraphs.
  • Lacks the ability to upload from multiple sources, find and replace text.
  • Not as easy to read as with Trint due to the lack of differentiating speakers.

Google Docs

My favorite free, transcribing solution. It’s free, easy, and requires no fancy apps, artificial intelligence, or downloads—just Google Docs. Google Docs includes a dictation software tool called Voice Typing. It comes pre-installed and requires no plugins. When you speak or audio is played, the tool listens and transcribes into a Google Doc. The feature is intended for people who cannot easily type or who prefer to dictate notes, but it can also be used to cut the time it takes to transcribe an audio recording down to nearly the same time as the recording itself. Basically, I play the recording or meeting (either on my phone or computer) and the Voice Typing tool transcribes the words that are spoken.

Pros

  • Shockingly most accurate of all reviewed.
  • You can view the transcription as it is happening.
  • Quick to transcribe compared to other services.
  • FREE

Cons

  • Will at times, mischaracterize words and phrases.
  • Not easy to use on a smartphone.
  • You are unable to do anything else on your computer while the transcription is taking place.