How to Transcribe Audio to Text (2021 Guide)
To transcribe audio to text accurately, there are only a handful of tools you need. You’ll need a word processor, some kind of audio player and a few free hours. Of course, if you’re looking to do it accurately and quickly, it’s better to partner with a professional transcription service like Rev.
We encourage you to try transcribing audio to text or video to text and see how it improves your workflow, no matter if you’re a journalist, researcher, interviewer, educator, in the entertainment industry, or just need to take meeting notes. So, if you’re interested in transcribing an audio file or online audio to text, here’s everything you need to know.
How to Transcribe Audio to Text
If you’d rather not transcribe audio yourself, just send your audio file or URL to Rev. We’ll take care of it for you, with a 99% accuracy guarantee.
Here are the basic steps for using the Rev transcription service:
1. Upload Your Audio File
Paste the URL of your audio media file, or upload the recorded audio file itself to our safe and secure network. You can upload voice recordings, recorded phone calls, podcasts, or anything that can be recorded to a digital file format and played with a media player.
Rev also transcribes video, so try converting video to text via a video file or URL (like a YouTube video).
You can choose Rev’s human transcription services ($1.25 per minute, extremely accurate) or the automatic speech recognition services (25 cents per minute, but less accurate). Rev’s automatic transcription software provides a quick and affordable way to transcribe audio.
Rev’s transcription service has a very quick turnaround time – for example, a 30 minute file is usually completed within 24 with our premium service. Our automatic transcription service can process a 30 minute file in about 5 minutes. Shorter files have quicker turnaround times with both transcript options.
2. Choose Custom Transcription Options
- Rush My Order – Get your transcript back 5 times faster
- Timestamping – Sync your audio with timestamps on every paragraph. This allows you to jump to specific parts of the audio transcript.
- Verbatim – Catch every word. Um’s, ah’s, and mm-hm’s.
- Instant First Draft – AI-generated transcript delivered in minutes
3. Receive & Download Your Text File
We’ll handle all the transcribing, editing and file formats. You’ll be notified in an email when your file is ready and you can download it instantly.
You can also use the free Rev Transcript Editor for finalizing and perfecting your transcript.
How to Transcribe Audio Files to Text Yourself
Before we give you the step-by-step guide, we want to mention that patience is also a huge part of transcribing audio to text. If the process is slow at first, don’t worry. You’ll get better with practice.
1. Set Up
The process of transcribing audio or speech to text is not complicated, but you can make it much less efficient if you aren’t set up for success. First, give yourself easy access to both your word processor and your audio file. You’ll be rewinding frequently, and you don’t want to add minutes to your process by constantly switching tabs and losing your place.
2. Find Your Shorthand
Some things, like the speakers’ names, will recur constantly while you’re transcribing the audio file. Make a quick reference of shorthand for these things you know you’re going to type over and over. If you’re the only person who will use the transcription, you’ll know what the shorthand means. If you plan to share the file with more people, you can either provide them the list or do a quick find and replace with the real word when you’re done.
3. Write What You Hear
This is the easiest part. Listen to your audio file and type what you hear.
4. Edit Your Text File
Once you’re done with your transcription, take one last listen through your audio file to fix any errors you might have missed. Be careful to check for any titles, references or context you might have missed, especially if you focused on simply typing what was said, word for word.
5. Export the Correct File
The file extension you use to save your text file is important. People who want to keep the text for themselves to edit or share later can simply save as a .doc file. However, if you plan to use the audio to text transcription for video subtitles or any other multimedia format, make sure you confirm what kind of file you need.
Businesses & Corporations: Transcribe Audio to Text with the Rev AI API
If you’re a large business or corporation, the best way to transcribe audio to text is by requesting API access and integrating Rev’s industry-leading speech recognition engine into apps or work environments you already have.
2. Get Your API User and Client Keys
You will get an API user and client key and once you do, you’re all set to get started.
3. Try Rev AI Free for Your First 5 Hours of Audio & Video
You can transcribe or caption 5 hours of audio and video for free. To continue, just purchase more API credits on your account page.