How to Transcribe Audio & Video to Text on a Mac

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Transcribe Audio to Text on a Mac

While audio and video files can provide a real-life feel, they do have some drawbacks. You can’t search for a certain phrase in an audio recording. It’s difficult to include a quote from a video file in an article you write.

Sometimes the text is better. But if you want to transcribe video or audio, you probably don’t want to do it by hand. First, we’ll walk you through recording audio and video using your Mac. Then we’ll show you our online transcription service that guarantees 99% accuracy.

Software and Equipment Needed for Audio Transcription on a Mac

Investing in better equipment can get you better sound quality. But it isn’t necessary to buy any new software or hardware to get a good transcription. As long as your Mac has a microphone you should have everything you need.  Of course, if you are transcribing video, you will also need a camera. And if all you want to do is transcribe existing media files, you don’t even need those.

To record audio and video files, your Mac comes with QuickTime Player installed. Alternatives include Audacity, a free program for audio recording and editing. MacBooks come with a microphone and camera. A desktop Mac may need these added. But the better the sound quality, the more accurate your transcription will be. It may be worth it to upgrade to a better microphone.

Steps to Capturing your Audio and Video Files on a Mac

Before you begin, you should do your best to reduce any background noise where you are recording. This makes your sound more clear for audio transcription, giving you better results. If you are recording a lecture or meeting, there may not be much you can do about background noise. But placing your microphone near the people speaking and where it won’t be bumped or moved helps a lot. To record:QuickTime Player Audio Recording

  1. Launch QuickTime Player
  2. Select File > New Movie Recording (or New Audio Recording)
  3. Click the arrow next to the Record button
  4. Choose your camera, microphone, and quality
  5. Set your volume slider if you want to monitor your audio as it records
  6. Click the Record button to start and stop recording

If you want to edit your video file once you finish recording, you can do it all using QuickTime.

How to Transcribe Audio or Video to Text on a Mac

It’s possible you already had your media files ready and didn’t need to create them yourself. Either way, you are now ready to get your transcription completed. offers human-powered audio transcription, which guarantees 99% accuracy and $1.25 per minute transcribed. To transcribe:

1. Go to and click “Get Started”

You can click here to get started as well.

2. Drag your file to the box with the red “Upload Files” button, or Paste a URL

3. Choose any additional options

You can choose things like verbatim transcription, adding timestamps, and Rush transcription.

  • Rush My Order delivers your transcribed audio faster
  • Timestamping shows the time each paragraph starts in the audio recording
  • Verbatim includes words such as um or ah as well as things like laughter or pauses
  • Instant First Draft gets you an automated transcription in just minutes

4. Check the total charge and click the red “Checkout” button

Enter your payment information and our team of 50,000 professional Rev transcriptionists will get to work! You can see your estimated turnaround time in the checkout screen.

Rev also offers automatic transcription, which is less accurate but only 25 cents per audio or video minute.

Other Uses for Transcription Services

Many people want media files transcribed for the ability to search or use the text. Some have other needs. Voice typing allows you to dictate and record, then have the text transcribed. Authors who prefer working outdoors or work in places where they can’t type could enjoy this. We offer automated speech recognition that reduces the price to just 25 cents per minute. This automated process can result in lower accuracy. You may need to use a text editor to edit the final product.

Video files can have captioning added rather than only getting a text file. This allows you to put the text in the video file exactly where the audio playback occurs. You can learn more about captioning at

Getting the Best Audio Transcription

To make the most of your transcription, you need to provide the best media files you can.

  • Reduce background noise as much as possible
  • Get clear audio recordings by placing the microphone close to the speakers
  • Use quality equipment for the best audio
  • Record using high sound quality media files

Turn Your Speech Into Text

 You want to get the best quality transcript, no matter what your transcription needs are.

  • Searchable files
  • Article quotes
  • Writer dictation
  • Lecture notes

Follow these steps on your Mac and turn the spoken word into the written word!