Transcription Software

Image: Stella Young.


Transcribing interviews can be demanding and time consuming, especially when you have pressing and immediate deadlines. In this section, we will familiarize ourselves with software that can help make the transcription process quicker and easier. There is a range of transcription software available at a variety of prices and while they won’t do the transcription perfectly for you, they can help make the task quicker and less tedious.

Developing an Understanding:

Some transcription software uses speech recognition. The user re-speaks the audio and the words appear on the computer screen. This method is much faster than listening and typing the words. Other transcription software uses automated speech recognition which lets the user import audio and/or video files in order to have them be automatically transcribed. While software transcriptions won’t be perfectly accurate, they can save time. Transcription software also has text editors and formatting tools.

There are many kinds of software that you can use to support the transcription process. Some transcription software will have a free trial so that you can try it out and decide which one works best for you. Here are a few that turn recordings into text quickly, easily and quite accurately.

Logo for Dragon Naturally Speaking Software

Dragon Naturally Speakingopen new window

There are a number of Dragon software options to suit different needs including: Dragon Home and Premium for home use; Dragon Professional Individual for Mac or PC computers; Dragon Legal Individual, Dragon Law Enforcement and Dragon Medical Individual and an app for android and iOS devices, Dragon Anywhere.

Here’s a video of what the transcription process looks like using Dragon Professional Individual:

Dragon Professional Individual is available for Mac and PC starting at $300 U.S.

Logo for Trint Software

Trintopen new window

Trint is a web-based toolkit for transcribing, searching, editing and sharing media content online. Trint offers a free trial of 30 minutes of audio or video transcription.

Here’s a video of what the transcription process looks like using Trint:

Available for Mac or PC by the hour or you can subscribe monthly. There is also a Trint app for iPhoneopen new window and a free extension for Adobe Premiere Proopen new window.

Many transcription software programs are designed to work with a foot pedal that can be plugged into the USB port of your computer. The foot pedal allows hands-free control of media playback. You can use your toes to play, pause, fast forward and rewind the audio while keeping both hands on the keyboard.