Anyone who has ever tried to convert audio files to text manually, line by line, knows that the task is so excruciatingly long and tedious. It's like one of those punishments that Greek gods used to bestow upon mortals who messed up.
Unless the audio file you want to transcribe is just a few minutes long, you are looking at hours of work. However, even if a subtitle app is meant to transcribe audio files, it is usually are lacking in the accuracy department, and the converted text just isn't up to scratch.
That leaves you with almost as much work as you started with because then you need to compare the audio files to text and correct the output.
Finding the best text converter to turn your audio to text can save you a lot of time and hard work.
Why Do You Need a Speech to Text Converter?
If you reeeeeally need to ask, it means you’re at the right place. It means you’re missing out on stuff, for sure.
Why would anyone even want to convert audio files to text? What do you do with the transcription? Well, if there are just some reasons why it's incredibly useful to have a transcription of your audio and video files. Listen up!
Upload Subtitles to Your Podcasts and Videos for Inclusivity
The thing with content creation is - you do the work on your content first, so that later your content can do the work for you. Once you're done with the creation process, you want your content to reach as many people as possible.
If you're running a YouTube channel, you know that an overwhelming number of people watch videos without sound. Same thing with those social media videos. People just skip it.
Add to that the millions of people who are living with some percentage of hearing loss, and it becomes clear that you are cutting off a huge potential audience if you fail to add subtitles to your video files.
Automatic transcription does exist on YouTube as well as some other platforms but usually, when you try using those tools to generate transcripts, the quality is just not good enough.
You don’t want YouTube or any other platform to do your transcription for you without your input. It’s embarrassing, really.
Podcasts too are easy to transform into content that can be enjoyed by anyone at all if you turn them into a video if you simply add images or visualization to them and then add subtitles.
Upload a Transcription of Your Audio Files
You have listeners and you have readers. You can also have watchers. Listeners don’t want to read. Readers won’t really play that video of yours. So, you need to offer all of them something they like.
Whether your viewers and listeners want to go back to your content to look for information, or whether they are unable to enjoy it in anything but the written format, it's always a good idea to transcribe audio to text and upload it on your website.
The more format types your content appears in, the better its chances of being seen and heard.
Transcribe Audio Files and Use Them to Write Content
Content doesn't have to be used only once and only in one single way. Repurposing content is actually a huge thing in digital marketing.
You have compelling audio files? Or maybe a great video file? Generate transcripts and use those text files to create more content.
You can write blogs, articles, summaries, social media teasers - the sky is the limit. You can transcribe interviews, podcasts, audio books - whatever audio files you have lying around.
Get Your Audio File Noticed by Search Engines
SEO is a huge thing in digital marketing, however search engines still aren't 100% percent on board with ranking audio files.
Or to be precise, your audio file is going to get ranked more on the basis of the written content that accompanies it than the audio recording.
An audio to text converter can help you create a free transcription, excellent summaries, bios, meta, and other content that will help search engines notice your audio recordings.
Transcribe Speech to Text for Personal Use
Ideas sometimes come to us at the most inopportune times, when it's really inconvenient to write them down. Whether it's just organizational notes, elaborate reminders, or creative ideas, the quickest and easiest way to save them for later is to make a voice note.
However, later, when you need to go through all of your notes to self, it's much simpler to work with typed text. That's why the best way to save all your ideas from oblivion is to record audio notes, and then later use software to convert audio to text.
What Are the Best Tools to Convert Speech to Text?
Now that we know why you should take the time to transcribe audio to text, let's tackle the how. Or more precisely, what tools you should use for best results when transcribing audio files.
When it comes to trusty tools that transcribe speech to text with impeccable precision every time, nothing beats Subly.
In terms of input, you can use an audio file in any of the popular audio formats, or even a video file. Subly supports a wide variety of file formats for both input and output. It's also extremely simple to use.
When converting audio, Subly will take your audio file and convert it to text very fast using extremely precise automatic transcription. You can then export it in TXT format or as an SRT and VTT subtitle file. Subly also has the option to automatically embed your transcription as subtitles.
The translation function allows you to turn audio to text in other languages as well. Subly can translate your content to a whole list of languages, including French, Spanish and Chinese.
Subly is also great for team projects as it allows for easy collaboration.
Happy Scribe is a pretty solid, standard app that can convert audio to text, and export it as a text file.
The interesting thing about Happy Scribe is that they also offer human transcription, which might come in handy if you have an audio recording which is particularly difficult for AI transcription.
This might be due to, for instance, poor quality, extensive use of slang, or heavy accents. In those cases it is possible that human transcription might yield more accurate results.
Flixier is primarily an online video editing tool that you can also use to easily convert audio to text. This audio to text converter requires that you create an account to be able to upload your content and use it.
While most of this tool's features make it easier to create and edit videos, when it comes to transcribing, its main perk is its speed. The downside of using this tool is that - if you need a sound to text tool, this is an overkill. There are simpler options.
The free version comes with monthly limitations.
This is another good option for those that prefer their sound to text conversion to be done by a human. Rev hires transcribers to do that work for you. If this is what you need, then Rev works really well.
If you need a faster solution, or you truly want to go through the content yourself, accurate automatic transcription of sound files is a better option. Another strong point of Rev is that they have voice recorder app you can use with your mobile phone. That can come in handy if you want to record your calls and transcribe them.
If you are looking for software that is a hybrid between an audio to text converter and a personal assistant, the Braina Pro might be the right pick for you.
This app can convert audio to text in almost a hundred different languages, while also doing all of the tasks you expect from an assistant software.
It is possible to use it on your mobile device, but you can also connect it to your computer so that you can control it using convenient voice commands. Bear in mind that it requires Google Chrome for all of its features to work properly.
Bear File Converter
Bear File Converter is a general format converter for many file types. One of the services it offers is audio to text transcription. This tool is free and open source. As of now, it doesn't support any other languages, so you can only convert audio to text in English. Similar to many open source software options - the user experience is not that amazing.
Sonix is ambitious audio to text converter, but the results you get with it are a mixed bag.
This software supports over thirty languages and allows you to export your transcription as a text file, a document, or to upload it to google docs. It comes with some excellent features, such as a custom dictionary, and the option for notes and comments.
However, the transcribed text is not always completely accurate, and Sonix could use some improvement in the speech recognition department.
Media.io is an online tool that comes in a free as well as paid versions. It uses AI to convert audio to text automatically and it requires you to upload your audio file online.
This software doesn't just convert audio files to text. It is primarily meant for video editing, and that's where it shines. Users usually get it for video editing, and the transcription option is just an added perk. This software also has some pretty solid features you can use to edit your subtitles.
Like with many other apps, the free version is heavily limited. When it comes to transcription, you only get a 100 MB worth of upload in the unpaid version.
Dragon Anywhere is one of the best transcription apps that you can use on your phone, whether you have an iPhone or an Android.
It does take some effort to learn the commands, but once you do, this app is very good at converting audio to text and the resulting transcription is quite accurate.
You can use Dragon Anywhere on both an Android and an iOS device, but a desktop version is not included in the deal. So if the device you primarily intend to use is your computer, you will have to pay extra for that.
Speechmatics is a solid app that you can use to transcribe both pre-existing speech recordings as well as live speech.
The one feature that Speechmatics boasts is the software's ability to convert audio to text regardless of the accent. Some apps do struggle with different accents when transcribing audio, and some even charge extra for that, so if you've had these kinds of problems before, Speechmatics might be worth checking out.
The text that you get as output can easily be exported as a Word document, a text file, or stored on Google Drive.
Transcribe - Speech to Text
Transcribe Speech to Text is a useful app that can transcribe audio to text in over a hundred different languages. Transcribe can be used for both video and audio files. Once you have your text, you can copy it into Google docs or a notes app.
Bear in mind that Transcribe is not a free service. The free trial only lasts fifteen minutes, and after that you can either pay a subscription fee or pay by the minute.
Speechnotes - Speech to Text
Speechnotes is a good simple choice for people who need to convert audio notes into a TXT file. It's a simple voice note app which immediately creates an accompanying TXT file of your speech so you can go over your notes later.
This app has a few handy features. Most notably, it allows you to record very long recordings of dictated text. With basic speech commands, it is quite easy to use.
The free transcription version does come with ads, and this app is only available on Android and in browser.
There are plenty of apps that can help you transcribe your audio file or your video into a text document. All you need to do is choose the right one for you. A quality tool like Subly could convert all of your audio to text with minimum work on your part.
It’s made for those who want a quality tool that allows them to subtitle like a pro without having to go through complicated training. It’s so intuitive that anyone could use it. That’s just one of the reasons Subly is one of the best subtitle editors out there.
Try Subly for free, and see for yourself.