Automated transcribing software has revolutionized how many within the digital publishing sector transcribe audio and video content, increasing the process’ speed, efficiency and accuracy.\r\n\r\nWhile automated transcription services are relatively new, enabled by the development of automatic speech recognition software, they have quickly made their mark. Almost 16% of the media and entertainment industry use transcription software at least once a month, with that number climbing to 22.5% for teh market research segment.\r\n\r\nThe adoption of these technologies is a purely practical one — what humans can do in hours, software can accomplish in a matter of minutes.\r\n\r\nTranscriptions offer several different benefits, from allowing publishers to share written records of interviews or meetings to increasing the accessibility of audio and video content. Let’s have a look at some of these advantages in a little more depth before we explore which services have made it onto our list of the 15 best transcription software for 2023.\r\nBenefits of Using Transcription Software Programs \r\nEnhanced Search\r\nOne of text’s biggest advantages over audio is the user’s ability to search for a key term and navigate through a document at a press of a button.\r\n\r\nCtrl+F is one of the most efficient tools at a user’s disposal and using it to find important terms during a press conference, interview or meeting could save time better spent elsewhere.\r\nIncrease Shareability\r\nTranscribing audio files into text allows them to be more easily shared across team members either through emails or the cloud. Text files are significantly smaller in size than audio files.\r\nMultilingual Workspaces\r\nMany transcription services can transcribe multiple languages and then translate them. This makes transcribing software a useful tool for communicating across international branches or for recording and transcribing international press conferences or speeches.\r\nAccessibility\r\nTranscriptions can improve information accessibility for staff with a hearing disability, while transcription software that provides real-time transcription for meetings and conferences can be invaluable.\r\nHow to Choose the Best Transcription Software\r\nThere are a few different core features and factors to consider when deciding which transcription software will work best for your company.\r\nAccuracy\r\nThis boils down to how accurate the software is at recording what’s being said. Inaccurate software can cause confusion further down the pipeline, ultimately reducing any potential productivity gains.\r\nTurnaround Rate\r\nHow fast does the software transcribe the audio? This can be an important factor in high-volume workplaces such as news sites.\r\nLanguage Support\r\nWhether or not a software supports a particular language may be a deciding factor for multilingual or non-English speaking publications. Very few transcription tools include languages with non-Latin script, which can hurt organizations based in Asia or the Middle-East.\r\nCustom Glossaries\r\nIn highly technical fields, it can be important for transcriptions to accurately transcribe highly complex words. Take, for example, a compounding pharmacy mixing compounds to create drugs; it would be highly important that each chemical is accurately transcribed. Custom glossaries ensure that technical terms are reflected accurately in the transcription.\r\nCost\r\nMany of the transcription services on our list below have adopted different pricing schemes. It is important to consider if the transcriptions are pay-as-you-use or incur a monthly subscription.\r\n\r\nArmed with the software’s various benefits, as well as an understanding of what features to consider when selecting a service, let’s explore the 15 transcription services we believe are at the top of their game.\r\n15 Best Transcription Software \r\n1. Rev \r\n\r\n\r\nRev is a high-quality transcription service that employs both professional transcribers as well as in-house automated transcription software. Large media organizations such as Viacom, CBS and PBS use it.\r\n\r\nRev’s automated transcription offers a guaranteed 90% accuracy rate for high-quality audio with minimal background noise. However, it can struggle with audio with background noise and thick accents. At the same time, however, the service does offer a more expensive human transcription option that guarantees 99% accuracy.\r\n\r\nThe transcribing software also contains a few editorial tools, such as an interactive transcript editor and a custom glossary for technical terms. Rev can transcribe up to 31 languages, including languages with non-Latin scripts such as Mandarin.\r\n\r\nRev offers a bevy of transcription options, from audio files to live Zoom captions. However, a single-use cost of its automated software is $0.25 per minute. The company also offers a standard subscription service of $29.99 per month that can transcribe up to 20 hours of content, as well as a company-specific contract for organizations that need to scale above that.\r\nRev Features \r\n\r\n \t90%+ accuracy rate\r\n \t31 languages including non-Latin scripts\r\n \tInteractive script editor\r\n \tCustom glossary\r\n\r\n2. Sonix\r\n\r\n\r\nSonix is a transcribing software well-suited to corporations looking to keep an organized record of their transcripts. It’s used by the Wall Street Journal, ABC News and The New Yorker.\r\n\r\nThe transcribing software has many tools to find information in transcripts, such as an advanced keyword search that can be performed on every transcript the software stores. Sonix also allows users on the highest subscription tier to create multiple custom glossaries, a useful feature for organizations with numerous media outlets.\r\n\r\nSonix can transcribe up to 38 different languages, including specific regional variances and languages with non-Latin scripts.\r\n\r\nThe service is pay-as-you-use, costing $10 per hour on its basic plan. However, Sonix also includes a subscription service of $22 per month, per user, which lowers the fee to $5 an hour. Sonix also offers an enterprise package for high-volume transcriptions, but this needs to be negotiated directly with the company.\r\nSonix Features \r\n\r\n \t38 languages\r\n \tAdvanced search across multiple transcripts\r\n \tMultiple custom glossaries\r\n \t50GB of storage on a premium subscription\r\n\r\n3. Otter\r\n\r\n\r\nOtter focuses primarily on transcribing virtual meetings in real time and from uploaded audio and video files. It is used by the likes of Wired, TechCrunch and Engadget.\r\n\r\nThe software can be added to virtual meeting software, such as Zoom, Google Meets and MIcrosoft Teams and provides an advanced post-meeting summary.\r\n\r\nOtter includes quality-of-life features such as speaker identification and a custom glossary. It also adds a screenshot button to immediately add a slide to the post-meeting notes. Whenever a user is double-booked, Otteri can send an AI assistant to meetings to provide a copy of the transcript and summary.\r\n\r\nThe free Basic version is geared towards those only needing to record and transcribe 30-minute long calls with a 5-hour cap. Otter’s professional version provides 20 hours of transcription, with call time lifted to 90 minutes, at a cost of $8.33 per month. The business tier costs $20 per user, per month and provides 100 hours with calls able to last 4 hours. Otter also offers a negotiable enterprise tier.\r\n\r\nCurrently, the software only supports English.\r\nOtter Features \r\n\r\n \tAdd-on to Zoom, Meets and Teams\r\n \tSpeaker identification and custom glossary\r\n \tPost-meeting summaries\r\n \tOtter meeting assistant\r\n\r\n4. Trint\r\n\r\n\r\nTrint comes with a suite of editorial and story-telling tools to help publications and media outlets craft stories from interviews. It is used by the likes of The Washington Post, AP and Der Spiegel.\r\n\r\nTrint is a collaborative transcription software and uses many features that appear in Google Docs, including the ability to tag, highlight and comment on transcripts. The software can also play back audio alongside the transcript.\r\n\r\nPublishers specializing in video content creation will also find a lot of use for this transcription software as Trint allows users to time-code sound bites to quickly access a specific quote. The transcript editor can also work across multiple sound clips, and the software is integrated into Adobe’s Premiere Pro.\r\n\r\nTrint is more expensive than other options on this list, starting at $48 per person, per month. This starting price transcribes up to seven audio files. For unlimited transcriptions, publications will have to spend $60 per user, per month. Trint also offers a custom enterprise option.\r\nTrint Features \r\n\r\n \tTag, highlight and comment on transcripts\r\n \tTime-code sound bites across multiple sound clips\r\n \tIntegration with Adobe Premiere Pro.\r\n\r\n5. Happy Scribe\r\n\r\n\r\nHappy Scribe is a dedicated transcription software with more streamlined features. The software is used by organizations such as BBC, Forbes, RTÉ and even the UN.\r\n\r\nOne of Happy Scribe’s advantages over other transcribing software is that it supports more than 60 different languages. Happy Scribe also comes with other useful features such as speaker identification and timestamps.\r\n\r\nHowever, Happy Scribe is less accurate than other services such as Rev, only promising an accuracy rate of 85%. The average turn-around rate for transcriptions is half the time of the audio length.\r\n\r\nHappy Scribe is a pay-as-you-use service, with prices for its automated service set at €0.20 ($0.21) per minute, with a transcription limit of 75 hours.\r\nHappy Scribe Features \r\n\r\n \t60+ languages\r\n \t85% accuracy\r\n \tTurn-around time is half the audio length\r\n \tSpeaker identification and timestamps\r\n\r\n6. Podcastle\r\n\r\n\r\nPodcastle is an audio broadcasting service with a transcription feature and is a strong option for podcast content creators.\r\n\r\nPodcastle’s transcribing software has a few recognizable features, including a function to delete repeated words and automated episode summaries — although these features are locked behind the most expensive subscription tier.\r\n\r\nThe software includes audio editing tools such as multitrack editing, sound enhancement and a background noise filter. Podcastle is missing a custom glossary for technical terms and only has a total of five European languages with no non-Latin script support.\r\n\r\nPodcastle offers a Basic plan that’s free and is designed for new podcasters looking to get started, offering 1-hour long transcriptions. Its Storyteller plan costs $11.99 and allows up to 10 hours of audio to be transcribed as well as more comprehensive access to editing features. Its Pro tier, meanwhile, costs $23.99 and allows up to 25 hours.\r\nPodcastle Features \r\n\r\n \t5 languages\r\n \tDelete filler words\r\n \tGenerate automated episode summaries\r\n \tAudio editing tools.\r\n\r\n7. Descript\r\n\r\n\r\nDescript offers a suite of editorial tools alongside its transcription service and is used by organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and Al Jazeera.\r\n\r\nDescript has a lot of features for organizing transcripts, such as automated speaker labels to determine which person is speaking, automatic filtering of filler language — such as “ums” — and deleting repeated words. The software also includes cloud sync and the ability to import transcripts.\r\n\r\nDescript can transcribe a total of 23 languages, however, most of these are Latin-based languages.\r\n\r\nWhile Descript offers a free tier, the functionality is extremely limited, with just 1 hour per month of transcription available per user. The service offers three subscription tiers: $12 per editor with 10 hours of audio, $24 per editor with 30 hours of audio, and a custom agreement that comes with a dedicated company representative.\r\nDescript Features \r\n\r\n \t23 languages\r\n \tAutomated speaker labels\r\n \tFilter non-essential and repetitive words\r\n \tCloud sync.\r\n\r\n8. Rewatch\r\n\r\n\r\nRewatch is an internal video communications service that provides a video transcription feature. This software is best used for publications looking to accomplish two tasks at once. It is used by companies such as Zendesk, Github and Brex.\r\n\r\nThe transcripts provide an advanced search feature to find specific information in recorded meetings and briefs, as the searched term is highlighted and timestamped within the video.\r\n\r\nRewatch currently has 31 different languages integrated into its transcription service, including non-Latin scripts.\r\n\r\nRewatch is less detailed about its pricing than some of its competitors, inviting interested parties to connect to discuss its rates. However, the pricing structure is based on a per-user basis rather than a per-transcript basis.\r\nRewatch Features \r\n\r\n \t31 languages\r\n \tVideo storage and sharing solution\r\n \tHighlighted search terms\r\n \tCustomizable pricing structure.\r\n\r\n9. Speak\r\n\r\n\r\nSpeak takes transcription a step further by providing in-depth sentiment analysis and data visualization. The transcription software is used by the likes of Amazon, Deloitte and IEEE.\r\n\r\nSpeak focuses primarily on research and — alongside analysis of transcriptions — offers Amazon reviews analysis and competitor analysis. These features make Speak a useful tool for market research as well as transcription.\r\n\r\nThe company offers average transcription turn-around times of half the audio length, promising 95% accuracy. The transcription software supports two languages — English and French — with four more in beta stages.\r\n\r\nThis is definitely one of the most expensive transcription software options on this list, with the starter price at $10 per user, per month, that secures access to a pay-as-you-go transcription service. The company also offers a $585 per month Premium option that gives you 10 hours of transcription, split across six users. These prices can be reduced by 20% when opting for an annual subscription and Speak also offers a custom pricing plan.\r\nSpeak Features \r\n\r\n \t2 languages\r\n \tIn-depth analysis of speech\r\n \tCompetitor and review analysis\r\n \tHalf audio time turnaround at 95% accuracy.\r\n\r\n10. Maestra\r\n\r\n\r\nMaestra is a cloud-based transcription software able to transcribe up to 70 languages. The software is focused mainly on providing multilingual subtitles for video content, especially for YouTube producers.\r\n\r\nMaestra comes with many useful features, such as an interactive text editor as well as a custom glossary. The software includes various collaborative features as well, such as the ability to upload files to MaestraCloud, and for collaborative text editing in MaestraTeams.\r\n\r\nThis transcription software has a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme set at $10 per hour of audio. Maestra also includes a subscription service for its software, charging $29 per user, per month — or $19 per month if paid annually. However, the subscription still includes a $5 per hour of audio fee. There’s also a negotiable enterprise option.\r\nMaestra Features \r\n\r\n \t70 languages\r\n \tUseful features for captioning subtitles for YouTube\r\n \tInteractive text editor and custom glossary\r\n \tCollaborative editing and cloud file storage.\r\n\r\n11. Colibri\r\n\r\n\r\nColibri is a virtual meeting assistant that transcribes meetings in real time. The transcribing software fills the niche of taking meeting notes, while also transcribing imported video and audio files.\r\n\r\nThis software generates post-meeting summaries and includes the feature to highlight key information being spoken by either button or voice prompt. However, Colibri only supports transcription in English.\r\n\r\nColibri has three subscription tiers: a starter for $16 per month, per user, that allows up to 20 hours of transcription, a professional tier that costs $40 per month, per user, and allows 100 hours of transcription. There is also the option for businesses to agree on a custom price with multiple users.\r\nColibri Features \r\n\r\n \tEnglish-only support\r\n \tReal-time meeting transcription\r\n \tPost-meeting summaries\r\n \tHighlight key information from a speaker as it’s spoken.\r\n\r\n12. Meetgeek\r\n\r\n\r\nMeetgeek is another meeting assistant software that can transcribe meetings as well as transcribe from audio and video imported to the software.\r\n\r\nMeetgeek’s AI can automatically suggest quotes from the meetings to highlight, as well as send summaries from meetings that users couldn’t attend.\r\n\r\nMeetgeek also includes analytic tools that can gauge the amount of engagement in a meeting. It also supports transcription in more than 80 languages, though only a handful of them support custom glossaries.\r\n\r\nA professional subscription to Meetgeek.ai costs $19 per user, per month and allows up to 20 hours of transcription, while a business subscription costs $39 per month, per user and allows up to 40 hours. There’s also a custom enterprise package that can be negotiated directly with the company.\r\n\r\nOverall, it allows fewer transcription hours compared to other meeting assistants such as Colibri, but offers more support for languages.\r\nMeetgeek Features \r\n\r\n \t80+ languages\r\n \tReal-time meeting transcription\r\n \tAI suggested highlights\r\n \tSend summaries from meetings not attended.\r\n\r\n13. Grain\r\n\r\n\r\nGrain, which offers a lot of functionality in its free version, is primarily a meeting transcription software, integrating into virtual meeting software such as Zoom, Google Meets and Slack. It is used by organizations such as _Zapier, Webflow and Podium.\r\n\r\nGrain includes some core transcription software features, including a search function and a clip and highlight function. Grain currently supports up to 22 languages, but only offers live transcription in English.\r\n\r\nIn its free version, Grain can transcribe up to 100 meetings through its virtual meeting integrations. If you want to import raw video and audio files, then it costs $19 per user, per month, but it provides an unlimited amount of transcription. The company’s negotiable enterprise option offers a greater number of platform integrations.\r\nGrain Features \r\n\r\n \t22 languages\r\n \tIntegrations into Zoom, Meets and Teams\r\n \tSearch and clip functions\r\n \tLive transcription.\r\n\r\n14. Fireflies\r\n\r\n\r\nFireflies is a transcription service that specializes in transcribing business meetings. It is used by corporations such as Netflix, Expedia and Uber.\r\n\r\nFireflies can transcribe automatically during a video conference call, or directly from any uploaded audio or video file. The software also includes an AI search feature, which can look for specific words or filter for particular topics.\r\n\r\nFireflies’s “Conversation Intelligence” uses AI to provide post-meeting notes, analyzing metrics such as user talk time and sentiment. Currently, the software supports 7 languages.\r\n\r\nFireflies offers a free option that provides limited transcription, a pro version for $18 per month that includes unlimited transcription and a business option for $29 per month that includes unlimited storage and includes the post-meeting notes feature. The company offers a 40% discount for annual billing. In addition to the above tiers, there is also a custom enterprise tier.\r\nFireflies Features \r\n\r\n \t7 supported languages\r\n \tTopic filtering and AI search\r\n \tAI post meeting notes and analysis.\r\n\r\n15. Murf\r\n\r\n\r\nOur final recommendation is Murf, which while specializing in voice-overs and audio creatives also includes a transcription feature.\r\n\r\nThere are over 120 different text-to-speech voice options in Murf as well as various audio editing features, such as sound enhancement, a voice changer and collaborative audio editing.\r\n\r\nIts transcription feature has an integrated text editor and timestamps words to their location in the audio. The text editor also automatically sorts the texts into blocks to make the transcript more digestible.\r\n\r\nWhile there are multiple plans, transcribing more than 10 minutes per year of audio requires a basic subscription pack of $26 per user, per month — which provides an annual transcription limit of 24 hours. Unlimited transcription requires an enterprise subscription that costs $59 per user, per month with a minimum of 5 users.\r\n\r\nMedia companies looking for a transcription service as part of a more specialized voice editing packing should consider Murf. Otherwise there are better options elsewhere on this list.\r\nMurf Features \r\n\r\n \t120+ voices for text to speech\r\n \tAudio editing features\r\n \tInteractive text editor and timestamps\r\n\r\nWhat Is the Most Accurate Transcription Software?\r\nTo answer the question of which transcription software is the most accurate, we decided to conduct some research. Using a 3-minute Ted Talk by Derek Sivers, we used the transcribing software to measure the mistakes each one made against the other. Our test showed that the most accurate transcription software was Otter, followed by Sonix and Rev.\r\n\r\nOtter only made three mistakes in the transcript, two of which were misplaced periods and a misspelling of the name Wera Muhler — a mistake that every other transcription software made. However, Otter managed to spell the name Peter Gollwitzer correctly, a feat none of the other transcription software managed.\r\n\r\nSonix followed closely behind with four mistakes, one misplaced period, one missing word and misspellings of the names Wera Muhler and Peter Gollwitzer. These mistakes can be rectified with a custom glossary, which Sonix includes.\r\n\r\nRev made five mistakes. Like Sonix, it misspelled both names, had two misplaced periods and accidentally confused “and their” with “in their”. Overall, each transcription was more than 99% accurate.\r\n\r\nAlthough Otter is the most accurate transcription software, the most accurate transcriptions are still being done with human ears, a point that sites like Sonix and Rev are quick to point out. Otter still managed a very impressive feat for a piece of transcription software.\r\nFinal Thoughts\r\nTranscription software is a useful tool for just about any organization, but doubly so for publications and newsrooms that rely on quotes, press conferences and interviews.\r\n\r\nThis is especially true in the post-pandemic era where many publications have moved to perform interviews and in-house meetings through software such as Zoom and Google Meets. Real-time transcription software is a useful tool for keeping up to date with what's being said and generating actionable meeting summaries.\r\n\r\nMany of these transcription software have free trials, so it’s worth checking out what they're like and how accurate they are for your workflow.\r\nFAQs\r\nWhat Is Transcription Software?\r\nTranscription software uses AI to turn the speech in audio or video files into text. The programs export these texts in documents, usually a Microsoft Word file or a pdf.\r\nWhat Is Audio and Video Transcription?\r\nVideo and audio transcription refers to turning speech found in either an audio or video file and turning it into text.\r\nHow Long Does It Take to Transcribe One Hour of Audio?\r\nIn general, it usually takes a human one hour to transcribe 15 minutes of text, so one hour of audio from a person takes on average four hours. For automated transcription, the average time is half the length of the audio.\r\nWhat Is the Best Way to Transcribe Audio?\r\nThe best way to transcribe audio accurately is to order a transcription from a human being. However, the best way to receive a transcription quickly is to use automatic transcription.