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Transcribing any audio file into text is very easy but many people think that it’s hard to do it. Especially if you don’t use the proper techniques and tools to perform this time-consuming and tedious task. Fortunately, there are techniques that allow transcriptions to be made automatically.

However, automatic transcriptions are not 100% reliable and still require time, to perform the transcription but also and above all to proofread the text.

The simplest and above all the most effective solution if you plan to use the texts of your audio transcription is to go through a professional editor who will take care of transcribing your file and improving the text if necessary according to your instructions.

Otherwise, here are 3 methods that will make your life easier during your audio transcription work .

1. Google Docs Voice Typing

The free Google Docs tool is a good alternative to Word and other word processing software for typing content.

But it also has a very useful feature for transcribing an audio file: voice input .

In order to activate it, plug in your microphone and Tap on the “Tools” option in the menu:

Turn up your speakers and play your audio file to let voice typing do its thing.

Be careful, voice input is not advanced enough to perform a good quality transcription; however, she can chew the work for you by transcribing the text in broad outline.

Then all you have to do is fill in the holes and correct the errors.

You can also take the opportunity to translate a transcription  by following our advice.

2. YouTube automatic captions

There is one more Another way to get a “draft” audio transcript and this is the YouTube’s “automatic Subtitles” feature.

To use it, you must first transform your audio file into a video so that you can upload it to YouTube.

If you have even very basic video editing software , all you need to do is add a still image to the audio file and then save it in MP4 format to create a video.

For example, here is what it gives with the ScreenFlow software on Mac:

Upload your video to your YouTube channel and upload it.

After a few hours, an automatic transcription of the audio will be available. To access it, go to the video page and click on the icon at the bottom right (…), then on Open the “Transcription” tab  :

A new tab appears in which you can view the automatic transcription of the video:

Again, the script isn’t perfect, but it does provide a good basis for a more polished transcription.

3. oTranscribe: free audio transcription software

The last method, i.e. using audio transcription software , is even more effective if you have used any of the previous techniques before.

We suggest you use oTranscribe , a free and efficient online tool.

Click on “Start transcription”, then copy and paste the script obtained using Google Docs or YouTube (or a mixture of the two):

Import your audio file to see a player that will allow you to:

  • Listen to your audio file;
  • To pause whenever you want (by pressing the Play button again, playback will resume 1 second before the pause, which is quite practical);
  • Fast forward or rewind;
  • To slow down or speed up the sound.

With this tool, you can perform the transcription in the best conditions, while saving time by relying on your basic script from YouTube or Google Docs.

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