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27 Jul 2019   Last updated 11 August 2021

How to transcribe audio: 3 ways to convert speech to text

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Automatic transcription

When you want to write out an audio file for an article or analyze the text of an interview, it is necessary to make text transcripts of your audio files. Typing out a recorded interview is an example of transcribing audio to text. When you are transcribing, you are listening to your audio file and then type it out. Transcribing audio is very time-consuming and mentally demanding. In this blog post, we will show you how to transcribe audio, underlining the pros and cons of each method.

There are three different ways to convert speech to text:

  • Transcribing your audio to text manually
  • Have a company make your transcriptions
  • Use an automated transcription service

Below we will talk about each point in more detail.

Manually transcribing your audio to text

Of course, it is possible to convert your audio to text yourself. This is completely free and very accurate. The disadvantage of making your own transcriptions is that transcribing audio to text is a very time-consuming and mentally demanding process. For example, a beginner will spend about 8 to 10 minutes transcribing 1 minute of audio. This is not an ideal option when, for example, you are a journalist. As a journalist, you are often busy making sure that you release the news first. As a journalist you work with tight deadlines. Manually transcribing your audio to text is an option for people who have a lot of experience transcribing, have no tight deadlines and have low budgets.

Have your speech transcribed to text by a company

It is also possible to have your transcriptions made by a company. This is 99% accurate and you don’t have to work on the transcription yourself. The disadvantage of having a company make your transcriptions is that a higher price tag is attached. Your transcription is made by a professional who quickly and accurately transcribes your audio to text. Having a manual transcription made often costs at least $2,00 per audio minute and takes at least a week. Tip: Amberscript also makes manual transcriptions, by using our software to make a rough version first, we can transcribe for a price of about half of that. It is often necessary to request a quote in which you indicate the number of speakers, accents and other audio characteristics. At Amberscript, you will receive the options and costs immediately. This option is not suitable for people with low budgets.

Automated transcription service

It is possible to have your transcripts made automatically by our transcription software. Our speech to text software converts your audio into text in an average of 10 minutes. All you have to do is make improvements to make your transcription 100% correct. This can be done very easily through our unique editor that ‘glues’ your audio to your transcription. This allows you to easily make corrections. Our editor also makes it easy to find certain words in your transcription and play the corresponding piece of audio. Our software can convert speech to text in over 20 languages! This includes English transcriptions. This is considerably faster than making a transcription yourself or having a transcription made by a company. Moreover, using an automated transcription service is a lot cheaper than having your transcript made by someone else.

Speech to text summed up

There are different ways to transcribe an audio file. Each way has its pros and cons. In the table below we will give an overview of the different transcription options for an example of 30 minutes of audio, so you can make a good choice.

ManualManual transcription companyAmberscript PerfectAmberscript Direct
Time5 hours 1 week No work yourself5 days or sooner No work yourself1 hour
PriceFree$100~ $30$3

As seen in the table above manual transcriptions are free, but cost a lot of time. Having a company make a transcription is easy, but a lot more expensive and slower. Automated transcription service is cheaper than having a transcription made by a company and is the fastest option, but you will have to make improvements yourself. The best option for you depends on your wishes and options. You can take a look at our pricing page for more information.

Our services allow you to create text and subtitles from audio or video.
  • Upload audio or video file
  • Automatic or manual speech to text
  • Edit and export text or subtitles