I’ve been experimenting with various transcription services for quite a few years. Transcribing an audio recording — of a meeting, telephone call, or interview — has always been a bit expensive. In the past, I’ve used platforms like Upwork to have a human-based transcription completed. This costs anywhere from $30-$60 per recorded hour.
Some new services and apps that have sprung up over the last few years utilize machine learning techniques to transcribe human voices and create automated transcriptions. The early attempts did not deliver a very accurate text version of the conversation.
That has changed.
In my continual quest to find a reasonably priced and accurate solution, I have come across a new app called Otter.
The Otter app is available for iOS, Android, and on the web. It launched in February 2018 and converts audio speech (from an audio recording or video) to text automatically using machine learning and voice recognition algorithms.
You can use the app on your phone to record a meeting and then convert the transcription automatically. You can also use the website interface to upload a previously recorded audio or video file to have it transcribed.
As I said, the app uses speech recognition to create transcripts automatically, even identifying multiple speakers and picking out keywords for the conversation. If you’re using the website interface, you can listen to the recording, and the words that were transcribed are highlighted so you can follow along to see how accurate the transcription is. The online editor allows you to correct mistakes. The transcriptions are stored online so that you can access them from anywhere.
A free version of Otter provides up to 10 hours (600 minutes) of recording transcriptions per month.
The Premium Version provides:
- 6,000 minutes of transcription per month (100 hours)
- Prioritized email support
- Additional playback speeds
- Connection to your Zoom account to transcribe video meetings
- Additional transcription export options, including Word
- $10 billed monthly or $100 billed annually
I think producers could use this service to record prospect and client meetings and then transcribe them to have a permanent record of the conversation.
Next time you need to transcribe a meeting, phone call, speech, meeting, or interview, I suggest you give the Otter app a try.
What tools do you use to transcribe audio?