There are so many uses out there for text-to-speech software as well as speech-to-text software. Whether you want to narrate stories, give dictation or use voice search, these apps help you do a good job. However, there are times when you need to convert an audio file to text. For example, it could be about documenting the text notes of an interview or transcribing a video for uploading on YouTube.
Here are several options to help you achieve audio-to-text conversion in quick and easy steps.
1. Voice Typing in Word/Google Docs
Before looking to outside sites and software for help, you might want to try this rather cheeky little workaround, which should work whether you use Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other fully-fledged word processing software.
First, have the audio files you want to convert ready to play either on the device that you’re storing them on or on the same computer you have the word processing software on. Next, enable voice typing in your word-processing software.
In Google Docs go to “Tools -> Voice typing” to turn on dictation. For Microsoft Word you need to turn on dictation/online speech recognition on macOS or Windows 10, then press the keyboard shortcut you set to turn on dictation (Win + H in Windows 10, Command key twice in Mac) and open Word.
Once you’ve set up dictation or voice typing, turn it on, open your word-processing software, then play the audio file into your PC microphone (or just play it on your PC so your mic picks it up).
2. Bear File Converter
If you want a simple audio-to-text conversion for brief notes, Bear File Converter has a decent option. Based on the Baidu recognition engine, it can do a proper job in converting a clear audio with few distracting noises. However, the online software is not very accurate in converting MP3 song files to text. Also, the online software does not record for longer than three minutes.
If you’re looking for slightly better results online in audio-to-text conversion, 360converter offers a simple dashboard tool. It supports both audio and video. The results can be downloaded as a word file or PDF. There are limitations for the freeware, however. While the software is good enough to transcribe conversations and prerecorded speeches, you wouldn’t get professional results.
If you’re aiming for professional results in MP3-to-text conversion, Sobolsoft offers better output. There are no time limits in terms of output and intuitive options which allow you to convert multiple files and split the timelines. The results are far better than previous options. However, you need to make a purchase beforehand, although a free trial is available.
Although it does not directly convert audio to text, InqScribe is an intuitive digital transcription tool which makes the manual entry as easy as possible. With this software you can quickly insert timecodes anywhere in the transcript and work the rest just like a word processor. You can assign keyboard shortcuts and insert snippet variables to drop frequently-used text with a single keystroke. A complete product user guide is available at this link.
InqScribe is not free, but a 14-day free trial is available without the need to enter payment methods.
6. Use Speech-to-Text Apps on Your Phone
If your audio source is on a different device, you can use standard speech-to-text apps on your phone to transcribe the audio. Speechnotes is a highly rated Android app which does a pretty decent transcription. This method is absolutely free and gives nearly accurate results for audio files. However, you can only take notes separately and can’t transcribe the results into the audio or video source.
Converting audio to text is still a manual job in the music industry, and studios hire professional transcribers for accurate results. YouTubers usually add subtitles and captions on a video-editing software such as LightRoom. However, the above solutions enable a degree of automation. The results will vary from one app to another. 100 percent accuracy is not possible with any solution, but InqScribe does give good results.
Are you aware of any other solutions that give professional quality audio to text conversion results?