How to Convert Audio Files to Text

Useful information often comes in audio format. This format is convenient to listen to on the go, but issues might arise when you want to revise something you’ve heard in written form. You can do this by converting the audio file into a text document. Read on to find out how.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text

In this article, we will reveal how to convert audio files into text documents using different software. We will provide a detailed guide for transforming information into the desired format online, on Mac, Windows, and your phone. Additionally, we’ve covered FAQs that others have asked on the same topic.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text Online using Windows/Mac

There are plenty of tools online for those who don’t want to install any additional software. We will share a couple of them with you. However, free online tools aren’t likely to give you professional results. Follow the guide below to convert audio files to text without downloading apps on your computer.

Using Bear File Converter:

  1. Visit the Bear File Converter website.
  2. Upload an MP3 file from your device or paste a file URL.
  3. Select a recognition engine.
  4. After the upload is finished, click “Convert.”
  5. Wait for the conversion to end and save the result as a PDF or TXT file.

Using 360 Converter:

  1. Go to the 360 Converter website.
  2. Upload an MP3 file from your device or Cloud Storage, or paste a file URL.
  3. Select the language of the audio file.
  4. Set the start and end times of the file that you want to transcribe.
  5. Tick the box beside “I agree to the Terms & Conditions” and click “Start Conversion”.
  6. Wait for the conversion to end and save the result as a PDF or TXT file.

Using Sonix:

  1. Go to the Sonix website and sign up for a free 30-minute trial using an email address or Google.
  2. Upload an MP3 file from your device or from Zoom, Dropbox, Google Drive, or YouTube.
  3. Select the file language and click “Transcribe in [Language].”
  4. Add details by shifting toggle buttons, then press “CONTINUE TRANSCRIBING.” Hover over underlined text to view details for each entry. Note: The test file had intro music but it still transcribed correctly.
  5. The conversion will take some time. The transcribed file ;ink gets emailed to you, but you can also access it on the website.
  6. The file(s) will show a new status as “Transcribed.” Download the file as a PDF or TXT file by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the speaker icon, or click on the filename(s) to open the results for editing.
  7. Answer the dropdown questions in the box that appears, then click on “SUBMIT AND SEE TRANSCRIPT.”
  8. The transcribed results for the selected file appears. You can play the audio to confirm accuracy while editing the text.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text in Google Docs

Google Docs doesn’t officially have a transcribing function. If you aren’t looking for a high-quality transcription, you can try to use the voice typing feature to convert an audio file into text by following the steps below:

  1. Open Google Docs and select the “Tools” menu.
  2. Click “Voice typing.”
  3. Play the audio file. Make sure there are no background noises.
  4. Google Docs will type the dictated text into a new document.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on a Mac

Mac owners can cheer—audio files are transcribable using pre-installed software. Follow the step-by-step guide to convert audio files to text on your Mac:

  1. Open the “System Preferences” menu.
  2. Select “Dictation & Speech” (a microphone icon).
  3. Turn “Dictation” on.
  4. Optionally, tick “Use Enhanced Dictation” to transcribe the file with real-time feedback.
  5. Select the file language and ensure a shortcut key is selected.
  6. The changes get saved automatically. Close the window.
  7. Open a new document in any text editor.
  8. Press the selected “shortcut key” to turn on the dictation feature.
  9. Play the audio file you wish to transcribe. Ensure no background noise is interfering with the audio.
  10. Click “Done” to see the results and save the file in the desired format.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on a Windows PC

Similar to Mac, Windows has a feature called “Speech Recognition.” To transcribe selected audio to text on any Windows version later than Windows Vista, do the following:

  1. For Windows 7 or earlier, click on the “Start Menu” (Windows logo), then click “Control Panel.” For Windows 8 and 10, type “control” in the “Cortana Search Bar,” then select “Control Panel.”
  2. Select the “Ease of Access” settings.
  3. Click on “Speech Recognition.” Do not click the “Set up a microphone” option here as it goes to the troubleshooter instead.
  4. From the speech recognition window, choose “Set up a microphone.”
  5. Select the type of microphone from the list and click “Next.”
  6. In the “Microphone Setup Wizard,” follow the instructions and click “Next.”
  7. Adjust your microphone volume level, then click on “Next.”
  8. The “Microphone Setup Wizard” displays that your microphone is now set up. Click “Finish.”
  9. Setup now returns to the “Speech Recognition” window. Click on “Train your computer to better understand you,” then follow the instructions. This is important if you want better transcription accuracy.
  10. Once voice training is complete with the current microphone, a completion screen appears. Select “Next” to continue.
  11. Choose whether you want to share speech data with Microsoft or not by clicking “Send” or “Don’t Send.”
  12. Open a new file in any text editor.
  13. Say “Start listening,”, then say “Dictation.”
  14. Play the audio file you want to transcribe beside your computer’s microphone.
  15. Say “Stop listening” when you are done.
  16. Save the file in the desired format.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on an iPhone

To convert audio files to text on your iPhone, you need to download one of the transcribing apps from the AppStore. Note: A higher level of editing may be required as interpretation is more difficult with portable devices. You use the built-in microphone and place it next to the audio source’s speakers for recorded audio. When transcribing from a different audio source, you may need to perform several tests to ensure the best quality, such as experimenting with the volume level, bass levels, and distance from the source.

Follow the guide below to transcribe audio to text on iOS using the Dictate app.

Using the Dictate app:

  1. Download the Dictate app from AppStore.
  2. Try the free trial to ensure you like the app.
  3. Press and hold the “Dictate” button to record audio.
  4. Release the button when you have finished recording. The app will show the transcribed text.
  5. Save the text in the desired format or share it to another app.

Using Transcribe – Speech to Text:

  1. Install the Transcribe app on your phone from the AppStore.
  2. Choose the free trial to ensure you like the app.
  3. Open the app and start talking to record audio, or select an audio file from your device.
  4. If you are recording audio, the app will transcribe it instantly when you stop talking. If you have selected a file from your device, the app will show transcribed text after the upload.
  5. Save the result in the desired format or share it to another app or device.

Using Just Press Record:

  1. Find the Just Press Record app in the AppStore and download it.
  2. Press and hold the red “record button” in the center, or click “Browse” to upload a file from your device.
  3. Release the record button or click “Upload.” The app will transcribe the audio file instantly.
  4. Optionally, edit the transcribed text.
  5. Save the file in the desired format or share it to a different app.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on Android

Just like IOS, you need an audio-to-text app from the app store, and the microphone needs to be placed in front of the audio sound source. In this case, the store is Google Play. Bear in mind that transcribing audio on an Android device is not as accurate since it uses the existing microphone and has the potential for device noises. You’ll need to perform some editing afterward as some words get misinterpreted. This situation can occur using any method, but it is more prone to portable devices. Here are some Play Store apps that easily convert audio to text.

For best results when transcribing from an audio source, lower bass frequencies and experiment with various volume levels, as well as distancing your Android device from the source.

Using Speechnotes in Android

Speechnotes is a free, audio-to-text converter with a built-in word processing notepad. The app also features a widget for easy access without opening the app. There is also a premium version that eliminates the nondisturbing ad banner. Google speech recognition must be enabled. Here’s how to use Speechnotes.

  1. Go to Speechnotes in the Play Store and install it.
  2. Launch the app and select the source language.
  3. When ready, press the microphone icon and set the device next to the audio output source, or you can speak too of course.
  4. Edit the results once the transcription is complete, or even during.

Using SpeechTexter on Android

Speechtexter is a notepad application with built-in voice-to-text transcription capabilities. Google speech recognition must be enabled. Here’s how to use SpeechTexter on Android.

  1. Install SpeechTexter in the Play Store.
  2. Launch the app and press the microphone icon to start transcribing audio or speech. The icon turns orange/red.
  3. When finished, press the microphone button once more and it will change to a gray color to represent its off status.
  4. Review the typed text for corrections. Once finished, you may want to play the source and review all words since some words get misintepreted or unheard.
  5. To save, tap on the hamburger icon (Menu) in the top-left section and select “Save.”

Audio to Text FAQs

How Do I Transcribe Audio Files Using Python?

Tech-savvy readers may want to create a speech-to-text conversion tool on Python. You can do this in various ways, but the easiest method is to copy the program text below to Python, then save it as “transcribe.py.” Then, upload an audio file into the program to convert it to text.

import speech_recognition as sr

from os import path

from pydub import AudioSegment

convert mp3 file to wav

sound = AudioSegment.from_mp3("transcript.mp3")

sound.export("transcript.wav", format="wav")

transcribe audio file

AUDIO_FILE = "transcript.wav"

use the audio file as the audio source

r = sr.Recognizer()

with sr.AudioFile(AUDIO_FILE) as source:

audio = r.record(source) # read the entire audio file

print("Transcription: " + r.recognize_google(audio)

How Do I Make the Transcription More Accurate?

To transcribe audio files accurately, ensure you follow two simple tips. Firstly, get rid of any background noises. Find a quiet space before you start playing an audio file into your device’s microphone.

Secondly, use a real-time conversion option if possible. This option allows you to edit the text straight away. You may miss some inaccurately converted phrases if you edit the whole text afterward.

Some apps allow you to better train the speech converter to recognize specific accents—don’t negotiate this feature. In the case you need to get the best results, you may hire a professional. A person can often hear nuances that a program can’t detect.

Store Audio Information in the Most Convenient Way

Audio file conversion is a valuable feature that helps you easily edit and review your voice notes, audiobooks, and podcasts. You create handy references to helpful information that makes it easier to remember simply by converting the audio to text. Hopefully, this article helped you create your very own notes/references that you can view on any device, anytime.

Have you tried different transcribing apps? Do you know any additional tips on making an audio recording more clear? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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