Everything you need to know about the best transcription platforms in the world in one article — plus a free 60 minute free trial for Spread
You’re looking for flawless transcription software that can bring you transcripts for free, in seconds, and without errors? You’re dreaming, or you’re using Spread…
Here we will count down the best transcription software for anyone and everyone. On a budget, podcaster, content creator, professional transcriber, F500, freelancer, etc.
There exists a vast number of transcription platforms and services out there. All with their different features, use cases, and downfalls. We will break each one of them down for you so that you can make the best choice for you and your particular needs.
Below are the best of the best when it comes to transcription.
The 15 best transcription platforms [RANKED]:
(Honorary mention) Spread
Yeah, yeah… I’m guessing you saw this coming. Just hear us out first!! Spread is a brand new startup in the transcription/content space. We are using revolutionary technology to enable professional transcribers/content creators to create transcripts faster than ever before with minimal work and effort. We also have additional content features on the way so you can actually transform transcripts into usable content for yourself or your business, such as; mini video clips, tweets, quotes, IG images, readable blog posts, and much more…
Perfect for: Freelance/professional transcribers with huge workloads wanting to maximise their profit from their work. Or content creators who need to quickly spin out additional content.
Pros: Spread has a tonne of features that allow you to fix errors as fast as possible — using AI. As well as create content without lifting a finger (coming soon!).
Cons: As a startup, we don’t have every feature, such as creating subtitles. (We’re working on it!)
Price: $0.20 per minute of video/audio (2nd chepaest in this list!)
Rev is both an automated and manual transcription platform. When submitting a file for transcription you can request either a human to transcribe it or to use their machine transcription service.
Manual and automated transcription are widely different in costs and performance. The manual transcription is 99% accurate with 12-hour turn arounds, whilst the machine transcription is 80% accurate (with good audio quality) at best with a few minutes turn around.
Perfect for: Companies with big budgets with little time on their hands
Pros: Rev is the most well-known and respected in the transcription space. They have the best manual transcribers.
Cons: They are pricey. Even their automated machine transcription service is very high with poor accuracy.
Price: $1.25 for manual and $0.25 for automated (per minute of audio/video)
HappyScribe is a recent addition to the transcription industry, but rapidly growing. They offer automated transcriptions at a fair price, with the additional option of having a manual transcriber clean it up for you. They have a solid feature set with an easy-to-use interface. They are the clear standard cut winner for a cheap and automated transcription service for one-off projects.
Perfect for: Beginner professional transcribers or content creators who want to create one-off transcripts that you don’t want to cost an arm and a leg.
Pros: Stable and easy to generate transcriptions for beginners. Simple interface with little noise.
Cons: HappyScribe lacks some features and the interface is very basic. The quality of the transcript is standard for the price. However, this may be best suited for the beginner transcriber.
Price: $0.20 per minute of video/audio. $1.45 for manual clean-up per minute of audio.
Descript is the formidable leader in the machine transcription space. With super high-tech features made perfect for podcasters and some content creators. They deliver a relatively high accuracy for automatic transcriptions, allow users to edit their actual podcast via the transcript, and have content creating features such as audiograms.
Perfect for: Podcasters and content creators.
Pros: Their podcast editing and content creation is next level. Descript’s podcast editing features are unmatched by any other competitor.
Cons: Automatic transcription quality not the highest. Editing and correcting errors is easy but still a very long process — no AI used. Limited amount of transcription per month.
Price: $12/month for 10 hours of transcription.
A new competitor to the video transcription space, yet already making a scene…
TypeStudio is very similar to Descript, however, they focus on videos instead of podcasts. You can use TypeStudio to edit your video using the transcript — very similar to how Descript does podcast editing. As well as editing the actual video with the transcript they have some great initial content creation features such as transforming your videos into Instagram and Facebook worthy posts — all done with ease.
The biggest issue with TypeStudio is the time and effort taken to edit the transcript as their transcript is up to 90% accurate, but editing the errors out is more difficult. Plus you are limited by time and upload amount based on your plan.
Perfect for: YouTubers and content creators who want to edit their videos before release and create social media ‘talking head’ videos
Pros: Great video editing and content creation features that can drastically reduce the time taken to repurpose video content
Cons: Lack of transcript error correction features and the amount of content you can upload is restricted due to the pricing plans
Price $14/month for 10 hours of transcription
Trint is a giant in the transcription space. They specialise in making transcriptions searchable, editable, and shareable. They use AI and some highly specced technology to make the most accurate machine transcription possible. Trint is ideal for teams and large companies who want to collaborate on transcriptions and their data. You can invite team members to edit and view transcripts together in real-time. Trint also claims the highest accuracy of any automatic transcription service — 99% accuracy… (This is only with extremely clear audio).
Perfect for: Giant corporations with many teams who need to collaborate and find data in transcripts
Pros: Collaboration features that enable many users and colleagues to work together in harmony
Cons: Priced high, but worthwhile for big teams who transcribe frequently.
Price: £70 per user, per month (unlimited transcription)
Otter.ai is another giant in the transcription space — especially within the business/interviewer niche. Otter.ai specialises in transcribing audio and video content from meetings, interviews, and any general business setting. Otter.ai can transcribe in real-time during meetings, calls, and anything else — making Otter.ai ideal for students and businesses who need to analyse calls/speech. You can organise, edit, and make notes of your transcriptions enabling you to focus on what really matters and work with your team in real-time.
Perfect for: Students, meetings, interviewers, and business settings who need real-time transcription.
Pros: Real-time transcription and collaboration perfect for small groups and big teams.
Cons: Lack of content creation and error correction features like the ones in Spread
Price: $12.99 for 6000 minutes per month
Firstly, what a great name… Secondly, these guys mean business. They know what they’re doing.
Experts work with extreme accuracy to ensure your transcription is perfect. TranscriptionPanda is a manual transcription platform only. So there is no automated transcription involved — meaning your transcription is always going to be error-free.
With a 98% happy review rate from over 2,000+ customers you can see how much effort these (panda) transcribers are putting into their work. If you work with TranscriptionPanda one thing is for certain — you will enjoy the experience.
Perfect for: Those who want to work with a manual-only transcription platform that puts you as the customer first above everything, guaranteeing you a pleasant experience.
Pros: Great name. Great people. Great accuracy rate.
Cons: Long turnaround times. The $0.79 per minute package has 5 working day turnarounds.
Pricing: They have a very transparent scaling pricing scheme with costs starting at $0.79 per minute (rather cheap), but with the ability to scale up to £3.45 per minute with a 24-hour turnaround, timestamps, and strict verbatim.
Well known as one of the most reliable automated transcription platforms in the world Sonix.AI is an established machine transcriber with years of experience and some unique features. Sonix.AI specialise in creating high-quality automatic transcriptions even with poor audio quality. They also enable users to cross-reference data and keywords across multiple transcripts, meaning you can effectively qualitatively analyse your written text with ease.
Perfect for: Users who need to analyse qualitative data across multiple transcripts
Pros: Qualitative data analysis and extremely high transcription quality even with low audio
Cons: Lack of content creation tools, the best they can do is… subtitles.
Price: $10 per hour of transcription
GoTranscript is a UK company that only offers manual transcription. They have a wide pricing scale that can start as low as $0.52 for a bulk upload of files. They claim to be one of the cheapest manual transcription services available anywhere. They say that their cheap price is not a reflection of their quality — if anything the opposite.
GoTranscript is extremely cheap for what the quality and care they provide. This is especially true for specialised transcriptions such as Medical where they will take extra care with their delivery.
Perfect for: Someone who has a bulk amount of transcription needs, who wants an error-free transcript, and who has isn’t rushed on time.
Pros: The cheapest manual transcription service out there.
Cons: Long turnaround time. Due to all of their transcription work being manual they have long turn around times
Price: Starting at $0.52 (cheapest manual transcription we could find!)
Ebby is a traditional automatic transcription software that holds the record for the number of languages they are able to understand and transcribe effectively. With a whopping 100+ languages, Ebby is ideal for transcribers who have to transcribe multiple languages frequently. Professional or freelance transcriptionists with workloads from multiple countries, accents, and dialects will favour this automated transcription.
Perfect for: Transcribers who need to transcribe in multiple languages, accents, and dialects.
Pros: Have the largest range of languages you are able to transcribe with.
Cons: Standard and simple transcription service that offer little to no additional features.
Price: $6 per hour of transcription
Maestra is a futuristic-looking transcription editor with a relatively high accuracy level. Great for part-time young transcribers who want a clean-looking interface that’s easy to operate and use for an affordable price. They also have some incredible translation and voice dubbing features that make them ideal for transcribing and captioning into other languages.
Perfect for: Part-time transcribers who want transcriptions and subtitles in multiple languages
Pros: Voice overdubbing and incredible user interface that is sleek and easy to use
Cons: Lack of content creation and error correction features such as the ones Spread has
Price: $9 per hour of transcription
Iscribe is an extremely cheap and fast transcription software. At only $0.10 per minute on their machine transcription, they are the cheapest we could find. Their turnaround time is a little long at 30minutes, yet the price makes up for it. Sadly their accuracy is not the best. With a maximum of 80% with good quality audio and 60% with poor quality — they’re probably not going to be your choice if you want the transcription to be correct. They also offer manual transcription starting at $0.80, but this can scale to upwards of $3.30 per minute of audio depending on your quality.
Perfect for: Transcribers who want the cheapest transcription and are not bothered about the price or additional features
Pros: The cheapest transcription service available (we could find)
Cons: Extremely poor accuracy and scaling costs
Price: $0.10 per minute for machine and $0.80 per minute for manual
Temi is a word-class automated transcription service that is hyped up for its insane automated transcription accuracy. They claim to have the highest transcription accuracy in the world, and by their data — they do.
They show in their many examples how they have much better transcription quality than Google’s specch to text software. You can see the examples for yourself here. They also showcase graphs that show their error rate to be a good few percent lower than Google’s.
Temi is a little higher on costs at $0.25 than some other transcription services, but they will save you a good few minutes and some headaches than the other transcription services that are riddled with errors.
Temi’s editor is a little ‘old’ looking with minimal error correction and no content creation features. Their interface is simple and easy to use, it just feels like it’s lacking something. However, they do provide multiple speaker transcription, timestamps, and speaker tags for every block of text.
Perfect for: Transcribers who don’t want to correct a lot of errors. Their low transcription error rate is an absolute breeze. They boast that with clear audio they can reach 95% accuracy with no human intervention.
Pros: Highest automated transcription accuracy to date. No other company has come close to this rate. They are a reliable company used by the likes of ESPN and many other high-profile corporations.
Cons: A little pricier than other transcription services and has minimal extensive features. If you want a solid transcript for a good price then they are the guys to do it for you. However, they aren’t ideal for content creation.
Price: $0.25 per minute of transcription
What are the different types of transcription software/platforms?
The six categories of transcription services you have to analyse are:
- Manual transcription
- Machine transcription
- Speed of transcription
- Accuracy of transcription
- Error correction features
- Content creation features
The main difference you will find is if a transcription platform is manually done by a human, or done by machine (software). There are many pros and cons to each. Mainly that the manual process will usually result in the highest accuracy with minimal transcription errors. However, it will cost 4x as much and it will take 10x as long to be in your hands.
Luckily for you Spread is making that a myth. With our supreme technology and AI we will be able to reduce the error rate to a minimum and enable you to fix any errors with absolute ease. No longer will you have to choose between speed and accuracy — Spread does both.
Should you use a free or paid transcription platform?
Either way… you pay. You pay for the quality of the transcription, either in terms of cost or time.
A transcript created for free is usually extremely low quality which causes you to spend an enormous amount of time fixing transcription errors and grammatical mistakes.
A transcript you have paid for will always be better — especially manually generated transcripts like the ones Rev produces. These transcripts have gone through the eyes of a professional freelance transcriber who is an expert at fixing transcription errors. Sadly for you, this costs an arm and a leg so is only applicable to giant corporations or wealthy influencers.
However, Spread is trying to break the myth that ‘only manual transcription can be 100% accurate’. With our technology, we hope to be able to help you find and fix transcription errors faster with fewer headaches than ever before. For our price of $0.20 per minute you can’t beat our record ‘error correcting’ time. Our advanced AI technology saves you time and your sanity.
How much does transcription cost?
Your transcription costs vary massively depending on what the content you are transcribing is, who/what you are using to create it, and what the purpose of the transcription is for.
Content: There are many different use cases for transcription. Such as; podcasts, interviews, youtube videos, business meetings, a call, and many more uses cases. One of the biggest is Medical transcription which needs the highest of accuracy and therefore costs much more.
Different content will need different levels of transcription accuracy, speed, and therefore will have different costs attributed to them. The length of the recordings will also have an obvious direct impact on cost.
Who/what are you using: The biggest cost variable will be if you use a manual transcriber or a machine transcriber (or even perhaps a little of both).
Manual transcription will cost a lot more. This will cost you anywhere between $0.52 to a few dollar per minute of audio depending on how high the quality of audio is and who you want to use to transcribe it.
Machine transcription is always cheaper, yet will lack a little accuracy depending on who you go with. You can get free transcription software, but this will cost you plenty of time in correcting the errors as the software used to transcribe is usually always subpar.
Purpose of the transcript: Depending on what the purpose of the transcript is will also determine which transcription service you utilise. Below we have explained every use case for every transcription purpose and detailed which transcription platform will be best.
In conclusion, the price of a transcript will cost between $0.10-$3 per minute of audio. There are free versions available, but these will cost you dearly on time. You will reduce your costs by using transcription software. The cheapest we found is Iscribe, at $0.10 with 80% accuracy using their basic features. Spread is only $0.20 ($0.10 more) per minute with much more advanced features — that can saves you hours of editing.
Best use cases for each transcription purpose:
Best transcription software for professional freelance transcribers
Yeah, top of the list again… but this time we REALLY mean it. Spread was born to help freelance transcribers create more transcripts faster with fewer headaches. So you can earn as much revenue as possible from every client. We want your everyday transcription work to be EASY.
We completed a wide range of independent first-hand research and surveyed/interviewed 100’s of content creators and transcribers. The studies resulted in transcribers finding error correction and content creation to be their biggest pain points.
Therefore, we made it our mission at Spread to help freelance transcribers correct errors and create content faster and easier than ever before.
If you are a freelance transcriber, don’t take our word for it, try us for 60 minutes free.
Best transcription software for podcasters
If you’re a podcaster then the best transcription tool for you will most likely be Descript, as they have the best tools to make your podcast smooth and create content from it.
However, you will do fine with a generic transcriber if you only need to create the transcript for transcript purposes — such as an SEO description or blog posts. Descript is only super ideal for podcasters who want to change the podcast pre-release, other than that the actual transcription isn’t of very high quality.
The audiograms you can create in Descript from your podcast are of very high quality and are easy to make. Luckily Descript isn’t the only one capable of doing this if you don’t want to go with them. You can also use Wavve. (Soon Spread will also be able to do this).
If you need a walkthrough on how to transcribe podcast/audio content then you can check out our free guide here: How to transcribe podcast content. When you sign up to Spread you get your first 60 minutes free to play around with!
Best transcription software for video content
The current winner here is Typestudio, but soon Spread will take their place.
Typestudio has some amazing video editing software, such as being able to edit your video timeline using just the transcript itself (similar to Descript). These video editing features are revolutionary.
Typestudio also has some great content creation features such as instantly cropping and clipping video clips that are ideal for Instagram or Facebook in seconds with their manual process. Spread will soon be able to do this manually too, and automatically using AI… stay tuned.
Tyepstudio’s main downfall is its lack of transcription accuracy and error correction features. Meaning, before you even get to use their cool features, you have to go through the sluggish process of correcting countless transcription errors.
If you need a walkthrough on how to transcribe video content then you can check out our free guide here: How to transcribe video content. When you sign up to Spread you get your first 60 minutes free to play around with!
Best transcription software for multilingual transcribers
If you’re a professional transcriber or content creator that needs to transcribe and translate content into multiple languages then Ebby is the number one pick for you. With the most amount of languages available to automatically transcribe and translate with, Ebby completely obliterates the competition in this space.
With over 100+ possible languages to transcribe and translate with Ebby is a huge help for professional transcribers who need a wide range of languages.
Generic transcription services such as HappyScribe do also claim to be able to transcribe in over 100+ languages/accents. Yet, Ebby is known for its leading technology in this space.
Best transcription software for interviewers
Otter.ai has made the biggest strides in the interview/meeting setting within the transcription game. Their real-time transcription and captioning put them miles ahead of anyone else for interviewers. The best transcription software for any interview is Otter.ai without a doubt.
Otter.ai is also ideal for students who want to speak to mentors, professors, or other professionals in their field of study. Students (or anyone) can use Otter.ai to transcribe in real-time during a call/interview.
Best transcription software for multiple voices
Trint is the leader in multiple-voiced transcription. Not only can their software tell you what is being said, but who it is being said by. Its advanced AI language and transcription capabilities allow it to transcribe with multiple voices all speaking.
Sadly Trint (or any transcription software for that matter) aren’t very good at transcribing overtalk (where multiple voices are speaking over one another). But Trint is still superb at transcribing multiple speakers with staggered speech.
If Trint is a little too pricy for you then you can always used other transcribers such as HappyScribe. HappyScribe will try to identify multiple speakers as best as it can. If speakers aren’t picked up or errors are made, you can always easily edit the speaker notes that are next to the timestamps on the left-hand side.
Best free transcription software
There’s a good reason why none of the best transcription tools are free on the above list. The only ones worth using are worth paying for.
If you want a transcription without a hundred errors that take hours to correct, then it’s worth paying for it. However, if you just want a transcription for transcription sake then take a look at the below:
Otranscribe is a free open-source transcription tool that has a basic interface and layout. Ideal for the purpose of a simple transcription without any messing around.
This free transcription tool helps new users as it can be used right out of the browser making it insanely easy to get set up and start transcribing. All you have to do is start uploading an audio or video file to get started. You can even change the speed of the playback…
Express Scribe is the most well-known free transcription software out there. It also has a paid version which is equally as known and well used. It is mainly used by freelance transcribers who want to speed up their error correction time as much as possible.
This is where Spread most wants to help. We want to be able to cut down the amount of time a freelance transcriber has to use up correcting errors in a text. Allowing them to create more transcriptions, faster, with fewer headaches. I.e make more money for every minute of their time.
I am very happy that this article was so informative that you read to the very last sentence. I want you to leave knowing that the information you have just read was genuine and created by the founder of Spread ( Louis).
All sources and inspiration are stated below each paragraph, please check out every credible source you wish to.
We’ll see you again soon.