How to convert audio files to text

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
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Useful information is often in audio format. This format is convenient to listen to on the go, but problems can 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.

In this article, we are going to tell you how to convert audio files to text documents using different software. We'll provide you with a step-by-step guide to transforming information into the format you want online, on Mac, Windows, and your phone. Plus, 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 additional software. We will share some of them with you. However, free online tools are unlikely 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 the URL of a file.
  3. Select a recognition engine.
  4. Once the download is complete, click " Turn into. »
  5. Wait for the conversion to complete and save the result as a PDF or TXT file.

Using the 360 ​​Converter:

  1. Go to the Converter 360 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 you want to transcribe.
  5. Check the box next to "I accept the terms and conditions" and click "Start conversion".
  6. Wait for the conversion to complete and save the result as a PDF or TXT file.

Using Sonix:

  1. Go to the Sonix website and sign up for a 30 minute free 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 moving the toggle buttons, then tap “CONTINUE TRANSCRIBING. » Hover over the underlined text to view details for each entry. Note: The test file contained intro music, but it was still correctly transcribed.
  5. The conversion will take some time. The transcribed ;ink file is 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 in PDF or TXT format by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the speaker icon, or click the file name(s) to open the results for editing.
  7. Answer the drop-down questions in the box that appears, then click “SEND AND VIEW TRANSCRIPTION”.
  8. The transcribed results for the selected file are displayed. 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 transcription feature. If you are not looking for a high quality transcription, you can try using the voice typing feature to convert audio to text by following the steps below:



  1. Open Google Docs and select the "Tools" menu.
  2. Click on “Voice input”.
  3. Play the audio file. Make sure there is no background noise.
  4. Google Docs will enter the dictated text into a new document.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on a Mac

Mac owners can rejoice: audio files can be transcribed 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 and speech" (a microphone icon).
  3. Turn « Dictation » ouch
  4. Optionally check "Use Enhanced Dictation" to transcribe the file with real-time feedback.
  5. Select the file language and make sure a shortcut key is selected.
  6. Changes are saved automatically. Close the window.
  7. Open a new document in any text editor.
  8. Press the " shortcut key " to activate the dictation function.
  9. Play the audio file you want to transcribe. Make sure no background noise is interfering with the audio.
  10. Click on " I finished " to see the results and save the file in the desired format.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on Windows PC

Similar to Mac, Windows has a feature called "Speech Recognition". To transcribe selected audio to text on any version of Windows after Windows Vista, follow these steps:



  1. For Windows 7 or earlier, click the "The Start Menu" (Windows logo), then click " Control Panel. » For Windows 8 and 10, type "to control" in the "Cortana search bar", then select " Control Panel. »
  2. Select the " Access facility " The settings.
  3. Click on “Speech Recognition. » Do not click on the “Set up a microphone” option here as it goes to the troubleshooter instead.
  4. In the speech recognition window, choose “Set up a microphone. »
  5. Select the microphone type from the list and click " Next. »
  6. In "Microphone Setup Wizard", follow the instructions and click " Next. »
  7. Adjust the volume level of your microphone, then click " Next. »
  8. The “Microphone Setup Wizard” displays that your microphone is now configured. Click on " To finish. »
  9. The installer 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. When voice training is complete with the current microphone, a completion screen appears. To select " Next " Continue.
  11. Choose whether or not you want to share voice data with Microsoft by clicking " Send " ou " Do not 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 next to your computer's microphone.
  15. Say "Stop Listening" when you're done.
  16. Save the file in the desired format.

How to Convert Audio Files to Text on iPhone

To convert audio files to text on your iPhone, you need to download one of the transcription 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 speakers for audio recording. When transcribing from a different audio source, you may need to perform several tests to ensure the best quality, such as experimenting with volume level, bass levels, and distance from the source.



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

Using the Dictation app:

  1. Download the Dictation app from App Store.
  2. Try the free trial to make sure you like the app.
  3. Press and hold the " To dictate " button to record sound.
  4. Release the button when you are done recording. The app will display the transcribed text.
  5. Save the text in the desired format or share it in another application.

Using Transcribe – Speech to Text:

  1. Install the Transcribe app on your phone from the App Store.
  2. Choose the free trial to make sure you like the app.
  3. Open the app and start speaking to record audio, or select an audio file from your device.
  4. If you record sound, the app will transcribe it instantly when you stop speaking. If you have selected a file on your device, the app will display the transcribed text after downloading.
  5. Save the result in your desired format or share it to another app or device.

Using Just Press Record:

  1. Find the Just Press Record app in the App Store and download it.
  2. Press and hold red "record button" center, or click " Browse " to upload a file from your device.
  3. Release the record button or click " To download. » The app will transcribe the audio file instantly.
  4. Optionally, modify the transcribed text.
  5. Save the file in the desired format or share it in another application.

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. Keep in mind that audio transcription on an Android device is not as accurate as it uses the existing microphone and may generate noise from the device. You will need to make some changes later, as some words are misinterpreted. This situation can occur with 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, reduce low frequencies and experiment with different volume levels, as well as moving your Android device away 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 has a widget for easy access without opening the app. There is also a premium version which eliminates the non-disturbing banner ad. Google voice recognition must be enabled. Here's how to use Speechnotes.

  1. Go to Speech Notes in Play Store and install it.
  2. Launch the application and select the source language.
  3. When you're ready, tap the microphone icon and place the device next to the audio output source, or you can also speak of course.
  4. Edit results after transcription is complete, or even during.

Use SpeechTexter on Android

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

  1. Install SpeechTexter in the Play Store.
  2. Launch the app and tap the microphone icon to start transcribing audio or speech. The icon turns orange/red.
  3. When you're done, press the microphone button again and it will turn gray to represent its off state.
  4. Review the typed text for corrections. When finished, you may want to read the source and review all the words, as some words are misinterpreted or not heard.
  5. To save, tap the hamburger icon (Menu) in the top left section and select "Save".

Audio-to-text FAQ

How to transcribe audio files using Python?

Tech-savvy readers might want to build a speech-to-text tool on Python. There are a number of ways you can do this, but the easiest way is to copy the program text below in Python and then save it as "transcribe.py". Next, upload an audio file to 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

son = AudioSegment.from_mp3(« transcript.mp3 »)

sound.export(« transcript.wav », format= »wav »)

transcribe an audio file

AUDIO_FILE = « transcript.wav »

use audio file as audio source

r = sr.Recognizer()

with sr.AudioFile(AUDIO_FILE) as source:

audio = r.record(source) # play all audio file

print(« Transcription :  » + r.recognize_google(audio)

How to make transcription more accurate?

To transcribe audio files accurately, be sure to follow two simple tips. First, get rid of any background noise. Find a quiet place before you start playing an audio file through your device's microphone.

Second, use a real-time conversion option if possible. This option allows you to edit the text immediately. You may miss some inaccurately converted sentences if you edit the whole text afterwards.

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

Store audio information in the most convenient way

Audio file conversion is a valuable feature that allows you to easily edit and revise your voice notes, audiobooks, and podcasts. You create handy references to useful information that makes it easier to remember by simply converting audio to text. I hope this article has helped you create your own…

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