Real-time transcription, also known as live transcription, is the process of instantly turning spoken words into text, as they are being uttered. It works using automated speech recognition (ASR), and it's a game changer for a whole array of individuals and professionals.
For students sitting in challenging lectures, professionals navigating intense business meetings and conferences, and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing seeking inclusivity, real-time transcription unlocks a whole host of new possibilities for communication, collaboration, and productivity in the digital age.
In this guide we'll explore the various methods of live transcription, and deep-dive into how to transcribe audio to text in real time using Transcribe.
Here are some of the key benefits of real-time audio transcription:
One of the most important benefits of real-time transcription is that it improves accessibility for individuals with hearing impairments. Live transcription means they can better understand what's being discussed, and actively participate in conversations and events.
Learn more about how to make audio content more accessible.
Real-time transcription also helps to break down language barriers and support multilingual communications. For those who aren't fully fluent in the language being spoken, live transcriptions provide the support of written text, which might be easier to understand than the spoken word. These individuals can also use a written transcript to quickly find translations.
In both educational and professional settings, real-time transcription serves as an effective note-taking tool, capturing spoken content and turning it into written notes for future reference. It means everyone involved can stay focused, present, and engaged, safe in the knowledge that there will be notes to look back at if needed.
Live transcriptions can be shared with others for speedy knowledge sharing and improved collaboration. These notes can also be easily skimmed and searched by you and your colleagues or peers, to quickly find key points and themes.
You can use Zoom's automatic transcription software to add live transcripts to your Zoom meetings. While this is useful for accessibility, there are some limitations. For example, you have to be the meeting host to turn on the live transcript feature - participants aren't able to do so themselves.
Find out more about how to transcribe Zoom meetings.
Microsoft Teams also has its own built-in live transcription software, however similar limitations apply. If your organization is using OneDrive for Business and SharePoint for meeting recordings, then your IT administrator has to enable the live transcription feature for you to be able to use it. Additionally, only the meeting organizer and presenters can start the transcription, and if it isn't started at the beginning of the meeting, then you can't get a transcript retrospectively.
Find out more about how to transcribe a Teams meeting.
For optimum flexibility, convenience, and accuracy, use a professional real-time transcription service like Transcribe. With our live transcription service, you can get instant transcriptions of a meeting, conversation, or phone call - as you speak. You can even work offline.
We support more than 120 languages and dialects, and with our PRO service, you get unlimited real-time transcription time, and you can store up to 500 hours of audio recordings in the cloud.
Simply download the app (our app is currently available on iOS and MacOs), start recording, and a live transcription will instantly appear on the screen .
Here's how to get a real-time voice transcription in six simple steps:
2. Open the Voice Recorder
You can even open and run the voice recorder offline - no need for internet connection!
3. Choose your language
Select the language of your recording from more than 120 languages and dialects.
4. Start recording
Your live transcription will appear as you speak.
Please note: The clearer your audio recording is, the more accurate the transcription will be. If you can, take care to ensure that voices can be clearly heard, speakers don't talk over one another and there's no background noise or echo.
5. Save your transcription
Once you've stopped recording, you have the choice to save the transcription (with audio), or save only the audio.
Our live transcription service is ideal for instant, on-the-go transcription, but it offers a lower accuracy than our regular transcription service. If you want maximum accuracy, simply save the audio file alone, then transcribe it later with our more accurate and powerful server.
Please note: If you save the live transcript, you will not be able to re-transcribe it. But you can still edit and export the transcript as usual.
6. Your transcript is ready!
You can now proofread and polish the text in the app, online, or in your preferred file format - with or without timestamps. With our standard service you can export your transcribed text to TXT, or upgrade to our PRO subscription to export to PDF, DOCX, SRT and JPG.
With Transcribe, you can enjoy the first 15 minutes of live transcription time for free, so if you only need to transcribe a short meeting or conversation, this could work out as an entirely free option.
Once you've used up your free credit and seen for yourself whether our service meets your needs, you can buy additional credit for $5/hour, or get 10 hours for just $30. Alternatively, upgrade to our PRO service for $14.99 a month and you'll receive an extra 5 hours of transcription time each month.
Ready to get live transcriptions? Download the Transcribe app to get started.
Written By Katie Garrett