How to Transcribe a Conversation

How to Transcribe a Conversation

From meetings and seminars to phone calls and interviews, we have countless conversations every day. And how many times have you walked away from a conversation wishing you could replay it to remember more of the details?

That's where transcription comes in.

Imagine having a written record of those conversations, neatly filed away for when you need to double check a fact or figure. By transcribing important conversations, you can revisit them anytime you need to.

In this guide we'll take a look at the benefits of transcribing conversations, explore three ways to transcribe them, and learn how to transcribe a conversation quickly and easily using Transcribe.

Jump to:

Why transcribe a conversation?

From business meetings to interviews with elderly family members, creating a written record is invaluable for documentation and future reference.

Transcribed text can make information more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as to those who prefer reading over listening in certain languages. It also supports users in environments where audio playback is not feasible, like noisy rooms or public transport.

For meetings and collaborative sessions, transcribed conversations allow attendees (and those who couldn't make it) to revisit discussions, clarify misunderstandings, and follow up on action items. This holds people accountable and helps keep projects on track.

For academic researchers and journalists, transcribing interviews allows for deeper analysis of the conversation. With a written record, it's easier to explore nuances of the discussion.

Transcribing conversations that take place during seminars provides students with detailed notes that they can skim-read, search, edit and refer back to when studying for an exam or writing an essay.

Three ways to transcribe a conversation

Manual transcription (the DIY method)

If you have all the time in the world, then you could consider recording the conversation and then transcribing it yourself. It's not a method that we would recommend though, especially for long conversations, as manually transcribing takes even longer than you might expect!

Human transcription services

Services using real-life humans to transcribe your audio promise the best possible accuracy. But since real-life humans can only work so fast and, of course, need to be paid, these services are typically both slow and expensive. You can expect to pay around $45-$90 per hour of audio transcription, and you might have to wait days or even weeks to receive your transcript.

Automatic transcription services

The fastest and most cost-effective way to transcribe a conversation is to use an automatic transcription service, like Transcribe. Transcribe uses AI-powered technology to automatically transcribe your live or recorded conversations, so you'll receive a clear and high-quality transcription in minutes, at the best possible price.

There are many extra perks of using Transcribe too, including a high number of import and export formats, more than 120 supported languages, cloud storage, and professional support when you need assistance.

How to transcribe a conversation using Transcribe

There are two ways to transcribe conversations using Transcribe:

  1. Record and transcribe the conversation in real time using the mobile app

  2. Import the recorded conversation to the Transcribe app or online editor for transcription

How to record and transcribe a conversation in real time using the Transcribe app

With the Transcribe app, you can record and transcribe conversations as they happen. Here's how:

1. Download the Transcribe app

2. Open the Voice Recorder

Click the microphone icon in the top right corner. You can even open and run the voice recorder offline - no need for internet connection!

3. Choose your language

Select the language of your conversation 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 conversation transcript in the app, online, or in your preferred file format - with or without timestamps.

Find out more about how to transcribe audio to text in real time.

How to transcribe a recorded conversation using the Transcribe app or online editor

If you already have an audio file of your conversation, follow these steps to transcribe it:

1. Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor

2. Upload your recorded conversation

You can import audio files from any app or cloud storage system, including Google Drive and Dropbox. You can also integrate with Zoom for quick and easy transcriptions of Zoom conversations.

3. Choose your language

Select the language of your conversation from more than 120 languages and dialects.

4. Start the transcription process

Your conversation transcript will be ready in a matter of minutes thanks to our speedy AI software, so make yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up and we'll send you a notification when your transcription is complete.

5. Your transcription is ready!

You can now edit the transcript in the app, online or in your preferred file format. With our standard version you can export your transcribed text to TXT, or upgrade to our PRO service to export to PDF, DOCX, SRT and JPG.

Example of a conversation transcript

Here are some examples of conversation transcripts, with and without timestamps.

Example of a conversation transcript with timestamps

Example of a conversation transcript without timestamps

Ready to transcribe a conversation?

Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

Subscribe to news

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!

How to Record & Transcribe a Phone Call

Take the pressure out of note-taking by recording and transcribing professional phone calls. Find out how to record and transcribe a phone call with Transcribe.

20 July 2022 #9

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo

Want to transcribe a voice memo so that you have a written transcript to refer back to, search and share? Discover the best ways to convert voice memos into text.

20 July 2022 #11

How to record and transcribe your family history

Oral history is a fantastic way to preserve family stories for future generations. Discover how to record and transcribe your family history.

20 November 2023 #253

How to Transcribe a Podcast

From SEO to accessibility, podcast transcriptions offer a range of benefits. Learn how to transcribe your podcasts with our step-by-step guide.

20 July 2022 #13