Transcription software is a great tool.
From accuracy and built-in editing to saving time, there are several benefits that transcription software can provide your business. — Getty Images/Jay Yuno

Our voices now control how we live. Devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home use voice activation to control different home systems, and artificial intelligence has developed so much that it’s being implemented in our businesses. Transcription software gives accurate transcriptions of emails, voice memos or even whole meetings and can be a major time saver for companies. Here's what to look for when choosing transcription service for your business.

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What is transcription software?

Transcription software is an application that allows users to upload audio or video files and provides a transcribed document of what was said. It can ease the burden of note-taking in meetings or on calls, as employees can be fully present without worrying about jotting everything down correctly. The software will transcribe every word said, so there's no double guessing exact figures or who said what.

Previously, before this software became prominent, the most accurate way to transcribe a file was to do it yourself. This required the transcriber to listen to the audio and type out every word. While accurate, these transcriptions were cumbersome to create. Now, with transcription software, this process can be done by an application in a matter of minutes.

6 transcription software features to look for

The accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness of transcription software can vary. When shopping for transcription software to use within your organization, look for applications that fit your specific needs. Here are some of the major considerations to keep in mind when researching transcription software:


A key feature of transcription software is its accuracy when transcribing what you're uploading. While no software will be perfect because of the different accents and dialects people use, you want to choose a software that is known for its accuracy in speech recognition — not only in determining what words were said but also differentiating different voices and breaks in speech.

Quick turnaround

Transcription software can have a variety of completion turnaround depending on the length and quality of the file that was uploaded. On average, it takes about a half hour for a software to transcribe an hour-long audio file, though this could vary depending on the program. If the service says it has a 24 hour turnaround, it is likely a human transcription service, which can be more expensive and less efficient.

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An in-app editing feature allows you to clean up your transcriptions and edit or rewrite any inaccuracies for presentation.

Amount allowed

Not every transcription software comes with an unlimited amount of transcribing ability. Some are limited in how long the files you’re transcribing can be or limit you to a certain amount of time each period, depending on your pricing plan.

Built-in editor

Chances are, you aren't going to need every word found in the transcription. An in-app editing feature allows you to clean up your transcriptions and edit or rewrite any inaccuracies for presentation. Some editors are so in depth that you can edit the audio you upload, to move fragments around and make it more concise. If you foresee your company using your transcriptions for a variety of reasons, having solid editing features allows you to easily use them in those capacities.


If you're using transcription software on confidential content, you have to read the software's private policy. See if the software minimizes the amount of data that is on their servers and if you can delete copies from their systems yourself. The more control over your data and content you have, the more secure it is.

[Read: Security Guide: Keeping Your Business Safe Online and Off]

Additional features

There are a variety of features that are incredibly useful with different transcription services. These can include adding a custom dictionary, adding timestamps, identifying specific features and transcribing different languages at once. In addition to looking at the quality of each software, consider their unique features to determine if any could benefit your business.

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