8 Best Transcription Software for Video: Different Methods Compared

Peggy Pan
February 2022

8 Best Transcription Software for Video: Different Methods Compared

When shopping for transcription software for video, you'll find there are a few methods to transcribe your video footage to text:

  • Computer (or automatic) transcription
  • Human (or professional) transcription
  • Hybrid transcription (i.e., computer transcription corrected by humans)

The right transcription option depends on how you want to use your video's transcript, how soon you need the transcript, how much you want to spend, and, finally, your video's quality.

At Reduct, we've designed our automatic video transcription software to be fast and accurate, while also offering an extra accurate human transcription service. Both of our transcription options are completely interactive and allow you to edit video by editing the transcript text. Our human transcription is ready to use in less than 24-hours no matter the length of your video files, giving it the fastest turnaround in the industry, and at a market-beating cost of just $1.67 per minute.

Below, we'll review the 8 best video transcription software, including Reduct, and explain how Reduct's platform lets you use transcripts for video analysis, video editing, and team collaboration. But first, we'll show you how to choose between transcription methods.

Want to learn more about how to use Reduct's transcription software for video? Get a free trial to get access to computer and human transcription services with <24-hour turnaround (and at some of the best rates in the industry).

Which Type of Transcription Software is Right for You?

As we said above, transcription software is available in three main categories. Before we take a look at Reduct's transcription services, let's review the types of transcription in more detail.

Computer transcription , as its name suggests, uses AI to generate automatic transcripts from audio and video files. It's sometimes called automatic transcription, machine transcription, AI transcription, or speech-to-text transcription. Computer transcripts are 85% accurate, completely automatic, and ready in under 15 minutes.

Computer transcription is worth considering if:

  • You have high-quality audio that's clear and easy to understand
  • Your video file doesn't include distracting background noise
  • You need a transcript very quickly to start video analysis and editing
  • You only need the transcript for your own use
  • You want a more affordable transcription option

Human transcription is a service provided by a real person who listens to the audio and transcribes it manually. This type of transcription is usually more accurate than automatic transcription (up to 99%) but the final quality depends on the skill and experience of the professional transcriptionists involved. Depending on how long your audio or video file is, human transcription typically takes much longer to complete.

Human transcription may be what you need if:

  • You need to share your transcript with external stakeholders or customers
  • Your video file includes several speakers (or speakers with heavily accented English)
  • The video features a lot of jargon that a computer will be unlikely to recognize
  • You are looking for a very accurate transcript that requires little to no editing

Hybrid transcription is a way of combining both computer and human transcription. This type of transcription software uses AI to create an automatic transcription and then uses a human editor to correct any inaccuracies.

The main benefit is that hybrid is cheaper than human transcription, but you get a more accurate transcript than you would with just computer transcription. This is an attractive option if you have both time and budget constraints. However, you need to weigh up if the additional cost of somebody else editing the inaccuracies of a computer transcription for you, is worthwhile compared with reviewing and editing it for yourself.

Note: A different type of "transcription software" (that we don't cover in this article) is manual transcription software. This type of software is designed to make it easier for human transcriptionists to do their job — it doesn't do any transcribing for you. This type of software is usually compatible with a transcription foot pedal that simplifies the process of stopping and starting audio as the transcriptionist types. Two popular examples of this type of audio transcription software are Inqscribe and Express Scribe.

Reduct's Transcription: Computer Transcripts & Professional Human Transcription

Now that we've talked about how to choose transcription methods, let's move on to how Reduct tackles transcription. To cover everyone's needs, Reduct's online video transcription services include both automatic transcription and a human transcription service.

Computer Transcription

Reduct's automatic transcripts are ready just a few minutes after you upload your footage. The generated transcripts are completely editable with our text editor, which also has keyboard shortcuts to help you edit faster, so you can correct any inaccuracies as you review the transcript.

To improve the accuracy of our transcripts, users can include "hints for transcription" when they upload their video or audio files. "Hints" are a way for users to share glossaries of terms used frequently in their industry or subject area, as well as a list of speaker names. This helps Reduct's automatic video transcription software to recognize industry-specific jargon, and gives human transcribers extra information and context, to improve transcription results.

Human Transcription

Our human transcription service (99% accurate) is one of the fastest and most affordable on the market: We guarantee transcripts back in 24 hours, regardless of the length of your audio/video file, starting at $1.67 per minute of footage. Our human transcriptions are also fully editable if you should choose to add any changes of your own.

You get an automatic transcript as soon as you upload your footage into Reduct, even when you choose our human transcription service. This means you can temporarily work on the computer transcription while you wait for us to send the human transcript. The transcript you are reviewing is automatically updated when the human transcription service is finished.

How Reduct Provides 24-Hour Turnaround for Any Length of Video File

Our professional video transcription service is super fast because we split your video files and spread the transcription work among a team of transcribers. This has the double benefit of making transcription faster and keeping the content of your files confidential because no single transcriber has access to all the information in them.

Here's how Reduct's human transcription process works in detail:

  1. We break your audio/video file up into five-minute chunks.
  2. Each chunk is sent to a different professional transcriptionist.
  3. Reduct's software uses speech recognition to analyze the audio file and identify speaker names.
  4. We do a round of quality control to check the transcription is error-free and speakers have been correctly assigned.
  5. Finally, we stitch the different sections of transcript back together and send the file to you.

Read more about Reduct's video to text transcription services in our other post.

Using Reduct Transcripts for Collaborative Video Analysis and Editing

If you need transcription services, it's likely you want to use a transcript to do something more. You may want to add captions, use the transcript to create subtitles, or make your video easily searchable, for example.

Working with other transcription software or services, you have to download transcripts from their websites and upload them elsewhere if you want to use your transcripts for other digital projects. Unlike these services, Reduct allows you to store, share, review, and edit transcripts in a single online, collaborative platform. Using our platform you can use your transcripts to create engaging video reels to publish online or send to other people.

Let's take a look at how team collaboration, video analysis, and video editing works in Reduct:

Collaborating With Teams on Video Projects

Most transcription services send you a static text document of your transcript. To share it with other team members, you then either have to send it by email, upload it into Dropbox, or into Google Drive, so everyone can have direct access.

With Reduct, you don't need to do any of that. We make it easier for teams to access and collaborate on transcripts and video files online within our platform, in real-time. With both videos and transcripts available directly in the cloud, collaboration and sharing are made much easier and the workflow is streamlined.

To collaborate on video analysis and editing projects in Reduct, users create a login for each team member and assign a role based on what each team member has permission to work on, as shown in the table below:

RoleAccessCreate projectUpload recordingTag, Edit and Share videoHighlight and Comment
EditorAll projects
Guest EditorSpecific projects by invitation onlyX
CommenterAll projectsXXX
Guest CommenterSpecific projects by invitation onlyXXX

Then, our Presence feature shows you what other team members are doing in video projects in real-time, so there is no clunkiness when reviewing or editing videos in the cloud.

Video Analysis

If you have large amounts of video footage to analyze — for example, if you're using videos for user research, are a documentary filmmaker, or a marketer reviewing customer feedback videos, Reduct streamlines that process.

With most other transcription services, the process of reviewing and marking up your transcript and/or footage can be long and tedious, and if you're working with a team it can be even more time-consuming. If your transcript and footage are stored on local hard drives, for example, you have to download them both and send them to other team members, on a thumb drive or via file sharing service, for review. They then give you feedback and send that back to you, you make the suggested changes, and this tedious back and forth process starts over again.

As we explained above, Reduct's entire product is cloud-based, so you can add team members to video projects and make comments and edits with other users in real-time. This speeds up the paper edit process and makes it easier to pull what's important from your video footage. You also get the option to change playback speed to review more quickly, or in closer detail.

As you review your footage and transcript, you can highlight important quotes or insights in the transcript. Our platform automatically pulls that part of the recording to create a video clip (a.k.a. Highlight ). This allows you to categorize and log your footage, share your insights with other people, and use video clips in highlight reels, for example. Each clip appears highlighted within the transcript so they're easy to identify when you scroll through.

highlight-sidebar

You can also tag Highlights to organize and group your video clips by theme or subject. When you want to work on the Highlights on the same subject you can use Reduct's filter function to quickly find all the Highlights with that tag.

If you tag all the video clips where customers talk about a specific product feature in testimonial interviews, for example, it's super easy to find all the clips relevant to that feature and then edit them together to make a video reel on the benefits of that feature.

When you work with other team members on video analysis, it's important to establish a common language for tagging video clips, to make it simple to find and categorize them as you work. Reduct's Tags lets you create rules for tagging to ensure everyone is using the same tags in the same way. We also auto-suggest tags based on video content to help you tag faster and more accurately.

As an alternative to filtering by tags, and to spot any important clips you may have missed in your initial review, you can also use Reduct's search function to search through your transcript: You can search by exact term, or look for related videos based on your search query. It also works to analyze multiple transcripts at once, speeding up the process of analyzing your video files and finding relevant clips. Our advanced search is especially useful for researchers analyzing interview footage to find related words and phrases, as people don't always talk about similar topics in the same way.

For example, if you remember that an interviewee said something like "I like to travel" but what they actually said was "I enjoy traveling", then Fuzzy Search will flag that up for you to review.

Read More: How to Record and Transcribe Interviews (Easily & Accurately)

Video Editing

As you review your transcript you can pull video clips by highlighting text. These video clips are called Highlights. By dragging and dropping Highlights together you can create highlight reels (a.k.a. Reduct Reels ). You can also pull clips from multiple video sources to combine them into a highlight reel.

Rather than searching for precise in- and out-points on a video timeline to transition between clips, as you do when using traditional video editing software, Reduct automatically smooths out those transitions for you so you can trim and edit video fast. We also compile a seamless transcript to match your Reduct Reel, which you can use to make further video edits by editing the text.

For example, if you have interviewed several customers for testimonial videos, you can use Reduct to pull the best snippets of footage from each video to make a reel of multiple testimonials that you can post on your social media channels.

Read More: How to Edit an Interview Video in 5 Simple Steps

To edit out footage that you don't need within each clip, use the Reduct Strikethrough tool on the corresponding text in the transcript. Our video text editing features let you remove tangents, hesitations, and filler words from your videos, making them more engaging and impactful. However, Reduct never fully deletes any part of your video files, so you can reinstate changes at any time.

Reduct's software pulls the exact text from the transcript to match the clips and reels you have created. This is then used automatically to add captions. Videos with captions are more accessible and inclusive for all kinds of viewers, as well as helpful for anyone watching without sound.

You can also add text slides to customize your video project, include images, or add contextual information. Slides can also be used as placeholders for additional effects, including b-roll footage, to be added later using more advanced video editing software.

Note: To make more advanced edits to your videos, like adding special effects, you can export video files into a professional video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro. Learn more about using Reduct for rough cut video editing in our other guide.

Sharing Video Projects Online & With Others

To share your video project with external stakeholders (who are not Reduct users) or anyone else outside your team, Reduct's online video editor generates share links for every video you upload and/or create. You can share these links in emails, on messaging platforms, and in workplace collaboration tools, like Slack. This means you don't have to courier thumb drives across the country or forward heavy video files to anyone who needs to view your project.

Reduct also offers 1080p exports in .mp4 video format, allowing you to upload your video files anywhere on the web, including YouTube, Vimeo, and more.

Get started with a free trial of Reduct to upload your video recordings and try all of our transcription tools!

Other Top-Rated Transcription Software for Video

Sonix

Sonix

Sonix offers automated transcription in 40+ languages. Additionally, it includes automated subtitling/captioning for video files, which makes it particularly useful for anyone who wants to transcribe and translate their video files.

Unlike most of the options in this list, Sonix offers a pay-as-you-go transcription service.

Good for: Anyone who needs transcriptions for translation infrequently (pay-as-you-go option), in multiple languages for captioning/subtitling, and doesn't need to edit video files.

Pricing: Free trial offers 30 minutes of transcription. Pay-as-you-go transcription for $10 an hour. Premium subscription for $5 per hour plus $22 per user/month. Enterprise subscription is available by contacting the Sonix team.

Trint

Trint

Trint is an automatic transcription service that uses speech recognition software to convert audio/video files — including Zoom recordings, podcasts, interviews, and recorded phone calls — to text. It transcribes speech in 30+ 'global' languages (including English) and claims to be up to 99% accurate, depending on audio quality. It includes transcription tools that make videos and audio files searchable, editable, and shareable. Trint also offers automatic translation of English files to other languages.

Although transcripts are interactive to the extent that they match and follow along with the corresponding audio, Trint has no additional features for video editing.

Good for: Journalists, bloggers, and content marketers who need to pull text from transcriptions to create written content, like articles or case studies. Users who may need transcriptions in languages other than English.

Pricing: Starter subscription starts at $48 per month to transcribe up to 7 files per month. Advanced subscription is $60 per month for unlimited files. Pro Team subscription starts at $68 per user. Enterprise solutions are priced on a case-by-case basis.

Descript

Descript

Descript provides automatic transcription of all video files uploaded onto its platform. It is not typical "transcription software" — it's mainly a text-based video editing platform that provides users with an automatic transcript of uploaded video files so that they can use it for video editing. It is mostly advertised for YouTube videos and podcast editing, and has some advanced features to add special effects before publishing your content online.

Good for: Users who only need to transcribe or edit one video file at a time, as it does not have features to work with multiple recordings at once.

Pricing: Descript offers a free version, which allows 3 hours of transcription. Videos edited and created using the free version include a Descript watermark that identify them as being created on the platform. A Creator subscription costs $12 per editor/month with an additional 10 hours of transcription per month and 'water-mark free video export'.

Otter

Otter

Otter provides computer transcription of a wide range of audio/video files and is popular with individuals and small businesses. It currently only transcribes files in English. It has recently added live transcription and captioning capabilities for Google Meets.

Good for: Live notes and transcription on Google Meets. Transcription of webinars, Zoom meetings, and interviews with very clear audio.

Pricing: Basic is a free version of the service with transcription limited to 3 files with a maximum of 30 minutes each. Pro costs $8.33 per month (billed annually) for 6000 minutes of transcription of unlimited files, of up to 4 hours each. Business subscription costs $20 per month for 6000 minutes of transcription per user/month, in files of up to 4 hours each. Enterprise subscriptions can be negotiated with the Otter team.

Happy Scribe

HappyScribe

Happy Scribe offers both automatic transcription and human transcription. It supports 62 languages (including some less common ones not covered by other transcription services - Khmer, Zulu, and more…). Transcripts and subtitles are fully editable within the Happy Scribe platform.

Happy Scribe claims to offer a 24-hour turnaround on video file transcription. However, it limits files to "up to 60 minutes" for this to be guaranteed and longer recordings "depend on transcriber's volume of work and availability, as well as the length and complexity of your file," according to the Happy Scribe website.

Good for: Users who need transcription of 'less common' world languages. Transcription and/or subtitles.

Pricing: Prices for automatic transcription and subtitles start at $0.20 per audio minute with an 85% level of accuracy. 'Human-made' transcription costs $1.70 per audio minute and is guaranteed 99% accurate.

Rev

Rev

Rev offers both computer and human transcription, captioning, and subtitling services (providing SRT files) that charges separately for each of them. It's website mentions a 12-hour turnaround time for transcription, but this is limited to files of less than 30 minutes and the website gives no indication of turnaround times for longer files. It offers plans for individuals and companies of all sizes, however, transcriptions come with no additional tools to edit transcripts, share transcripts, or use transcripts for video editing.

Good for: Users who need to transcribe and add foreign subtitles.

Price: $0.25 per minute of audio for automatic transcriptions, $1.25 per minute of audio for human transcriptions, $3-$7 per minute of audio for foreign subtitles. You can "add timestamps, get an instant rough draft, or a verbatim transcription," for an extra charge for each of these add-on services.

Temi

Temi

Temi offers computer transcription at cheap prices. When users upload files to the website for transcription, Temi asks for confirmation that audio/video files are free of background noise and of good quality. The software uses speech recognition to identify and label separate speakers, and it allows users to edit inaccuracies, add custom timestamps to the transcript, and export the file when they are done.

Good for: Cheap transcription of very clear audio files free of background noise, clear accents in English.

Price: $0.25 per audio minute.

Zoom

Zoom

Popular video conferencing platform, Zoom, is not actually a transcription software, but does offer an option to record and automatically transcribe meetings (for Education, Business, and Enterprise accounts). If all you need to do is transcribe Zoom recordings, you can use transcription free as part of your paid Zoom subscription — Zoom returns an automatic transcription of your meeting to you within 24 hours. However, we should mention, Zoom transcription is only available for cloud recordings, so be sure to record your meetings to the cloud if you want to transcribe them.

Reduct: Transcription Software You Can Use to Do More

With Reduct, not only do you get an accurate transcript — whether you choose our computer transcription or our overnight human transcription services — but your transcript is also interactive and dynamic, allowing you to:

  • Analyze and organize your video files
  • Pull video clips by highlighting text in the transcript
  • Caption your videos for greater accessibility
  • Collaborate with your team online in real-time
  • Generate share links for external stakeholders to view your videos

Reduct lets you use your transcript to analyze, edit, and share your videos. To start using it today, get a free trial.