How to Convert Spoken Audio to Text

By Martin Williams

One of the more useful inventions in recent years is speech recognition. The ability of a computer to recognize our voices and turn them into commands is a convenience to anyone who is unable or unwilling to type. There are a few programs that allow you to speak into a microphone connected to a computer and have that audio be translated into text. Examples are Windows Speech Recognition, Dragon Naturally Speaking and Mac Speech for Apple computers.

Step 1

Power on your Windows computer. Click on the “Start” button. Select “Control Panel.” Select “Ease of Access.” Select “Speech Recognition.” Next, you will configure your microphone for Speech Recognition. Select if you have a headset or a standard microphone.

Step 2

Take the different modules so the program can understand your voice. Once the program learns your voice, you can use speech recognition in programs like Microsoft Word and speak directly into the microphone; the program will produce text in the Word program.

Step 3

Purchase a copy of the Dragon Naturally Speaking program. Set up the microphone and take the voice training so the program can learn your voice. Once training is finished, begin speaking into a word processing program. The audio will be transferred into text.

Step 4

Use MacSpeech Scribe if you are a Mac user. Scribe allows transcription directly from an audio file. Purchase the program. Drag the MacSpeech Icon into the Applications folder. The program will automatically load.

Step 5

Make a sample audio file. Scribe will not transcribe MP3 files. MP4, AAC and AIFF files are acceptable. If you have an iPhone or iTouch, you can use the voice memo feature to record a sample of your voice.

Step 6

Play the sample of your voice at MacSpeech's prompt. Once the program learns your voice, it will transcribe the recording into a text file. Copy and paste the text into any word processing program.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have an iPhone, make any sound recording and convert it into AAC using iTunes, which comes with every Mac computer.