How to Translate Audio Files to Text

By Vanessa Van Wagner

There are two principal methods for converting an audio file to text. You can use transcription software and key in the text, or use speech recognition software. Which will work best depends on what you are transcribing. Speech recognition is fast. It works well for dictation or other recordings where there is a single speaker and the sound quality is good. Typing takes more time, but will usually yield more accurate results for podcasts or interviews where there are multiple speakers. You can also send the audio file to a transcriptionist who will create a document for you.l

Things You'll Need

  • Audio file
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Transcription software
  • Word processing program

Step 1

Download shareware transcription software. It will let you adjust the speed of the audio files or rewind so you can capture the spoken word. If you are doing a lot of transcribing you might want to invest in a foot pedal that lets you rewind and fast forward without moving your hands from the keyboard.

Step 2

Load the sound file into the transcription program.

Step 3

Play a short segment of the audio file, type it out, then play another segment. Type the text into the program's text window or use a separate word processing program if you need to do more complex formatting.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use noise cancelling headphones to block out background sounds.