Do you need to transcribe audio and video but aren’t sure what the best transcription software for Mac is? Well, we’ve got you covered.
There are many reasons why you may need to transcribe content. They include: converting interviews or recordings to text, taking notes from lectures, creating a written text version of your podcast, or adding subtitles to your videos.
I spent many years doing transcription work as a side hustle to freelance writing work. I transcribed everything from journalists interviewing sports stars to podcasts with reality TV stars to business meetings and court recordings.
When transcribing, I started using the audio recording software I already had for music production. However, it was slow, tedious, and at times very challenging. I had to constantly stop typing and use the trackpad for greater control over the audio.
Luckily, AI software is now available to automatically transcribe your audio and video files to text. It helps refine your transcription process and reduce the amount of manual transcription work you need to do.
Dedicated transcription software tools also make transcribing video and audio much more effortless and faster.
But, it is important to realize that automated transcription is still not 100% accurate. So you will still need to read over the text it generates, especially for important medical or legal transcription documents.
Are you ready to transcribe?
Let’s take a look at the best transcription software for Mac.
What Is The Best Transcription Software For Mac
Here are my top picks for the best transcription software for Mac on the market today.
- Express Scribe – Best For Professional Transcriptionists
- Descript – Best all-in-one video and audio editing software
- Transcribe – Best Privacy-Focused Transcription Software
- InqScribe – Best Simple Transcription Software
- Simon Says – Best For Video Transcription
Best For Professional Transcriptionists
Express Scribe is a professional audio playback software to help you transcribe audio recordings. It uses keyboard hot keys for playback to help you reduce your overall transcription time. Express Scribe also has support and control for foot pedals.
Express Scribe can transcribe dictations, hearings, interviews, voice notes, lectures, songs, movies, video tutorials, and almost anything with audio. It is especially suited to medical, legal, and video transcription.
It is easy to improve your transcription process with all the professional features you need. There is also support for quick and easy audio transfers from hand-held recorders. You can also send finished transcriptions directly to your clients from the software.
- Variable playback speed – either speed up or slow down the audio to the right speed for you
- Foot pedal control – compatible with professional foot controllers to control playback
- Hot keys – keep your hands on the keyboard with mouse-free playback
- Integrates with other software to allow you to transcribe in the word processor of your choice – including Microsoft Word and Google Docs
- 45+ audio and video supported formats – including M4A, MP3, WAV, DSS & more
- Automatic file management to keep your audio files and transcriptions organized
- Integrates with FastFox text expander for common phrases and medical/legal phrases with keyboard shortcuts
- Professional clean interface
- Customizable to suit your workflow
- Has hot keys to speed up transcriptions
- Excellent customer support
- Not beginner-friendly
- The user interface is outdated compared to other transcription software
There is a free version of Express Scribe that supports WAV, MP3, WMA, and DCT.
Express Scribe Basic (Standard edition) is a one-time purchase price of $80.
Express Scribe Professional (Unrestricted Professional License) is a one-time purchase price of $99
You can also bundle Express Scribe with other software to save more and add extra functionality.
Add-ons include FastFox Typing Expander, Express Dictate, Express Invoice, KeyBlaze Typing Tutor, and Switch sound Format Converter.
Best all-in-one video and audio editing software
Descript is an all-in-one transcription tool that provides both automatic and human-powered transcription. It has powerful collaboration features and industry-leading accuracy. In addition, it has the best and most modern AI interface of any transcription software and fast tools for correction.
Descript works like a doc and is a collaborative audio/video editor. It includes transcription, AI tools, a screen recorder, and publishing tools.
There is a near-instant turnaround time, and it costs just cents per minute of transcribed audio.
You can choose from either an Automatic transcription or White-Glove Transcription services transcribed by a human at an additional price.
- Transcribes audio in 22 languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
- Safe and Secure – uses world-class technology to keep your data confidential and your information private
- Cloud sync allows instant access from anywhere
- Flexible subtitle export options – customize timestamps, formatting, and more
- Beautiful user interface
- Automatic transcription is more accurate than other transcription software
- Excellent collaboration tools – share a project via a web link to give collaborators access to edit or comment
- White glove service is expensive – $2 per minute of audio, compared to hiring a freelancer directly
- Still need to read over the automatic transcription and verify it is correct
Descript offers 3 different plans to suit your news, as well as a custom enterprise plan for teams of 10+
The Free plan includes 3 hours of transcription.
The Creator plan is $15 per editor per month and provides 10 hours of transcription per month.
The Pro plan is $30 per editor per month and provides 30 hours of transcription per month.
There is a 20% discount when you purchase an Annual plan.
Best Privacy-Focused Transcription Software
Transcribe by Wreally is Privacy-focused AI transcription speech-to-text software. It helps you to convert audio to text, fast and secure.
Transcribe helps you to significantly speed up your workflow. It offers different ways to convert audio to text, with combinations of AI automated transcripts and complete control for manual transcriptions.
Whether you want to transcribe interviews, phone calls, videos, audio notes, speeches, podcasts, lectures, meetings, or anything else, Transcribe makes it easy.
Automatic AI Transcription
All you need to do is upload a file and get an AI transcript generated instantly in less time than the length of the recording, like magic.
Of course, for best results, you will need to have a clear audio recording with minimal background noise.
‘Voice-type’ by playing a file and dictating what you hear
First, load the audio file, put on your headphones, and slow the recording down. Next, speak what you hear, and the software will convert speech to text as you talk, saving you significant time than typing it.
If you’d prefer to transcribe audio manually, you still have the option to do so. Using the Transcribe workflow tools allows you to save time by slowing down audio, auto-looping it, and using the built-in text-expander tool. It is also compatible with a foot pedal.
Compared to using a Word processor with a traditional media player, Transcribe is still much faster.
- Transcribes in over 80+ languages
- Exports transcript as DOC, TXT, or Subtitle files
- Pedal integration – keep your hands free to type while you control audio playback using your foot
- Auto Loop – audio can automatically pause and resume while editing the transcript
- Text expander – set acronyms for frequently used words and phrases, then have them automatically expanded while you type
- Auto-save – your transcript is automatically saved as you type, so you will never lose any work again
- Work offline – access the editor and audio player without an internet connection so you can work from anywhere when it suits you
- Secure – the text your type is fully secure and private, with the text never leaving your computer. You can then delete media file uploads securely from Transcribe’s servers
- Create subtitles for YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo videos – upload audio and video files and export automatic transcripts in either SRT or WebVTT format
- Many different language options – more than most other transcription software for Mac
- 1-week free trial
- Very easy to use
- Highly accurate transcriptions
- Pricing can be prohibitive if you are using it frequently
Transcribe offers simple and transparent pricing.
Whether you wish to self-transcribe or use automatic transcription, there are two different options.
Self Transcription is $20 per year.
Automatic transcription is $20 per year + $6 per hour of AI machine transcribed audio.
Custom plans are also available as group license discounts for over 50 users.
Best Simple Transcription Software
InqScribe makes transcription and subtitling simple and offers both free and premium transcription software for audio and video.
It prides itself on how easy to use it is – all you need to do is transcribe, type notes, and export subtitles. It really is that simple.
InqScribe has been redesigned with a sleek new interface, improved foot pedal support, a new media engine, and spell-check.
While still in Beta for Mac users of current operating systems Monterey, Big Sur, and Catalina, it is very stable and works perfectly.
- Play videos and type transcripts in the same window – no more jumping between different software
- Insert timecodes anywhere in the transcript – then click on it to go to that point in the video
- Use custom snippets to quickly insert frequently used text with just a single keystroke
- Unicode compliant with support for multiple languages, including in the same document
- Type in the transcript just like in a regular word processor
- Play QuickTime or Windows Media-compatible video or audio.
- Play files from your hard drive, an external drive, a server, CD, or a URL (HTML5)
- Use Pitch locks to keep voices sounding natural when files are sped up (compatible with QuickTime only)
- Control media playback, including playback speed and timeline scrubbing using custom media controls
- Mouse free – keep your hands on the keyboard using custom shortcuts to trigger media control
- Compatible with USB foot pedals with full customization
- Save subtitled QuickTime movie using timecodes as text markers
- Save transcripts separately from media so they are easy to share
- Export into different formats, including Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, YouTube, HTML, and more.
- Has multi-language support for the most popular languages
- Excellent, easy-to-use interface that you can master within minutes
- Speed up your workflow using custom snippets for commonly used words
- Not compatible with other word processors – you need to type transcripts directly into the editor
InqScribe is free to download and use with limited features without a license.
An Individual License is a one-time purchase price of $99.
You can also request a 14-day trial license that unlocks all of the features of the paid license before you purchase.
There are discounts available for 5 or more licenses and for Education & Not Profits.
5. Simon Says
Best For Video Transcription
Simon Says transcription software is specially optimized for macOS video pros.
It makes it easy to import files and transcribe them using your Mac. Powered by advanced AI, it saves you time and dramatically speeds up your workflow. Whether you need to transcribe, assemble, translate, subtitle, caption, or collaborate, Simon Says is the best option for video.
It’s time to say goodbye to time-consuming rough cuts, subtitles, and transcriptions and add them with ease.
You need to drag in your video and audio, and then fast and accurate transcription happens instantly.
The editor makes sure that video and transcription are always synced. Then you can assemble them while you edit your video.
Next, export the transcription to Word and the video to your NLE of choice, and then add the captions. It’s that simple.
- Extensions for Adobe Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro
- Runs locally on Mac
- Drag in video files and audio files with a simple interface
- Transcribe in 100+ languages within minutes
- Export subtitles and text to NLE
- Use the iPhone App to record and transcribe production meetings and interview audio in any language
- View, share, and export transcribed projects on the go with the iPhone App
- Supports 100+ languages
- Integrates well with other video editing software and Microsoft Word
- Has both macOS and iOS apps
- Sometimes struggles with thick accents
There are 4 different pricing options. They are:
- Pay As You Go – $0 per month and best for infrequent users. Anytime you want to use it, you pay $15 per hour (file duration) of transcription, with no additional charges.
- Starter – $20 per month and best for freelancers – includes 2 hours of credit (file duration), then $7.50 for each additional hour.
- Pro – $35 per month and best for production pros – includes 4 hours of credit (file duration), then $6.50 for each additional hour.
- Pro+ – $100 per month, for large teams, includes 30 hours of credit (file duration), then $4 for each additional hour.
Simon Says offers a free trial, with no credit card required.
Want to turn your text-to-speech instead? Here are the best text-to-speech software options.
The best transcription software for Mac can save you extensive time and money and speed up your workflow with accurate automated transcriptions.
With all the time you can save with AI automatic transcriptions, you can instead focus on growing your business and boosting your bottom line.
The cost of transcription software for Mac is also significantly cheaper than outsourcing work to freelance transcribers. You also don’t need to deal with missed deadlines, unreliable transcribers, or receive inaccurate transcriptions, which negatively affect your brand.
Transcription software for Mac can turn your audio to text within minutes. It works well to transcribe podcasts, add subtitles to your videos, or create text-based versions of interviews,
You can also use the copy to create new content, such as blog posts, to further promote and strengthen your brand.
Transcription software assists in converting human speech into a text transcript. You can either transcribe video or audio files automatically or manually. The software works by listening to recordings and then using speech-recognition software to interpret what is said in a text document.
Otter.ai is the best automated free transcription software for Mac. It offers 600 minutes free every month. Express Scribe, Descript, and InqScribe also have a free version with limited features.
There is no one best transcription software for Mac. It depends on your specific needs. Free versions of transcription software often have limited professional features and are too limited to use professionally. For beginners, InqScribe is a straightforward program that makes it easy to get started with automated transcription. However, Express Scribe or Descript is worth the investment for more advanced and professional transcriptionists.
Yes, you can be a transcriptionist with a Mac. Professional transcription software is available for Mac, including Express Scribe and Descript. In addition, the audio and video files used for transcription are compatible with Mac. You can also export transcripts in file formats that can be read on both Mac and PC.
You can transcribe audio to text on a Mac for free using the built-in Dictation feature. However, the major downside is that you can only transcribe live audio being spoken into the Mac microphone. It is not available to use with pre-recorded audio files.
It is technical to set up, but you’ll need to create a ‘loopback device’ and configure the input settings of the Dictation. Next, you’ll need to set up the text editor or word processor for dictation and the audio for playback. You’re now ready to start the dictation and have it automatically transcribed to text.
Skyler Benson is a full-time blogger. Join Skyler on SkylerBenson.com and learn how to start an online business and create a life of freedom. Before starting this blog, Skyler worked online as a freelance content writer. He worked with digital marketing agencies and B2B companies for four years. Skyler reviews the best software for your online business and teaches you how to write better and start your freelancing career.