Answered By: Denise R. Gehring, MSLIS, MA
Last Updated: Jun 21, 2021     Views: 74

APU does not have access to software for transcription. After doing a little searching, I found a few free resources for transcription:

  • Otter. "This free app offers a real-time transcript of dictation, conversations or even a meeting. Simply hit record on the web site and the app will start transcribing the session. It also allows the user to download recordings that the app can transcribe while the user completes other tasks. 

    The transcript features timestamps throughout the text, which are essential because the transcription still requires careful review. However, the app will play the recording and follow the transcript. Moreover, you can advance to a portion of the transcript and automatically play the sound to check accuracy. The app also distinguishes between two speakers and identifies them separately in the transcript. Here’s a PCMag review from 2018.

    The free app does not create a transcript document, but it allows you to save as text on Clipboard. Using a two-month free trial Otter also provides live transcripts of Zoom sessions."

  • Google Docs Voice Typing. "This tool comes pre-installed in the Google Docs software. Its purpose is to serve those who cannot easily type or who prefer to dictate notes, but reporters can use it to play back audio files and the Voice Typing tool will automatically transcribe the words in real time. Quartz reporter Leah Fessler tested it for an hour-long interview and noted the accuracy, including proper names and grammar. 

    To begin, start a new Google Doc. Under the “Tools” dropdown menu, select “Voice Typing.” You will now see the recording icon. (Note, you can also switch languages at the top dropdown menu.)

    Click on the microphone to start the dictation. You’ll need to have your computer’s microphone turned on for it to work.

    Two tips: Make sure to keep the Google Doc window open during the entire interview, otherwise the recording will stop, and make sure to work in a quiet space, or excessive background noise will result in reduced accuracy. " 

  •  Trint. "Trint offers AI transcription within minutes. Once audio or video files are uploaded, Trint will convert into text, make audio and video files searchable and put captions on videos.

    To start, just click on the Upload button. There will be a prompt with a few questions about audio quality. Next, it will ask to set a language (currently, Trint offers about 28 languages). Then, you will click “Transcribe.” When it’s ready to view, Trint will send an email. (Trint promises that the conversion will take less time than the length of the file.)

    It is only free as a 7-day trial. Click here to see their pricing packages." 


QDA Software (coding software)

  • Cost of QDA Software (as of 3/2021)

    NVIVO  Student $99/12 months (additional $500 for cloud version, additional $500 for transcription); Educators $849 (+ additional $ for cloud/transcription)
    Atlas.ti Student $99/2 years (or semester $51) or 30 day cloud license $10; Educators $750 (also lease option and cloud monthly option)
    MaxQDA Student $95/2 years (or 6 mos. $47); Educators $500+
    DeDoose Monthly fee: 1st month free, Student $10.95/active month; Individual $14.95/active month); price varies by group size

Free coding software list can be found here. Here is a list of all coding software - free and paid. Great info on here comparing the different softwares. 


Let me know if you have any questions.


Denise R. Gehring, MSLIS, MA

Associate Professor, Head of Collections & Technical Services

Librarian for ALCI & Graduate Nursing

University Libraries, Azusa Pacific University

Darling Library 210

701 E.  Foothill Blvd., PO Box 7000

Azusa, CA  91702

To schedule a Zoom Reference Appointment with me go to

For FACULTY, to schedule a Library Research Presentation with me go to

626-815-6000 x5264 |