transcription software


Hi all

I am just setting up as a VA and was hoping for some advice regarding audio/video transcription software. I hear Express Scribe is good. Any others? And any top tips regarding other software you find useful would be gratefully received.



Hi Emma

Most on-line transcription companies offer a free trial of their software which you may find useful.

If you want the ‘video’ element then that would generally be in the ‘pro’ versions, which obviously means a cost.

Express Scribe Pro costs less than £25 and will cover audio and video. They have handy solutions to match timings with the start of video, making it easier for Directors when editing. (see one of my earlier posts on how to match times).

I have also used the NCH suite of software - For The Record - but I haven’t tried their pro versions.

You can also buy off the shelf equipment such as WAV Pedal. the version I have now is quite dated but if you check out Data Supplies they supply an excellent range.



Thank you for the advice. Need all the help I can get!!



Hi Emma

I do just transcription work, and have Express Scribe Pro. I have tried an Olympus one before, and also another (the name of which escapes me right now), but really didn’t get on with them at all. They weren’t very user friendly, and seemed to be fussy over what files they would play (or not play as the case often was). Never had any issues like that with Express Scribe, and I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years now.


Hi Nicky

Thanks for the advice. I have downloaded the free versionof express scribe at the moment and will see how I get on with that. I am just setting up so will no doubt be asking plenty of questions!!!



I think most people use Express Scribe!


Hi again Emma. I’d just like to say, with regard to transcription software, that in the past couple of days I had a couple of real stinkers of audio files to transcribe in that there was an awful lot of background noise, hissing, crackling etc, and it was proving almost impossible to decipher what was being said.

I tried the same files on Windows Media Player (unfortunately without a foot pedal, as it doesn’t work with that programme) and the files were a LOT clearer.

This led me to wonder if Express Scribe was perhaps not as good as it should be, and I’ve just discovered some free software called Transcription Buddy. So far, so good. The files I was having trouble with are so much clearer being played through this, than with Express Scribe. I’m almost disappointed really, as I’m a real Express Scribe fan, it’s so user friendly, but the difference in quality of playback is so significant it’s really made me doubt! The big bonus is that you can use a foot pedal with it too.

Anyway, that’s another option for you to try :slight_smile: For today’s poor files, I am definitely a Transcription Buddy fan!


That’s interesting Nicky - does it play DS2 files? (I have an ongoing issue with these!!!)


Unfortunately I don’t think it does Caroline.

Interestingly, I contacted the Help Desk for Express Scribe as this week I have had some really bad files with awful background noise, and Express Scribe was just useless with them. The forum also had a few people having similar issues. Transcription Buddy was significantly better, as was Windows Media Player (but unfortunately you can’t use the foot pedal with WMP). However Express Scribe is just so user friendly I didn’t want to stop using it as my main choice of software.

The Help Desk got back to me, with a link for the newer version of it, and hey presto! Clarity has been restored! The background noise of the files is much, much less, and the voice just appears so much clearer. So it wasn’t my ears after all :slight_smile:

Transcription Buddy is definitely a good free option though, just has a very limited selection of files it will play.


Yeah - the newer versions have more options to cut out background noise - especially on the pro versions!

Shame about the DS2s…