Qualitative Research - Transcription help

If you just can't, or just don't want to do your own time-consuming transcription of your qualitative data recordings (e.g. interviews), here are some resources that may be of help. Some are free, some charge a fee, and some will give you some free time to start and then charge

Carleton's Mediaspace 

  • Login with your MyCarletonOne login/pwd
  • Upload your audio or video files 
  • Once logged in and media uploaded, select to view “my media” 
  • Click on the file you want to use 
  • Under Actions (below and to right of media player) --> Order Captions 
  • May take a bit of time, but once captions are ready, go under Actions --> Captions Request and you should see the caption file and option to edit.
  • There does not seem to be an option to separately download a copy of the file, but you can edit and then copy and paste the text into Word, or NVivo, or wherever you  may need i

For recent reviews of some best bets: Best speech to text software in 2020: Free, paid and online voice recognition apps and services 

The following are some possibilities. 

Allows uploading of media files:

  • Speechnotes - can dictate via microphone or upload files
  • NVivo's Transcription module: Not free. For anyone using NVivo, you have access to their Transcription module from within your myNVivo account. 
  • Transcribe - dictate or upload files, free 1 week trial, fee afterwards   
  • TranscribeMe ($0.79 per minute): offers very competitive pricing for transcription. Offers various student discounts. "First Draft" is highly accurate and comes within a day.
  • Watson speech to text  can upload audio files, free for 500 min/month
  • YouTube
    • If you have an audio file, convert  it to video* (usually mp3 audio to mp4 video) and upload to your YouTube account 
      *use something like VLC Player or media.io to do the audio to "video" conversion 
    • Mark video as private
    • YouTube will transcribe your file for closed captioning, provides editor to correct any errors 
    • Can then download your transcription and edit to your format requirements. 

No uploading of files:

You would need to re-speak the audio into a microphone (still faster than traditional transcribing)

  • Google Docs Voice Typing - free, need  Google account. Create a new Google Doc & select  “voice typing” option from the “tools” menu. 
  • Dragon Home - not free, and no longer supported on Macs
  • Dictation.io -  free  app for Google Chrome that allows you to transform speech to text without downloading or installing anything. Only works on computer, not on tablets 
Content last reviewed: September 17, 2020