Review: Transcribe – a free browser-based app to make audio transcription easier

Antoinette Siu takes a look at a new free app which promises to make transcribing audio easier.

Transcribing audio is one of the most time-consuming tasks in a journalist’s job. Switching between the audio player and the text editor, rewinding every 20 seconds in, typing frantically to catch every syllable—repeating these steps back and forth, and back and forth… in an age of so much automation, something isn’t quite right.

A new Chrome app tool called Transcribe lets you do all that in one screen. With keyboard shortcuts and an audio file uploader, you can easily go back and forth between your sound and text.

The basic version is (and likely always will be) free; the pro version goes for $19/month on the Solo plan or $29/month on the Premium plan. With both, a 30-day free trial is included with no credit card necessary.

Just from testing the basic app, there seems to be a huge potential in a free reporting tool like this. Another upside is, even when you lack internet access the app will continue to work.

With the upgrade to pro, the developers offer options to save your transcripts, export the documents, and other sweet features like the full screen mode—so you can really focus on getting that transcription done free from distractions.

Overall, the app is not only intuitively simple to use, but audio uploads are fast, the design is simple and without clutter, and, most of all, free from advertising at this point.

The tool is definitely off to a promising start, considering it’s still a work in progress.


15 thoughts on “Review: Transcribe – a free browser-based app to make audio transcription easier

    1. David Akin

      Very tough to beat ExpressScribe – the “lite” version of which is free from NCH Software. I”ve used it for years. ExpressScribe lets you assign hot keys in any app — MS Word, Excel, BBEdit — that rewinds the audio by any amount you want (I use a 5 sec rewind), lets you skip forward by any time unit you want (I use 10 seconds) and lets you pause, etc. Again: All this with a hotkey that’s active in every single app across your system. I’ve used it for 5 years.
      Find it here:

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  2. JoeTranscriber

    Just a suggestion, add a functionality to it for configuring a foot pedal in the Transcribe Pro. It would make transcribing much faster and easier instead, better than using the hotkeys… 🙂

    Transcription is fun

  3. Annette Kinne

    Has anyone tried dragon dictate – I’m hoping it will do a lot of the transcribing for me! Haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but hope I haven’t wasted my cash!

  4. JoeTranscriber

    Hi Annette,

    I reserve to myself what I would say on this, but please do share with us your experience when you tried using it. Let us know how effective it is with homophonic words because I think that’s where most voice recognition software miss the mark, but I might be wrong.

    Transcription is fun!

  5. Paul Rogers

    Thanks Antoinette Siu this plugin working quite well for me, I use it to create articles, its a lot faster than typing so you can get web content out quickly. Brilliant! . I am just seeing if this is good enough to replace dragon naturally speaking.

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  7. bindu

    I had a problem with the free version. Everytime the file gets to approx 4 to 5 minutes into an interview – it suddenly stops and the audio button goes mute. Unable to play after that.
    To play the audio again, I need to re-upload it. Anyone else have this problem?

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