How to get research interviews transcribed


After conducting interviews, you may need transcripts of your audio files in order to analyze and find insights. Here’s a chart to see various options.


Download a PDF of this chart.

Use automatic transcription service

Get transcripts generated within minutes. They won’t be perfect and will likely require editing, but these services include good editing experiences that link the text to audio.

Use YouTube transcripts

These are free, but quality is poor and there’s no editing experience. You may end up spending extra time trying to match your edits to the audio.

Upload your file to YouTube, then click the small ellipses under the video and click “Open Transcript”.

Listen on 2x speed and take notes

  • Quicktime: Use Quicktime or another audio player to listen to your file on 2x speed and write notes from what you remember. Your notes will have biases from your interpretation, but it’s a feasible option if you don’t have time or budget, and don’t need perfect quality.

Transcribe it yourself

  • oTranscribe: Free, online tool for typing out your own transcript while listening to audio. There are handy options for speeding up and slowing down the transcript.

Hire a specialized agency

Find an agency or individual who can transcribe based off your specific language needs. Do a Google search, look on Craigslist, or ask other researchers who have researched with a similar group.

Use human transcription service

You’ll need to wait half a day after submitting audio files, but these are very high quality, speakers are separated, and transcripts are typically ready to analyze upon arrival. If you have the budget, I highly recommend Rev because of the convenience and accuracy.

  • Rev: ~$1/minute with a 12 hour turnaround

If we missed any transcription options or services, let us know in the comments!

If you need a tool to help you organize themes in your transcripts, check out Delve.

LaiYee H