Best Transcription Software


What are some of the best & most popular transcription software available today?

Researching what is “the best transcription software” can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of different answers, a lot of companies promote a free software, that is free in a very limited capacity. Also speech to text software comes up in search results, like Dragon Naturally Speaking, but that isn’t a transcription software. That’s a dictation software. We covered the differences between dictation and transcription software in this article found here.

As an experienced transcriber I’ve compiled a short list of the best transcription software available today.

Express Scribe


  • Free to try & very affordable to buy at $29.99.
  • Intuitive and easy to use.
  • Imports almost any audio or video file.
  • Available on Mac or PC.


There is only one major flaw with Express Scribe: You cannot set a custom time code. So if somebody sends you an audio file that has a starting time code of 01:10:05, for example, there’s nothing you can do. Express Scribe only allows you to start a file at 00:00:00.



  • Works with all audio & video formats.
  • Available on Mac or PC.
  • Can set a custom time code.


  • Price is $99 per license. 
  • Inqscribe touts this as a good thing, however I disagree. You can “Transcribe + Take Notes”, according to their website:

“Play and transcribe videos in the same window. Insert timecodes anywhere in your transcript, then click on a timecode to jump to that point in the movie.”

However most clients expect a Word document back. InqScribe requires you to type in their software as you play your audio and/or watch the video. Flawless Transcription uses the same transcription template for all clients (unless a custom template is requested). So if we were to use InqScribe we’d have to export the transcript notes as a Word document, and then format each transcript individually to meet our template. A time consuming step that we want to avoid.

Start-Stop PowerPlay Omniversal


  • Works with almost all audio & video formats.
  • They have a software package that also comes with a very handy USB foot pedal.
  • You can customize your time code setting.
  • You can type in MS Word as you playback your audio or video file.


  • Windows Only
  • $150 price tag & $250 if you order the complete set with installation disc & USB foot pedal & headset.
    • You can order a USB foot pedal separately for $50 off of Amazon, and most people already own a pair of headphones making the headset not all that useful.
  • The software is buggy. I tried using this software on my Windows 7 machine about two years ago and it barely worked. I had to return my copy.

FTW Transcriber


  • Works with almost any audio & video format.
  • You can customize your time code.
  • You can type in an MS Word document as you playback your audio or video file.
  • Pay as you go price plan.
    • You can try the software for $10 for one month, or sign-up for two years at $1/month.


  • Windows Only.
  • Free Version has ADs & is very limited.
  • Must be connected to the internet to use the pay version.
    • FTW checks if your license is valid by connecting to their server. If your internet is down, or you are somewhere without an internet connection then you cannot use the upgraded pay version.

I hope this article was helpful. Let us know if you have any questions. If you have any files that need to be transcribed please feel to request a quote or visit our transcription page. Happy transcribing!

This post originally appeared on our home website: 

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