How to Convert Voice Memos to Text

By: Verbit Editorial
man looking at his phone at the window

How often do you use the voice notes feature on your smartphone? Studies suggest that this technology is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among younger smartphone users. In fact, 71% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials report using voice notes regularly. This is likely due to the fact that voice memos and messages offer a more hands-free alternative to traditional notetaking and SMS messaging.  

For some people, voice memos are an essential professional tool. Lawyers, doctors, scientists and more regularly use voice memos to take notes in real-time. Voice notes don’t require them to decipher their own handwriting later or keep both hands on a computer keyboard. However, what do these professionals do with their voice memos once they have been recorded? Referencing real-time audio recordings after the fact can often prove tedious. One of the best ways to get the most out of voice memos is to convert them to written text.  

What are voice memos? 

Voice memos are essentially short-form audio recordings created by user-operated devices like smartphones or audio recorders. iPhones, for example, feature a voice memo application that users can employ to make audio recordings on the go. These voice memos serve a wide variety of purposes like notetaking and setting reminders.  

Some professionals use digital voice recorders in their daily workflows. A doctor may use these recording devices to document an exam in real-time, or an attorney may choose to periodically record their thoughts during an interview with a client. While smartphone apps can produce these recordings, it’s not uncommon for some professionals to use a standalone device to ensure ample storage space for their recordings.  

Can you turn voice memos into text? 

While taking notes via voice memos can save time up front, referencing these recordings later can often prove challenging. Let’s say a doctor needs to refer back to a specific data point they noted during a patient’s exam. To locate this specific portion of the recording, it would likely be necessary to listen to the voice memo in its entirety or spend a significant amount of time fast-forwarding or rewinding the recording. This process is both tedious and time-consuming.  

In order to conserve time, voice memo users can instead convert their voice memos to text. Textual records are often easier to reference and can be more widely distributed should the information need to be shared. Text-based information is also more readily accessible to individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. This process of converting speech to text is known as transcription. Let’s explore some of the transcription options available to voice memo users.

Manual transcription  

When setting out to convert voice memos to text, some may attempt to do so manually. Manual transcription essentially involves listening to the audio recording and manually typing out everything you hear. Manual transcription may seem cost-effective and convenient, but transcripts created by individuals without professional transcription training often contain a high volume of errors. These errors negatively impact accessibility and can lead to other costly mistakes. Also, errors are particularly common when dealing with recordings that contain technical jargon or numerical data.  

Automatic transcription 

There are some existing auto-transcription platforms available to consumers who wish to convert their audio recordings to text. These digital platforms rely upon a technology known as Automatic Speech Recognition or ASR. ASR is an advanced form of artificial intelligence software that uses Natural Language Processing to power virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, as well as smartphone solutions like voice-to-text and voice search. ASR is an impressive software solution with seemingly limitless applications. Still, it is not without shortcomings. Transcripts created by ASR alone often fall short of the accuracy rates dictated by accessibility standards and guidelines. Any inaccuracies in these transcripts will require additional time and resources to remedy.  

Transcription services 

Those looking to produce more accurate transcripts of their voice memo recordings can turn to a trusted transcription provider like Verbit. Verbit combines artificial intelligence software with a vast network of professionally trained human transcribers to quickly and efficiently produce accurate final transcripts. Verbit’s software platform allows users to bulk-upload multiple voice memo files for transcription simultaneously. This process significantly reduces lag time and allows professionals to tackle even large-scale record-keeping and accessibility projects with ease.  

Verbit offers a wide range of transcription formats that are compatible with popular media-hosting and social media platforms. These voice memo transcripts serve purposes beyond just record-keeping data analysis. Verbit also offers users the option of converting their audio recordings to searchable transcripts. Searchable transcripts allow users to type in specific keywords to locate and navigate to particular points within a voice memo recording. As a result, it’s easy to review lengthy audio recordings to locate particular data points or pieces of information.   

Transcribe iPhone voice memos 

Let’s take a look at how Verbit’s platform creates transcripts of iPhone voice memos. 

  • Step 1: The user creates a voice memo as an audio file.  
  • Step 2: The user uploads the audio file to Verbit’s platform.  
  • Step 3: Verbit transcribes the audio recording using Verbit’s proprietary AI software.  
  • Step 4: One of Verbit’s human transcribers reviews and edits the initial transcript. 
  • Step 5: The final transcript file is made available for download in the desired file format.  

The resulting transcript can be downloaded as plain text for record-keeping purposes or physical distribution. It’s also possible to download the digital transcript file – such as a VTT file – and upload it to social media sites, video hosting platforms and more.   

What else does Verbit offer? 

In addition to voice memo transcription, Verbit’s platform is equipped to handle a wide range of audio and video transcription projects. Verbit’s software integrates with popular media and communication platforms to make content and real-time communications more inclusive, accessible and efficient. With bulk-upload capabilities and automated workflows, Verbit makes it easy to incorporate transcription into your day-to-day operations.  

Verbit’s platform also offers captioning, translation, and audio description solutions that improve accessibility for clients, consumers and employees. These tools make it easy for brands to scale their accessibility initiatives and allow individuals to produce more equitable messaging for all. Reach out today for more information about how Verbit’s software solutions can help to streamline your record-keeping process while fostering more inclusive communication across the board.