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oTranscribe beta

A free web app to take the pain out of transcribing recorded interviews.

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oTranscribe works on desktop computers only.
  • No more switching between Quicktime and Word.
  • Pause, rewind and fast-forward without taking your hands off the keyboard.
  • Navigate through your transcript with interactive timestamps.
  • Automatically saved to your browser's storage every second.
  • Private - your audio file and transcript never leave your computer.
  • Export to Markdown, plain text and Google Docs.
  • Video file support with integrated player.
  • Open source under the MIT license.

As featured on

back to oTranscribe

My audio file doesn’t work!

Try the following steps:

  1. Convert your file to WAV or MP3 format with media.io. (This is an external service and is not affiliated with oTranscribe.)
  2. Try a different web browser. oTranscribe works best on Chrome 31+ and Safari 7+.
  3. Still no luck? You can contact me directly at otranscribe@elliotbentley.com.

Where is my transcript stored? How secure is it?

oTranscribe is designed in a way that your data (both the audio file and the written transcript) never leaves your local computer. The transcript is not kept on a remote server or “in the cloud”, but is instead in the browser’s localStorage. The downside is that it is not possible to access your saved transcripts from another computer.

What keyboard shortcuts are there?

Audio playback

  • Esc: Play/pause
  • F1: Rewind
  • F2: Fast-forward
  • F3: Slow down
  • F4: Speed up

Text editing

  • Ctrl+B: Bold
  • Ctrl+I: Italics
  • Ctrl+J: Insert timestamp

Chromebook / Chrome OS alternative controls

  • F1: Rewind
  • F2: Fast-forward
  • F3: Slow down
  • F4: Speed up

(Because they don't have Function keys.)

What audio formats does oTranscribe support?

oTranscribe is limited by the formats supported by each individual browser. The formats supported by your own browser will be listed below the “Choose audio file” button. In general, WAV files are widely supported, and MP3 files mostly work on everything except Mozilla Firefox.

How do the interactive timestamps work?

Pressing Ctrl+J will insert the audio file’s current time into the document. This timestamp is hyperlinked and will skip to the specific time in the audio file.

Will oTranscribe automatically convert my audio into text?

Sadly not - but it may make the manual job a bit less painful. Perfect speech-to-text conversion software is still in the realms of fantasy (ever tried using Siri with a broad Scottish accent?).

Who made oTranscribe?

Elliot Bentley (that’s me) created oTranscribe, and is currently the sole developer. If you’re interested, Journalism.co.uk did a neat article on oTranscribe’s origins.

My question isn’t answered here.

You can contact me directly by tweeting at @oTranscribe or emailing me. I try to respond as soon as possible - but please note that this is a hobby, not my job.

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