Instead of following news on television or radio, many people prefer to listen to podcasts featuring their favorite online personalities. Podcasts consist mainly of the author’s voice, commenting on a number of ongoing issues without a firmly set schedule or agenda. This free-flowing audio stream can last anywhere between ten minutes and two hours, which is more than enough to deliver serious analysis.

How to Transcribe a Podcast

How to Transcribe a Podcast

It can be fun to immerse yourself in the audio stream or audio recording and follow every word, but remembering the content can be challenging. To avoid having to re-listen the whole thing just to find a great line you would like to hear again, it makes sense to get a transcript of the podcast and know exactly where each sentence is located. Thus, learning how to transcribe a podcast is an essential skill for every internet researcher or streaming media fan.

Further Reading: How to Record a Podcast from Two Different Locations >

Why Should You Transcribe Podcasts?

As we mentioned, having a transcript of a podcast gives the listener many useful options, while also creating additional opportunities for content creators. In its original form, a podcast lasts only a short while and isn’t automatically saved on the listener’s device. There are several reasons why it’s prudent to save the content in an already transcribed state, and we will list some of the most obvious ones:

How to Transcribe a Podcast?

Joe Rogan Podcasts - Jack Dorsey and Vijayya Gadde

Transcribe a Podcast

While it’s recommended to transcribe all podcasts that you regularly listen to, the exact method you should use remains a subject of debate. The length and complexity of the podcast, the purpose of the transcript, the platform where you are listening, and your expectations from the author – all of these factors impact the decision. Some of the latest AI-powered audio-to-text solutions can transcribe podcasts in any language with a stunning level of accuracy and minimal need for human oversight. While all of those tools work automatically and are therefore very intuitive to use, selecting the best transcription software is not so easy. We will present several products worthy of your consideration and explain how to use them to get a full transcript of your favorite podcast.

Top 5 Free Tools for Transcribing Podcasts

Express Scribe

As a tool designed specifically with transcription in mind, Express Scribe is a natural candidate for capturing the content of a podcast. It comes equipped with functions that make it possible to transcribe audio that is not entirely clear and can import audio from many sources. With this free software you can transcribe almost any sound bite, and you don’t have to worry about compatibility.

How to Transcribe Podcasts - Express Scribe

How to Transcribe Podcasts – Express Scribe

Valuable Features:

Major shortcomings:

Pricing: A free version is available, the Basic plan costs $59.95, and the Professional plan costs %69.95

User ratings:

How to make a transcript:

Step 1: Download audio file of the podcast or make a new recording

Step 2: Import the file into Express Scribe in any of the supported formats

Step 3: Automatically transcribe the audio into text and edit it

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Among the software tools based on machine learning that enable automated recognition of spoken content, Dragon Speech stands out for its usability and reliability. This is a professional speech recognition tool that won’t let you down when the quality of audio complicates the transcription, so you can always count on catching every single word from the source.

How to Transcribe Podcasts - Dragon Naturally Speaking

How to Transcribe Podcasts – Dragon Naturally Speaking

Valuable Features:

Major shortcomings:

Pricing: Free version is available, Professional version requires a one-time payment of $699

User ratings:

How to make a transcript:

Step 1: Use a voice command or menu navigation to switch between Dictation and Transcription mode

Step 2: Find the audio file of the podcast on your device and upload it to the cloud

Step 3: Set up Transcription options to your preferences including target format, destination to save at…

Step 4: Execute the transcribe function and make manual changes to the text

Riverside FM

Many users are thrilled with the range of creative possibilities they get from Riverside and use it for all kinds of audio and video management. Made specifically for podcasting and online interviewing, this app fits nicely into any content creator’s toolbox and can be called upon to solve tricky issues in real time. There is a good reason why this software is so beloved by professionals!

How to Transcribe Podcasts - Riverside FM

How to Transcribe Podcasts – Riverside FM

Valuable Features:

Main shortcomings:

Pricing: Free plan is available, Starter plan is priced at $15 per month, Pro plan costs $24 per month

User ratings:

How to make a transcript:

Step 1: Start a new audio recording in Riverside app

Step 2: Click on the three-dot icon to open the menu, and select Transcription

Step 3: Select the language and the number of speakers, then activate the AI-driven transcription

Step 4: Download the transcript to your computer or phone


AI engine at the core of this software product can render any part of speech in the podcast into legible text, as well as conduct other smart operations. You can rely on Deepgram to quickly make many transcripts, which can be essential for some users. This is one of the fastest speech-to-text tools in the market, and speed doesn’t come at the expense of accuracy.

How to Transcribe Podcasts - Deepgram

How to Transcribe Podcasts – Deepgram

Valuable Features:

Main shortcomings:

Pricing: New users get $200 worth of free credits, Pay-as-you-go model applies after that

User ratings:

How to make a transcript:

Step 1: Go to homepage of Deepgram and choose whether to transcribe a live stream or recorded audio

Step 2: For recorded podcasts, upload the audio file or provide a URL leading to it

Step 3: Click on the Run button to automatically generate a transcript

Step 4: Edit the transcript to correct errors and download it to your device


If you select Descript as your primary tool for transcribing podcasts, you could save a lot of time and effort. Alternative to Riverside, Descript lets you instantly perform some incredible actions, such as turning audio into text and editing that text to change the source audio! All of this is possible thanks to robust AI algorithms that can recognize words even better than a human listener. However, if you find frequent downtime during the generation of the transcript, you can find a Descript alternative.

Descript Interface

Descript Interface

Valuable Features:

Main shortcomings:

Pricing: Free plan is available, Creator plan costs $12 per user/month, Pro plan is offered for $24 per user/month

User ratings:

How to make a transcript:

Step 1: Start a new project in Descript

Step 2: Click on the Choose a file to transcribe button and select your audio file

Step 3: Add names of the speakers that are featured in the audio clip

Step 4: Generate the transcript, then review it manually and clear up any confusing parts

Frequently Asked Questions about Transcribing Podcasts

Is it possible to make an accurate transcript of a foreign-language podcast and translate it?

Some of the recommended speech recognition tools have the capacity to detect words in a number of different languages. Because of this, you can effectively use the transcription software in combination with a translation app to get the full meaning of the audio made in a language you don’t speak at all.

Can audio transcripts contain time stamps related to the podcast segments?

By default, transcripts contain only speaker labels along with the verbal content extracted from the audio. If you would like a time stamp to be added to each line of text, you need to select a transcription tool that supports this feature and activate it in the settings before you transcribe the audio.

Are automatic transcriptions made by AI-powered tools trustworthy?

The latest speech-to-text tools that use advanced AI algorithms to detect linguistic nuances are impressively accurate, but they still make some mistakes. To make your podcast transcript completely on point, you might need to read through the automatically generated text and compare it with what you heard during the podcast.

Final Words

Podcasts might be similar to radio broadcasts, but they are delivered through a digital medium which gives them some clear advantages. One of them is that it’s very easy to create a transcript of the entire audio stream from the same device on which you are listening to the podcast. Since this task is so readily accomplished, both podcast creators and listeners can get full transcripts whenever they want. We would love to hear your perspective on this interesting and constantly evolving subject, so please tell us which audio transcription tool you consider the best in the comment section of this article.


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