Blog chevron right Transcription

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo Easily: iPhone Voice Memos to Text 101

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Sep 8 · 8 Sep, 2022
How to Transcribe a Voice Memo Easily: iPhone Voice Memos to Text 101

How to transcribe a voice memo? In this fast-paced, technology-savvy, and connected world, we are barraged by information and creative ideas each time that sometimes we lose track of the best ones and forget what needs remembering. 

We used to take note of these thoughts through a journal or any stray paper we have lying around, but what if we tell you that there’s an easier way and within access on your hand or your back pocket? We’re talking about your smartphone. 

Times are a-changin, and technology makes it possible to keep everything we need on a handy device. This easy and smart accessibility includes note-taking using your voice or voice memos. A great thing about recording your thoughts is keeping your ideas and information in two handy formats: voice and text. 

The combo of voice recording and technology will revolutionize the way you take down notes, and it is also more accessible and more efficient to save time and effort. 

Voice Memos

There are over 118 million iPhone users in the United States, and 118 million of them have access to the built-in Voice Memos application. This app accessed on the Utilities folder on your phone is handy for everything from personal note-taking, recording your class’ lectures, ideas for song lyrics, and many others. 

Aside from being a handy recording software, Voice Memos also allows you to edit and fine-tune each recording, whether you want to trim, resume, or replace them. 

If you’re going to record clearer audio in the application, using a headset or an external microphone is advised. Although there is already a built-in microphone, this will ensure a recording without any problems, which will help you when transcribing. 

The best thing about the Voice Memos app is that you can easily save everything in the cloud, which means that you will be able to access the voice file even though it was accidentally deleted. 

Keeping the voice audio to the clouds will also allow easy access to countless automatic transcription services available on the interweb for easy transcription. 

From basic voice recording and advanced recording features that allow you to pause and resume the recording at your whim, voice memos is a handy application you can use for note-taking. 

Benefits of Voice Recording as Note Taking

iPhone’s Voice Memos is highly-versatile and will help you be more productive with the plethora of features available, like cloud sharing and an easy and foolproof interface. But other than taking the hassle out of note-taking on pen and paper and the risk of losing the idea, what other benefits and uses do the Voice Memos app present for all users? 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo

You never miss important details 

Whether you are a student, undergrad or doctorate, a journalist, a court reporter, a secretary, or any other occupation that requires note-taking, we can all admit that it is a pretty daunting and stressful process. 

Some, especially reporters and journalists, are listening to a speaker and occasionally multiple speakers. Since their jobs are concerned with accuracy and the most details as much as possible, it can be hard to keep up with a speaker. 

Suppose they are hyper-focused on note-taking on pen and paper. In that case, they also risk missing important details essential to their reporting or their stories, like the details about the room or the photographs the speaker has in their offices. 

This is where recording apps like Voice Memos will be handy since all they would need to do is listen while the applications do their work and record every minute detail, whether it is an interview, school lecture, speech, press conference, etc. 

For college or grad students, recording lectures could be the solution; they need not miss anything for their upcoming exams. These recordings can quickly be transcribed so that they can also have a physical copy of the lecture. 

You save money on office supplies

Although a pen and a no nonsense notepad will not cost a lot of money by themselves; however, for offices and companies concerned with buying bulk boxes of pencils and pens and many stacks of paper for their employees, the cost will eventually add up. 

Not to mention that consuming tons of paper and plastic pens is also not the most environmentally friendly option. 

What can replace the old traditional pen and paper is the recording applications handy on almost everyone’s phone. This will save the office from spending on office supplies and work towards being conscious about their consumption which is always an added plus. 

Aside from not spending a lot of money on stacks of notepads and hundreds of pens and pencils, office workers will not be stressed about frantic note-taking, especially secretaries or any person concerned with knowing every detail and recording the minutes of a particular meeting. 

This money saved can just be invested in acquiring software programs like transcription services that will make the work for office transcribers more manageable. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo

You have a means to revisit key conversations

Some conversations, no matter if it’s an interview, speech, conference, or phone calls, are too precious, significant, or memorable to lose. Sometimes we might need to revisit these critical conversations, whether you are a researcher or a journalist. This is likely one of the most meaningful benefits of having a recording application ready to use on our smartphones. 

With an audio recording, especially if they are saved in the clouds, you will be able to revisit and play them as much as possible. 

This poses a lot of benefits for every profession, from HR managers who are interviewing a potential hire to researchers interviewing an important figure for the future generation to be able to access these source materials. 

Journalists and media reporters are also able to access these recordings easily and fact-check all their claims to ensure that correct and accurate information is being served to the public. Law enforcement can also benefit from this advantage by reviewing evidence or interviewing key crime suspects. 

You can share your voice memos and text files easily

The next benefit of audio recordings is that they are easy to disseminate, both if they are still on their original audio files but also once they are transcribed. 

There are cases when you are the only one to handle your notes, but there are also other instances where these notes need to be passed around, and if your files are saved on the cloud on your computer, they can quickly be sent to almost every online platform. 

People who do double the work by taking down notes and listening simultaneously will still need to input their files on a word processor to give each member access to the file. 

Sometimes, further explanations are required to make sense of the notes since not everyone will be able to write as fast as the speaker will be speaking. 

This process is time-consuming and not practical, and merely having everything recorded on a voice memo will cut the work in more than a half. People concerned with transcribing will have an easier time transcribing a software file. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo 

There are many uses to voice recording, but voice recordings transcribed into text files are on another level when it comes to getting things done. By transcribing, you get the benefits of reading through the complete and verbatim transcription of your audio recording. 

There are two ways how to transcribe a voice memo; either you do it manually or opt to pay for the many transcription services available on the internet. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo Manually 

Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text Yourself

If you are transcribing a short voice memo, it will be better to do it yourself. Transcribing can be challenging but there are a few tips and tricks you can do to ensure that you will be transcribing in the shortest time possible. 

Suppose you are transcribing a subject-specific recording that will include repetitive words or phrases instead of typing it out each time. It will be better to designate a shorthand or an acronym in place of it as you type out that transcript. 

After the transcript is done, you can easily replace each codename and acronym as you edit. 

Typing smartly is also an option that is related to shorthand. Words like “because” can simply be “bec,” while “w” can signify “with” for the time being. 

Another option is getting a subscription to transcription software, especially if you want to transcribe several voice memos. They are cheaper than hiring a transcriber but can give you the tools you need for efficient and accurate transcription work. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo: Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text by Professional Transcriptionist

Suppose you want a transcription option to accommodate a highly accurate transcript of all your voice memos. In that case, the most effective way is by hiring a professional transcriber to do the work for you. 

Professional transcription services by humans will give you an accuracy rate of up to 99%. It is only 99% since they will also get the appropriate grammar correction you need for a very cohesive transcript of your voice memos. 

They are also able to accommodate requests such as highly verbatim works that will include labels if the audio has multiple speakers. 

If you have the budget and are in need of the highest quality transcript for all your audio memos, hiring a transcriptionist is the mode of transcription you are looking for. They will cost more, but you will get what you paid for in the quality of the work they will do for you. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo Using Third-Party Applications and Services

Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text Using Online Dictation Software

The first method of how to transcribe a voice memo is using online dictation software available for free or for a fee on the internet. 

There are two ways to do this using online dictation software: you either record the audio directly or upload your voice memo, which we are more concerned with regarding iPhone voice memos. 

The most common caveat with this method is that it often requires a clean audio recording with as little background noise as possible. 

Since the transcriptions are done by preprogrammed artificial intelligence, it will also be more challenging for this transcription process to incorporate rules like appropriate punctuations and spacings. It can also have problems understanding accents. 

However, if you have no problem with a bit of editing, in the end, dictation software is some of the free and readily available options on how to transcribe a voice memo. Since they are free, you get what you did not pay for, and it will probably not give the best quality transcription of your voice memos. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo: Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text Using Machine Transcription

Using machine transcription is another cost-efficient and accessible way to give students and professionals options on how to transcribe a voice memo. 

Unlike most dictation software that often requires real-time speech audio before converting it to text, machine transcription will simply ask you to upload a file of your voice memo on the transcription interface. 

Before uploading your audio files, one crucial thing to consider is to make sure that they are in the correct format since some machine transcription software will only process formats that their AIs can read. 

This process of transcribing your iPhone voice memos is the best if you are looking for an easy way and you also have the file on hand, already saved and ready to be transcribed. 

Like dictation software, machine transcription will not give you the best quality outcome, mainly if the recording contains a number of problems like staticy audio or background noises. 

You will also have to pay for some services since the free machine transcription on the internet will only provide free service if your audio file is no longer than three minutes. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo: Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text Using Transcription Applications

Another effective way how to transcribe a voice memo is using the many transcription applications available on your computer and even your own iPhone app store itself. This accessibility will allow everyone to access transcription options, even on smartphones. 

These applications, like Rev and Otter, will work just like machine translation. What makes it different is the capability it will give the user to easily edit the provided transcribe work because of the text processor available on most of them. 

Transcription applications are also used by businesses and companies to aid in transcribing business meetings or interviews for human resources. It is easy to use by simply accessing the application and transcribing, whether in real-time or by uploading an audio file. 

There is also the option of syncing the transcription itself on your cloud storage so that everything will be saved automatically and accessed whenever and wherever you are. 

What makes the speech-to-text feature of most transcription applications superior to the dictation software of computers is that mobile devices like our iPhones are focused on localized languages. This solves the inability or inadequacy of dictation software to recognize accents on a voice memo. 

Although many transcription applications give many significant improvements compared to dictation and machine translation software, there will still be inadequacies. This is why they have editing interfaces available for easy checking. 

How to Transcribe a Voice Memo: Converting iPhone Voice Memo to Text Using Recording Converter Technology

Since the demand for accessibility for everyone provided by transcription will only continue to be higher, transcription technology continues to advance from its humble beginnings of note-taking. With the rise and the development of artificial intelligence, it will only continue to grow further. As such, high-tech voice converter tools, both physical and digital, are available for anyone needing them today. 

Many transcription software has several added features to make transcription work efficient for everyone, especially for people who are choosing to do the work manually. These features can include integrating different apps like time management apps and email widgets or software that can edit grammar easily for a more cohesive output. 

There is also feasible development to recording accessories like a foot pedal to keep a transcriptionist’s hands free to type while the pedal does the pausing of playback for the audio file. 

Final Thoughts on How to Transcribe a Voice Memo

Voice recording made accessing news and information easier and will only continue helping us in the different facets of our lives. It might be recording and transcribing what would become history in the near future or simply recording a song idea that keeps plaguing your thoughts at night. 

Various tools will make it possible to transcribe each voice memo on your iPhone to text efficiently, and you only need to decide how accurate you want it to be and how much editing yourself you want to do.