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5 Best Transcription Software for Mac

by Abhijith N Arjunan
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In our previous article, we showed you, how you can automatically transcribe YouTube videos using Google Docs. And in recent years, we have seen a rise in transcription software that uses artificial intelligence to speed up the process. I tested quite a few of them and while only a few of them also support automated transcription, but all of them are meant to make the transcription process easier for you.

Just to make things sure, a transcription software is way different from a dictation software. It’s designed to help you in the process of medical, legal transcription. Be it interviews or medical appointments, accuracy is something you cannot compromise. So, you need a transcription software for Mac that doesn’t let you down at any point. Let’s check out a few of them. Shall we?

Quick Tip:  Upload video on YouTube, set as private, and use the auto-transcribe feature to download a text transcription. This is not only cheap and unlimited but also quite accurate for native English speaker.

Best Transcription Software for Mac

1. Express Scribe

Express Scribe is one of the most popular choices when it comes to transcription in Mac. You can name it an awesome audio player software too. Express Scribe helps you play audio and video content so that you can optimize the transcription process. Compared to a normal media player, you have more control over not just the speed but also how the transcribed content is made.

There are a few professional features one might love. For instance, Express Scribe offers extensive support for foot-pedals. You can purchase one of these pedals and use it for controlling audio playback. Similarly, it allows you to load audio content from a variety of sources, including portable voice recorders out there. The wonderful collection of hotkeys also makes it easy to manage voice/video.

Express Scribe also offers a bunch of customization options. For instance, you can easily control the sources and destinations of the audio. In addition to this, an in-built task manager and syncing options make it really easy for users to deal with multiple transcription projects. However, we’re not sure of the feature for sending transcribed audios automatically.


  • Professional interface
  • Customizable features
  • Extensive support
  • Hotkey support


  • Not suitable for Beginners

Who Is It For

Express Scribe is the best macOS transcription software for intermediates and professionals. It offers enough control and customization over the transcription process. You can also connect external accessories to grab the best results. Considering the features in the offer, the price-tag of $29 doesn’t seem that high, either. You’d also be able to use the limited free version.

Check Out Express Scribe

 2. Transcriva

Transcriva is one of the transcription software that prioritizes User Interface. It has been designed in a way that the transcription process is put first. Of course, there are professional features like food-pedal support, but Transcriva focuses on how easily you can transcribe. It’s a popular choice when it comes to transcribing interviews and related content.

If you ask us, we’d say Transcriva is one of the simplest ways to transcribe video or audio. In both cases, you have easy ways to track your progress and customize the process. For instance, Transcriva has a mini-player for video playback. On the other hand, you can control the sound and speed when you are using an audio player as the source.

In addition to the standard fulfilling, Transcriva offers some cool features. Follow-Along, for instance, allows you to check the transcribed content for accuracy. Similarly, support for multiple audio sources and complete support for keyboard shortcut make the transcription process a lot smoother. Compared to Express Scribe, Transcriva offers better transcript management as well.


  • An intuitive UI
  • Professional features
  • Extra features like Follow-Along


  • Audio playback could be better

Who Is It For

Transcriva is suitable for all types of transcribers — casual, hobbyists and professionals. If you’re looking for a professional tool with a simple interface, Transcriva is the best choice out there. It offers the best compatibility as well as recording options as well. You can try Transcriva free of cost for a limited amount of time, but the license costs $29.99.

Check Out Transcriva

3. Descript

Compared to the other transcription software we’ve covered, Descript is a bit different. First of all, it has one of the most modern UIs we’ve ever seen. Descript is at the same time a professional transcription software as well as an intelligent audio editor. You can also use this program to automatically transcribe audio content and use some smart features.

Talking about features, Descript has many to offer. Drag-and-drop functionality helps you get the transcription done in a few minutes. Powered by Google Speech, this tool offers an impressive level of accuracy when it comes to automated transcription. Leave that aside, Descript still can be used as a great way to deal with a different variety of manual transcription.

We love it how arranged Descript is when it comes to content. You have complete control over how an audio file is played and synced with the transcribed data. This would be useful in the long run, when you have to make edits. Descript also features some of the best collaboration and feedback options we’ve seen. When you work with a team, these features make sense.


  • An Impressive UI
  • Collaboration & Feedback options
  • Support for Automatic Transcription
  • Audio editing support & compatibility


  • Lacks playback control
  • Doesn’t support Foot-pedals

Who Is It For

Descript is the best option if you need a combination of manual and automated transcription on Mac. While the tool offers better options for transcription and audio editing, the pricing isn’t that great. You would have to spend 7 Cents per minute to get the full features — every second counts. But, that aside, Descript works great when it comes to transcript creation and management.

Check Out Descript

4. InqScribe

InqScribe actually brings the best of both worlds when it comes to transcription in Mac. It doesn’t have such a big, professional interface like Express Scribe, but it does not go as minimal as Descript either. The point is that you can do transcription in a seamless environment, without worrying about additional customization needs.

Easy controls are one of the best things we found in InqScribe, at any point of time. You can add a source of the audio and start the playback. On the right side of the window, there is an option for doing transcription as well. As said earlier, InqScribe does not boast any fancy features in here. On the other hand, it offers an environment for peaceful transcription.

Expert transcribers use InqScribe for transcribing movies. It allows you to add timestamps during the play-back so that you can reverse-navigate thereafter. It’s really easy to control the transcription process using custom-made keyboards. And, when you are done, InqScribe lets you export the transcription to a properly usable format as well.


  • Simple UI
  • Easy Playback and Control


  • None

Who Is It For

We believe InqScribe is the best option for beginners and regulars alike. It works best when you want to get a distraction-free environment for transcription. Similarly, if you are looking for a simple transcription tool that doesn’t scare you with fancy features, InqScribe stays as a potential choice. You can download the free version but the full license costs $99.

Check Out InqScribe

5. Transcribe

Transcribe is not a dedicated transcription software for Mac. It’s rather an online transcription tool that does work with Mac very well. You can use the tool for transcribing audio as well as video, but it also supports an excellent feature of automated transcription and dictation. If you are too lazy to type, you can just say and Transcribe does its job very well.

It also lets you control the audio like – start, stop, slow down, fast forward etc, using the keyboard while you are typing.

Coming to manual transcription, however, Transcribe is perfect. The audio player and the text fields are so integrated that you will find maximum productivity. On the other hand, automated transcription ensures an impressive amount of accuracy in different languages as well. You can even connect your foot pedal to take control of the audio playback.

This would be the best choice if you don’t want to install anything on your computer. That having said, you will have to upload the video or audio that you have to transcribe. We would not recommend this if you’re someone who prefers working locally. On the bright side, though, Transcribe lets you load a YouTube video and get the job done.


  • Simple Interface
  • Manual and Automated Transcription methods
  • Intuitive editor


  • You have to upload the content every time

Who Is It For

We believe, Transcribe is the best option for the on-the-go transcribers. Once you purchase the license, you can do the transcription at any point in time. It offers all the features we’ve seen in dedicated tools out there and we’d recommend it for almost anyone. The only downside is that you need to be connected to the Internet. The self-subscribe license of Transcribe costs $20.

Check Out Transcribe

Which is the Best Transcription Software for Mac?

Well, these are some of the best transcription software for Mac. As you have seen, all of these tools are paid; we tried some of the free tools but most of them were not effective per se. Now, coming to the options, we would recommend InqScribe or Descript if you are just getting started. On the other hand, for professional transcribers, it makes sense to spend some money and purchase something like Express Scribe or Transcribe. We would say Transcribe is the option if you need better mobility and on-the-go support. So, which do you think is the best one out on the list?

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