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Transcription tools


Read here how to install

Subtitle Edit


Subtitle Edit is not primarily intended as a transcription programme, but to create subtitles for video files. However, it is a simple way to produce transcriptions with time codes.  


  • Subtitle program
  • Transcription with time code
  • Open source
  • Windows only
  • Freeware


If you do not have a Windows computer, you can use the free web version:


A short manual for transcribing with the online version can be read / downloaded here (Dutch):




a subtitling application for Mac users


You can download the software here:


  • Subtitle programme
  • Transcription with time code
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform
  • Freeware 


Aegisub is a free, cross-platform open source tool for creating and modifying subtitles.
Aegisub makes it quick and easy to time subtitles on audio, including a built-in real-time video preview.

The program does not appear to be intended for playing video and audio at the same time. It is warned that it is not a media player.

So it might be better to transcribe with audio.

You can play the relevant track with subtitles and picture separately.


When you are done, you should save the subtitle file as an srt file.
Not with “save as” but with export and then choose SubRip (*. srt)


Easy transcribing with the web version of oTranscribe


  • User-friendly
  • Web version
  • Audio and video files
  • Free


Disadvantage is that there are no automatic time codes added to the transcription.


oTranscribe is a simple, lightweight website that simplifies the process of manual transcription. It combines a straightforward Google Docs-like text editor with a simple media player that uses hotkeys for play/pause/forward/reverse. You can load your own audio and video files, or use a video from YouTube.


The online tool does not store data on their own servers, but uses your own browser storage. This is good for privacy, but bad for reliability: back up your transcription about every 10 minutes.


For Google Chrome there is an oTranscribe app

Listen N Write Free

Eenvoudig transcriptie-programma voor geluidsbestanden (WAV en MP3)




  • User-friendly
  • Slower playback possible
  • Time codes manually by pressing menu button
  • Windows
  • Free  ware


Listen N Write Free is a file playback program, but it has some useful features that make it easy to keep on typing and to get a finished version faster. If the sound recording is going too fast, you can click the pause button and when you resume, the recording will automatically rewind a few seconds.

A button allows you to manually add time codes at various points in the text.

Listen N Write Free is free of charge.

The software is available for Windows.

Express Scribe



  • Audio recording only
  • Variable playback speed
  • Pedal operation possible
  • Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Free, Pro version available


Transcribing audio recordings

Express Scribe is free to use, but has a paid variant with more features.

The software is available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.




Like Subtitle Edit, ELAN was not developed with transcription (only) in mind. It was created as a more general linguistic annotation tool. These annotations can be anything the user wants: they can be codes, key moments, memos, but also transcriptions.


Transcribing with ELAN is a lot of work compared to classical transcription, but the main advantage of using ELAN is that it allows word-by-word transcription. It also makes multi-layer transcription possible. In ELAN you can create so-called ‘tiers’ for different speakers.


If you are interested in automatic speech recognition for generating transcripts please look here: