Accessible transcription setup

macOS & Mac Apps

Hello apple Vis,
Does anyone transcribe audio? IF so what is your set up?
Thanks in advance.



Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Thursday, October 25, 2018

Hi Chuck,
If you are looking for an IOS app, you might want to try Just Press Record. It transcribes voice into text, and you can copy and paste the text into your word processor. It's available at low cost in the App Store.

Hope this helps,


Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Thursday, October 25, 2018

I'll take a look at the app. Although it may not be what I need.
I'm looking for a setup to handle transcribing audio I'd be paid for doing. Like Transcribe Me, and scribie.

Submitted by Remy on Thursday, October 25, 2018

I did transcribing for several years, and found I was able to do just fine using an audio editor which I used to slow down the playback of the file. It did mean alt tabbing (or whatever the mac equal is) between apps if I needed to start and stop, but otherwise it worked fine. If you have a player that uses universal hot keys for playing and pausing, that would work too. I imagine the play pauns function keys on a standard keyboard would do the trick too.

I think speech to text might be helpful at times, but you'd perhaps spend even more time correcting its many errors, always assuming your subject is clear enough for the software to pick up in the first place. You also have to keep in mind things like punctuation, and, if your client is really picky, diction.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Thursday, October 25, 2018

That makes sense.
I've heard of transcribers using a foot petal to control the audio so that there's no need to switch back and forth. although I'm unsure if there's any VoiceOver, or really any screen reader accessible program that supports the use of a foot petal as a play pause button.

Submitted by Remy on Friday, October 26, 2018

I don't know for sure here, but I imagine you could map a standard digital keyboard foot petal to play and pause playback. I can see that being quite useful. Of course it also requires you have a midi enabled keyboard and said foot petal, so unless you do this might not be your best option.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Friday, October 26, 2018

I never thought about it that way, but that makes loads of sense.
I'll have to take a look around.
I know that would really make things easier to manage.
Thanks for the information.

Submitted by Alan on Friday, October 26, 2018

Hi. I transcribe texts of almost any kind in my job every day using a software called express scribe. I am not sure if it is free (developers of this products have changed the licence several times, sometimes there is a demo period, or a free lisence, in any case it is not expensive). It allows you to use function keys on your keyboard to control fast forward, rewind, play, stop, etc. And you can easyly configure an external foot controller too. Works really well and it is fully accessible. OH, available for windows and mac, in both cases, you control audio playback from any window, no need to alt plus tab anymore.

Submitted by Remy on Friday, October 26, 2018

Very nice. I wish I'd had something like this when I did transcribing. I used WinAmp on my PC, a media player that you can set global hotkeys for. The foot pedal though would have been a very helpful addition.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Friday, October 26, 2018

I use Windows for transcription at work, and I use a program called GearPlayer. It is a bit on the expensive side, but the accessibility is top notch. Visit for more information.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Friday, October 26, 2018

I'll check these out. Thanks all for the info.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Hi, express scribe seems to be the go to and last time I used it, about five years ago, it was fully accessible. I also used a foot pedal which you can customise through express scribe, IE, hold it to play, or tap to start and stop etc.

Something else to bare in mind is getting the right volume between your screen reader and the audio file. I do suggest headphones which increases the understandability and mitigates extraneous sounds.

Good luck. I remember some very odd interviews I had to transcribe.