The ultimate guide to speech to text

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    Speech-to-text is one of the pillars of content creation, marketing, healthcare, and education. Here’s our ultimate guide to mastering it yourself.

    Typing for a long time is one of the most boring and time-consuming activities that many of us, sadly, have to go through on a daily basis. That’s especially true if you’re an inexperienced typist or someone with a reading disability such as dyslexia. Fortunately, thanks to advancements in technology, there are other ways you can type. Today, we’re taking a look at one of them, namely speech recognition software and speech to text (STT) tools.

    What is speech to text?

    What do STT and speech recognition mean, though? Simply put, STT is a transcription process of converting your words or audio files into text. It’s simple on the surface, but it took a lot of machine learning and progress in artificial intelligence for speech recognition technology to get where it is now, being able to transcribe spoken words in real-time and in tons of different languages.

    Importance of speech to text

    The importance of speech-to-text technology is immeasurable. For example, relying on a speech recognition system can help people increase their productivity by allowing them to take a break from typing and rely on their voices to wrap up their projects. It can also help them communicate with others online and via text if they are in any way impaired and cannot rely on traditional typing methods.

    Applications of speech to text

    As you can probably imagine, STT has a plethora of applications in a huge number of fields and industries.

    • Speech therapy: voice-to-text apps can help healthcare providers make sure their patients can enjoy all the benefits that come with reading and writing, despite their disabilities.
    • Marketing and call analytics: Calls often need to be recorded for marketing and statistical purposes, and using SST, as well as automatic speech recognition, can help you increase workflow by allowing you to transcribe calls in real time without having to rely on manual methods to do the same work.
    • Content creation: If you’re making content in a foreign language, you might need subtitles to make your projects more accessible. Using voice commands and transcription services can take a huge chunk of that work off your back, allowing you to dish out more content faster.
    • Voice translation: Ever been lost in translation, so to speak? With SST programs, you can convert spoken words into text in real time and then have them translated into your interlocutor’s language instantly.
    • Voice commanding: With SST, you can pretty much be in charge of your device without relying on your hands. Simply issue commands, and your software will obey. This is fantastic when you need to follow along with some tutorials and or multitask. 

    Where can I use speech to text?

    We’ve already said how advanced SST algorithms and voice-recognition software have become. You can use SST on virtually any type of device nowadays, no matter the format and operating system. It works on Microsoft Windows, Mac, Android mobile devices, iPhones and other Apple iOS devices, Linux, etc.

    In addition, some programs come as browser extensions, so you can use them on any device as long as you’ve got an internet connection and a popular browser such as Chrome. Of course, some SST services are purely web-based, so you won’t even need an extension to access them directly from the provider’s website.

    Is speech recognition expensive to use?

    When it comes to pricing, we’re glad to say that some SST apps are completely free to use. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something more premium, you’ll have to either pay for a subscription every month or download some mobile apps from the app store with a one-time-only payment.

    To make sure you’re getting the right kind of software, do some research and take your needs into consideration. If you need SST to write a few quick e-mails, you surely don’t need to pay for corporate solutions that companies like IBM rely on.

    Best speech to text software

    There are tons of SST solutions out there for smartphones, desktop computers, tablets, and so on, so saying what the best one is pretty tough. That’s especially true because what you consider to be the best will largely depend on what you’re looking for. For example, tidying up a Google DOCs file will require nothing more than a simple web-based SST service, while transcribing a whole podcast might require something more heavy-duty, so to speak.

    Below, we have a list of a few top-tier SST solutions that will do the trick no matter what.

    Apple Dictation

    This is an iOS-only app that you simply need to have on your iPhone. It can be integrated with most other applications, so you can use it to send text messages, write up Twitter or Instagram posts, and even navigate your device. If you’ve already used Siri or Amazon Alexa, for example, you’re already familiar with all the wonders of voice automation, and you’ll be right at home with Apple Dictation too.

    Dragon Anywhere

    Next up, we’ve got Dragon Anywhere. This app is available on both iOS and Android, and it’s downright fantastic. It comes with no word limits, its deep learning algorithms allow for nigh-perfect precision, and it’s synchronizable across multiple devices, allowing for increased ease of access and productivity.

    Speechify 

    Last up, we got Speechify, our final yet favorite pick for today. This app does it all: from text to speech to speech to text to voice cloning and voice-over work, it has no competition. 

    What sets it apart from other solutions we’ve mentioned are the sheer number of supported languages other than English and authentic AI voices, tons of customizable settings you can play with to optimize your audio recordings, and its flexibility.

    Want to try Speechify yourself? Check it out at https://onboarding.speechify.com/.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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