How many times have you finished a Zoom call, only to realize you didn’t capture a key piece of information in your notes?
But wait! The meeting was recorded! You’re saved! Except now you have to spend time listening to the recording to find exactly what you need.
Zoom calls are no longer a novelty. They are an important part of how thousands of businesses communicate internally, with prospects, and with clients. They are where vital information is shared.
Simply recording the videos is a start, but that’s the old game. The new game is being able to transcribe Zoom calls, pull out highlights, and share them with your team members, prospects, and clients for a smooth experience when they need insights from calls.
The best, most effective, most client-focused teams are already operating in the new game and leveraging this “2.0” approach to Zoom meetings.
In this article, we’re going to provide some of the best Zoom transcription services available today. We’ll cover the benefits and features of each to help you better understand how Zoom transcription services can transform your organization for the better.
Evaluating the 7 Best Zoom Transcription Services in 2021
Let’s define the old game vs. the new game when it comes to Zoom transcription services.
In the old game, you can do live transcription of a Zoom call or upload the audio or video file after the fact. Your output is a text transcript that you can review. You may be able to assign speaker names, add a color highlight to important sections, and send via a link to people with your company. The old game is about getting the conversation “on paper” in order to make it searchable for key information.
The new game is based on a different outcome. It’s not just about getting a transcription. It’s about adopting a system that works for you. The new game with Zoom transcription services is all about delivering only the most important, influential, and actionable value of each Zoom call to stakeholders that need them.
How do you ensure your company is playing in the new game when it comes to Zoom transcription services? The ideal solution should cover all the basics like:
- Transcription (live and through file upload)
- Keeps audio and video in the output vs. stripping away the video component
- Allows multiple team members to collaborate on a transcription
- Highlight key points in the conversation
- Easy to share the key points with internal teams and external stakeholders
Additionally, the ideal Zoom transcription service does more than save you time. It should help you extract the moments that matter to deliver powerful, actionable insights to your team or clients.
With that in mind, here are some of the options you can consider when selecting a Zoom transcription service.
There are a lot of good tools on this list, but none offers everything you need as simply as Grain does.
What makes Grain such a powerful Zoom transcription service? It was designed to help teams pull out the most actionable and important points of Zoom calls so they can be acted upon. Because you are only sharing the best parts of your calls, your team or clients will actually watch the clips instead of struggling through a full 30-minute-or-more call.
While other Zoom transcription services have a couple important features, Grain is the total package:
Record and Transcribe Zoom calls
Once you have a Grain account, simply start a Zoom call and press record. Grain automatically records the call, and will process and deliver your Zoom transcription once it’s finished.
Put your paper and pen away, and close out of that Google Doc. In the desktop app version of Grain, live note-taking gives you and your team a collaborative notepad to take time stamped notes during Zoom calls.
No more “Could you repeat that?” or trying to decide whose notes are correct. Grain’s collaborative notepad offers a single source of truth for your team to act on.
Grain goes beyond simply selecting text and adding a highlight color. Once you have your transcript, select an important passage that you want to highlight. Grain automatically creates a video clip of this section for you to share with your team or client, or to save for later use.
You can also create shareable Highlights directly from the notepad during a Zoom call.
Share with Your Team or Clients
“Here’s the recording of our hour-long call with the client.” Who’s going to watch that whole thing? No one. When it comes to sharing what’s important from your Zoom call, Grain helps you share only the most vital information. Your team will thank you for sharing essential insights AND for not dropping a 60-minute video file on them.
Trusted by Teams Large and Small
Grain is already the Zoom transcription service of choice for dozens of companies large and small. Here’s what one of them said about their experience using Grain.
Guillaume Cabane, Advisor to Segment and Drift
Zoom offers a transcription service, but it comes with two caveats:
- You must have a Business, Education, or Enterprise license with cloud recording enabled
- You must be the account owner or have admin privileges
If you meet these two caveats, then all you have to do is record your meeting to the cloud and review the transcript afterward. Zoom’s native transcription feature automatically divides the transcript into sections with timestamps, rather than by speaker. You can also edit the text to more accurately capture the words, or to add capitalization, punctuation, and other items not captured by the transcript.
Zoom’s native transcription is easy and accurate, but has a few drawbacks as well. It doesn’t allow for collaboration, and you don’t know who is speaking from the transcript alone. Zoom transcription doesn’t allow you to create highlights for the most important pieces of information. The price of the Business, Education, or Enterprise license could also be a non-starter for some companies, as could the limitations on cloud storage.
Zoom G2 rating
4.5 out of 5 stars with nearly 33,000 reviews
Zoom Capterra rating
4.6 out of 5 stars with over 6,100 reviews
Real user review of Zoom’s audio transcription feature
“Quality of video and audio is good, and recording and auto transcription functions work well...The transcription function has some issues and does require editing for sense and follow, but provides a decent starting point for transcription. It shouldn’t be viewed as foolproof though!” -G2 review from a user in higher education
Rev offers both human and AI-based transcription services for Zoom calls. They also offer a Zoom-specific service, Live Captions for Zoom. It automatically adds real-time captions to Zoom meetings and webinars, though they note that accuracy is only “80%+.” Captions are also only for the all itself, and are not presented in a document once the meeting is done.
Live Captions for Zoom is priced at $20 per host per month, while human-powered transcriptions and video captions are $1.25 per minute. Rev’s human transcriptions are 99% accurate (according to the company’s website) and are well-reviewed by real users on G2 and Capterra.
Transcripts are delivered inside of Rev where you can edit if you need to. The transcript includes speakers names and timestamps, and syncs up with the video you have uploaded.
Rev G2 rating
4.7 out of 5 stars with 160 reviews
Rev Capterra rating
4.6 out of 5 stars with 29 reviews
Real user review of Rev
“Love using Rev and plan to continue using it for as long as I'm working as a writer. I spend a lot of my time watching press conferences and other events. Rev's automated transcripts allow me to record and easily pull quotes with little editing required. I wish there was a way for automated transcripts to better identify different speakers.” -Capterra review from Steve B.
Fireflies uses an AI bot named Fred to transcribe and capture key points from Zoom meetings. It connects with your calendar, and when you have a meeting, Fred scans the invite for the meeting URL and joins as your AI assistant.
Fred transcribes the meeting in real time, including differentiating between speakers and timestamps. Fireflies AI technology also pulls out items that appear to be actions, such as “Can you confirm that price for me?”
Fireflies can transcribe audio files that you upload, but does not have the ability to transcribe video files natively. However, thanks to a Zapier integration (as well as a robust number of other integrations), video transcription flows can be set up.
Fireflies G2 rating
5 out of 5 stars with only 1 review
Fireflies Capterra rating
No reviews for Fireflies on Capterra
Real user review of Fireflies
“FireFlies AI records and transcribes all meetings, allowing you to search specific topics, as well as action items. It can also route all information into a Slack channel after a call with 90% accuracy and create action items too. You can listen to the recording at double the speed or download it into your preferred format. I love having the ability to click into a spot within my transcript and listen to a particular snapshot.” -G2 review from an admin in staffing/recruiting
Otter allows you to share rich meeting notes with summary keywords, highlights, photos, and full audio transcripts. You can upload a video or audio file for Otter to transcribe, or connect it to Zoom with their integration for live transcription.
Otter offers a few beneficial features for teams:
- Groups - these act as communication channels for specific teams or around certain topics. Each time you record or upload an audio file within the Group, everyone is notified.
- Sharing - you can share a conversation privately by entering a recipient’s email address. You can also create a public link for teams or groups of people who may need access to the transcript.
- Highlights - you can highlight key actions or critical information within a transcript.
Otter.ai also allows for commenting, tagging, and adding photos directly to transcripts.
One big downside of Otter is the lack of video along with the transcription. Uploading a video file only pulls the audio out versus having both the audio and video synced up.
Otter.ai G2 rating
4.8 out of 5 stars with 22 reviews
Otter.ai Capterra rating
4.2 out of 5 stars with 8 reviews
Real user review of Otter.ai
“I love Otter's low cost and its integration into any paid Zoom account. It takes a few minutes to setup, but then after that, any time you record a meeting in Zoom, it transcribes the meeting for you, with a high degree of accuracy.
Names confuse it some (like how professional services firms tend to be a string of names of people's last names which don't really adhere to any rules) but even when it gets it wrong, editing is quick and easy.
The free version is VERY limited in uploads of audio files allowed (only 2-3 files) but the zoom integration, which is super easy, more than makes up for it. Free version allows for 10 hours of audio transcribed per month, which for me is plenty, but even if you're a heavier user pricing is still very inexpensive for the usefulness.” -G2 review from Richard R.
Descript is a collaborative audio/video editor that works like a doc. It is widely used by podcasters and other creatives who create a lot of video content. It includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, full multitrack editing, and some powerful AI tools.
Descript breaks their features down into three buckets:
- Capture - screen recording, transcription, remote recording
- Edit - podcasting, video editing, overdub (text to speech), filler word removal
- Share - collaboration, publishing, audiograms, subtitles
For Zoom transcription, Descript offers both human and AI-powered services. One your transcript is ready, you can edit and collaborate with others via a simple link. Descript allows you to add speaker labels. While there is no integration with Zoom or a Descript app in the Zoom App Marketplace, you can import a Zoom recording on your computer.
Descript G2 rating
4.3 out of 5 stars with 9 reviews
Descript Capterra rating
5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Real user review of Descript
“Hands down the easiest video and text editor out there. features are mind blowing and makes editing fast and convenient. I recommend this for any video and podcasting editors. There are so many features, it does have a long learning curve with some of its functions. The demo videos are a little confusing, and I had to watch them a few times to figure out how exactly to do certain things.” -Capterra review from Andrea B.
Trint is your classic transcription service: upload a file, get a transcript, and manage said transcript. With Trint, you can upload an audio or video file to get your transcription, but just like Otter.ai, video files have the audio stripped away and you’re left with a text document with corresponding audio.
The Vocab Builder acts as a library for brand and industry terms, names, and titles, some of the most common misspellings in AI-based transcripts. This feature allows Trint’s AI to recognize and add these to transcripts automatically, minimizing mistakes and increasing accuracy.
Trint G2 rating
3.7 out of 5 stars with 6 reviews
Trint Capterra rating
4.6 out of 5 stars with 7 reviews
Real user review of Trint
“Pros: I was amazed with the program’s ability to record in text form an entire audio record dictation. It’s like your own typing assistant. Allows you to edit the text to fix errors. Automatically saves your progress every few seconds. Allows you to alter speed to dictation and audio.”
Cons:Expensive - Sometimes incorrectly records what a subject says. Doesn't implement correct grammar and punctuation.” -Capterra review from a verified reviewer
If you struggle to make Zoom meetings actionable and a good use of time, Grain might be just what you need.
You can continue to invest in the old, inefficient way of conducting Zoom meetings, or you can transform your company by using a tool that doesn’t just record and transcribe Zoom calls, but helps you extract and deliver the moments that matter.