Unless you have a perfect memory, keeping every single detail of a Zoom meeting crystal clear in your head is virtually impossible. Even if you're taking notes, you may miss a piece of information that you didn't think was important at the time. But with a Zoom transcription, you can capture everything that's said and quickly find the exact part of the discussion you're searching for.
So how do you get accurate transcripts for your video conference? There's no need to manually type out what you hear. We'll explain how you can get automatic transcripts through Zoom, why you may want to use a third-party service instead, and what other transcription services are out there.
Can I create audio transcripts through my Zoom account?
Zoom does offer an audio transcription feature on its platform, but only select users can take advantage of it. You can only use Zoom's transcription service if you have a Business, Enterprise, or Education license. A Pro account — the most affordable paid membership — doesn't get you access to this feature.
Plus, if your account owner has disabled Zoom cloud recordings or audio transcriptions, you're out of luck. You won't be able to access this feature regardless of your license.
As long as you meet the right prerequisites, getting your transcript is pretty easy. Simply start a cloud recording during your Zoom call by tapping “Record,” then “Record to the Cloud,” and you'll later receive it via email.
If you're an account owner, you can even enable live transcription, which lets you display your transcript as closed captioning while your meeting is happening. Note: This feature is not available on mobile apps.
The upside: The live transcription feature is useful.
The downside: The transcript files you receive are huge blocks of text. Zoom doesn't distinguish between speakers, making it harder to find the information you need. If you need an interview transcript, for example, the only way to know when the speaker changes is to look for topic changes and new questions and answers.
5 third-party Zoom transcription services
No one wants to spend more time working than they need to — trust us, we'd rather be relaxing at a beach too — so the efficiency of in-app Zoom transcriptions may be all you need. But if you want your transcriptions to be clear and actionable, a third-party service is the way to go.
Many third-party transcription services can distinguish between meeting participants, and some of the best can even get you instant insights from your meetings.
Whether you're hosting a webinar or having one-on-ones with your team members, you can consider these Zoom transcription services for your professional needs.
1. Anchor AI
If you're looking for an AI-powered (read: smart) transcription service, look no further than Anchor AI. We're all about helping you make your meetings more actionable. If you don't want reading your audio transcripts to feel like sitting through another meeting — or worse, reliving the same one — we've got your back.
Our Zoom transcriptions automatically highlight action items (with time stamps) from your meeting along with decisions made and keywords. Even if a team member misses a meeting, they'll know exactly what your meeting was about and what they need to do next. Your transcript can also show you who said what.
Using Anchor AI is simple, too. Just invite Anchor AI to your Zoom meeting and we'll take care of the rest!
2. Happy Scribe
Happy Scribe offers both machine-generated and human-powered transcription services on its platform. The automatic transcript option allows you to get transcriptions with a five-minute turnaround and 85% accuracy for dozens of languages. Getting a human to transcribe your Zoom calls costs nearly 10 times more per minute and takes up to 24 hours but gets you 99% accuracy.
Either option can be effective, but the real downside of Happy Scribe is it doesn't support real-time transcriptions at all. You still need to manually record your meeting and upload your Zoom recording to Happy Scribe. Can you imagine waiting for a massive video file to download, then upload after sitting through a two-hour call? 😩
Happy Scribe transcripts also don't clarify which meeting participants are speaking. The service simply starts another paragraph when speakers switch.
If you're looking for a Zoom transcription service that also supports audio and video editing, Descript can fill this niche. The platform offers built-in podcasting and video editing tools, which can be helpful if you want to create marketing materials from your meetings or cut out irrelevant parts before getting your audio transcript.
Descript doesn't integrate with Zoom. Like with Happy Scribe, you'll have to record and upload your Zoom calls yourself.
What's unique about Descript is that its transcriptions are like a Google Doc. Your team members can collaborate on edits, comment on the text, and even respond to each other. However, don't expect any important parts of your meeting to be highlighted automatically — you'll have to do that yourself.
Descript offers human-powered transcription services too, but they’re more expensive than Happy Scribe with the same level of accuracy and turnaround time.
Temi is a transcription service that's capable of achieving 95% accuracy on automated transcripts — with the caveat that meeting participants must speak clearly without strong non-American accents. It also improves upon Zoom's native transcription service by clearly marking when the speaker changes. However, it's a pretty bare-bones service otherwise.
When you use Temi, you'll once again need to manually record and upload your Zoom meeting to the platform. You can edit your audio transcript and add timestamps at key sections, but that's about all that this software offers.
Temi transcripts can be exported as closed-captioning files, which allow you to use your transcription for subtitles and increase the accessibility of your calls.
If you want an alternative to Zoom's live captioning services, Rev can be an effective option. Once you connect your Rev account in your Zoom settings, all you need to do to get closed captioning to appear is tap "Show Subtitles" on your call to make it more accessible. You can also get a copy of your transcription after your meeting ends. But keep in mind that you'll have to pay $20 per month for every meeting host that needs to use this feature. There’s no limit to how much each host can use this feature.
When all you need is your audio transcription after your meeting, you can opt for one of Rev's standard transcriptions instead. You can choose between machine-generated transcripts (which have 80% accuracy) or human-created ones that cost five times more. If you want foreign transcriptions, they can cost $3-$7 per meeting minute. That's up to $420 for a one-hour meeting!
While Rev can differentiate between multiple speakers, keep in mind that you won't get any key takeaways with your transcript.
Get the smart Zoom transcriptions you need
When you're video conferencing every single week (or sometimes, what feels like all day every day), it's easy to miss the details in your meeting. But when you're busy taking notes throughout your call, you won't be able to fully contribute to your meetings. If you want to get the most out of your meetings, you need a Zoom transcription service — one that offers more than a basic text doc.
Finding a service that differentiates between speakers is a great start to making your transcriptions clearer for all readers. Choosing Anchor AI, which highlights all the information your team members need to know about your call, is even better. Join the Anchor AI waitlist to be one of the first to try it out.