Convert audio, speech recordings to text on Mac

On Mac, the Dictation feature lets you use voice to interact with your computer. Instead of pointing, clicking or typing, you can simply use your voice. It is much fast with dictation when you want to input text in a document. Sometimes however you may have podcasts, recorded some lecture, speech or conversation and would like to convert them to text. The Dictation however can’t help you with that, as it requires you to speak through microphone. Today, we will show you a solution to convert recorded audio, speech, voices to text using a Audacity and Soundflower on Mac. Both of them are free software for Mac. Check out details below.

Install Audacity and Soundflower

Do a search on Google or Bing to find and install Audacity. It is easy to install, just like any other third-party apps from the internet. Soundflower however will be installed as a system extension on your Mac. Mac users who are not familiar with it can refer to this guide to download and install Soundflower on Mac.

Dictation to pick up sound from Soundflower

On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation. Turn on Dictation and choose Soundflower as the voice input or source for Dictation. See below screenshot.

dictation pick up sound from Soundflower on Mac

Route sound from Audacity to Soundflower

Go to Launchpad and open Audacity from there. Open the recorded lecture, speech, conversation or voice recording in Audacity. Then choose Soundflower as the Playback Device in Audacity, see screenshot as follows.

audacity output sound to Soundflower on Mac

Convert audio, speech recordings to text

Open up your favorite text or word editor on Mac, Notes, Pages, or else. Go to play the recorded audio or speech in Audacity, then start dictation in the text editor on Mac, you will then see text being input in the word editing program while the audio file is being played in Audacity. You can’t hear the audio reccording file at the same time though as Audacity has routed the sound to the virtual audio device, Soundflower, which is then grabbed by Dictation. 

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