Microsoft Word for the web has a new feature that makes it easy to transcribe audio (via The Verge). The feature is currently available for Word for the web, but Microsoft plans to bring it to its iOS and Android apps in the future. You can use the tool to record audio live or transcribe audio files you previously recorded.
The feature is available for Microsoft 365 subscribers. Microsoft has a support page that breaks down the feature and outlines how you can use it. You can transcribe up to 300 uploaded minutes per month. There is not a way to increase that limit at this time, which is notable as a competing software, Otter.ai, provides up to 600 minutes for free each month.
Word doesn’t compress audio when it transcribes it, instead saving it as a WAV file. The recorded WAV file is then uploaded to a folder in your OneDrive storage.
The feature supports transcribing audio from a microphone, and audio from .wav, .mp4, and .mp3 formats up to 200MB. Microsoft Word separates speakers in the conversation using artificial intelligence, which makes it much easier to follow along with a conversation.
At the moment, you can only store one audio transcription per document. This should be fine if you plan to transcribe an entire interview or lecture but is restrictive if you plan to put multiple segments of a recording into a document.
You can use the transcription feature now by opening a Word document online, clicking the arrow next to “Dictate” to open a dropdown menu, and then selecting “Transcribe.”
To try the new feature yourself head to Office.com and login with your Microsoft account to get started.
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