Podcast Transcripts: Speech-to-Text Conversion

I really like Barry Ritholtz’s Masters in Business podcasts, but I have this medical condition where I can’t sit through 90 minutes of podcast without getting bored.

So I decided to start converting his podcasts into text. Here’s how to do it.

1. Install Soundflower

Soundflower allows applications to pass audio to other applications. We are going to pass audio from iTunes to a text editor.

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2. Apple () > System Preferences > Dictation & Speech

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Select Dictation: On
Select Use Enhanced Dictation. It will need to download a big file to convert speech to text offline.
Under the microphone icon, choose Soundflower (2ch)

3. Choose an audio player. iTunes won’t work, sorry. Audacity works. VLC also works. Both are free.

Whatever player you use just needs to have an option to select Soundflower (2ch) as the audio output.

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4. Open up a text editor. Play Audio.

Start Dictation by pressing Fn (Function) key twice. Now go do something else for a while.


I have all sorts of malware on my computer, I think. The Dictation stuff kept cutting out after about 30 seconds of audio. It was fixed after I logged out and logged back in as Guest User. Other internet people had to reboot, or switch to Canadian English.

For Windows users I recommend VoiceBase, which is free for 50 hours of audio.

The results were acceptable, not great. Podcast transcripts soon to follow!

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