There is no doubt that the transcription of audio files is one of the most exhausting tasks in qualitative research – better: was!
Certainly, there are several speech recognition software providers, however, I found the Google Speech API in Chrome Browser most helpful.
The files have to be perfectly recorded without surrounding sounds or echo (I used a high quality ZOOM audio recorder). There are currently over 40 languages supported.
Data privacy: Please be aware that you have no control about how Google uses your audio files. Please use this only if you have the agreement of your interview partners to publish their statements and/or the information is public (see https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/privacy/whitepaper.html).
1. Open your mp3 file in VLC Player
2. Connect your audio line out with your audio line in (or microphone in) with a 3,5mm cable bridge (depending on your sound card this might lead to heavy system damage, so please be careful!)
3. Open your audio settings
4. Play your audio file and adjust your audio input levels so that there are no overmodulations (in UBUNTU the input level is displayed in a LED-style, witch is really helpful)
1. Open Google Speech API Demo page on https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/demos/speech.html in a Chrome Browser window.
2. Set your language
3. Start recording
4. Play your mp3 file
5. Be astonished and wonder what you can do with your free time now