Otter.ai Review: Good for Dictation?

Editor’s Note: This entire post was written using Otter.ai which is a voice dictation app for your mobile device. In an effort to showcase the capabilities, minimal editing has been done to the post.

In this blog post, I’m going to be reviewing Otter AI.

The main issue that I have with Otter AI when writing blog posts, is that it’s not really designed for this blog post type writing. Unlike Dragon Anywhere, the mobile app I reviewed the other day, Otter is more for transcription of conversations or meetings. And so, it will add timestamps throughout the writing, which makes the editing process before publishing a lot more difficult and time consuming.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to write blog posts or articles or even documents, I probably wouldn’t recommend Otter AI. Although for meetings, it is very good. If you’re trying to record a conversation or a meeting between you and someone else, even if it’s on Zoom or Skype, Otter is capable of doing this, and it can even identify who is speaking, or at least differentiate between the different people who are speaking,

Voice Recognition

When it comes to the voice recognition, my initial tests have proven that it’s not as accurate as Dragon Anywhere, or Siri. I primarily use Siri to write blog posts and articles, and it is trained to my voice, pretty well at this point after having written well over 50,000 words with it.

Otter AI does seem to get a little bit better the more that I speak to it.

It did have quite a few hiccups at first and I did have to do quite a bit of editing in order to actually make the post coherent. It completely misunderstood many of the words that I was saying and added random line breaks throughout the text.

Example of bad formatting with Otter.ai – simply not designed for blogging or document creation

Pricing

When it comes to pricing otter AI is free for up to 600 minutes per month, and again it’s not built based on words or anything it’s actually built based on minutes because this is primarily designed to be used for recording meetings or conversations, potentially even lectures, if you’re a college student.

The paid plans unlock more features and give you 10x the minutes. For $12.99/month paid monthly, you’ll get 6,000 minutes which is 100 hours of recording. That’s a lot for a month.

When it comes to business use, I could definitely see this being used inside of a boardroom or inside of a business meeting, and it would be a great tool to have meeting notes, you know, for your historical records and your business records. This way should there be any disagreement, you actually have a recorded transcript as well.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the tool is good at what it’s designed for, but it’s just not designed for document creation.

It does recognize your voice, fairly well and a lot of that’s also going to depend on the microphone and the surroundings that you’re recording it so if you’re in a quiet place, it’s going to work a lot better than if you were in a coffee shop, isn’t it a fact when it comes to all of these dictation apps, you’re going to have a very difficult time using it in a noisy environment. If you find yourself working in a co working space, or at a coffee shop where there is background noise and there’s other people talking and in chattering, you’re going to actually find that the voice recognition software just can’t hear you that Well, one way to solve for that is by using a noise cancelling microphone. And you know something that either is very close to your mouth, potentially even just plugging in the Apple headset might do wonders when it comes to the voice recognition software actually understanding you.

I’m going to keep this review quite short because I truly don’t have much else to say other than I think that you should give it a try. If you do need to record meetings and such, I would not attempt to write a blog post, as I have done here, because it lacks many of the features that are needed, such as corrections, the format in which it gives you the actual text is just not good either. You can remove the timestamps, but there will be random line breaks you have to manually correct.

The other major downside is that you only have 600 minutes, and writing this post right here, looking at the timestamp… right now, I’m just at six minutes. And so I guess I could turn out 100 of these, and that would be 600 minutes. 600 minutes is generous for free.

However, you also have an unlimited dictation tool built into your device and head is actually probably your best bet if you’re trying to find a free option. Of course Dragon Anywhere. That is a very powerful tool. And there is also the dragon desktop software to.

I’m also right now currently looking into some software by Philips, and I’ll be posting review on that one shortly.

So to close things out, I’ll just say that if you do want something to transcribe your meetings with timestamps, recording, and also the ability to differentiate between speakers — This is a very good tool. If you’re having an interview for example you could use this as an alternative, you know, a transcript, I wouldn’t rely solely on this I would obviously want to have a backup recording, but you should do that. Anyway, point being, if you’re blogging or writing articles or business documents, I wouldn’t use this tool since it’s simply not designed for this.

If you’ve had any experience with Otter, make sure to leave a comment below, and if you know of any other transcription software that I should check out let me know below.

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