Converting audio to text

I’d appreciate your help in the following case:
I want to convert an .mp4 file to text.

Audacity: the file is drag+dropped therein. It plays.
Mac IOS setup:

  • advanced dictation function is on, microphone is set to Soundflower (2ch), and
  • txt is open,
  • input mic = internal, output mic = Soundflower.

When I start recording (by pushing fn button twice) right after that I started playing the .mpg4 file – there is no text writing at all.

At Audacy there is a moving green bar in the output mic lane but there is nothing in the input lane on the top of it.

What should be set in a different way to have the writing done?


Audacity does not run on iOS. Please give us the necessary Audacity and OS X information from the pink panel at the top of the page.

Mac Dictation is designed to work by talking into a microphone but you can try following if you are not already doing so. I have never done this but it seems you have to start playing the audio in Audacity before pressing Fn twice in the text editor.

There are some reports this process does not work out of the box on Mavericks and Yosemite because Dictation mutes all audio except an active microphone. If so, try the workaround on


Thanks Gale.

Audacity 2.1.1., OS X 10.10.4
Indeed, I’ve already tried leveluplunch link. I’ve done every step accordingly (I hope :slight_smile: ), incl. e.g. starting playing the audio in Audacity before pressing Fn twice in the text editor.

Now, I’m going for the second link.



I’ve tried the second link but no result. Any more ideas or hints?


None, if you are following the instructions in both links correctly. What you are doing is not a supported use of OS X Dictation. Have you asked on the Apple forums about it?

Have you tried playing the audio in QuickTime then putting an external mic by the speakers? Or playing the file on an iPod/IPhone and setting Dictation to record from the internal mic?


Yes, I’ve alraedy talked to Apple support service. No idea…

Also, have tried using an iPhone.

What if I use PC instead of Mac?
I’ve tried but with no success.

Then obviously it should work, if the audio is playing loud enough that your microphone can hear it.

What type of mic are you using (make and model number)? Or are you using the Mac’s internal mic?

Have you got normal Dictation to work (speak some words into your mic and look at the words appearing in the text editor)? If not, that is probably what you want to fix first and Apple should support you with that.

It works fitfully for me in Chrome on Windows 7. It does not recognize all the words and there is a variable and sometimes long wait for recognized words to appear.

What file are you trying to turn to speech? Can you not buy the printed book or PDF?


audio to text with Audacity/Soundflower/Pages had worked before and stopped, and that did it. There are two terminal commands for Yosemite to disable muting, more at the bottom of the askdifferent post. ran those two and it worked again. I assume that some system update had reintroduced muting. thanks!

also, Pages does a much better job at transcribing than TextEdit.

You can just use audio to text converter Audext [Link removed by moderator] .
It is actually a paid online tool, but there are 30 free minutes, so if your audio isn’t so long, you can try it for free.

Please note:

  1. You are replying to a post that is over 2 years old.
  2. This forum has a policy of no advertising.
  3. There are many other audio to text converters available, including many that are free to use.