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May 7, 2019 10:14
April 23, 2015 22:16
April 30, 2017 17:40
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November 20, 2017 20:57


oTranscribe is a free web app designed to take the pain out of transcribing recorded interviews.

  • Pause (ESC), rewind (F1) and fast-forward (F2) without taking your hands off the keyboard
  • Adjust playback speed with a slider or using F3/F4
  • Your transcript is automatically saved to the browser's localStorage every second
  • Rich text support using contentEditable
  • YouTube and video file support

... and more!

Download a copy

Although a web version is available, you can install oTranscribe anywhere by following these steps:

  1. Download the current ZIP archive.
  2. Compile the CSS and JS with Webpack (see below for more detailed instructions).
  3. Upload the files in the newly-generated dist folder to a server of your choice.

Please note that, in Chrome, local copies oTranscribe may not run correctly due to the browser's privacy settings.

Compiling the CSS and JavaScript

The src folder in this repository only includes the "raw" JavaScript and CSS. To compile the production-ready files:

  • Install Node.js and NPM.
  • Run npm install to install dependencies
  • Run make build_prod to compile the dist folder

For a sourcemap and 'watch-for-changes', run make build_dev.

OTR file format

oTranscribe has its own file format (.otr), which is just a JSON file with the following parameters:

  • text: The raw HTML of the transcript
  • media: If available, the name of the last media used
  • media-source: If available, a link to the last media used
  • media-time: If available, the playtime of the last media used

Running tests

oTranscribe is not fully tested. There are only a small number of tests, for data migration.

To setup, install CasperJS.

Then run a server at the root directory of this repository at http://localhost:8000, and on the command line run:

casperjs test tests/


Translations have been provided by the following talented and generous volunteers:

More about translating oTranscribe here.


A free & open tool for transcribing audio interviews







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