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Express Scribe is professional audio player software designed to assist the transcription of audio recordings. It is installed on the typist's computer and controlled using the keyboard (with 'hot' keys) and / or can be used with a transcription pedal. This computer transcriber application features variable speed wave playback, foot pedal operation, file management and more. This program is free. The free version supports most common audio formats, including wav, mp3, wma, aif and dct, but only supports the AltoEdge USB Foot Pedal. You can always upgrade to the professional version later for support of proprietary formats, more...

What's New

Version 5.50:
  • Fixed: When pressing Play pedal button during fast-forwarding, playback cursor jumps forward on 5-8 seconds.


OS X 10.4.7 or later

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Express Scribe User Discussion

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Randy-Crawford Member IconReview+53

Could be the best except...

I see some here claim this is free. It definitely is not. It is $29 per machine, and yes, it DOES lock to your machine. If you are a single user with multiple machines you have to but it repeatedly, which is what I did. This used to be one of the few choices and its feature set is outstanding so I went with it. As I used it more and more I discovered a very significant hidden cost. It converts source audio files to wav and in the process the file size grows at least 15-fold!!! A one hour interview ends up being about 1GB!! I am at a point where I am doing a lot of interviews and I have had to buy a new hard drive just to be able to keep using this.

I've decided to abandon this and go with F5 which is free and uses mp3 files in their native state. I haven't accumulated experience with F5 at this point and if it isn't sufficient I will find something else, but it won't be Express Scribe.

Reply4 replies
Version 5.50

Randy-Crawford, you're absolutely right: the link we had used was for the professional version of ExpressScribe. I've moved that link into the 'Related Links' and have added the URL for the free version to the 'Download' link. If you liked the software, please try downloading it and trying it again to see if you're actually getting a free version.

And thanks for pointing out that we had the wrong version in our listing!


Note that F5 is no longer free...


Right. F5 is no longer free. Not only that it is rather heavily protected from multiple installations, even if you are the only user. It used to be that they depended on a shareware scenario where users would pay if they used it. It turns out that no one pays. I will say that I still use this software often and it truly outstanding. I still heartily recommend it and it is worth paying for.


@Ozron... According to the NCH Web site--and the application itself--Express Scribe can be used in its free mode, but doesn't have all the features of Express Scribe Pro.

@all... I wrote to NCH to get their input on the situation. We'll see what they have to say.

Nimai_pandit Member IconReview+1

This is the best.
It has a lot of features and it always works. The shortcuts make it to really the best because the shortcuts work globally even while you're working in other applications

And it's free! I've been using it for over five years and it's really great! Is never been a need for me to upgrade to the full paid version but if I ever need a full pro version I will definitely get this immediately.

Reply0 replies
Version 5.50
Hamishmacdonald Member IconReview+15

I bought this, thinking that the constant crashing I was experiencing was due to the foot-pedal limitation (the free version works with only one brand).

I sincerely regret making the purchase, as the crashing persists even after unlocking the full version. My foot-pedal had nothing to do with the issue.

I've contacted the developer, but have yet to hear back from them. Caveat emptor!

Reply0 replies
Version 5.50
lev Member IconReview+457

Looks good, but severely crippled by its inability to read .wma files. In other words, if you're using an Olympus voice recorder, forget it. A shame, but there it is. (Transcriva, on the other hand, deals with WMA seamlessly and IMO has a cleaner interface. Express Scribe seems more geared to the typing-pool sort of user.

If ES read .wma files, of course it would be brilliant value for (no) money...

Reply1 reply
Version 4.05

It's rather funny how often a complaint arises that is unfounded, however true it may be.

This software is not a commercial software, or included with a voice recorder. It is free, thus the developer does not likely have the means to pay Microsoft to license their proprietary audio format like Olympus and others do. If you need to use WMA files, convert them to MP3, AAC or some other format using iTunes. Or, do not write a poorly rated review on the software when it is not advertised to utilize the WMA format. Or both. Write an unfavorable review, but don't rate it down for what it does not advertise. That's unfair to the developer and to the individuals looking for good free software that does what it says it does

Of course, you could also have looked at the format of audio file that your voice recorder uses before purchasing it. I have to sell those things and I always recommend against the models that use WMA or the proprietary format for Sony's players. The only way to guarantee interoperability is to use open or recognized standards such as MP3 and non-DRM AAC.

gshenaut Member IconComment+1

I tried the free Express Scribe program, and it basically did what it aims to do. However, in the recording I used to test it, the volume was so low it was hard to hear (it was recorded using the built-in mic on an mp3 player). However, there is no "amplify" function in Express Scribe that I could find, so I had to resort to an external program to amplify the waveform before I was able to transcribe it.

Still, I liked the program, and of course the price is right.

Greg Shenaut

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0
There are no Ratings for this App yet.
> 2 4


Current Version (5.x)


Downloads 10,400
Version Downloads 5,780
License Free
Date 21 Jun 2012
Platform OS X / Intel 32
Price Free
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