The Plain AIAI newsletter and blog to learn about the latest updates and technology in artificial intelligence | Get info on AI companies, get smarter about AI The Plain AI 2023-01-00 15 min read

I have so many meetings back to back every day. By the end of my third meeting, I already forgot maybe 70% of the things that happened in the first meeting. So I need to have an easy way to take notes.

The Ultimate Review of Otter - Voice Transcription Powered by AI

You’re setting up your workstation at home in anticipation of the upcoming meeting. Suddenly, life happens, and you become distracted by something else. Regardless, you’re beaming with pride in the conference, knowing that Otter has you covered. The AI tool ensures you don’t miss any vital information being discussed.

What is Otter? is a note-making software assistant that turns audible speech into readable text. Using advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, Otter can quickly transcribe speech into text. The only exception to this is any speech that is not in English. Otter’s primary purpose is that you don’t miss anything by taking very accurate notes and storing them on the cloud. Is there something you didn’t hear during your meeting? You can always go back; it will always be there.

When asked how he got the idea of starting Otter, Sam Liang, CEO of Otter, had this to say in an interview with Forbes: “I have so many meetings back to back every day. By the end of my third meeting, I already forgot maybe 70% of the things that happened in the first meeting. So I need to have an easy way to take notes.” And he did create an easy way- software that can transcribe anything, from audio to videos.

Capabilities and Features of Otter

If you just needed a meeting recording, you could do that with your phone. And if you require notes of your meetings, you could take them yourself. However, is more than a simple note-taking assistant. The main feature of this software is Ambient Voice Intelligence, a system trained to recognize voice amidst other sounds and turn it into text. Some other notable features are:

1. Accuracy

Otter transcribes speech as accurately as you hear it, as long as it’s in English. With the power of machine learning, Otter can recognize various accents and still transcribe them correctly. It is even crazier that it does all this in real-time. In the rare case that it gets a word wrong, you can edit and correct the transcript. Then, the system would locate that word in the audio recording and learn it.

2. Compatibility

While Otter is affiliated with Zoom Video Communication, the software is still compatible with other video meeting sites. So whether you use Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams, you can still use Otter to get the best out of your meeting.

3. Security

There have been many concerns in the past concerning Otter-ai’s security. Third-party software that can listen in on your conversations and even saves recordings to its cloud. People had questions, and Otter gave answers. They have many security measures and the old but gold 2-FA. They also make sure all their employees go through a background check. They, however, revealed that your recordings are only being used for training the AI to understand human speech better.

The capability of this system, however, is simple. All its functions and features are centered around its ability to convert speech to text.

How To Use Otter

Otter has three main functions, and we’ll explore them:

- Live Meeting Transcriptions

First, you have to log in. After your Otter login, you’ll gain access to the homepage. On the left side of the homepage, you open the menu and click “Apps.” From the Apps menu, your meeting apps are listed; Zoom, Meet, and Teams. You choose your preferred app and follow the prompts it’ll bring to your screen. In the end, you’d have given access to these apps.

Sometimes the setup gets more complicated than this. Well, check Otter’s instructions to get through setup problems. You can also get transcripts for past meetings that you did not record. For example, check “My conversations” in the menu, and you will see all your past recordings. Choose the one you want to be transcribed, and give Otter a few minutes to devise a note.

- Live Transcription

Otter does not only transcribe meetings, interviews, or online conversations. You can also use Otter to get transcripts of a live chat with a person. Just log in to Otter and click the “record” on the top right of the homepage. As long as your device can hear your conversation clearly, Otter saves both a voice and text recording.

- Audio and Video Transcription

With media files saved on your device to be transcribed, Otter can do that too. It’s a simple step. On the top right corner of the homepage, there is the “import” button. You can upload any mp3 or mp4 file from your device storage. Then, in a few minutes, it scans through the file and transcribes everything into a note. It’s a quick process; the system takes 5 to 6 minutes to transcribe a 15-minute file and notifies you upon completion.

Who Can Use Otter?

Well, the range of Otter is almost unlimited. We all need to take notes now and then, and Otter does it better. Anyone can use Otter. We can only discuss specific scenarios where Otter would be beneficial.

Otter for Business: is very useful in a business setting, especially in a meeting, physical or online. Sometimes, we get too busy writing notes that we cannot contribute to the meeting. Sometimes, you don’t even understand what you’re writing. With Otter working for you, you can give your full attention to your meeting and rest assured that you can get an accurate note of the meeting later. You can even be more accountable after meetings, having a thoroughly constructed note to refer to.

You can add slides from your meeting presentation to’s ongoing transcription. Otter even uses voice recognition to assign speech to speakers. For example, Speaker 1, Speaker 2, and Speaker 3 depending on who speaks first. And the system would continue to assign sentences to each speaker, using their voices. Some users complain that this feature is still unstable, but if we know one thing about AI, it will improve.

Users online have things to say about it too: Here’s one user who can skip meetings, trusting that will get her up to speed on the whole session. for Students

Yes, even students in school can use Otter. With’s live recording and transcription, students can pay full attention in class while their notes get written. Otter also allows you to take images and add comments to the transcribed text, even while recording. This helps students listen in class while still getting detailed and accurate notes.

Otter for Everyday Life

Well, this is one user’s example of how they use Otter-ai in their daily life: Writers can use AI to make drafts or jot down ideas as they come. These ideas can be moved to a blank sheet later to be edited. Anyone can make a note using Otter; a baker, a chef, a fashion designer, engineers, and therapists. And these notes would be available in text in real-time. You can also record the teaching in any religious place for you to refer back to it.

What are The Pros and Cons of Otter

Well, while there is a reason Otter has been able to amass millions of users in such a short time, it still has its flaws. Therefore, we are quickly going to go over the strengths and weaknesses of

Pros of Otter

1. Otter is powered by machine learning.

Machine learning is limitless, and this is good for Otter. It can already identify various accents and transcribe them correctly. But there are unique names and slang to learn, and with machine learning, it’s only a matter of time. The system even allows you to add rarely used words or acronyms that you would happen to use in notes or meetings to improve its accuracy.

2. Customer Support

Otter has a help center with an essential guide for every feature on the web or app. These guides are in text and audio so the user can learn most suitably. But Otter doesn’t offer much more than guidelines to use the service.

3. Otter Compatibility

Although it first launched on Zoom, its partner company, Otter, has expanded to other services. Otter is now available on Meet, Teams, and even Cisco WebEx. Of course, you must follow the setup process and synchronize Otter-ai with your favorite video meeting service. And you can have an AI note down all your meetings from then on.

4. Otter has an Open Security System

Because of all the concerns surrounding Otter-ai, they tightened their security. And they do not want us to take their word for it. They stated every measure they put in place to ensure the safety of all their users.

5. Accessibility

Many people do not mention this, but Otter helps with accessibility and inclusivity. People with auditory impairment can be part of a conversation comfortably. Of course, many systems are built for this purpose, but is just as effective. The extra effort and development put into Otter make it better than many accessibility apps.

Cons of Otter

  1. Inadequate customer response While Otter-ai offers sound guidance and support throughout the setup process, you are on your own. The terms do not indicate 24/7 customer support. And existing users complain that quality customer response is almost nonexistent if you’re not on the higher-paying list. We hope Otter can fix this.
  2. Language Limitation Another con of this system is that it transcribes only in English. Some competitors transcribe in other languages, mainly Spanish and French. But Otter does not recognize any different language. If a speaker uses any other language, it transcribes it as the closest English word to the pronunciation. has had time to grow, and we hope to start seeing this update soon.

What is the Cost of Otter-AI?

Of course, with all that it offers, we do not expect Otter to be free. However, there’s a free tier. The easily accessible AI service offers different levels of subscriptions:

Basic - Free

This is the free tier. You can do almost everything on this plan; record, take, and share notes. But you are still limited. On the Basic plan, Otter can only join your meetings for Thirty minutes at a time and three hundred total minutes in a month. This is ok if your job doesn’t require you to be in long discussions daily. Thirty minutes per meeting for ten meetings monthly is a good deal for a simple user.

Pro - 16.99 Dollars

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. The price of the next tier is 16.99 dollars monthly. But at this subscription tier, you get everything from the basic level and lots more: Import mp3 or mp4 files from device storage. Your Otter assistant can join two meetings at a time. Playback and export of saved recordings. Sadly there’s still a limit on your recording time. But now, it’s a total of One thousand, two hundred minutes a month, ninety minutes at a time. Depending on your budget, some consider this a reasonable purchase.

Business - 30 Dollars calls this their best offer, and they say it’s best for teams and organizations. But does it offer double the value for almost double the price of the Pro tier? Well, you get everything the Pro tier offers. You can create your custom vocabulary and share it with others on your team. Your Otter assistant can now join three meetings at a time. This is the tier where you begin to get prioritized customer support. And your recording time is bumped up to Six thousand minutes a month and 4 hours for each conversation.

Enterprise - Contact the Sales Department

This plan is for bigger teams or whole organizations. It offers everything in the Business tier with many more administrative options. Even Otter could not put a price on it. So if you want to make this subscription, you have to contact sales and let them know how big you’re scaling. The enterprise is not a one-size-fits-all subscription; it is customized just for your enterprise.

While some users complain that Otter-ai pricing plans are too expensive, others swear it is worth every penny.

What Are The Alternatives to Otter?

Because of’s partnership with Zoom, they seem to be the most popular option available. Let’s introduce you to more opportunities that offer the same service. Some offer the services for less price, and some claim to do it better:

1. Rev

Well, one thing that makes Rev stand out is its customer training. Rev offers online training, text-based training, webinar training, online training, and in-person training. Aside from that, it provides almost the same features as Otter-ai; automatic transcription, speaker recognition, text editor, note sharing, and additional timestamps. But it offers all this at the price of $1.25 per minute at the base tier.

2. DialPad

Another speech-to-text software. DialPad prides itself on its customer service. It offers 24/5 customer service at the base subscription tier and 24/7 at all higher levels. DialPad also places no limits on transcription, regardless of subscription tier. Every user can record as long as they wish as long as their subscription lasts. DialPad also transcribes in more languages than just English. DialPad also offers a broader range of compatibility. For example, the program can be synchronized with more third-party apps like dropbox and Salesforce. DialPad offers all this at the base price of $15 per user.


With Speechtext, you get the regular speech-to-text package.

  • Live translation
  • Upload audio or video
  • Export notes and audio files
  • Speaker identification
  • Editing tools Note that the the payment plan is different from Otter-ai pricing. Instead of a subscription-based plan, you only pay for what you use. And the price is $10 for 180 transcription practices.

4. Temi

Temi speech-to-text software is your regular transcription service. It offers as much as Otter-ai, including timestamps, speaker identification, and a time-saving dashboard tool. Temi, unlike OtterAI, is compatible with other video meeting software that Otter is yet to adopt, like Shift and Rambox. Temi is another pay-as-you-go service like Speech text. And it offers its features for $0.25 per minute of transcription after a free trial of 45 minutes.

5. Airgram

Airgram is a lighter choice. It doesn’t offer as many features as Otter-ai; it is simply a meeting transcription AI. Airgram works across Mac and Windows OS but is only compatible with Zoom and Google Meet. But it still makes meeting productive with its brilliant features:

  • Live transcription
  • Discussion timers
  • Note-taking
  • Meeting highlights If you’re looking for a live transcription service for your online meetings, then Airgram is capable. And before you say it does not offer enough, you would be happy to know that it is free. Yes, the first Otter-ai alternative on this list with a free plan.

Here are other commonly asked questions about

Does need an internet connection to work?

Of course, your device needs to be connected to the internet. During transcription, Otter-ai uses resources from the web and continuous machine learning to give you the best result possible. And it would help if you also had an internet connection to share your notes with your team members.

Is Otter compatible with my MacOS?

The Otter-ai is compatible with a range of Operating Systems. The web app works on any OS; Windows, Mac OS, Android, and Apple. And the app also works on both Android and iOS. Also available for download on both app stores.

Is my data safe with Otter?

This is a question that many ask again and again; if I am allowing a service to have access to my conversations, I need to know that it’s safe. And yes, it is very safe. At the base level, Otter promises top-notch security. The higher subscription package promises even better security to accommodate heavier usage.

Is free to use?

No, well, not entirely. Otter has a free package but doesn’t offer many features. To experience the best of, you need to join a paid subscription package; Pro, Business, or Enterprise.

Is good value for money?

This depends on your needs. While some consider Otter-ai a little too expensive, others consider it a steal. If you have doubts about what it offers, scroll up and check the list of alternatives; there’s one that suits your needs and your pocket.

How long does take to transcribe imported audio?

According to some tests, it takes about 5 minutes to transcribe a 15-minute file. But this number is bumped as the file becomes; it takes about 2-3 hours to transcribe one hour of audio. Note that these numbers may change depending on your network speed.


Working, learning, and documenting have all gotten easy with AIs like In 2018, when it was released, it was ranked one of the apps of the year by Mashableand Fast Company. Otter maximizes productivity, allowing you to turn an entire meeting or interview into an editable text. It even allows you to search the recording for a particular word, saving you minutes or hours of playback.

Of all the many speech-to-text AI available, Otter is one of the best. But it may be offering too much for your needs or a lot for your budget. So instead, you can select any of the alternatives above and apply them to your work. Now, you can ensure you’re on the same page with everyone else in the room. Even if you missed it, Otter didn’t.

#speech to text #AI transcription #Otter