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Transcribe an audio file

Learn how to transcribe and analyze an audio file.


By the end of this tutorial, you'll be able to:

Here's the full sample code for what you'll build in this tutorial:

Before you begin

To complete this tutorial, you need:

Step 1: Install the SDK

Install the package via pip:

Step 2: Configure the SDK

In this step, you 'll create an SDK client and configure it to use your API key.

  1. 1

    Browse to , and then click the text under Your API key to copy it.

  2. 2

    Create a new client using your API key. Replace YOUR_API_KEY with your copied API key.

Step 3: Submit audio for transcription

In this step, you'll submit the audio file for transcription and wait until it's completes. The time it takes to process an audio file depends on its duration and the enabled models. Most transcriptions complete within 45 seconds.

  1. 1

    Specify a URL to the audio you want to transcribe. The URL needs to be accessible from AssemblyAI's servers. For a list of supported formats, see FAQ.


    YouTube URLs are not supported. If you want to transcribe a YouTube video, you need to download the audio first.

  2. 2

    To generate the transcript, pass the audio URL to transcribe().

    This may take a minute while we're processing the audio.

    Select the speech model

    You can select the class of models to use in order to make cost-performance tradeoffs best suited for your application. See Select the speech model.

  3. 3

    If the transcription failed, the status of the transcription will be set to error. To see why it failed you can print the value of error.

  4. 4

    Print the complete transcript.

  5. 5

    Run the application and wait for it to finish.

You've successfully transcribed your first audio file. You can see all submitted transcription jobs in the .

Step 4: Enable additional AI models

You can extract even more insights from the audio by enabling any of our AI models using transcription options. In this step, you'll enable the Speaker diarization model to detect who said what.

  1. 1

    Create a TranscriptionConfig with speaker_labels set to True, and then pass it as the second argument to transcribe().

  2. 2

    In addition to the full transcript, you now have access to utterances from each speaker.

Many of the properties in the transcript object only become available after you enable the corresponding model. For more information, see the models under Speech-to-Text and Audio Intelligence.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you've learned how to generate a transcript for an audio file and how to extract speaker information by enabling the Speaker diarization model.

Want to learn more?

Need some help?

If you get stuck, or have any other questions, we'd love to help you out. Ask our support team in our Discord server.