Otter AI Review 2023 (Transcription Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons)

Last Updated on October 23, 2023 by 2 Comments

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Otter AI Review 2023 (Transcription Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons)
Blog / Business / Otter AI Review 2023 (Transcription Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons)
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Transcription services have become a necessity in today’s fast-paced, information-driven world. Among the various options available, Otter.ai stands out with its AI-powered voice-to-text transcription capabilities. But is it the right choice for you? This comprehensive review will explore everything you need to know about Otter AI, from its features and pricing to its best use cases.

What is Otter AI?


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Otter.ai is an AI-powered transcription service that uses advanced machine learning algorithms to convert spoken language into written text. Unlike AI voice generators and text-to-speech tools (TTS), Otter does the opposite by taking spoken voice in meetings and writing it down for high-quality meeting notes and summaries. Otter’s capabilities are accessible online and via Android or iOS apps and a Chrome browser extension.

Otter AI Logo Mark

What is Otter AI Used For?

Otter is beneficial in various scenarios, such as recording notes for online lectures, business meetings, brainstorming sessions, and transcribing pre-recorded video/audio content. It is a convenient tool for jotting down notes during meetings and interviews, capturing thoughts while walking or driving, and transcribing existing recordings and podcasts. Otter shines in any situation where you may be multi-tasking yet need pristine text notes for yourself or your team.

By connecting with your calendars (for finding events and meeting links), Otter knows each meeting you have and can join along. You’ll never have to forgo an appointment without a trusty scribe following you around.

Otter.ai Home User Dashboard

If Otter seems like a niche tool, wait to see all the possibilities that are unlocked with all its features.

Otter AI Features Breakdown

Otter.ai comes packed with various features designed to make audio transcription easy and efficient in any digital setting.

Live Meeting and Media Transcription

Otter.ai can transcribe meetings in real-time. This is its primary goal and feature, but the more you use it, the more you depend on it. It can transcribe audio from Zoom meetings, Google Meets, and other recorded audio and video files. Since Otter is taking notes for you, there is no need to assign a team member or volunteer to take meeting notes for those who missed the meeting. Otter transcribes with high accuracy and even adds a few extra features.

It has a speaker identification feature that automatically identifies different speakers in a recording and labels them accordingly. This prevents documents from covering topic notes without mentioning who said what. Each block of transcribed text also comes with timestamps to quickly reference what happened and when.

Automated Summary with Playback and Transcription

Otter also allows you to upload audio and video files in various formats and have it transcribe them. This feature is perfect for transcribing pre-recorded content.

Otter.ai can transcribe up to four hours of a meeting or other audio source, making it ideal for long meetings or interviews. And on top of transcribing every meeting, Otter records each meeting as well and lets users come back to the discussion and play it back. So if meeting notes aren’t going to cut it, full meetings are stored with Otter too. Meeting notes, transcriptions, and playback can be shared across your organization if you use Otter AI as part of your team.

Otter Assistant

The Otter Assistant feature is a game-changer for those instances when you can’t attend a meeting due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or scheduling conflicts. With Otter’s ability to access your calendars, it can deploy the Otter Assistant to attend meetings on your behalf. Acting as a standalone assistant, Otter Assistant diligently transcribes the sessions you’re unable to participate in, ensuring you don’t miss out on any crucial information.

OtterPilot Chat Assistant for Meetings

In essence, Otter Assistant acts as your personal note-taker, ensuring you’re always in the loop, even when you can’t be physically present. It’s something that sets Otter.ai apart in the realm of transcription services.

Custom Vocabulary and Name Recognition

Otter.ai can recognize and learn custom vocabulary, including names, jargon, and acronyms. Just because it is AI doesn’t mean it automatically understands your industry or insider jargon. Name pronunciations can be difficult as well. For those who run into frequent transcription issues, Otter has a section for adding custom vocabulary and names with which it may otherwise have trouble. This can make your notes more readable, inclusive, and accurate.

Add Custom Vocab and Names for Transcription

Outline Summary and Otter Assistant

One of Otter.ai’s most valuable features is the Outline panel, which curates a meeting summary in an accessible and visual format. Outlines can also be automatically (or manually) shared with others with email summaries.

Otter.ai Meeting Summary Email Notes

With various file permissions, Otter meeting transcriptions and notes are searchable, so past meeting content can be indexed and quickly found.

File Synchronization

Otter.ai has integrations that automatically sync files from Dropbox and Zoom Cloud, keeping your transcriptions organized and up-to-date without requiring manual transfers.

Connect Calendar Apps and File Sharing Services

Integration works both ways, allowing data to come into Otter and allows for saving transcriptions in Dropbox (if that is preferable).

Otter Mobile App + Chrome Extension

Otter.ai supports Android and iOS apps with a clean, professional, and modern interface, allowing you to use the service on your phone or tablet. This brings Otter everywhere and every way you do meetings.

The Chrome extension also adds more functionality around the web. For instance, Otter’s Chrome extension adds “Add Otter meeting notes” to Google Calendar events with Meet or Zoom meetings attached.

Otter.ai Chrome Extension - Google Calendar invite

Otter AI Pricing and Plans Review

Otter AI offers a range of pricing options to suit different needs and budgets. Best of all, it has a free plan, so you can dip your toes in and try out the service before fully committing.

Otter AI Pricing - October 2023

The Basic Plan is free and provides users with 300 minutes of transcription per month, with a limit of 30 minutes per conversation. Users can also import and transcribe up to three audio or video files.

The Pro Plan costs $16.99 per month. The Pro plan offers everything in the Basic plan plus additional features. Users get 1,200 minutes of transcription per month, with a limit of 90 minutes per conversation. They can also import and transcribe ten audio or video files per month.

The Business Plan costs $40 per month. It includes everything in the Pro plan plus team and admin features. Users get 6,000 total minutes of transcription per month, with a limit of 4 hours per conversation. They can also import and transcribe unlimited audio or video files.

For large organizations that need additional security, control, and support, Otter.ai offers the Enterprise Plan. This plan includes everything in the Business plan plus advanced features like Single Sign-On (SSO), organization-wide deployment, domain capture, and advanced security and compliance controls. The pricing for the Enterprise plan is available upon contacting Otter.ai’s sales team.

How to Use Otter to Manage Meetings

Otter brings collaboration and time-management tools into one unified platform, starting with the dashboard. With team members and connected calendars, the dashboard comes alive with insights and tasks based on previous and upcoming meetings.

By being added to “Groups,” users will be notified when there is a new meeting summary to look over when a group-shared meeting transcription is tagged with recent activity. Some of these items will make it into the center of the dashboard under priority items. Otter AI transcription can easily be toggled On/Off for meetings with the right sidebar, showing you all your meetings for a particular day. Otter also makes it easy to transcribe quick thoughts or upload video/audio content that you need to have transcribed for you or your team (with summaries provided).

How to use Otter AI Dashboard

Users can make Otter’s transcription come alive when inside an active meeting. Select transcribed text, highlight it, add additional notes (text/images), and jot down takeaways/action items to make meetings productive. Individuals could be @ tagged, so specific takeaways are sent to the user even if they weren’t present in the meeting.

Otter AI Transcription Takeaways and Custom Notes

Otter revolutionizes the utility of meetings. Even by recording your own thoughts and having Otter transcribe, summarize, and share with team members, Otter can reduce the number of meetings your team has. Inside of meetings and outside of them, Otter is helping you become more efficient.

The best part of using Otter is that it centralizes all meetings and meeting notes so that they are searchable. Even if someone wasn’t at an important meeting, they can find what they need and get back on track in short order. Its collaboration tools mean no more knowledge silos or gaps across an organization because of who is invited to meetings. Otter shares more data and reduces the time it takes to find it.

Pros and Cons of Otter AI

Choosing software for your podcast or business is an important job. It’s important to see what others have experienced so you can make the most informed decision possible. Below is an aggregated Pros and Cons list of customer feedback (across review platforms) for Otter.ai in 2023.

Pros of Using Otter AI

  • Good support for Calendar Integrations
  • Has quality transcription that’s on par with other services, even without custom vocabulary entry
  • Allows users to be more present-minded at meetings
  • Easy to use across devices

Cons of Using Otter AI

  • Downgrading from Business to Pro turns sub-accounts into separate, standalone accounts
  • Doesn’t remove filler words like “umm”
  • No Live Chat support, but thorough documentation
  • Per-user pricing for Business and Enterprise plans are high compared to other AI business tools

Is Otter AI Worth It?

Otter.ai is a powerful tool offering a range of features designed to make transcription easy for working teams and individuals. Its pricing plans cater to various needs and budgets so that no one is priced out of using it. All of this and its unique mix of tools make Otter well worth your consideration.

AI tools are finding usefulness in every nook and cranny. They are reducing time spent on repetitive work and helping teams discover deeper insights and more efficient ways to collaborate. Otter AI is no different.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we wrap up, let’s answer some of your most common questions about Otter.ai. Did we miss one? Leave a question below, and we will respond!

What is Otter AI?
Otter.ai is an AI-driven transcription service that employs advanced machine learning to transform spoken language into written text. In contrast to other text-to-speech tools, Otter focuses on generating accurate meeting notes and summaries from spoken conversations. It is accessible through web and mobile apps, including Android, iOS, and a Chrome extension.
Can I Use Otter AI for Free?
Yes! Otter.ai offers a Basic plan that is free to use. This plan provides users with 300 minutes of transcription per month and allows for importing and transcribing three audio or video files in the free account's lifetime. It's an excellent option for individuals who need transcription services on a smaller scale or want to test the software before committing to a paid plan.
Is Otter ai Legitimate?
Yes, Otter.ai is a legitimate company based in the United States. It has a large user base, including individuals, businesses, and educational institutions. The company uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to provide accurate and efficient transcription services. It's recognized for its innovative approach to speech-to-text transcription and has received positive user reviews.
Is Otter AI better than Zoom transcription?
Many users have reported that they prefer Otter.ai's transcription services over Zoom's built-in transcription feature. Otter.ai is praised for its accuracy, user-friendly interface, and additional features such as speaker identification and custom vocabulary. It's also worth noting that Otter.ai can be integrated with Zoom, allowing for automatic transcription of Zoom meetings. Users interested in comparing the two can sign up for Otter.ai's free plan and try it out for themselves.
Does Otter.ai keep recordings?
Yes, Otter.ai stores past meetings along with their transcripts and notes. This feature lets users easily playback important meetings and keep them in a centralized location. It's a valuable tool for reviewing past discussions, studying material, or referencing past meetings. The recordings are stored securely where users can access them anytime through their Otter.ai account.
How can I remove Otter AI from Zoom meetings?
To turn off OtterPilot's automatic participation in Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams meetings for real-time transcription, log in to Otter.ai, visit Account Settings > Meetings, and turn off "Auto-join all meetings" in the OtterPilot section. Confirm upcoming meeting changes, then verify on the calendar that OtterPilot is off. You can manually enable it for specific meetings or add ad-hoc for transcription as needed.
How can I use Otter AI?
Otter AI integrates collaboration and time-management features within a unified platform. Grouped users receive notifications for shared meeting transcriptions, prioritizing key insights. Toggling Otter's transcription On/Off is simple, and it excels in live meetings, allowing text annotation, note addition, and tagging individuals for focused takeaways. Crucially, Otter centralizes all notes, ensuring searchable, accessible information and fostering collaboration across an organization, bridging knowledge gaps and boosting efficiency.
How does Otter AI work?
Otter.ai offers real-time transcription of meetings, including Zoom and Google Meets, ensuring accurate, speaker-identified notes with timestamps. It handles both live and pre-recorded content, transcribing up to four hours per session and recording entire meetings. Unique features like Otter Assistant attends meetings on users' behalf, and custom vocabulary recognition enhances accuracy. The Outline panel summarizes meetings visually, with email sharing. Integrations with Dropbox and Zoom Cloud streamline data syncing, while mobile apps and a Chrome extension provide flexibility.
How much does Otter AI cost?
Otter AI has three pricing tiers. The Pro Plan, priced at $16.99 per month, offers 1,200 transcription minutes with a 90-minute conversation limit and allows ten audio/video file imports. At $30 monthly, the Business Plan provides 6,000 transcription minutes, a 4-hour conversation limit, unlimited file imports, and team and admin features. The Enterprise Plan offers enhanced security, control, and support, with pricing available upon contacting Otter.ai's sales team.
What is the best Otter AI alternative?
Dialpad is a good Otter AI alternative.Its unified communications platform offers integrated transcriptions. Unlike add-on services, Dialpad's AI-driven transcriptions seamlessly integrate into calls, maintaining a consistent user interface. Its AI team continuously refines automatic speech recognition, and the ability to create custom moments and Real-Time Assist cards enhances its utility. With live sentiment analysis and cross-platform compatibility, Dialpad provides a comprehensive solution encompassing calls, video conferencing, messaging, and transcriptions in a single, user-friendly package, making it a compelling choice for businesses seeking efficiency and a fully integrated communication experience.
Where can I download Otter AI?
You can download the Otter.ai app from the Google Play Store and complete your login. Using a laptop, you can head to the website (https://otter.ai/) and register for a free account.
What is better between Fireflies AI and Otter AI?
Fireflies AI and Otter AI both offer affordable pricing but differ in scalability. Fireflies excels for growing businesses with features like meeting summaries, AI assistants, and comprehensive analytics. While Otter is fantastic for real-time transcription and mobile use, Fireflies provides advanced collaboration tools like offline commenting and rich analytics, making it better suited for deeper insights and improvement. Fireflies also offers extensive support options.
How long does Otter AI take to transcribe?
The length of time for transcription usually depends upon the file size you have chosen. For example, Otter.ai swiftly transcribes 15-minute audio files in about 5-6 minutes with mostly accurate results, making it suitable for immediate use with minor edits. In contrast, human transcriptionists take about an hour for the same task, charging 75 cents to $1.50 per audio minute. While human transcription offers higher accuracy, it takes more time and it’s more expensive. Otter.ai offers quick, convenient automated transcription for dictation, record-keeping, and meeting transcriptions.

Have you tried Otter or some other meeting AI assistant? How have they changed the way your business does meetings?

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2 Comments

  1. I have used Otter for years, one of the first transcribing apps. I also now use another one called Cockatoo. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Otter, especially since, with Otter, you can record any place at any time, but even so, Otter is STILL lacking so much in accuracy compared to Cockatoo. What is the point of a transcript if the accuracy is so poor you spend all your time revising it? And why, with AI so advanced, is Otter still so behind in the accuracy department? If a start-up like Cockatoo can offer around 97% accuracy, I have to consider why Otter isn’t. Or won’t.

    • That’s a fair point Jennifer! That’s pretty much the only negative feedback that I’ve heard from multiple people. I haven’t been able to find what AI models they use for their transcription which might mean they use their own that may need more training. We’ll see how they progress with time. Thanks for your thoughts.

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