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Transcription service Otter lets users pay for access to older recordings for free

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Automated transcription service Otter is making some big changes to its offerings for both free and paying customers. Most of the time, the company lowers its features – reducing the number of audio imports users can make; the length of audio they can transcribe each month, and so on, though it gives free users access to some new tools.

One of the biggest changes, however, is that free users no longer have access to their entire back catalog of recordings. Instead, they will only be able to access the most recent 25. The rest will be “archived” – that is, they will still exist on Otter’s servers, but users will either have to delete other conversations to access them, or pay to upgrade to Otter’s “pro” plan.

These and other changes to the service will go into effect on September 27, so any free users with more than 25 recordings may want to download their old catalog before then. After September 27, free users will still be able to access these recordings (by downloading audio files one by one and then deleting them), but it will be more hassle.

The full changes to Otter’s free and paid plans.
Image: Otter.ai

You can see the full range of changes in the image above, and Otter also has a handy FAQ on what’s different. However, the overall result seems to be that the company has been too generous with users, and now has to push more people to its paid plan (which: fair enough! They have to make money somehow).

It’s not all bad news, though: Otter is also giving some new tricks to free users, including access to an auto-join feature for meetings and free AI-generated recording summaries. These features were first added for paid users earlier this year, as part of Otter’s plan to position itself not just as a transcription tool, but as a multi-purpose work center.

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