Whether you're a filmmaker, a business owner, a vlogger, a professor or a journalist, transcribing video to text to create subtitles or a transcription can be useful for many reasons. Not only does it improve accessibility for members of your audience that might be deaf or hard of hearing, it also makes your video content easier to watch on the go and can even work wonders for your SEO.
There are several ways to transcribe video to audio. You can of course give it a go manually, speed-typing notes as you listen to the video recording. You can also access an array of free services, human transcription services, and automated transcription services - like Transcribe!
In this guide we'll take a look at the different types of video transcription, the types of video that benefit from transcription and how to convert video to text using Transcribe. We'll also look at the other methods of transcription available, plus the additional benefits that video transcripts and subtitles can offer.
A video transcript is a document containing every word spoken in the video. This is a useful searchable document to have, especially for meetings, interviews and lectures.
The video transcription can be used to create captions and subtitles to be displayed on the video. Captions are useful for accessibility purposes, they can be easily translated to reach a wider, international audience, and they make your video easier to watch on the go.
Many countries have strict laws about captioning for films and TV shows for accessibility purposes. Captions and subtitles are also becoming more popular with younger audiences, with 80% of 18-25 year olds using subtitles all or some of the time.
After Google, YouTube is the most popular search engine in the world! Adding captions to your YouTube videos not only makes it easier for your audience to watch videos on the go, it also helps to improve your YouTube SEO, which can help you to grow your audience.
Whether you're a journalist, a documentary maker, or you're responsible for the marketing activities of your company, adding subtitles to a filmed interview is useful for your audience, especially if there's background noise in the video or if the subject matter is complex.
Getting a transcript from a business meeting or conference call you've held or attended is useful for taking minutes, sharing meeting notes and keeping track of what's been discussed in important meetings. Transcribe integrates with Zoom for quick and easy transcriptions of Zoom meetings.
Did you know that 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound? Captioning your social media video content is important to ensure that users stop to watch your content while they're scrolling through their feeds.
Make your students' lives that little bit easier by providing transcripts alongside recordings of lectures and seminars. It'll save them time on note-taking and also help them to improve their understanding of the subject matter.
1. Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor
2. Upload your video file
You can import your video files from any app or cloud storage system, including Google Drive and Dropbox. Supported video file formats include m4v, mp4, mov and avi. This should cover most videos, but if your video happens to be in a format that isn't supported, get in touch and we'll help you to convert your file into one that's compatible with our software.
Please bear in mind that the clearer the sound in your video recording is, the more accurate the transcription will be, so if possible, take care to ensure that voices can be clearly heard, speakers don't talk over one another and there's no background noise or echo. If the quality isn't the best it could be, then that's not a problem, but the transcription might require a little extra manual tweaking once you've received it.
3. Choose your language
Select the language of your video recording from more than 120 languages and dialects.
The transcription will be provided in the same language, and once you have the written video transcript, it'll be easy for you to translate it to create subtitles in other languages.
4. Start the transcription process
Your video transcription will be ready in a matter of minutes thanks to our high-speed AI software. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back and relax, and we'll send you a notification when your transcription is complete.
5. Your transcription is ready!
Now that your video transcription is ready, you can proofread and polish the text in the app, online or in your preferred file format - with or without timestamps. With our standard version you can export your transcribed text to TXT, or upgrade to our PRO service to export to PDF, DOCX, JPG and SRT.
SRT is a file format specifically for captions. It's made up of time coding and plain text, which video software reads and extracts in order to display subtitles on your video.
If you have plenty of time to play with, then the good old-fashioned method of watching your video and typing a transcript as you go along is still an option. It's not one that we would recommend though, especially for longer videos, as manually transcribing takes even longer than you might predict.
YouTube has its own speech recognition technology that can automatically create captions for your videos, however they themselves warn about inaccuracies and varying quality.
Transcription services using real-life humans to transcribe recordings promise the best possible accuracy, but since real-life humans can only work so fast and, of course, have to be paid for their time, these manual services are typically slower and more expensive than automated services.
We'd recommend using a specialist automatic transcription service like Transcribe to transcribe your video. Our AI-powered software means you get incredibly fast, high quality transcriptions and subtitles at the best possible price. Other perks of using Transcribe include a high number of import and export formats, more than 120 supported languages, cloud storage, and professional support when you need assistance.
Doing it yourself is one way of getting a free transcription, but whether it's a truly free option depends on the value you put on your own time! YouTube's automatic captioning is a free service too, however, it isn't the most reliable service in terms of accuracy.
With Transcribe, you can enjoy the first 15 minutes of transcription time for free, so if your video is on the shorter side then this could work out as an entirely free option. Once you've used this time up and seen for yourself whether our service meets your needs, additional credit can be bought for $5 an hour, or save money by buying 10 hours for just $35. Alternatively, upgrade to our PRO service for $10 a month, and you'll receive 5 hours of transcription time a month (that's two feature length films!).
Ready to transcribe video to text? Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.
Written By Katie Garrett
Want to make your YouTube videos more accessible, boost your rankings and expand your reach? Learn how to transcribe YouTube videos with our helpful guide.