Home Insights & Advice Different ways to transcribe videos (and which one is the best)

Different ways to transcribe videos (and which one is the best)

by John Saunders
10th Jan 22 10:21 am

Transcribing videos refers to converting the audio of a video into text. You can then add the written words as subtitles to the video, enabling more people to engage with it.

The revenue generation for videos with transcripts is higher than those lacking transcripts, so it makes sense for businesses and individuals to add transcripts to their videos.

But how exactly do you transcribe the audio of videos? There are several methods, so let us explore the different options and find out which is best.

Manual transcription

Manual transcription simply involves listening to the audio of a video and typing the words as you hear them.

Unless you are fast at typing and have transcription experience, this first method is laborious.

Segmented manual transcription

Another approach is to use the manual method by segmenting the video and distributing audio segments to different people to transcribe.

If you have colleagues or employees, using the segmentation method can speed up the process of transcription a lot.

For example, a one-hour video can be transcribed in fifteen minutes when you have four people transcribing different segments, in comparison to the one hour it would take for one person to transcribe the video’s audio.

Automatic transcription

Traditionally, manual transcriptions have tended to be more accurate than automatic transcription, but the best automatic transcription tools are starting to use cutting-edge technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence to match the accuracy of manual transcription.

Furthermore, automated video transcription is a much faster process than manual approaches, so it is actually the best method to use.

However, to get the best results, you need the best video transcription software, so it is important you spend time comparing different software options to find the right automatic transcription tools for your needs.

While automatic transcription tools include speech recognition technologies and application programming interfaces, transcription software is usually the best choice.

There are numerous types of reliable transcription software available, including mobile transcription apps and desktop transcription software.

Automatic captioning

Some platforms come with automatic captioning options for videos. However, the accuracy of the captioning can significantly differ depending on how clear the audio is, the level of background noise, and the capabilities of the captioning tools.

YouTube captioning has an accuracy range of between 50% and 80%, which is not great; especially if your video is for business purposes. That is why transcription software is usually the best option.

But if your video has no background noise and the speaker is talking in a clear way in which every word is pronounced well, video captioning on platforms like YouTube could suit you well.

However, you would still need to complete manual checks to ensure the accuracy of the transcription, so captioning might not be worth it after all.

Transcription services

Lastly, you have the option of outsourcing the whole video transcription process.

If you run a big business and want to ensure transcriptions are 100% accurate without having to spend valuable time checking, hiring a professional transcription company or individual could work in your favour.

But the best transcription services are expensive, so they are often out of reach for small businesses and start-ups.

However, you can get professional transcription services for cheaper by hiring freelancers via platforms like Upwork, Guru, and Fiverr. Just make sure that the person you hire has the expertise and experience you need.

In summary

To summarise, you can manually transcribe video audio, segment the video audio for manual transcription, use automatic captioning, hire a professional transcriber, or use automatic transcription tools like transcription software.

The latter is generally the best choice, but there are different types of software available, so make sure you spend time comparing the features of different ones before you make your decision.


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