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How to Transcribe a Video Recording: A Comprehensive Guide

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What is video transcription?Video transcription is the process of converting the spoken words and sounds from a video file into written text. This written...

What is video transcription?

Video transcription is the process of converting the spoken words and sounds from a video file into written text. This written format of the video content aids in making content accessible, searchable, and more usable in various contexts.

Transcription is creat for YouTube videos or any types audio files and even video recordings. Text transcription and audio transcription is a key benefit, even a required workflow in many professions. Lawyers, doctors, and various enterprises rely on documenting audio and transcriptions.

Theres more than one way to transcribe a video recording: The traditional, human powered method or the AI method. Below we’ll explore both approaches so you can find which one works best for you.

How to transcribe a video into text - The Traditional Method:

  1. Preparation: Before starting, ensure you have a quiet environment, a good pair of headphones, and a video playback software.
  2. Play the Video: Begin playing the video content.
  3. Pause and Write: As you listen, frequently pause the video to write down what you hear.
  4. Add Timestamps: To ensure accurate transcription, include timestamps at regular intervals.
  5. Proofread: Once completed, go through the entire text, playback the video, and make corrections if necessary.
  6. Save and Export: Save the transcribed content in your desired format, such as txt or srt.

How to transcribe a video with AI - Detailed Steps:

  1. Choose an AI Transcription Service: There are numerous automated transcription software available online.
  2. Upload the Video File: Most platforms will require you to upload your video content to their servers.
  3. Let the AI Process: The AI-powered system will analyze the speech-to-text from the video.
  4. Review and Edit: Always review the AI-generated transcription for any errors or inaccuracies.
  5. Export: Once satisfied, export the transcription to desired file formats.

AI transcription relies on speech recognition to transcribe audio. The output is generally a text file, Microsoft Word, or an SRT file. These can be used to document and file.

There are many tutorials on how to convert video to text and below we explore various AI tools, so be sure to read to the end to find the right tool, compare features, and pricing. Most tools run right in your browser, like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox - on your Mac, Windows, even iOS & Android devices.

How to transcribe a video for free?

There are numerous free transcription tools available online, such as Google Docs voice typing and other free transcription platforms that allow limited minutes of automatic transcription. Some platforms, like YouTube, also offer automatic subtitles for uploaded videos, providing a basic level of video transcription.

What is the best way to transcribe a video recording?

The best way depends on one's needs. For accuracy, a combination of manual and AI transcription is ideal, but for speed and ease, AI-based transcription services might be preferred.

Difference between Transcription and Translation:

Transcription involves converting audio or video content into text, preserving the content in its original language. Translation, on the other hand, is about converting text from one language to another, ensuring the meaning remains intact.

Pros and Cons of Transcribing a Video:


  • Makes content accessible to a wider audience.
  • Enhances SEO, making content more searchable on search engines.
  • Provides a textual backup for video content.


  • Can be time-consuming if done manually.
  • Risk of inaccuracies, especially with automated transcription.

Top 9 Tools to Transcribe a Video Recording:

1. Descript:

Descript offers a blend of automated and manual transcription services. It's ideal for content creators and podcasters.


  • Overdub (synthesize voices)
  • Multi-track sequence editing
  • Screen recording
  • Integrated video editing tools
  • Collaboration features Cost: Starts at $12/month.

2. Rev:

Rev is popular for its accuracy and quick turnaround times.


  • Professional transcriptionists
  • Supports various file formats
  • Quick delivery
  • Secure platform
  • Captioning services Cost: $1.25/minute for transcription.

3. Sonix:

Sonix leverages AI for quick transcription services.


  • Automated transcription
  • Multi-language support (including French, German, English)
  • Integrates with platforms like Zoom and Google Drive
  • Supports various file formats (e.g., srt, vtt, txt)
  • Real-time transcription Cost: Starts at $10/hour.


Otter is favored for real-time transcription and its seamless integration with platforms like Zoom.


  • Real-time transcription
  • AI-powered
  • Integration with platforms like Zoom
  • Collaboration features
  • Supports multiple languages Cost: Free plan available; Paid plans start at $8.33/month.

5. Transcribe:

Transcribe offers both automated and manual transcription processes.


  • Voice recognition transcription
  • Playback controls
  • File export options (txt, srt, vtt)
  • Dictation feature
  • Timestamps Cost: Starts at $4.99/month.

6. Google Docs Voice Typing:

A free tool within Google Docs, suitable for real-time transcription.


  • Integrated within Google Docs
  • Real-time transcription
  • Voice recognition
  • Supports various languages
  • Easy collaboration and sharing Cost: Free.

7. Trint:

Trint offers automated transcription for content creators and journalists.


  • AI-powered
  • Fast turnaround
  • Integrates with platforms like Adobe Premiere
  • Timestamps and editing tools
  • Multi-language support Cost: Starts at $40/month.

8. Happyscribe:

Happyscribe provides transcription and translation services for multiple languages.


  • Supports various file formats
  • Multi-language support
  • Editing tools with timestamps
  • Automated and professional transcription options
  • Translation services Cost: Starts at $0.20/minute.

9. Temi

Temi is an automated transcription tool known for its speed.


  • AI-powered
  • Quick turnaround
  • Supports various file formats
  • User-friendly interface
  • Timestamps Cost: $0.25/minute.


How long does it take to transcribe a video?

The time can vary. Manual transcription might take 4-5 hours for an hour-long video, while AI services can be much faster.

What is needed to transcribe a video?

At a basic level, you'll need the video file, transcription software or tool, headphones, and a quiet environment.

What to do before transcribing a video?

Prepare by ensuring minimal background noise, having a reliable video playback system, and familiarizing yourself with transcription tools.

What are some features of video transcription software?

Common features include speech-to-text conversion, real-time transcription, multi-language support, timestamps, and file export options.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.