I have tried numerous approaches to video transcription and I think I’ve narrowed down my strategy and options. I primarily use online tools now.
I transcribe videos because this boosts SEO and helps me repurpose content for promotion.
Rev.com is a Human service. For $1 a minute they will transcribe your video or audio.
- They can generate an “.srt” caption file or a text transcription (But not both at the same time)
- The Rev.com online editor to ‘fine tune’ the transcription is fast and easy to work with
- Rev.com can automatically import from YouTube and the upload time is very fast when you do this
I use rev.com for professional work e.g. transcriptions of meetings. Or if I’m short of time then I might upload a file to Rev in the evening so that a transcription is ready for me in the morning to continue my work.
If I could automatically generate a “.srt” and a transcription at the same time then I might use this for more videos.
I have in the past generated an “.srt” and converting it to text using a free desktop transcription tool.
Unfortunately having all my YouTube videos and online training videos transcribed through Rev.com would be too expensive so I don’t use it for everything.
Trint.com is an automated service. For 22 pence per minute they will automatically transcribe the video or audio. You then ‘fine tune’ the transcription in the online editor.
- The transcription is pretty good but does require editing. You have to train yourself to speak clearly.
- The online editor is excellent.
- You can export a “.srt” or “transcription” from the same editing process
Trint was my preferred option for a while, and it was only when I experienced upload issues (now resolved) that I looked around for alternatives. You can upload from file sharing services like OneDrive, Google Drive, but not video hosting services like YouTube or Vimeo.
For videos where I need to see the video and not just rely on the audio, Trint is probably my preferred choice. I use the pay as you go plan and buy an hour until I work through it.
Trint does have limits on how much video can be stored in the archive, but I can’t easily find the limit online.
If Trint hadn’t had a temporary glitch with its file uploads, I would never have found the next service.
Otter.ai is an automated service. The video is automatically stripped out and you work with the audio file. So if you need any visual cues when fixing the transcription then Otter isn’t the right tool for you.
Otter is outrageously cheap. I had to do my calculation several times as I thought I had my math wrong.
Otter is free for 600 minutes a month - that’s 10 hours of transcription free every month.
At which point it then costs $9.99 for an additional 6000 min which is 0.16 cents per min.
- editor is easy to use
- you can download an “.srt” or “transcription” from the same file
- paragraphs are used for caption lines so you need to reformat transcriptions
The only real issue I have with Otter is that if you format your transcription as paragraphs then the same paragraphs will be used for subtitle captions which are much too long on screen. So you have to format your transcription into short lines and then rework it once it has been exported. This makes the transcription process take a little longer than Trint.com, but it is cheaper so you are paying for the time saving in Trint
Youtube can be used as a free captioning service, as I describe in this post.
I have used the YouTube Captions editor but the reason I stopped was that somedays it would work fine. And somedays it was tremendously buggy and I couldn’t rely on it.
- The editing experience isn’t very good
- You can download the “.srt” and then format it to text in an offline tool
- subtitletools.com is an online service for converting “.srt” to text
- Subtitle Edit a desktop app for Windows and Linux I primarily use for converting “.srt” files to text