Better Audio & Video Content with Transcriptions

category: video descript g suite google docs searchie transcription type: blog

Transcribing your audio and video content is not only a value add for your audience, it also makes your content more accessible for anyone who has difficulties with audio or video. Transcribing can be a massive chore when done manually, so here are 5 tools & services you can use to generate transcriptions hassle-free.


Heads up! This post contains affiliate links, marked with an asterisk. If you sign up through one of those links you won't pay anything extra (sometimes you’ll even get a discount or bonus!), but I'll get a small commission or credit that helps me to keep delivering this awesome free content to you! I only recommend tools that I use and trust. Read my affiliate disclosure here.


Transcriptions vs Captions

I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of captioning your videos on Facebook, for your training content, and for your podcast. Captioning is quite specific - a special time-stamped file type that goes along with a video in order to provide the text of what is being said or heard on audio or video files.


Transcriptions are essentially the script of the audio or video. They sometimes have time-stamps to easily reference back to the original content if needed. For business, they tend to focus more on spoken content and not other sounds unless those sounds are important for context.


Many of the tools I’ll highlight below do both captioning and transcribing, and they range from free to monthly subscriptions to on-demand services. Tools like Facebook Pages, which auto-generate captions for live and uploaded videos, won’t be listed because you can’t download them to use anywhere else.


Why Transcribe?

Transcriptions provide these additional benefits to your audience:

  • Allows people to more easily browse your content
  • Allows your content to be keyword searched like any other text content
  • Is more portable than video in that it can be downloaded & printed (and takes up more digital space than a video or audio file)
  • Makes your content more accessible for people who can’t keep up with or have problems processing the captions on a video


They also provide you, the content creator with some benefits as well. From experience, here’s how transcriptions can help you out:

  • Easier to search your own content for some snippet you can’t quite remember (especially if you’re storing everything in Google Docs, where a search looks at not only the title but keyword searches the words inside the docs as well!)
  • Easier to tweak and repeat your audio or video if you already have the script to improve upon for next time (for example taking a Facebook Live and turning it into a formal webinar, which then becomes a signature keynote)
  • If you already have the text, it's a simple matter of formatting and a few small tweaks to turn that content into a blog post or PDF download
  • Having the text also makes it simple to create additional social media or email content, or quote graphics



So* is technically for having meetings that are transcribed in real time or after, but it has a file upload feature (and a record button). There is nothing to stop you from recording or uploading a podcast, a presentation, etc., letting it transcribe, making any necessary corrections, then downloading your transcription!


Because its primary purpose is for transcribing group meetings it is particularly good at identifying different speakers. So if your content is, say, a podcast interview, or you’re part of a panel discussion, Otter will be able to differentiate between the different speakers for the transcript. You can name them and those names will be included in the transcription so readers will be able to tell who is speaking.


Speakers: yes (can be excluded)

Timestamps: yes (can be excluded)

File Format(s): .txt files (free) .docx and .pdf (premium)

Supported Language(s): English only

Price: the free account allows you to transcribe 600 minutes of content each month (with a max of 40 minutes per audio/video segment). Try it free today!*



Descript is technically a video & audio editing tool, but like it also allows you to correct and download your transcription. Any edits or additions that are made to the audio or video are automatically reflected in your transcription.


Want to see a behind the scenes tutorial of Descript? You can access it here (if you’re a member of School for Heartful Entrepreneurs) or here (if you’ve signed up for the free resource library - look under the video section).


Speakers: yes (can be excluded)

Timestamps: yes (can be excluded)

File Format(s): .rtf and .docx

Supported Language(s): English only

Price: the free account allows you to transcribe up to 3hrs of content (one-time only) and after that the cost starts at $13/month (if podcasting is your primary content and/or how you generate revenue but you find editing incredibly tedious while also wanting to keep it in-house, get the paid plan - it is worth its weight in gold). Try it out for free today!


Rev is a transcription service, and they are best in class. You can get your files transcribed by a human for 99% accuracy and 12hr turnaround, or use their (pretty damn good) AI transcription, which they call “rough draft” for 80%+ accuracy and results in minutes.


Human transcriptions are best when you have multiple speakers, English speakers with accents, poor audio quality (i.e. quiet speakers or lots of background noise), or unusual or technical terminology. Rough draft transcriptions are best for solo speakers and common topics or terminology.


Rev is so good that many tools that offer transcription (including at least 1 of the ones listed here!) have actually integrated with Rev’s AI under the hood after abandoning their own transcription efforts (why rebuild the wheel??).


Speakers: yes, but for human transcription only - when you download the file you can choose to exclude them

Timestamps: yes, but for human transcription only - and you have to pay extra to have them (can be excluded when you download)

File Format(s): docx, .pdf, and .txt

Supported Language(s): English only

Price: human transcriptions are $1.25/minute (add $0.25/minute for timestamps); rough draft is $0.25/minute. Try Rough Draft free for up to 45 minutes of content (first order only).


Searchie* is yet another tool where the transcription is not the main feature but comes in handy if you are already using its other features. You can upload audio and video manually, or Searchie integrates with a variety of services to import and process your content automatically (Facebook Live, Zoom, Vimeo, Soundcloud, and more). Once it's processed you can correct and download your transcripts.


Searchie also allows you to create your own library of distinct words to help with transcriptions. For example, when I talk about tools like ActiveCampaign, or my membership group School for Heartful Entrepreneurs, the AI transcribes them as “active campaign” and “school for hurtful entrepreneurs”. If I add the correct words to my library the AI will try to use those instead, resulting in increasingly accurate transcriptions - Searchie says 90%+ accuracy.


Searchie has also partnered with Rev - you can get human transcription for your audio and video at a slightly discounted rate (which guarantees 99% accuracy) with a 24hr turnaround.


Curious to know how Searchie makes your audio and video content waaaaay more attractive to your audience and increases repeat viewers/listeners? I’ve broken it down here.


Speakers: no

Timestamps: yes (can be excluded)

File Format(s): .txt

Supported Language(s): 30+ at last count - find the list here

Price: starts at $30/month for 5hrs of uploaded content per month. Start your 7-day free trial here.*

Bonus: Google Docs

In a pinch, you can simply use Google doc voice typing feature. You can speak and have it transcribe as you go (keep in mind it's not recording, so you’d still need to open up a recording program), or you can hit play on your pre-recorded audio or video, hit start on voice typing, and walk away.


Since this is not its intended use, you will have to do some formatting since it will transcribe as 1 big paragraph with no punctuation, but it's better than nothing.


I’ve written a bit more about how to use this (and more great doc features) over here.


Speakers: no 

Timestamps: no

File Format(s): .gdoc

Supported Language(s): almost 300 languages at the time of publishing - find the list here

Price: G Suite has a free plan; if you are using it for business purposes I’d recommend upgrading to a Basic plan here* for $6/month per user



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