Anyone who’s had to build a story using subject interviews under deadline pressure (TV reporters?) knows the drill.
You can’t really compose the narrative until you know exactly what the interview subjects actually say…so the first task – while the clock is ticking – is to play back the recorded interview and somehow manually transcribe the sound bites you want to incorporate into your story – either taking handwritten notes, or keyboarding the words you hear. The important distinction here is that the soundbites have to be matched to a time-code, so the editor knows exactly where to go to find the comments you want to use in the story.
This is an extremely tedious task under deadline pressure, and even the best transcription services available today STILL USE HUMANS for the task. It can get very expensive. Dragon Naturally Speaking and other new AI programs now available just don’t provide the high percentage of accuracy for man-on-the-street interviews, especially given the TERRIBLE diction, vernacular, and colloquialisms people speak these days.
Go ahead, check out Trint.com, or Rev.com, TranscribeMe.com or Scribie.com. You’ll find they’re pretty pricey.
Especially with the need for people to be able to read the words spoken in videos, not to mention the handy availability of podcast transcripts…having (for lack of a better term) “subtitles” is getting more necessary.
This is why I love DESCRIPT.COM.
Import any video into the program, and in a flash you will see the transcript of the spoken words in a timeline, and with the video to match. Edit the video, and the words are edited too. Edit the words, and the video goes along.
You get a timeline, a script with a video that’s editable and shareable, and a timecode underneath it all. There’s even a wave-form of the audio. You can share with a web link, collaborate with others, add speaker labels, and sync to the cloud. The interface is very intuitive, and keyboard commands are a cinch.
The accuracy is incredible, really…and I’ve tried a lot of these programs over the years when I was in TV. So it takes a lot to impress me.
Video editing is the plus, here. You can pull highlights, splice, cut, copy, paste, and do a non-destructive export to Premiere or Final Cut Pro.
I’ve used Descript a lot lately for documentaries I’m working on, and have yet to need a paid plan. The free plan includes 3 hours of transcription. Upgrade plans are insanely inexpensive in my view.
You can use its web-based utility, or download a desktop app.
In my mind, there is no downside to this extremely helpful program, and with today’s emphasis on the use of video in marketing, social media, and smartphone-based communications… getting comfortable with Descript is a no-brainer.