How to Transcribe Video To Text 

Video play and pause buttons drawn on a white board

From social videos to Zoom meetings there has been an explosion in the use of video. People are 2x as likely to share video content than any other type of content, so the wide use of video isn’t surprising. Videos have become a ‘must-have’ for marketing purposes, as well as for internal communication.  Videos allow you to engage with an audience and help increase your brand’s reach.

However, producing and distributing quality videos that are engaging can be challenging at times. Creating opportunities for videos to be discoverable and searchable for referencing is key.

Transcribing your video to text enables you to make your video content more accessible, easier to discover and more useful overall.

Can we convert video to text?

Outline of a speech bubble made from paper


Yes. Converting the spoken word in your video content to text has many benefits. Text versions are searchable allowing people to discover your content and the sections relevant to them. Text versions also improve the accessibility of video content for those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or simply choose to watch without sound.

In businesses, converting videos to text provides a valuable written record of calls and meetings that can be easily searched and referenced. Transcribing video content is also a must for marketers as text versions have been shown to help boost engagement as well as support SEO efforts.

As well as transforming the spoken word to text, it’s also useful to have other information to help the reader gain more context and therefore a better understanding. Speaker identification and timestamps to make the content easier to follow and comprehend. Imagine the Q&A of a webinar converted into a text document without speaker identification. Without watching the video, you wouldn’t know where one question ended, and another began! 

If you’re wondering how to convert video to text, you’ll be pleased to know there are a range of options available, from built-in tools provided by platforms such as YouTube to professional services that will accurately transcribe video to text for you. 

Can you create a transcript from a video?

Yes, and the process is similar to converting audio content to text.

Depending on the type of video content you may wish to consider enabling people to see the text version of the content as it happens, as well as transforming a video recording to text. Live transcription provides a text version of what’s being said in near to ‘real-time’, which appears alongside the video. It can be used for video content such as virtual events or webinars to improve accessibility and increase engagement. However, you don’t need to stop there. Gaining a text version of video recordings has many uses too.

  • Provides the ability to add captions and subtitles
  • Improves accessibility for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Provides a record of events for easy searching and referencing

When converting any form of video to text, accuracy is key. Errors can be problematic for successful searches and accessibility. Plus, they could leave you in a bind. You want to avoid errors like misspelling customers’ names. When comparing options for transcribing video to text make sure you check the guaranteed accuracy levels for the best outcome.

How to transcribe video to text

Person typing a video transcription

There are several options to consider when transcribing your video content:  

  • DIY – this is not recommended unless you’re an experienced transcriber. It’s a time-consuming task and you want the output to be as accurate as possible.
  • Use built-in tools – most video platforms provide a built-in service. Accuracy can be low and may require heavy editing, so you’ll need to factor this into your timelines if you go down this route.
  • Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) services – these services can be tempting due to fast turnaround times and low prices, but this is often a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. The accuracy levels tend to be poor, particularly if you have multiple speakers, accents, or background noise.
  • Professional services such as Take Note – look for human or hybrid services that deliver high levels of accuracy and cater for video content.

Top tip! – If your videos contain sensitive, confidential, or personal information make sure you’re selecting a secure provider like Take Note.

How do I transcribe video recordings to text?

To use a professional provider, such as Take Note, you simply need to upload a recording of your video, select the service you need, and the turnaround time, and let us take care of the rest. Take Note guarantees 99% accuracy and turnaround times, for any projects of any size. Select the ‘captions’ option if you’d like to upload the text version to your chosen video platform.

When you use a professional service to transcribe your video to text the output is delivered in a specific format, such as SRT, which is compatible with major video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo transcription upload functionality. You’ll be able to take the transcribed version of your video and easily upload it to your chosen platform. This has the added benefit of creating an interactive version of the content whereby you can search and click on a portion of the transcribed text to jump straight to the relevant moment in the video.

Is there any software to convert video to text?

Many video platforms offer built-in software to transcribe video to text. You’ll need to check the relevant platform and the requirements to use the service. There are often language restrictions as well as subscription tier conditions, such as with Microsoft Teams transcription. 

The majority of platforms will use technology that will automatically transcribe video to text. The transcribed text will often be timestamped so that it can be viewed in conjunction with the video playback feature, either online or through the video service’s app. Most platforms have the functionality to search the text and allow you to skip to the exact moment in the video you’re interested in – sounds pretty neat, right?

While the features and functionality are really useful, due to the automated process used to transcribe the video to text, accuracy is a real sticking point. Built-in tools, as well as any “transcribe video to text software” you may find, use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to produce the text version of your video. While you can transcribe video to text online with fast turnaround times and for a cheap price, the high volume of errors in the output often deems them unusable without heavy editing. 

Luckily, the accuracy issues with automated services are well known and so the platforms typically have editing options available. This may seem like an appealing choice, but once you try it, you’ll likely change your mind. To correct any errors, you often need to play, pause and rewind your video over and over again – a huge drain on your time and patience.

Instead, look for human or hybrid services that use professional transcribers to ensure you get an accurate text version of your video content that’s fit for purpose. Professional services, like Take Note, will transcribe your video to text in the correct format to be used with your video platform so that the text version works seamlessly alongside your video.

Start enhancing your videos by transcribing the spoken word to text and get an instant quote for Take Note’s services today.

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Kat Hounsell