Podcast transcription is an often overlooked aspect of podcasting. You may be thinking that a podcast is purely for your listening pleasure and not for reading, so why bother spending time and money on transcribing your audio into text anyway?
It turns out that it doesn’t have to cost you much time and money to transcribe, and the value that a transcript can add to your podcast is well worth it. Neglecting transcripts for your podcasts essentially means leaving out a vast audience and limiting your online visibility. Here are some key benefits of having your podcasts transcribed:
- Boosts podcast visibility by increasing search engine optimization (SEO) on your podcasts.
- Capture audiences who are hard of hearing, have auditory processing disorders, or those who are looking to translate because they don’t speak your language.
- An alternative option for audiences who might want to skim through or refer to your content.
- Increase chances of backlinks from other websites.
It goes without saying that the benefits outweigh the time and monetary costs when you transcribe your podcasts. So let’s get straight into how you can go about doing it.
How to Transcribe
If you have ever attempted to transcribe a podcast yourself, you would already know that the process can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. While doing it yourself doesn’t involve any monetary costs and carries the advantage of knowing your own content best, the repetitive process of pausing and replaying, along with trying to decipher inaudible words, can be excruciatingly annoying. It also becomes more difficult as the duration of the podcast increases.
Thankfully, those painstaking days can be behind you with the use of a podcast transcription service. A transcription service involves hiring another person to transcribe for you, utilizing an audio-to-text software, or a combination of both.
Suppose if you’re looking for an automated way of converting audio-to-text to free up time that can be better spent producing more content, there are numerous podcast transcription software available that will do the job well. But if you are one of those who wouldn’t trust artificial intelligence to decipher audio with accuracy, having an actual person oversee the transcription process can yield higher accuracy and put your mind at ease. However, it may come at a higher cost.
Regardless of your preferred way to transcribe, there are several key factors to consider when selecting a podcast transcription service – affordability, accuracy, and turnaround time. Let’s look at some of the best podcast transcription services available out there today.
Getting another person to transcribe your podcast will most likely be the costliest option, but you can be assured of the output’s accuracy. Humans can understand voice intonation and conversational context far better than artificial intelligence can, for now…
Hiring a freelancer or a friend in need of some work not only helps create jobs in the gig economy; it’s also price negotiable. Typically, a freelancer will charge based on the length of audio to transcribe with a maximum number of speakers and specified turnaround time, or by the amount of time taken to transcribe. Prices can range anywhere from $5 to $15 per 10 minutes of audio with up to 4 speakers, or $10 to $40 per hour for their time. Check out Fiverr and Upwork if you’re looking to hire some freelance transcriptionists.
If you’re looking for a more established transcription agency, GoTranscript offers “legal-level accuracy” and “100% human-generated transcription services” while also offering multi-language transcription services in over 50 supported languages. The company charges based on the audio length and throws in a sweet discount if you have 60 minutes or more audio to transcribe. A 10-minute audio length with an intended turnaround time of 6-12 hours will cost you approximately $27. What’s really cool is that you could also get some great additional services like captioning and timestamping, which can really make your transcripts look great on your podcast page, but it does add up to the total cost.
Another agency that only uses professional human transcribers is TranscriptionPuppy. The company uses professional transcribers with at least “5 years of experience and have undergone rigorous testing” and guarantees 99% accuracy with a 24 hour turnaround time. Rates start at $0.69 per minute of audio or video.
Lastly, there is always the option of manually transcribing podcasts yourself at no cost, but as previously mentioned, think about the time and effort you could be spending on more content generation rather than spending time painstakingly transcribing audio.
- Higher accuracy
- Human comprehension
- Help support the gig economy
- Negotiable pricing
- Relatively expensive
- Longer turnaround time
Using software is an automated way of transcribing your podcasts, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) to convert audio-to-text. It works best when your recording quality is clear with little background noise and gets the job done in mere minutes. It will also cost you far less than hiring an actual person to transcribe. Most audio-to-text software will charge you with a monthly or annual subscription fee, while others charge based on the length of your audio files. That being said, you’d still have to spend some time quality checking the AI’s output and insert punctuations where necessary.
Trint is a fairly easy to use software for transcribing and can transcribe a file in a matter of seconds, making it ideal if you plan on doing a live show and transcribing in real-time. Simply upload your video or audio file to the web-based software and start editing your transcript if necessary. It’s also worth noting that Trint has built an app for iPhone users, which can be used to dial and record phone calls, read transcripts, upload audio or video files, and download audio files directly to and from your phone. Monthly subscription pricing plans start at $48 per month, with a 7-day free trial included.
Temi is another straightforward and easy to use software; you only need to upload your video or audio file and get it transcribed within minutes. It has a proprietary algorithm and speech recognition software built by its team of machine learning and speech recognition experts. They also throw in their full spectrum of features and tools with every purchase, including custom timestamping, speaker identification, editing tools and transcript exporting. Payments start at $0.25 per audio minute and include a free trial of one transcript that is under 45 minutes.
Sonix positions itself as an SEO-friendly media player, meaning that it helps search engines like Google and Bing index the content you transcribe, making it more discoverable. It’s great for workflow by having all your edits and highlights in one place, seamlessly integrates with Adobe Audition, and features a really useful AudioText Editor that enables you to edit audio by editing text. The pricing plan is packaged to cater to the frequency in which you transcribe. If you’re working on a project basis, a standard package of $10/hour will suit you best, but if you have higher volume transcriptions, you can opt for the subscription packages, which start at $5/hour plus $22 per user/month. Don’t forget to check out the free trial before you commit.
Descript is an all in one collaborative audio and video editor that enables you to record, transcribe, multitrack edit, and publish all from the software’s platform. The all in one feature makes for a seamless workflow with a great user interface. Subscription fees begin at $12 per user/month and come with a free trial that allows 3 hours of transcription. If you’re a student, educator or a non-profit, Descript has a special rate for you.
Simon Says uses an advanced AI speech recognition system for higher transcription accuracy and speaker identification, all within a few minutes. It comes equipped with all the usual editing tools for collaborative or solo work and a translation feature of 100 different languages. Pricing comes with an option for either monthly or annual subscriptions, starting at $20 per month or $180 per year.
InqScribe is a free to use transcription software, but in order to save, export or print your transcripts, you’d have to get an individual license that will cost $99 per license. It’s not a subscription, so you will only have to pay a one-off cost, and the software is yours for good. The software works best on a Mac or PC, given its compatibility with QuickTime and Windows Media Player.
Audext is another easy to use audio-to-text that simply requires you to upload your audio file to the web-based software, and it will generate your transcript. It comes with a built-in editor and speaker identification features. Subscription fees are priced at $30 per month or $12 per hour of transcription, with a free trial of 30 minutes for 7 days.
Castos is more than just a podcast transcription service; it’s actually a podcast hosting platform that enables increased visibility and optimizing your podcast for search engines. Each podcast episode that you upload to Castos gets transcribed automatically. Subscription plans start at $19 per month or $190 per year.
- Much cheaper than hiring an actual person
- Quick turnaround time
- Integrates with most digital audio workstations
- Lower accuracy
- Need to revise transcripts
Human + AI Transcription
There are podcast transcription services out there that utilize AI to transcribe while an actual person oversees the output for greater accuracy, as well as services that offer you the option to choose either automatic or human transcription services.
HappyScribe is one such example that offers both automated and professional transcription services. It also provides translation services for more than 120 languages. The automatic transcription software transcribes audio in minutes with an 85% accuracy rate, while its professional transcription service guarantees 99% accuracy and a 24 hour turnaround time. Pricing starts at a rate of $0.25 per minute for automatic transcription and $2.03 per minute for human transcription.
Rev is one of the more well-known podcast transcription services used by many industry professionals. They offer automated as well as professional transcribing services, along with captions, foreign translations, and live captions for Zoom. Professional transcription will cost you $1.25 per minute of audio, while the automated transcription rate is $0.25 per minute.
Scribie is similar to Rev, only cheaper. Their automated transcription is at the going rate of $0.10 per minute of audio, with a turnaround time of 30 minutes and 80-95% accuracy, while manual transcription rates go for $0.80 per minute of audio, with a 36 hour turnaround time and 99% accuracy.
DIY For Free
If any of the above options are too costly for you, or if you’d like to take transcription into your own hands, there are methods for you to do it yourself for free. There is the obvious manual transcribing where you listen to the entire file and manually typing out each word verbatim, which isn’t very efficient at all. A better solution would be to make use of free trials from one of the aforementioned software or voice typing features offered by the likes of Google Docs to create draft transcripts that you can then edit and clean up. Otter is an automated software that has one of the more generous free trials on offer – the basic free plan offers up to 600 minutes (10 hours) for free, with a limit of 45 minutes per recording.
Another easy and free option to transcribe your podcast is to use Youtube’s transcribe feature. Simply upload your podcast in video format to Youtube, and it will automatically generate captions for the file.
That being said, Google Docs and Youtube are certainly not going to provide you with the most accurate transcript. You’d have to spend a fair amount of time going through the entire transcription to make corrections and insert punctuations. But before you go down the path of manually transcribing yourself, make sure to utilize one of these options first. It will certainly save you many hours with an automated draft to quality check.
There is no doubt that transcribing your podcast is essential in generating more traffic and visibility for your podcast. The more important question to ask is which method would suit you best, considering the time and cost requirements of each method. If you’re churning out podcasts at a high frequency, automated software with its quick turnaround and lower cost will be beneficial, but if high accuracy is of utmost priority, hire someone to do the job!
Timothy is a news broadcast producer with a keen eye for television and a pair of tuned ears for the dulcet sounds of radio. Besides exploring new ways and mediums to tell a good story, he is also a passionate writer and musician who could play a sleazy guitar riff on the fretboard at any given moment.