Longtime readers of this blog know that I’m an advocate for adding transcripts to podcasts and captions to videos.
Not only do they make your podcasts and videos accessible to a wider audience, transcripts and captions make search engines happy: they can now index your content.
In addition, there are plenty of other benefits of transcripts and captions for your podcasts and videos.
Over the past year, I’ve seen more video creators make the decision to add captions to videos.
Sadly, few podcasters are taking the steps to add transcripts to their podcasts.
And many podcasters who want to add transcripts don’t know where to start.
So when I heard my friend Alaina Wiens added transcripts to her StrategyCar podcast, a monthly podcast delivering digital communication and marketing strategy, I was thrilled!
I asked her if I could interview her about podcast transcripts, her process, and what she might share with other podcasters about adding transcripts.
Alaina kindly accepted my invitation. It was my pleasure to chat with her about adding transcripts to podcasts.
Here’s our conversation.
What made you decide to add transcripts to your podcast?
The goal of StrategyCar is really to explore the ways we can all work to make the web work for everyone.
It’s important to me to do my part, especially as I’ve learned more about all the ways people consume information online.
Transcribing the episodes makes them available to more people, but also makes them consumable in many more contexts.
Why did you choose a third-party service?
My first attempts at transcribing included me listening to the audio of my episodes and typing them out by hand.
It’s doable, but it was taking so long that I found myself launching episodes without transcripts and then going back to add them later.
My initial searches led me to believe that transcription services weren’t going to be cost effective for me, and I started asking around.
Turns out there are some automated options that are less expensive.
You likely give up a little accuracy when you depend on artificial intelligence (AI), but reviewing and editing a transcript is still much quicker than starting from scratch.
What was the process for getting the transcript?
I didn’t get too far into Trint because there was a file size limit I couldn’t meet.
With Happy Scribe, the file upload was pretty instantaneous and I think I had a transcript file back in under 10 minutes.
Maybe even less.
The whole process was done in under 15 minutes, and then I had a transcript I could start reviewing and editing.
What steps did you have to take once you received the transcript?
When the transcript is ready, I received an email.
Because it’s so fast, though, I’m usually still logged into Happy Scribe and I can see that the progress bar has reached completion.
When I’m logged in with my account, I have access to all transcripts I’ve gotten so far.
Editing of transcripts can be done right there in the Happy Scribe interface, which I highly recommend.
As you listen to the audio track, transcribed words are highlighted so you can always see how the two match up.
There’s also an option for 1.5x playback to help you get through editing faster.
You can export the transcript if you prefer to edit in Word or another format.
How much time did you spend editing the transcript you received?
I’d say I spent between 45 minutes and an hour to listen/edit/review a 30-minute episode.
Was it a good experience? Will you add transcripts to future podcasts?
After trying to transcribe by hand and then looking at service options that ran around $1/minute, I was so pleased with the results from Happy Scribe.
I’m publishing episodes monthly now, so it’s not too time intensive for me to review and edit transcripts.
And at $.10/minute, I feel like I really have no excuse when it comes to transcripts in the future.
Alaina Wiens is a marketing director, content strategist, and strategic planning consultant. She is the human behind StrategyCar, an online community driving toward a better web.
She leads the marketing team at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, while her passion for digital strategy keeps her actively engaged in web projects throughout her community in Flint, Michigan.