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Using YouTube to Make Transcripts

When swimming through seas of interview footage, time-coded transcripts are essential flotation devices.

Not that long ago, this involved sitting down and play-pause-playing footage as one carefully typed out the dialogue word by word. Or for those with deeper pockets and/or more desperate pressures on their time, you'd pay a transcription service to do this for you.

I imagine this isn't brand new shiny news for those in the know, but for those new to the process I've created a series of video tutorials on how to use YouTube to create time-code logged transcripts.

The overall process is as follows:

  1. Export your video footage at a low resolution (you really just need the audio and time code).

  2. Upload the video to YouTube, setting the language to whatever language the video is in (English in my example; this is currently available for English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish according to the YouTube).

  3. Wait a while (depending on how long the video is) for it to auto-generate closed-captioning.

  4. On the bottom left of the video, click the More Options button (three horizontal dots) and choose 'Open Transcript'.

  5. Select all the text that appears to the left of the video and copy and paste it into Word or other text editing software.

Once you have this text in word, you can watch through the interview footage, quickly highlighting "keepers" to speed up the process of building and organizing your rough cut.

Note: Apologies for the audio-buzz on Video 2. This might be a good time to turn off the audio and just read those auto-generated transcripts.

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