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TIL that it's not easy doing transcripts

whykay profile image whykay 👩🏻‍💻🐈🏳️‍🌈 (she/her) Updated on ・4 min read

My podcasting newbie journey continues...

Here's what I've done so far:

  1. Confirm a guest for the podcast ✅
  2. Maybe a co-host from the team ✅
  3. Environment setup for recording ✅ (I won't go into huge detail of my setup, but I have a mic on an arm with audio in with 2-track mixer and a panel LED.) Alt Text
  4. On the day, using Zoom to record locally, also set recording preferences to record individual audio track.✅
  5. Post-production: Use Garageband (I'm on a Mac) ✅
  6. Find an intro/outro song (Free Music Archive) and remember to take down dets for the credit after checking its licencing.✅
  7. Set up individual tracks for myself, guest, co-host as well as intro and outro music. And start editing. ✅
  8. Save the draft cut, send on to rest of team for feedback. ✅
  9. Work on transcript.... Open up podcast, open up Bear (non-distraction editor) to keep track of times and what's said. Hit play on audio and this is where it gets frustrating... 😱

I had a previous post on writing transcript, if you are curious how these transcript files (SRT in my case) are created:-

The audio was going to fast (that was just my intro), and I had to learn how to slow the tempo down in Garageband. Internetz searching how to do that, and finally found a video that made sense on what I wanted to do.

Of course, after several restarts, and creating the SRT file, I realised a lot of time, I mean a lot... passed me by. And this wasn't going to work (I had nearly 25 minutes of content to transcribe! 😓).

So back to the internetz again, there are many "free" but are actual trials in disguise that can help you create transcripts from audio. But I found this post that has 2 ways to transcribe.

  1. Upload to Youtube and let it transcribe for you - I haven't tried this yet, I've seen people put up audio and have a static image.
  2. Another 3rd party online free service, but you have to load a Youtube link (see 1. above, I haven't done that yet)
  3. Google doc - speech input - didn't work too well for me, so that was out.

I decided to try 3. and it didn't work, didn't understand my oirish accent, and of course, it's just a chunk of text which I have to split up for the timeline. That was certainly a no-go. 😭

🤔 I will try the Youtube approach next time.

But out of curiosity, since I was using Zoom, and my job as Maker Advocate is supported by Dublin City University, and because of Covid-19, Zoom is very much a big part of their teaching remotely offerings, and as a staff member, I have access to this. And I was curious about recording to Zoom's cloud service, and this has auto-transcription!


This looks promising, so I tried recording a personal zoom meeting of myself talking for 2 minutes about nothing in particular.

It processed it and when I check the listing to review it, it was audio only. Where is the transcript file? 😓🤔

Ok, it's a setting I had to select in Recordings - their Settings link is to the right, you have to look for it, it's not a button. But when you are in the settings, just check audio transcript.

Tried another silly 2 minute recording of me saying more "stuff". Exited the meeting and it processed and "Hey, presto"... when it finished processing, the video, audio and transcript file was available.

As in their overview video, I can review the video, and the transcript it right beside it with the times and everything. It's pretty good, and you can edit it as well and save the changes. So this works well. I will use this for future podcast recordings for this particular podcast series I'm recording. 🙌

So next time...

I'll upload to Youtube (private video, of course), and see how the auto-transcripts work with their service.

If you have read this far, thanks for your patience as I hit stumbling blocks. I've never made a podcast before. I've done post-productions on audio and videos before, plus I studied Multimedia (MSc) but that was waaaaaaay back in 2007! But I understand the gist of recording and editing. But it's great to learn new things on the nuances of producing a podcast. Another thing I am also looking forward to is podcast distribution, I'm using Buzzsprout, for anyone who is curious. I spent some time researching various distribution platforms, that was so overwhelming!

Hopefully I'll get a chance to document my progress in this world of podcasting. And again, thanks for your time reading this newbie post. 🥰

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