Game Changer: Making a transcript of recorded interviews, and it’s free

This has been a huge and tiresome obstacle to me for years. I’ll record interviews, mostly over the phone, and then it comes down to transcribing all or part of the interview for a story with accurate quotes. As a quadriplegic working with voice recognition and a mouth stick, this is so time-consuming as to be prohibitive. I take care for accuracy, but don’t have money for transcription services.

For so long I’ve searched and fiddled for solutions, and today I’m excited because I’ve finally found one that works! And it requires no money or downloads. I hope it will help disabled journalists and others. All you need are a video editor and YouTube.

Step 1. You must make a video from your taped interview. I found Windows 10 Video Editor already loaded on my laptop. Though I’m terrible with new software, it is so easy that in 20 minutes I made my first video. I started a new project, made a title frame and adjusted its length to the length of the taped interview. Then I uploaded the interview as a background audio file. Hit convert, and presto.

Next I uploaded my newly minted video to YouTube. I set access to private, plus I had to verify my account before I could upload my 21-minute file. Unverified accounts can only upload videos of something like 15 minutes or less. (Verifying is easy and I’ll let you look it up.)

Step 2. Looks like you can make a transcript of any video using this process:

When you play the video, underneath it you’ll find a line of clickable options: thumbs up, thumbs down, share, save, and options (…). Click options. Then click Open transcript.

The transcript will appear in a pop-up. At the top, click options (vertical …). Click Toggle timestamps.

Now you can copy and paste the entire transcript.

I know: the joy of transcripts? I don’t get out much. Now I’m off to write the story.

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