Descript and Otter

August 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

It’s my star-birthday today, my parents said. I didn’t do anything special. The highlight of the day was to discover that Descript, which offers video and audio editing and transcription, works reasonably well when it comes to transcription. And they have a $12 a month plan which I can afford. This plan allows transcription of 10 hours of video or audio via Descript’s AI engine.

I tried it on one of three interviews I needed to transcribe for a story, and it worked okay. I still had to go in and make several corrections, but the AI-based transcription did save me a lot of time. The interface is user friendly and the transcript for my 42-minute interview came back in just a few minutes.

A friend just now pointed me to Otter.ai, which allows much more to be transcribed free of cost, versus the three hours free trial that Descript offers. And from the info on their site, it looks like Otter’s free minutes are permanent on a monthly basis. One can transcribe a max of 600 minutes a month for free, with a limit of 40 minutes per audio file.

If you opt for the premium subscription, which costs $10 if billed monthly, you get 6000 minutes of transcription and an upper limit of four hours per file. That is probably more than I’ll ever need, so it’s really value for money.

I’ve just tried transcribing one file each on Descript and Otter. On the whole I like Descript’s user interface much more. And also that it has an app that can be installed on my Macbook Air laptop. One thing to check, of course, is if one of them returns more accurate transcripts than the other. From a cursory comparison, I couldn’t say.

I’ve found these tools at the nick of time. The drudgery of transcribing long interviews was really getting to me and the deadline pressures of my stories were amping up my anxiety. With these transcription tools, I can at least cut down the transcription time significantly.

#anxiety #transcription #descript #otter #speechtotext

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