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Introduction to Transcripts

A transcript is a text version of dialogue and/or non-spoken audio information from a video audio recording. Descriptive transcripts also include text description of the visual information needed to understand the content. Transcripts are a good idea for audio-only content like podcasts, Twitter/X Spaces, and Clubhouse rooms.

Types of Transcripts

According to the speech-to-text service Rev, there are three different types of transcripts: full verbatim, clean verbatim, and detailed notes.

Full Verbatim

A full verbatim transcript doesn’t remove any false starts or verbal tics like “ums” or “likes”. It transcribes every word and utterance as they occurred in the original media selection.

Clean Verbatim

A clean verbatim transcription removes the verbal tics and false starts and is also known as an “intelligent verbatim,” or “word for word” transcript. It does not alter the order of dialogue, just cleans it up. Most people probably don’t want to read every misspoken word or “um,” so a clean verbatim transcript is normally preferred. 

Detailed Notes

Detailed notes distill an audio or video recording down to its essential parts without forcing the viewer to read large chunks of text.

The Transcription Process

Rev has a great synopsis of how to create well-formatted transcripts, which is summarized below.

  1. Listen to your audio once before you start transcribing.
  2. Create a first draft of your transcript.
  3. Edit your rough draft for accuracy.
  4. Format your transcript for easy reading.
  5. Finalize the transcription process.

Additional Resources and Reading

Want to learn a little more about transcripts and creating accessible audio and video content? Check out the links below!