How to transcribe videos and take notes (from Youtube or other sites)

Transcribe videos content can be useful on many occasions. Many times you may want to watch a piece of content without being able to listen to the audio, or you may just want to extrapolate a speech or a sentence. In this guide, we’ll see how to transcribe videos and take notes from YouTube or other similar websites. Some of the solutions we’ll see will be “official”, while for others we’ll have to rely on third-party services.

YouTube transcription

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YouTube offers its transcription method within the default player. At the base of everything, there is obviously Google’s artificial intelligence, which will try to understand, in real-time, all the words in the video and propose them in the form of text to the right of the same content. Obviously, trivial errors might happen, but that doesn’t mean that the final result will be unintelligible; on the contrary, you’ll be able to follow the entire video just by following the transcription.

  • Start the YouTube video you want to transcribe (some videos may not be supported)
  • Click on the icon with three dots to the right of “Share” and “Save”.
  • Choose the “Open transcript” option

As mentioned above, the entire conversation will be displayed on the right of the player. Moreover, if you prefer to follow the text directly on the player, you can activate the automatically generated subtitles by clicking on the icon to the left of the settings gear just below the video playback line.

Google Docs transcription

Let’s stay in Google for a second method that requires two basic tools: the “Documents” service and “VB-CABLE Virtual Audio Device“, a software capable of forcing the recording of PC audio. Let’s see now how to do it.

  • Download and install “VB-CABLE Virtual Audio Device” from the official website
  • Use the Windows search bar (bottom left corner) to search and open the “Audio Settings”.
  • Launch the “Audio Control Panel” and select the “Recording” tabĀ 
  • Activate “CABLE Output” to select it as the default recording system
  • Go to the Google Docs site and create a new sheet by clicking on “New”.
  • Click on “Tools” at the top left and then on “Voice typing”.

At this point, all you need to do is play the video to be transcribed, since voice typing will be active and the input audio will come directly from the chosen content thanks to the “VB-CABLE Virtual Audio Device”.

Manual transcription with oTranscribe

Finally, we close with a website developed with the intention of transcribing any video content taken from a YouTube link, or from a manually uploaded file (and therefore available on the computer). However, it should be noted that the transcription here won’t be done automatically, but we’ll have to type in the most important notes.

So, what the platform offers is a workspace in which there will be a player with the chosen video and a text field with which to interact. Apart from this, however, there will be some keys that could be very useful during the transcription: Play/Pause, adding subtitles to the video (where available), and also those useful to slow down or speed up the playback.

To start writing you’ll have to access the official oTrascribe website, click on “Start transcribing”, choose whether to import a file from the computer or paste the URL taken from YouTube, and start the workspace. Of course, at any moment you can change the video by clicking on the refresh icon in the upper right corner (the two arrows forming a circle).

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