YouTube Transcripts: The Ultimate Guide

YouTube as a video hosting platform is a massive resource for learning about nearly everything. Though there’s a lot of wisdom to be had, it can be difficult to feel like you’re getting the most out of YouTube videos. Rev is here to teach you how to maximize your learning experience with YouTube transcripts.





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Did you know that one of the most useful ways to export some of that video content knowledge is in the form of a written transcript? YouTube transcripts are essentially written records of all of the words spoken in a YouTube video. This transcript can be viewed on the YouTube platform itself, and can even be copied and pasted into a document to make it easier to parse through the information.

In addition to making information easier to understand, YouTube transcripts are incredibly useful for performing research. Rather than scrubbing through a YouTube video to find a quote, you can simply browse through the YouTube transcript (using Control+F) and paste it into your project.

You can also reread the contents of a YouTube video at your leisure – no need to grab your headphones or move into a quieter space.

Who Creates YouTube Transcripts?

You may be wondering – who creates these transcripts? When a content creator adds captions to a YouTube video, YouTube transcribes them automatically using the caption file. Otherwise, YouTube’s software creates transcripts from the auto-generated captions.

If you’re a YouTube creator wondering how to get a professionally-made caption or YouTube transcript file, look no further than Rev. There are several advantages to using a captioning or transcription service rather than doing it yourself, or letting YouTube take the reins with often inaccurate automatic captioning and transcription:

  • The final transcript will be of higher quality
  • You can export the video transcript in the file format of your choice, making it easier to implement
  • You get free access to Rev’s powerful transcript editing and refining tools, like Rev Transcript Editor and Rev AI Transcript Assistant

How to Open and View a YouTube Transcript

To open and view a YouTube transcript, you’ll need a web browser with an active internet connection. YouTube tends to work best with Chrome, since they are both Google products. That being said, any up-to-date browser should work. Then:

  • Navigate to YouTube and open the video that you want to access the transcript of.
  • Locate and click the three horizontal dots below the video. They should be next to the Share and Save buttons.
  • Clicking the dots pulls up a short menu. Click Open transcript.

YouTube will generate the transcript to the side of the video. Note that transcripts aren’t available on the mobile version of YouTube.

These transcripts are generated from the YouTube caption file (automatic or professional) associated with the video, so the YouTuber who posts the video will need to add professional captions to their YouTube video to get the most accurate transcripts.

Getting YouTube Transcripts With Rev’s Transcription Services

Rev offers several options for getting YouTube video transcripts, including AI and Human Transcription. Both services save you time by taking a portion of the workload off of your shoulders, as well as providing accurate YouTube transcripts for viewers (and Google) to get the most out of your video content.

  • Human Transcription services have a 99% accuracy rate, a 24-hour turnaround time, and cost $1.50/video minute.
  • AI Transcription services are powered by our generative AI model, and are able to produce transcripts that outperform competitors in terms of accuracy in minutes for just $0.25 / video minute.

Here’s how to get a YouTube transcript using Rev’s services:

  • Go to Rev’s Transcription page and click Get Started
  • On the checkout page, choose Paste A URL.
  • Copy and paste one or more YouTube addresses into the Paste URL(s) dialog box and click Add.
  • Complete the checkout process.

Rev will email your finished transcript file within 12 hours for videos shorter than 30 minutes.

Getting YouTube Captions With Rev’s Captioning Services

Though it’s true that YouTube uses speech recognition software to automatically add captions to your videos on upload, these tend to be low quality and full of errors. Using a captioning service to add captions or subtitles to your YouTube videos comes with a lot of advantages outside of accuracy.

  • With accurate captions, your content becomes accessible to the Deaf, hard of hearing, or those who are watching your video without sound
  • Captions can also boost your SEO ranking by giving Google a way to browse or index the content of your video easier

Similar to our Transcription services, Rev offers AI Captioning and Human Captioning services. Both are highly accurate with faster turnaround times than competitors offering similar services. To get started with AI or Human captioning, simply follow these steps or click the button above:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube.
  2. Navigate to our Pricing page and select the service you need (Human Captions, AI Captions, or Global Subtitles).
  3. On the Order page, click YouTube in the Pull videos directly from your account box.
  4. Select the YouTube video you want captioned and add it to your cart.
  5. Rev preselects the “automatically deliver files back to YouTube” box.
  6. Complete the checkout process, and you’re done.

Information At Your Leisure

Not everybody computes at the same speed as a YouTube video. Activate YouTube’s transcription window or purchase a downloadable transcript from Rev to get the information you need in a format you can use.