How to Transcribe a YouTube Video to Text

YouTube is full of all kinds of videos. From the entertaining to the informative, new content is uploaded by the thousands every minute. While most people are happy to watch and enjoy, others prefer a complete viewing experience, including YouTube video transcriptions. Transcriptions add to the viewer’s comprehension, provide learning opportunities, and offer new ways to view videos.

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If you’re interested in learning how to transcribe a YouTube video or need resources to help you, here are the most popular options.

Three Ways to Transcribe a YouTube Video

No matter which YouTube video you’re looking to get a transcript of, you have three major options available — using the automatically generated YouTube transcript, using a transcription service, or doing it yourself. Each option offers its own list of benefits and challenges to consider:

  • Auto-generated YouTube transcripts are only available for mobile users. These transcripts are also often not very accurate to the content of the video unless the creator has taken the time to apply captions to the video. The pro of this solution is that it’s quick and easy, and your YouTube transcription can be accessed with just a few clicks.
  • Online transcription services like Rev offer a breadth of options (in Rev’s case — Human Transcription and AI Transcription), and produce highly accurate transcripts of various video and audio content. The downside of these services is that they are often paid and don’t give you immediate access to a transcript, but it’s a price we (and plenty of other users) are willing to pay for the highest level of accuracy.
  • Transcribing a YouTube video yourself is tedious and time-consuming, but can aid in understanding. Check out this article for more tips on how to practice transcription.

Take some time to learn about each choice, then decide which is best for you.

How to Transcribe a YouTube Video to Text with a Transcription Service

Using a transcription service for transcribing a YouTube video to text is the easiest option. Here’s how to get started.

1. Upload Your YouTube URL to a Transcription Service

Rev is the most accurate transcription solution available for your money, and offers both professional transcription services and automatic transcription services. Upload your YouTube URL below to get started.

2. Select your Optional Add-ons

Rev offers several paid add-ons for our Human and AI Transcription services, including:

  • Rush My Order: If time is of the essence, simply select Rush My Order at checkout to get your transcript up to 5 times faster than our standard turnaround times (you can check your estimated turnaround time here).
  • Instant Draft: Instant first draft automates the first version of your transcript so that you instantly have a text version of your YouTube video — our Revvers continue to work on and polish your final transcript in the meantime.
  • Add Timestamps: Adding timestamps can be helpful if you know that after you transcribe a YouTube video, you’ll want to closely review and ensure that the audio matches up with the text, second by second.

Every transcript ordered from us also includes access to our kit of “post-production” tools, such as:

  • AI Transcript Assistant: AI Transcript Assistant uses a powerful generative AI to not only create summaries of your transcript (and therefore your YouTube video), but is also able to pull out and distill information from the transcript, such as key quotes, insights, and data.
  • Rev Workspaces: Rev Workspaces allows for seamless collaboration between you and your team members with sharing capabilities.
  • Transcript Editor: If your YouTube video transcript will be repurposed for research or other uses, be sure to put any finishing touches on it in the Rev Transcript Editor.

3. Click “Checkout” and Receive your Transcript

The length of time for our professionals to transcribe your video depends on the video length, but most videos just take a few hours. Our automatic transcription service is nearly instant, but will be less accurate.

You will receive your YouTube transcript in an email or in your account when it is finished!

DIY Way to Transcribe YouTube Videos

A final option is to transcribe a video yourself. This is the most time-intensive process for you, but the benefit is you’ll be in control of the entire process. You can use any shorthand or add any notes that you want, plus skip any sections that you don’t find valuable if you’re doing the transcription yourself.

Of course, customizing the transcription will make them less useful if you intend to share the document, but if it’s only meant for your own use, this is a great option.

Other Resources

Learn more how to transcribe audio to text or the importance of subtitles on your YouTube videos on our blog.