Home Audio Transcription 5 Ways to Effortlessly Transcribe Your Podcast for Free

5 Ways to Effortlessly Transcribe Your Podcast for Free


One of the key methods to promote your podcast us to provide a full transcription or quotes for sharing on social media or a website. But surely transcribing anything more than 10 minutes of dialogue is time consuming and tiring?

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There is an alternative. Various tools are available that you can use to transcribe your podcast. Some are paid services, but here we look at the free ways to transcribe your podcast.

Why Transcribe a Podcast Anyway?

There are many reasons why you should transcribe your podcast. While it remains an audio-only experience, providing detailed text related to the contents can help in various ways. Some advantages of podcast transcriptions include:

  1. Search engines can direct new listeners to your podcast if the transcript is published.
  2. Deaf and hard of hearing people tend to avoid podcasts, but with a transcript they know what the show is about.
  3. Similarly, a lot of people prefer to just read the web, rather than watch videos and listen to podcast.

Now you’ve seen the benefits of podcast transcription, here’s what you need to do to convert your audio presentation to words.

1. Transcribe Manually

You might have already considered transcribing your podcast manually. While an inefficient option in many ways, regardless of your typing speed, it has one key advantage. Most speech to text tools stumble over accents, slang, and dialects. By typing the podcast manually, you’ll be able to avoid the errors that the automated tools make.


However, while work-intensive, this option might be faster than some of the others if your show is relatively short, or you’re only planning on using one or two quotes from the podcast in the promotional material.

Note that if you podcast solo, the script that you work from can be used in place of transcription. It’s likely to be better written than the results of any of the automated transcription services below.

2. Check Your Podcast Host for Transcription Services

Various podcast hosting services are beginning to offer transcription services for uploaded MP3 files. Transcription might be bundled in with the price of the hosting, or available as an optional extra.

For example, if your podcast is published on Spotify (either via Spotify-owned Anchor or a third-party host) then there is a good chance of an automatic transcription coming your way.

Spotify has announced that it will automatically transcribe podcasts. Initially, this will mean Spotify Original and Exclusive podcasts, but the feature is expected to be rolled out to all shows.

3. Get One Off Free Transcription With Descript

If you don’t need regular podcast transcriptions, paying for the service isn’t ideal. Fortunately, online media editing tools Descript offers a free podcast transcription option. This uses speech recognition software to convert your audio to text, but there is also the option to get it transcribed by a person, too.

Descript offers three hours of free transcription with its free package, listed as “one-time” usage. If you want more than this, the Descript subscriptions aren’t too expensive and provide 10 or 30 hours of transcription for $15 or $30 a month.

Head to www.descript.com to learn more.

4. Let YouTube Transcribe Your Podcast

Another way to transcribe a podcast almost effortlessly is to upload it to YouTube.

By default, YouTube doesn’t allow audio-only files to be uploaded. However, there are various tools you can use to get around this:

  • Your podcast host may include a YouTube-upload option
  • Create a podcast with an image for social media with a tool like Headliner [headliner.app/]
  • The TunesToTube website lets you easily combine an image and audio file and upload the result to YouTube

With the file uploaded to YouTube, check back after 24-30 hours and you should see that a transcript has been created. This is usually accessed via the closed-caption tool, but it can also be easily downloaded.

  1. Under the video player, next to the Save button, click the three dots
  2. Select Open transcript
  3. In the Transcript window, copy the text and save it to your text editor
  4. You can also use the three-button menu in the Transcript to Toggle timestamps off before copying

Let YouTube transcribe your podcast

With the transcript saved, you’re then ready to save it to your website or podcast show description.

5. Transcribe a Podcast With Microsoft Word Online

The final option for transcribing podcasts for free is to use Microsoft Word in Office Online at www.office.com. This lets you upload your podcast MP3 for conversion to text, ready to be edited within the word processor window.

  1. To start, sign in with your Microsoft account
  2. Select Word in the side menu
  3. Click New blank document
  4. Find the microphone button, click the dropdown arrow, and select Transcribe
  5. Here, click Upload audio and browse your computer for the podcast MP3
  6. Select the podcast, click Open, and wait for the transcription to complete
  7. Import the transcription to the main document with Add to document – you can use this to remove the timestamps and speaker names if necessary.

Podcasts can be transcribed free in Word Online

The file will be saved in the OneDrive cloud storage associated with your Microsoft account.

5 Easy Ways to Transcribe a Podcast for Free

If you recently discovered that transcribing your podcasts was a great way to find new listeners, but had no idea how to go about it, you should be feeling confident at this point.

Podcasts can be transcribed with specialist premium services where a human sits, listens, and types out your dialogue. Modern premium tools rely on software – but why use those when you have such good free options? Free podcast transcription methods you can use are:

  1. Manual transcription
  2. Check your podcast host for free transcriptions
  3. Get a one-off free transcription
  4. YouTube
  5. Microsoft Word Online

Remember, if you produce a script for your podcast, this can be used in place of transcription. Start transcribing your podcast today to attract more attention and build your audience.

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