Choose your battles wisely (especially when transcribing)


When I wibbled about machine transcription a few days ago, I concluded that it was perhaps still too much in its infancy to be of any use. However, I thought I would give it a second chance, as I’ve no doubt that I will want to transcribe content from videos in the future, as I have done in the past. And I’m glad that I did, because my second test revealed that my decision to ignore the advice given me by Sonix (the transcription software I used) was, uh, shall we say, “unwise.”

Transcript: Ah, ah, Aaah, Aaagh, Aaaaagh, AAAAAAGH.
FX: *THUD* … *wind scattering ashes*
“He chose… poorly.”

Why I take the time to transcribe content

In my first attempt at machine translation, I made several mistakes, and they led me to a bad result — and a worse conclusion. Allow me to begin again, from the top (or…

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7 thoughts on “Choose your battles wisely (especially when transcribing)”

    1. I have the choice to see transcript on when I view YouTube and it is sometimes very funny since the transcription is wrong. Most often, I find it helpful since a lot of singers are not all that clear. Do Wah Diddy Diddy was hard but Bird is the Word impossible – lol.

    2. I tried to figure out how to ‘turn transcript on’ on YouTube — and couldn’t. I’d be interested in learning how, if you would be so kind as to point me in the right direction!

    3. YouTube Settings under your account – playback and performance – subtitles and captions – check always show captions and Include auto-generated captions (when available) – but not all YouTube items have it enabled – so on those, you have to transcribe as you have been doing

    4. Thanks for that. I found the relevant checkbox (with some difficulty, I have to admit) and have checked the box, but have yet to discover what difference (if any) that it makes. I think I’ll take your advice and carry on doing as I’ve been doing 🙂

    5. Good luck, I have done that with interviews I conducted – not easy. With those boxes checked, YouTube with CC: close captions and regular captions will appear automatically. Many items on YouTube never turned that option on with uploading to YouTube so your Sonix will help. Give it a few more years and I imagine it will be easier – like the development of OCR optical character recognition – it was slow and only about 80% accurate hen it first came out; now easier and more accurate. Here is a link to other sources to convert voice to text –

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