Importing and transcribing media files

In this guide, you'll learn common ways to import and automatically transcribe files with Descript.

Before getting started

  • You'll need an audio or video file ready to import and transcribe. Or, if you want to record video or audio directly into Descript, check out our recording how-to guide.
  • If a file is over 15 hours in length or greater than 100GB in size, separate it into shorter parts before importing and transcribing the content.

How to transcribe your files

Set your transcription language

The first time you import and transcribe files in Descript, you will be prompted to set the transcription language. You can adjust the setting later from your App settings. We recommend enabling Always ask before transcribing if you transcribe in different languages from project to project.

Import and transcribe a file

  1. Open or create a project.
  2. Drag your audio or video file into the script area, and Descript will transcribe it. If you're importing a file into a blank project, select import file into script icon Add file in the script editor.
  3. If your file has only one speaker, add the speaker's name. If there are multiple speakers, ask Descript to detect the number of speakers. Click here to learn more about using speaker detection.

Screenshot of adding and transcribing a file in Descript

Import and transcribe files all at once

If you're adding multiple files at once, you can choose to have the files added one after another in your script, or group them in a multitrack sequence. Sequences allow you to group multiple files together (i.e., different speakers from the same interview) and edit them in a single unified script.

  1. Open or create a project.
  2. Drag your audio or video files into the script area, and Descript will begin transcribing them.
  3. Add the speaker's name if needed.
  4. Check combine files into a multitrack sequence if you want to group the files in a sequence. Or, just click Done to add the files to your script one after the other.

Screenshot of adding and transcribing multiple files in Descript

Imported files are added to the media library

Once you've transcribed your files, they will be added to the media library. You can use the files in any composition within the project. You do not need to import and transcribe them again.

Add and transcribe a file to a script

If you're working on a project that already has a script, but you need to add and transcribe another file:

  1. Place your cursor where you want to add the file.
  2. PressReturn (Mac) or Enter (Windows) twice and create a blank line in your script. 
  3. Press Add file icon.png Add file next to the new blank line. This will open the Files Tab icon.png Files tab in your Media library. If you haven't imported your file yet, click + Add files at the bottom of the Media library, and select the file you want to import into your project.
  4.  Select the file you want to add to your script, and select Insert into script. Or, just drag and drop the file onto the new blank line.

Screenshot showing numbered steps for importing and transcribing a file to an existing script

Tips and best practices

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