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Automatic transcription

Descript offers both automatic – AI-powered – and White Glove – human-powered – transcription.
Automatic transcription accuracy varies greatly depending on the nature of the audio. With a high-quality recording, and a person speaking clearly, accuracy can get up to 95% — but poor audio quality and hard-to-distinguish speech can reduce accuracy to 80% or lower.

Transcribing files

There are a few locations in the app you can automatically transcribe a file:

Descript’s automatic transcription engine

Like most other automatic transcription services, Descript uses a third-party transcription engine for automatic transcriptions. These companies can provide much more accurate transcriptions than anything built independently. But don’t worry; we regularly measure the accuracy of all the primary transcription services to be sure we're always providing the highest quality to our customers. We sometimes publish the results of these tests -  you can read more about these findings here.

How transcription time is calculated when uploading files

You have a monthly amount of transcription hours in Descript. When you upload and transcribe a file, the transcription time used is based on the entire file length, not just the parts with speech. This is important to keep in mind, especially when:

  • Uploading multiple speaker files from the same interview or recording session. Each file will be deducted from your monthly transcription hours.
  • You transcribe a file with large sections without speech. Again, the total length of the transcribed file will be deducted from your monthly transcription hours, not just the parts with people speaking.
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