Automatic transcription

Descript offers a cutting-edge automatic (AI-powered) transcription service, delivering near-instant, highly accurate text from audio and video. With support for 23 languages and advanced features like AI-powered speaker labeling, it meets diverse transcription needs. The service ensures data confidentiality and offers both a free plan and affordable paid options.

Transcribing files

There are a few ways you can automatically transcribe a file in Descript:

  • You can transcribe files by adding them to your script; drag and drop the file into the Script editor or select + to the left of the script and choose File.
  • If you have imported a file directly into your Media library, you can transcribe a file by selecting the options menu ( Transport_ellipses.png icon) to the right of the file’s name and choosing Transcribe file.
  • You can transcribe files when creating a sequence or adding files to a sequence from the sequence editor.

File size limitations

While there is no strict limit (in bytes) on the size of files that can be automatically transcribed, any file 15 hours or longer will automatically fail transcription.

Additionally it is important to consider the potential impact on app performance. Large files may take longer to upload and transcribe, which could cause delays or other performance issues within your project.

Split large files into smaller segments

Large files (especially those longer than 15 hours) should be split into smaller segments before uploading them for transcription. This can also help to avoid performance issues and ensure a faster transcription delivery time.

Transcription accuracy

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.

The accuracy of automatic transcription varies significantly depending on the characteristics of the audio. With well-recorded audio and clear speech, Descript's automatic transcription can be up to 95% accurate. However, in cases of poor audio quality or difficult-to-understand speech, the accuracy can drop.

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.
Does Descript Round Transcription Time?

When calculating transcription time, Descript rounds up to the nearest minute. For example, if you upload a file that is only 30 seconds long, one minute will be deducted from your total transcription time.

Was this page helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful