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Video Transcription

Documentaries rely heavily on audio transcription to transform interviews and conversation into a malleable form. Many new automated transcription tools have recently arrived on the scene, many with tight integrations to Final Cut and other editing software. Here’s a list of a few I’ve found most promising.


SpeedScriber

https://www.speedscriber.com

A focused tool for getting transcripts & favorites in and out of FCPX quickly and easily.

$30/hr

Pro:

  • Text editor
  • Select and export favorites back to FCPX
  • Round trip with FCPX maintains keywords

Con:

  • Most expensive

Scribeomatic

https://coremelt.com/products/scribeomatic

Evolving transcription & logging tool with big ambitions. Similar to SpeedScriber but more affordable.

$12/hr (points-based system)

Pro:

  • Text editor
  • Multicam, role selection and most other FCPX workflows
  • Excellent assembly editor for collecting “selects”

Con:

  • Text editor is very basic, e.g. no speaker names
  • Doesn’t allow exporting favorites back to FCPX

Simon Says

https://simonsays.ai

Simple, clean transcription from directly within FCPX and Premiere.

$15/hour and down

Pro:

  • Clean transcriptions
  • Translation
  • FCPX workflow extension

Con:

Descript

https://www.descript.com

Edit audio like it’s a word processor. This is the one to watch.

$10/mo

Pro:

  • Amazing tool
  • Automated audio crossfades, effects etc
  • Can use it for most of the editing process

Con:

  • Focused on being the only tool you use rather than clean integration with FCPX and other tools
  • No multicam support yet
  • FCPX workflow last time I tried was problematic for synced audio

Speechmatics

https://www.speechmatics.com

An excellent, affordable transcription & translation engine.

$4.50/hr

Pro:

  • Excellent transcription engine
  • Very cheap
  • Many languages and dialects
  • Translation

Con:

  • No integration with FCPX or other tools

Lumberjack

http://www.lumberjacksystem.com

$25/mo for base system
$21/hr (35c / min) for transcripts

An extensive logging & rough-cut builder for FCPX and Premiere.

Pro:

  • Comprehensive system
  • Live logging during a shoot
  • Builder app for using transcripts to create assembly / rough cut

Con:

  • UI and website are a bit clunky

There you have it! I hope the list is helpful. If you have any notes or recommendations please add a comment and I’ll update the post.

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