An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

June 4, 2010

YouTube's Interactive Transcripts

YouTube added a cool feature for videos with closed captions: you can now click on the "transcript" button to expand the entire listing. If you click on a line, YouTube will show the excerpt from the video corresponding to the text. If you use your browser's find feature, you can even search inside the video. Here's an example of video that includes a transcript.

YouTube lets you upload a transcript file for a video and it can automatically generate the appropriate timestamps. "YouTube uses experimental speech recognition technology to provide automatic timing for your English transcript. Automatic timing creates a caption file that you can download."

{ Thanks, Bogdan. }


  1. hey, thanks for telling people about this. we released it quietly last week and excited to see people using it.

    our goal is to make every video accessible and useful to every youtube user, so the transcript work is an effort in that direction.

    if folks have any comments or suggestions pls let us know!

    hunter, YouTube Product Manager

    1. Hi Hunter, The youtube transcripts on the videos are terribly incorrect. How do you plan to make these more accurate?

    2. Great feature! Especially taking into account that transcripts are searchable. To make them even more searchable I would like to have a possibility to search ALL youtube transcripts through google search engine.
      Thank you for listing!

    3. Hi, really like the automatic transcript but it can generate interesting text at times... I would like to be able to correct the transcript on my videos. How can I do that , or download the transcript as editable text, correct and upload? Thanks, Rachael

    4. I've been watching some stand up comedy and the transcriipts are even funnier! Who does them?

    5. My question is: Do youtube transcripts work on mobile platforms. as of today 7/2/13.? Thanx.

  2. I came across this feature earlier in the week and sent it to a few mates, they all thought it was very handy.

    This will be a huge win for YouTube if they can enable the transcript to be indexed by Google search, it'll make finding great video content that much easier.

  3. Pretty cool. I still prefer the implementation that offers. Though, YouTube's solution is free but I can only wonder how good their voice recognition technology is.

  4. I discovered the transcript feature, cool! Would like to have this feature for embedded videos too! That would be really great.

  5. YYYEEEESSSS. For all those 60-minute lecture videos posted on YouTube (see also: Google TechTalks), this feature is absolutely game changing. Killer =) I just saw this today, and I'm more excited about this than the iPhone 4!

  6. VIVID Books also does this for YouTube vids.

    Dblclick on word in transcript to jump.
    Includes table of contents for navigation. Instead of transcript being one gigantic paragraph, it can be broken into sections. Can bookmark sections within the transcript as well.
    Searches can be done across videos.

  7. is a video site which generates a table of content for the video and lets you search inside a video. Here is an example

  8. Wow, this is free? Up until now, I've been using for interactive transcripts.

  9. Is there a way to link to a video with this on by default? I'm thinking like with the deep linking, where you can specify the time to start at, a parameter so the page would load with the interactive transcript open.

  10. Transcripts are cool, but using it for subtitles is cooler. Just found a German video series that used to be posted with English subtitles, but those videos have since disappeared. However, now the German version has the subtitles available via Interactive Transcripts. This is beyond awesome.

  11. check out a solution to enable interactive transcripts for embedded YouTube videos here -

  12. question: is this at all practical for transcribing video that is subject to confidentiality agreements (ie stuff that hasn't aired yet).

    i am completely new to transcribing, i just had a chance to pick up some work but getting set up has been a disaster. i'm searching for a software to bypass the nonsense i've been running into with the vpedal free plugins.

    1. it doesn't even work right! why is there only one comment saying that it's inaccurate? It's not a good program!

    2. This transcribing system doesn't work. No wonder it's free.

  13. It's wonderful, but YouTube, I don't see a way of showing the 'transcript' button when viewing the video in my channel. For example, compare (transcript button visible, but not in our channel), with this (in our channel, but no transcript button)

  14. How can I download The video with the transcript text.. for a later view

  15. how come the Interactive Transcript is'nt on ALL YouTube videos?

  16. Here is an example of how 'speech recognition' can give faulty "Interactive transcript"

    The original text:
    This is the daily routine closing ceremony of members of mini forest laughter club, J P Nagar, Bangalore, India. First they gather in two files facing each other. Then they light imaginary fire and throw all their worries into that and burn them. The fire is doused soon after. Now they pluck imaginary flowers form a tree and sprinkle them on each other. Each ritual is followed by clapping of hands and shouting Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha, Ha. This is followed by placing both their palms on the head and saying loudly, "let us learn all good things from each other"

    And, the transcript:

    this is the daily routine closing ceremony as members of mini forest and
    after club j_p_ mcgrath bangalore
    first they gather in june files facing each other
    and in nineteen ninety nine five intro although worries into that tuned burden
    defined as ballast soon often
    now they talk imaginary flowers for treatment springs gordon on each other
    each ritual is followed by clapping of hands and shouting poem
    hahahaha power this is followed by placing broken homes on the head and
    saying about the register and all good things from each other

    There is long way to go....

  17. How can i deactivate this feature on my video

  18. Great new feature! Can I correct errors to the transcripts?

  19. Great feature! My clients have been asking that I this.

    There are some errors to the text. How can I fix these?

  20. And yet another thing. I would like to have a "copy text" feature from transcription interactive window, just like in ordinary text editor.
    Thank you!

  21. Love the concept of interactive transcripts :-) but you do get some odd transcribing at times! How can we either correct the transcript in youtube or download the transcript as a correctable text file as a basis and then upload?

    0:18 pasta
    0:21 there was a pleasure
    0:23 proximo
    0:26 have approved restrained
    0:33 traditional though
    0:35 rob
    1:04 sprawl
    1:08 washington state university
    1:10 or affectionately all puzzled
    1:13 nestled in the freedom golden hills of eastern washington
    1:17 more than a campus
    1:19 figures of the guild quicker than the state
    1:22 it's a spirit
    1:24 basket carried by all those who project and structures light when
    1:31 experiments jews
    1:37 policy
    1:44 he stopped coming
    1:55 status call in albany
    2:00 i wanted to accept
    2:01 you know when we get all about the looked back
    2:04 and reflect upon our experiences of the treatments
    2:07 i guess most of us can recall the special teachers
    2:10 a particular class in school or a place where we've lived
    2:14 that left a lasting impression
    2:17 all these kind of things i'm coming back to the mind of memory
    2:21 when we require years of w_o_s_u_
    2:28 in a little more than ninety years in washington state has grown from a single
    2:31 brick buildings
    2:32 were modern institution recognized for its excellence in education and research
    2:39 many of us alumni and faculty are world-renowned at the fields of
    2:42 chemistry government
    2:44 economics business and the studies of men
    2:49 the university's commitments but i would have liked is evidence filed court
    2:53 winning the treatments in environmental and agricultural research and every year
    2:59 new research explorers were rising emerging fields such as biological
    3:04 chemistry nutrition health sciences and global ecology
    3:10 but not forgotten among these lofty pursuits
    3:13 is the pursuit of beauty
    3:16 washington state university offers a full curriculum in the final liberal
    3:19 arts because that uh... creates a better way of life
    3:25 here's where it all started for me
    3:27 right near the studios of visible usc mt w_s_u_i_ now
    3:31 what began as a tiny radio station in nineteen twenty two
    3:35 one of the highest regarded communication schools in the country
    3:39 students net pay and f_m_ and television broadcasting facilities
    3:44 the sound of her spirit coming together
    6:54 include russian food
    7:03 for the fleet of sports and strong appeased sugar track and field season
    7:07 separatist all americans instead with you this
    7:10 perennials and c_n_n_'s carl
    7:12 countless olympians world record holder bournemouth wilkerson syndrome
    7:29 saloon online and
    8:33 economic political system
    8:39 a cornerstone for a full life
    8:51 this just to give me a large degree of decisions in the winter and to gcs
    8:56 kristin that's disgraceful and at this time of the campus minister has occurred

  23. I’m sorry, this feature is atrocious, especially with videos featuring American narrators. The transcripts are seriously horrendous, e.g. ‘acrylic painting’ being rendered as ‘credit rating’, and ‘we get ahead of ourselves’ as ‘we get a hotbed of ourselves’.

    This is actually endemic.


  24. how can i edit/fix misheard words in interactive transcripts on

  25. Two must have features:
    Edit- let collaborate
    Search - I want to search ALL transcripts for specific phrases.

    Then make me an API so that I can port search results to my language learning software. that would be awesome