Zoom Offers Integrated Automatic Transcription

Last Fall, Zoom announced that they would be adding the ability for customers to have their web conferences automatically transcribed. It looks like that capability is now live and active. I have not personally tested it yet, but I am very interested. Jonathan Dame wrote about the new functionality on the TechTarget Network, and I thank him for bringing the software update to my attention.

The automated transcription function has to be turned on in the account settings for the Zoom account. It works with Cloud recording, but not with local recording to your hard drive.

Once you have recorded your online session, Zoom sends you a notification email when the recording assets have been created. You may choose to record audio in m4a format, or audio and video in mp4 format. The transcription service adds an extra vtt file, which contains the software’s speech-to-text attempt, timestamped to synchronize with the meeting recording.

You will notice that I said “speech-to-text attempt.” Zoom is not pretending that automated transcription is perfect, and you shouldn’t expect that. Dame’s article quoted Zoom as targeting an 89% accuracy rate under “ideal” conditions. The nice thing about the service is that Zoom lets you review the recording and the transcript side by side. You can adjust and edit the text in the transcript as needed, resaving it with the recording.

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