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In this video Dave Dugdale compares the time it takes to transcribe a typical three minute video by hand verses using the SubPly's automatic transcription service.

I hate to transcribe my own videos and I am too cheap to hire it out.

Mark Robertson at ReelSEO told me about an free automatic transcription service called SubPly, so I thought I would share my experiences with it and compare SubPly to transcribing by hand.

Let's get started.

Assuming you already have your video uploaded to a host like or you have the flv file on your server. Place the path of your flv file on SubPly and then wait. With this video it took 46 minutes before I got the email that it was done, sometimes I seen it work as fast as 5 minutes.

Once you get the email from SubPly that its done, head on back to your account and save a local copy of the transcript.

Then make the corrections you need to the text file by listening to your video.

For this 3 minute video it took 10 minutes to do around 80 corrections to the text file, sometimes SubPly got entire sentences totally right and sometimes I had to rewrite entire sentence from scratch. Mostly the corrections consisted of replacing words that it got wrong.

OK, there are two things I do with the finished transcription. The obvious one is place the transcript on my site next to the video and the other is to upload it to YouTube's caption feature which may or may not help my video rank better on YouTube.

I also add the text file to the video's description which in my experience helps get more YouTube traffic because of the longtail of all the words that now become searchable.

So, is it faster to do it by hand or use Subply? Well if you don't count the 46 minutes I had to wait for SubPly to do it's thing, then it is faster because it only took me 10 minutes of corrections with SubPly and 23 minutes to do it all by hand.

Couple of quick things to know. is the only service I can get to work with SubPly with the flv extensions and SubPly only take videos shorter than 5 minutes.

That's it - happy transcribing!

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