How to Convert MP4 Videos to Text

By: Verbit Editorial



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If you’ve spent any time creating video content, odds are you’re familiar with the MP4 file format. The MP4 format is considered a universal format for video files, much like MP3 files are a universal format for audio recordings. MP4 files are compatible with most – if not all – major digital media platforms, making them an extremely popular file format for content creators across all industries.  

Video content is an increasingly popular vehicle for lead generation and information sharing. While over 92% of global internet users watch videos online every week, video content can still fall short of reaching its maximum potential audience due to oversights and gaps in accessibility. Transcribing MP4 to text provides more equitable viewing experiences and engagement opportunities for those with certain disabilities and learning needs.  

Understanding the Role of Transcription

Transcription refers to the process of converting audio or video to readable text. When you transcribe video to text, you essentially create a written account of the audio track from that video content. Transcripts can be excellent resources for a wide range of purposes. For instance, written transcripts can help boost the accessibility of content intended primarily for entertainment. They can also serve as an accurate record of recorded video chats, webinars and more.

Verbatim transcripts serve as word-for-word renderings of video content and include everything from spoken dialogue to sound effects and music cues. Verbatim MP4 transcription is a valuable accessibility tool because it provides a highly accurate readable version of video content for individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. In this way, transcripts offer access without compromising or obfuscating a video’s message. This essentially provides viewers who are Deaf with comparable experiences to those of their peers. Some individuals with ADHD or auditory processing disorders may also prefer to receive information in a readable format. Proactively providing accurate transcripts can further support the needs of many of your audience members.  

Can You Get a Transcript of an MP4 File? 

It’s possible to transcribe a wide range of video file formats, including MP4 videos. Some media hosting sites, such as YouTube, offer transcripts directly within their platform to all viewers, regardless of whether they request specific accommodations. In the interest of expediency, many providers create these transcripts with automatic speech recognition technology (ASR). ASR is a form of artificial intelligence that can transcribe audio to text. Unfortunately, these auto-generated transcripts often contain many transcription errors making them unsuitable for accessibility purposes and potentially PR risks.  

For this reason, creators may want to explore alternative methods to transcribe MP4 video recordings to boost accessibility. Certain accessibility standards, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, set a high bar for the accuracy rates of video transcripts. It’s important to use methods that will yield the most accurate final result possible to meet that high bar. 

a hand holding up a video camera

How to Transcribe MP4 to Text 

Apart from automatic speech recognition tools, creators have many options available to them to transcribe MP4 to text. Some creators or business leaders may want to attempt to convert MP4 to text manually. This process involves an individual listening to the audio track of a video and meticulously transcribing each audio element by hand. This approach is not only tedious, but it does not necessarily yield accurate results.  

In order to accurately convert MP4 to text manually, the transcriber must have undergone a substantial amount of professional training. Untrained transcribers are prone to making errors requiring significant time and resources to correct. Professionally trained transcribers, on the other hand, are capable of achieving exceptionally high rates of accuracy. However, professionals are not necessarily capable of doing so efficiently. The manual transcription process is time-consuming, regardless of an individual’s experience level, which makes professional transcribers expensive to hire. They also may not be capable of transcribing a large volume of content quickly, making it difficult to scale creation efforts.  

An alternative option for creators seeking accurate transcripts of their content is to partner with professional transcription services like Verbit. Verbit combines artificial intelligence with the expertise of human transcribers to efficiently produce a high volume of transcripts with accuracy rates of up to 99%.

The Verbit Transcription Process

Verbit’s transcription process consists of the following steps:

  • Step 1: A user uploads their MP4 file to Verbit’s platform and requests conversion from MP4 to transcript. 
  • Step 2: Verbit’s proprietary artificial intelligence software initiates the MP4-to-text transcription process.  
  • Step 3: The initial transcript is sent to a member of Verbit’s professional transcription team to be reviewed and edited for optimal accuracy.  
  • Step 4: The final transcript is available for download by the user in their preferred file format.  

Verbit can convert MP4 to transcript file formats like VTT files that are compatible with most major media hosting platforms. Also, Verbit offers a searchable transcription format that allows users to find specific keywords in the transcript and the corresponding locations in a video recording. Transcript files can also be used to add subtitles to MP4 videos to improve accessibility further. Verbit’s transcription process can be completed in as little as 4 hours, making it fast and cost-effective to transcribe even hefty backlogs of MP4 recordings.

person in a blue shirt holding up a camera in front of him

Build Your Momentum with Verbit

In addition to fostering greater accessibility and inclusivity, transcription can help creators significantly improve the overall reach of their content. Additionally, with more and more mobile users consuming video content with the sound off, offering a readable version of video content helps ensure that no messaging gets lost. Converting video to text can also help to boost a brand’s SEO ranking. With transcripts, the text of previously undiscoverable content is in a format that major search engines can crawl.

Verbit offers a full suite of accessibility tools like captioning, transcription, translation and audio description to help content creators reach a more diverse audience across multiple media platforms. Verbit’s software integrations and partnerships with digital media providers like YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, and more equip users with the resources they need to scale their accessibility efforts without compromising their bottom line. Reach out for more information on Verbit’s support for industry and thought leaders’ inclusivity efforts worldwide.