Skip navigation

Presumptuous, I know, but I’ve a request: next time you make a podcast, please release it with a transcript.

‘Why would I want to do that?’

Because someone, in fact many people, would appreciate it. For someone profoundly deaf, an audio-only podcast is inaccessible, without a transcript it offers nothing whatsoever. But even for those who can hear the audio, a transcript can be a help if the podcast is in a language with which the listener is not fully familiar or the speaker is aware they have a heavy accent. A transcript can be useful for all as it can be scanned through to see if the content is of interest before listening, to review key points or to extract specific information quickly.

‘But it’s extra work.’

Yes, but not a great deal if you are working from a script and you probably at least have some notes to get you started. And the point is, the podcast will be of more use to more people.

‘I don’t make podcasts.’

No, neither do I, so why not ask those you know who do if they will consider adding transcripts in the future, or at least trialling the idea.

‘And what will you be doing while we are doing this?’

To get you started, if you have a podcast* you have made for use in an educational context of no more than about 3 minutes, send it to me and I will produce a transcript for you**; then you can see if anyone uses it and whether they found it useful. I will also tell you how long it took me to produce (and that’s typing with two fingers.)

‘Anything else?’

Well, a comment below would be appreciated if you have experience of transcripts,  as a producer or user.

* one podcast per person; some editing on your part may be necessary when it comes to names and specialist terms beyond my ken; offer ends April 2011; English is my only language, sorry.

**I’ll be doing this in my own time, in case my line manager reads this.


Update 24/01/2011:

I’ve learnt via Twitter that the QAA will provide a transcript to a podcast upon request. When I asked why they were not made available  on the website without request I was informed ‘Providing resources when requested lets us target funding where needed, rather than routine transcripts that may be unread.’ In a world when resources are a) finite and b) always a bit less than you would like, I can see this argument, but I can also see contrary ones (see original post above.) What do you think?


  1. I’m part of a course that will be getting students to produce a short video. Looking through the help files for YouTube it looks like adding subtitles to video isn’t too hard either.

  2. Good point about video, Alun. A transcript or subtitles would be absolutely vital where there is no talking head to lip-read and useful to any viewer.

    With our responsibly towards accessibility and technology making things easier, there are no excuses.

  3. I love transcripts.

    They can be googled.

    They can be copied+pasted.

    They can be more easily skimmed.

    I’m more likely to read the transcript than I am to listen to the podcast.

    I know its more work. But it will get a bigger audience.

    And unless you’re Eddie Izzard or Johnny Vegas I’m unlikely to miss out on your amazing vocal delivery.

  4. We’re currently grappling with this issue as part of the seemingly endless struggle to attain RNIB accreditation …

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracey Madden. Tracey Madden said: Calling All Podcasters: […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: