Transcript from a recorded Zoom meeting?
May 13, 2024 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to get a transcript out of a recorded Zoom meeting?

I believe access to the meetings requires logging into the institutional Zoom. (Can’t log into it with my regular Zoom, only the university’s.)

(If I can read a class vs spend three hours passively listening, I’ll be over the moon.)
posted by cotton dress sock to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Professor chiming in here: I would strongly, from an ethical and potentially legal point of view, strongly advise against using any auto transcribers that require you to use cloud computing to get the transcript. If the recorded class has other students you have potential FERPA issues if you transfer the data to someone; if it's just the professor, you have intellectual property issues for the same reason. I know folks who specifically don't use Zoom transcription for that reason.

Assuming you're talking about a posted recording here with no transcription embedded: you can use something like MacWhisper, which runs locally, to create a transcript.

If the recording is posted, and has an embedded transcript that was generated by Zoom: you can ask the professor (nicely!) if they would consider making the transcript available as a separate file on the course website. They may or may not still have access to it though, depending on when the file was made, and their university data storage policies.
posted by damayanti at 8:22 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]

This sounds like an accessibility question to me. I also find it a lot more efficient to read transcripts than watch long videos, for both attentional and speed reasons. I always allow captions in my Zoom workshops for this reason, because it sometimes helps me follow along better or follow up on things I missed the first time. There can be legal issues as described above if these transcripts were shared or published somewhere, or potentially if they were run through cloud services (don't trust those with sensitive information), but I think using them for personal learning and accessibility reasons is valid.

As damayanti noted, Zoom does have automatic captioning available, and if the caption feature is turned on for a meeting, and the ability to download captions is enabled, the captions may be available as a separate file if the professor or the meeting facilitator downloaded the transcript before the meeting ended. (I don't believe they are saved otherwise.) So have the recordings of these meetings already been made, or are some or all of the meetings yet to happen? If recordings already exist but transcripts haven't been shared, then I would suggest following up with the professor as suggested above to see if a transcript might be available. Otherwise, it's time to use a tool as described above to make your own transcript. If some or all of the meetings have yet to happen, I would request that the professor enable captions and download transcripts of future meetings.
posted by limeonaire at 8:56 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

My wife used to use AWS speech recognition for transcribing classes, and was overjoyed when let her upload the video and get a correctable shareable transcript without me jumping through S3 hoops to help her do it.

All of the above caveats about privacy and intellectual property apply.
posted by straw at 10:50 AM on May 13 [2 favorites]

We also Fathom at my job, which I find to be decent. Sometimes I just record (audio) on my phone and use Rev.
posted by gottabefunky at 11:25 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Part of my job is setting up Zoom meetings for a college. To generate a transcript, the organizer has to have cloud recording enabled and transcription enabled - here are the Zoom instructions for how to do this. I do this for Board and other public meetings, then post the recording with the transcript on the website. If the meeting has the transcript enabled, you'll see it automatically spooling up on the right hand side of the recording. So the short answer is no, it's not possible unless it was already done by the administrator. To get a transcript after the fact, you'll need a third party app of some sort.
posted by mygothlaundry at 2:25 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]

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