I love accessibility, so any show that is 100% scripted, my script = the transcript, and I'm happy to share it.

For podcasts with a cohost, there's no easy transcription software, and fiverr is actually a bit more than $5 for a 40+ minute show.

Some podcasts I know have had their listeners collaborate to transcribe, and I would love for that to happen for mine. So I'd like to set it up as much as possible from the beginning, so it's easy to do. (I'll transcribe too, when I can, but I think it's better to put my effort towards creating/editing new shows.)

I think my ideal tool would allow anyone to edit, but also allow banning (in case a troll gets into it.) When a transcript is considered complete, I'd like to "lock" it, as a read-only file. (Show notes would have links to the transcript.)

So should I set up a wiki somehow, or is Google Docs better? Unlike the StackExchange Podcast that inspired this, I am not familiar with GitHub. (I've never really played with wikis much either to be honest.)

It looks like Buffering The Vampire Slayer uses Google Docs, and then saves them as PDFs. (I would probably prefer to keep/move them to an html/xml format, but that's just me.)

So thoughts on good collaborative tools for this purpose? Thanks!

This is inspired by the first Answer on the MetaUnicornZoo stack exchange podcast announcement

  • Paying only five dollars to transcribe forty minutes -- that is how much an hour? Who is prepared to do it for that little? Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 17:39
  • 2
    Slight joke. Basically Fiverr freelancers (rightfully) charge more, despite the name implying everything is only $5. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 18:17
  • 1
    @S.Mitchell On Fiverr, workers are required to offer SOMETHING for $5, but will have a price list. It is negotiable. Often you can get workers on there for a few $ an hour, there are many foreigners. For some, like those in India, English is a native language, and they could do transcripts, and they are cheap. I haven't used them for that; but I have gotten over 30 pieces of excellent quality artwork on Fiverr, relatively inexpensively. A similar site, with similar pricing, is Amazon Mechanical Turk, there you put up a job description and get bids; also a lot of foreign workers.
    – Amadeus
    Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 21:32

3 Answers 3


Github or similar is a good choice

I can't say I have used it personally for this type of work, however as a software engineer by day it is my collaboration tool of choice for most things.

Unlike the StackExchange Podcast that inspired this, I am not familiar with GitHub.

I'd like to assure you that learning git/github isn't that difficult. If you can master stack exchange you can handle github. I found an easy guide that doesn't require any installation or use of the command line. With a little searching you will find hundreds of guides on what git is and how to use it.

Why it is a good choice

  • Centralised: You can have a single repository per project
  • Protected: Pull requests and review prevent spammers from harming your transcripts
  • Low entrance barrier: Users can make edits and submit for review directly in the brower
  • Choice of editor: Users can edit files locally and upload changes for review
  • Robust version management: all changes are tracked and can be reverted
  • Format independent: git deals in raw text so any file format can be used, markdown is rendered on github so can be a good choice.
  • User permissions: the repository owner has complete control over who has access to their repository and what they can do with that control. Additionally you can delegate permissions to other trusted users

It appears I'm hearing votes for Fiverr (or Amazon Mechanical Turk) - basically paying humans, (using global economy stuff to pay them less than I'd be able to get away with paying local humans, but still an appropriate rate) , but more reliable than focusing on a system that encourages volunteers?

I have never used Fiverr before, but I have heard good things about it. If anyone wants to comment here with more information about using Fiverr (or similar services), that'd be cool. Or post your own answer, of course.


Here's one I found on a list of tips for podcasting educators (sorry I can't find the link) -- Google Voice -- Basically call your own GoogleVoice number, and play a few minutes of your podcast into it. You'll get email with a transcript of the "message." Repeat until complete, and while it'll still need editing, they say it's better than many other bots.

(I have not tested this, but I remember when I'd get google voice from an old job announcing standard weather closings, and "CCBC Catonsville" would become "See the bees Amy built." But that was several years ago.)

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