How to Convert mp4 to Text

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Knowing how to convert mp4 to text isn’t particularly difficult, but it can take a long time. The accuracy and readability of the text file will ultimately depend on how you transcribe it, too.

So, what is the easiest way to convert mp4 to text? There are different options, which we discuss below.

What is mp4 Conversion?

An mp4 file is a video file rather than just audio. The process of turning it into text is called transcription, and your options are basically the same as for just audio files. After all, that’s the bit you’re turning into text.

Why Convert mp4 to Text?

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to turn a video into a text file. Regardless of whether you’re a journalist, researcher, or marketer, here’s why you might want to convert mp4 to text.


The most obvious reason is to create subtitles for a video. Automatically generated subtitles basically do this, but they can be inaccurate because the software isn’t amazing.

Subtitles are vital for people with hearing impairments, or for people who can’t watch a video with the volume turned up. To make sure they get the correct meaning from your video, you should transcribe the audio.

Convert mp4 to text

There’s no problem with using an automatic transcription platform, as some are very accurate. However, something like YouTube’s automatic captions software leaves a lot to be desired.

Taking Notes

Say you’ve conducted a video interview for work or research. Having a text version of the interview will be helpful for write-ups and note-taking. Finding the exact quote from an mp4 file can be difficult and time-consuming.

Much like creating subtitles for a video, accuracy is vital here. You’ll also need to add speakers and timestamps so you know who’s said what, and when. Some transcription services do this, but plenty doesn’t.


Businesses usually have several marketing channels. These might include a YouTube channel, a podcast, social media, and a website blog. Creating fresh content for each takes a lot of work, particularly if you’re busy with other things.

Deciding to convert mp4 to text is an ideal way of reusing content from one platform for a different one. For example, you could use a podcast as the basis for a blog post. Alternatively, you could turn a YouTube video into a series of Instagram captions.

How to Convert mp4 to Text

There are 3 main ways to convert mp4 into text. These are manual, outsourcing, or automatic. Each has benefits depending on your time and needs, so let’s go over each.

Manual Conversion

Manually converting mp4 to text is quite a long process. It’s the oldest method of transcription, but also involves the least amount of technology. All you’ll need is a computer that can play videos and a word processor.

Text documents

To convert mp4 to text manually, simply watch the video and transcribe what’s said in it. If you’ve only got one speaker, this shouldn’t be too hard, as you can just write a script.

But when you move to several speakers, it gets a bit more complicated. You’ll need to note speakers and timestamps, so the reader has a clear understanding of the conversation.

To transcribe manually, you’ll need to watch the video several times. Watch it through without making notes first. Next, watch it and write out a rough draft. Finally, watch it once more to complete your write-up, focusing on difficult words and timestamps.

What Are the Benefits of Transcribing Manually?

Involves the least amount of technology.
Isn’t too complicated if there’s only one speaker.
Can be done without outside help.blank

What About The Drawbacks?

  • Takes a long time.
  • It’s easy to get stuck on difficult words or unclear phrases.

Outsourcing Transcription

The next method is to pay someone to convert your mp4 file to text. It’s as straightforward as it sounds. You find a transcriber, send them your video, and pay for their services.

As you can imagine, there are several difficulties doing it this way. First, it can be very expensive if you hire an experienced transcriber. Of course, if you’re working with an important video, a professional transcriber should be your only choice.

Also, you’re taking a risk paying someone to do this. Freelancing platforms have ratings, but you still don’t know what the person’s work is actually like. Hiring a bad transcriber will at best waste your time.

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Transcription?

The transcription can be very high quality.
The right person can offer a quick turnaround.
Saves you from having to try converting the file yourself.blank

What About the Drawbacks?

  • It can be expensive.
  • You take a risk paying for bad service.

Automatic Transcription

The final option for how to convert mp4 to text is through an automatic platform. By this, we don’t mean something like YouTube’s automatic caption generation. You shouldn’t rely on a service like that, as it’s never going to be brilliant.

Instead, use an AI-driven, dedicated conversion platform, like Transkriptor. It only takes a few minutes to convert mp4 to text, meaning you’re not waiting days for a manual conversion.

Also, Tranksriptor offers 80-99% accuracy, so it’s as good as any professional transcriber. Accuracy depends on the audio quality, but you can go through and manually edit the file after. It even offers an online text editor to make this even easier.

Finally, Transkriptor allows you to export your text file, with timestamps, in different formats. It’s arguably the easiest way to convert mp4 to text and saves you worrying about accuracy and wasted time.

Why Should You Use an Automatic Transcription Service?

High levels of accuracy.
Quick and easy to use.
Delivers a ready to use a text fileblank

What About the Drawbacks of Auto Transcription?

  • None.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to convert mp4 to text. While manual conversion is the cheapest option, it’s definitely not the easiest. Instead, opt for an AI-driven conversion service like Transkriptor.

Check out our website for more information on how it works and what we can do. You even get your first file conversion for free, and after that, it stays incredibly affordable. So, what are you waiting for?


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