Before we jump right into this Descript Review, I want you to imagine a world where editing your videos or podcasts was as simple as using a word document.
Where you can simply type in anything you’ve missed without having to rerecord more video, or delete any mistakes that you make with the tap of a key. Oh, life as a content creator would be so much simpler!
Well, it turns out that world exists, and it goes by the name of Descript.
In this Descript review, we will investigate why this video and audio editing suite is getting so much HYPE. I will demonstrate why it’s is a great application for bloggers, YouTubers, and podcasters alike.
If you are new here, my name is Jon Davis. I help content creators maximize their impact and income using proven strategies and tech. If that sounds like your jam then make sure you subscribe and also check out my YouTube channel.
If you prefer to watch a review instead of reading one, then good news, you can watch everything I talk about in the video below:
Descript was initially marketed as a Podcast editing suite – a creative application that provided everything you need as an audio editing tool for your podcasts.
In 2020, through acquisition and some rapid growth, the product became much more than that, and with video editing capabilities added, it took on a new purpose.
It started to grow a reputation as an innovative video editing suitetoo.
Descripts goal is to enable us to capture, edit, and share audio and video content. A pretty simple goal that doesn’t begin to explain some of the fancy ways you can achieve this with their software.
Rather than the vanilla approach to content editing that so many software vendors take, Descript is a little more unique. They have restyled the way we can edit audio and video and have made it as simple as just typing a text document.
Don’t let that simplicity fool you though. In this Descript review, we will look at some of the advanced AI capabilities and fancy features that are fast enhancing their reputation.
Who is Descript for?
It would be naive and foolish to say “oh Descript is just for Podcasters” – it isn’t.
Whilst it’s without a doubt an excellent tool for Podcasters, it goes beyond that and can benefit all forms of marketers, entrepreneurs, and content creators.
Personally, I write this blog and I have a YouTube channel. Not only could I edit all of my YouTube videos using Descript, but it has the potential to repurpose that content and split across all other social media channels.
If you create audio or visual content on any platform then Descript could be excellent for you. Let me explain how by looking at some of the best features which set it apart.
Best Descript Features
Let’s take a moment in this Descript review to look at some of the best features and how they can help you. If you want to see in-depth tutorials of these in action then make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel where I will be creating some Descript tutorials to help you out.
If you have ever seen one of my videos you will know I have a very thick northern (England) accent. Most transcription services like Otter and YouTube itself, really struggle to identify what I am saying.
So without paying for elocution lessons 🙂 I am reliant on a good quality transcription service, and Descript provides that.
When you import some audio or video clip it will present you with 3 options for transcribing your content:
Automatic – self-explanatory, Descript will analyze and transcribe your content. The speed at which this happens is dependent on the size of the content.
White-Glove – this is a manual transcription service that you pay extra for but will provide enhanced accuracy. It costs $2 per minute of audio and generally takes 1-3 days to complete.
Import Transcript – Maybe you prefer to use third party transcription services like rev.com, well no problem, you can easily just import the transcribed file here.
Personally, I stick with the automatic option and I have been hugely impressed with the transcription accuracy. Where there are minor errors it’s really simple to correct – you just type the correct word in!
Overdub Voice Cloning
Overdub is the crown jewels of Descript in my opinion. If you check out the descript website they describe the product as:
Descript is a collaborative audio/video editor that works like a doc. It includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, and some mind-bendingly useful AI tools.
Overdub definitely comes under the “mind bendingly useful AI tool” part!
But what is it?
Imagine you have recorded your video and when you play it back you’ve made a mistake or missed something crucial out, or an instruction has since changed.
Normally you would then have to re-record that section, but with overdub you don’t. Instead, you can create an AI clone of your voice, and then type in the missing words, and Descript will generate some cloned audio.
It’s basically a text-to-speech generator but can use your own voice! Amazing!
Included in overdub is the ability to use stock voices too. Just on case you want to create your entire content with an AI voice and not have to say a word.
Filler Word Removal
So uhhh this feature is errr all about when you uhmmm mumble and stutter your way through your audio, and you kinda like leave loads of errr words in that aren’t needed.
A couple of clicks of the mouse and Descript will carry out filler word detection and identify all of these “filler words” (like above) and allow you to delete them in one go. Saving you a tonne of time on your editing.
Adding captions to your videos has been proven to create more engaging content that keeps the viewer watching longer. As well as the obvious benefits that it brings to those who don’t necessarily understand your language or are hard of hearing.
Descript gives you the option to add fancy captions where the previously transcribed audio will display on the screen.
You can add shapes and backgrounds to make this presentable on your videos or if you are a podcaster then you can create audiograms too. This is where your audio file and captions are played over a static image. It’s a great way to repurpose your content for platforms such as Instagram too.
Word Document Editing Experience
For an experienced video editor, you may struggle to adapt to Descript initially. The fact is, it’s different. Unusual even.
Whilst you still have multitrack editing and a timeline to monitor your audio, this is an editor that is based on a text document.
Want to cut a section out – just delete the words!
I think this is a great way of simplifying the video and audio editing process. Sure it has its limitations (and I will cover them shortly) but its simplicity is beautiful.
We are so used to typing text messages, emails, word documents. It has a familiarity that creates a really nice user experience.
If the interface and process isn’t simple enough then don’t worry, they have you covered with some really helpful tutorials that will guide you through getting started.
Anything else you need help with – make sure you leave a comment and I may create some YouTube videos to help you out.
Cloud Sync & Multi-User Collaboration
Firstly, it’s worth pointing out that whilst this is a cloud app, some of the editing options are only available in the downloaded application.
On the whole, Descript has been designed so that you can work in teams.
Your content is synchronized across the cloud, you can share your AI voice with named people, as well as commenting, version history, and more, to make this a truly collaborative platform.
Descripts aim is to become an all-in-one video and audio editor. Which for many content creators requires flexibility around what can be recorded.
This is why they have the ability to screen record – with or without a PIP (Picture In Picture) of yourself. It even automatically transcribes your audio as you speak.
Additionally, they allow anyone in your team to use the screen recording for free – the only people who need licenses are the editors themselves.
On a similar note, you can easily capture the audio and video of remote meeting technologies such as Skype and Zoom. So that they too are captured within your Descript project, a necessity for any podcasters out there that like to carry out interviews.
What I Like About Descript
There is a lot to like about the Descript product.
They are taking the pain away from having to learn complex video editors and wrapping that up in a unique way that people can recognize and adapt to.
Descript doesn’t conform to the norm – they innovate.
My favorite things about Descript has to be:
I can quickly correct or add to my content just by typing in a few words. This really saves me time and gives me some reassurance if I get anything wrong.
More on this in a moment, but honestly, I think given the capabilities around Descript, I think the pricing is very reasonable. Especially when you consider the time and money it saves me elsewhere by providing a more streamlined editing workflow.
Descript allows me to edit my videos in a way that I can repurpose them for other platforms too. Its flexible approach means I can simply create smaller videos, and audiograms to market my business, all without much additional effort.
Nobody is perfect, especially in the software market. I have seen a few market leaders take their foot off the gas and quickly end up with outdated products that are bypassed by their competitors.
This is why it’s important that any software company is continuously improving. Here are my thoughts on what Descript could do better:
At times I have found myself waiting for Descript to catch up – specifically around the overdub feature. It allows me to edit and add words in a responsive way but there is lag whilst it generates the audio and downloads it. I could be way too critical here though and equally, it could be my environments.
Basic Video Editing
The team at Descript admit themselves that this isn’t the finished article. They have basic effects and transitions that can be applied purely from a video perspective but it’s not going to drive too much fear into Adobe Premiere at this stage.
However, that doesn’t mean to say it’s one or the other. Descript can still play a part in your video editing workflow before moving over to Premiere for the second wave of editing.
One thing that’s important to point out is that Descript is aware of their limitations, and they allow the community to vote up features that are needed so they can prioritize development to what the customer needs.
You can actually get started with Descript for free but there are significant limitations on that account, and you are limited to the following:
Record/edit/mix one project
20 screen recordings (720p max)
3hrs of transcription (one-time)
As well as the free plan you have Creator, Pro and Enterprise. The Descript pricing and relevant features are listed below, and my own personal recommendation is to go for the Pro plan.
Unlimited screen recordings
Export using original assets
Watermark-free video export
Filler Words Pro
Batch file export
30hrs of transcription / month
As is often the case with software vendors there are discounts available if you buy an annual package over a monthly one, with an estimated 20% reduction over the course of 12 months.
Can I Trial Descript First?
If you wish to trial Descript and check what features are best for you and how well they perform then follow this link and you will get a7 day trial of Descript Pro.
When it comes to competition, there is no shortage of video & podcast editors as well as transcription tools and services.
For traditional style video editing, you have the likes of Filmora, Adobe Premiere, DaVinci Resolve amongst many more.
Podcasters often look to tools like Adobe audition or Audacity for their audio editing needs.
If you need your audio file transcribing then you have apps like Otter AI or outstanding services like Rev.com.
But Descript is different. It’s a unique blendof all of these and I think that’s where it really excels.
Can I use Descript For Free?
Absolutely, there is a free plan available that gives you limited access to Descript but doesn’t include some of the leading features. It is also worth noting that under the Creator/Pro plans, anyone can screen record for free and only the editors require licensing.
Which Pricing Plan Is Best For Me?
If all you need is a transcription service for your content, as well as screen recordings, then the creator account may suffice. Personally, I think the Pro plan is worth the money and has all of the leading features. You can try Descript Pro for free for 7 days here.
How Accurate Is Descript Transcription?
Often transcription tools are dependant on the quality of the input or can struggle with certain dialects and accents. I have a strong accent myself and I’ve been really impressed with the transcription accuracy of Descript. My advice, give it a test!
How Long Does It Take Descript To Transcribe?
Automatic transcription is pretty fast – if you are screen recording then it actually does this in real-time. When I imported a 15 minute mp4 file it took approx 2 minutes. If however, you wish to have human transcription and take the “white glove” option then generally it seems to take around 24 hours (and up to 3 days).
Final Thoughts: Descript Review
There are certain things I look for when it comes to software subscriptions.
Will it help me create better content and improve my workflow?
Does it make financial sense and is the cost worthy of the benefits?
Is the company actively developing the product and going in the right direction?
If I am going to recommend it, then am I happy paying for it myself?
I believe Descript more than covers these requirements and I am happy to say that I would highly recommendit to anyone who is looking for a video and audio editing suite that offers something a little extra.
I think the overdub, fancy captions, and transcription options are outstanding and open up the world of editing to anyone who is more used to just typing a word document.
Descript Review – Video & Audio Editing With A Twist
Descript is a powerful audio and video editor that brings an exciting and unique twist to the table. Features like overdub, fancy captions and excellent transcription accuracy make this an attractive offering. But equally, editing a video like a text doc is just beautifully simple!
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