Otter: Transcribe Video & Audio Files

Otter’s primary function is to provide live transcription of conversations during Zoom meetings, but you can also use Otter to create transcripts and closed captioning files from videos that were recorded previously. This may include instructional video created with Capture, Camtasia, recorded Zoom sessions, or even video that you recorded with your smartphone. If you have the video file on your computer, you can transcribe it!

Step 1: Locate and Download the Files

To transcribe a pre-recorded video, you need to upload it to the Otter website from your computer's hard drive. If the file is stored in the cloud somewhere, you'll need to download it before you can proceed. If you already have the file on your hard drive, you can skip to Step 2!

  • If your video was uploaded to a cloud storage service like UCSF Box or Microsoft OneDrive, download the file to your desktop.
  • If your video was uploaded to the CLE using Media@UCSF, and you do not have the original file on your hard drive, follow the steps in this tutorial video to download the file to your desktop.
  • If you recorded the video with Zoom, you can find it in your computer's Documents > Zoom folder (Mac and PC). More info about Zoom recording is available here.

Note: Otter will accept most common video file types including mp4, avi, mov, wmv, and mpg. Otter can also transcribe audio files, including mp3, aac, wav, m4a, and wma.

Step 2: Upload into Otter

Once your file is located on local computer's hard drive, follow these steps to import into Otter:

  1. Sign in to your Otter.ai account.
  2. From the Home page, click the Import button (top-right of the page).screenshot of Otter.ai homepage showing the Import button
  3. Click the Browse Files link at the bottom of the window to search for and select your file, or simply drag your audio/video file into this window. You can add multiple files at the same time.Screenshot of import window showing files being uploaded to otter.ai for transcription
  4. When the import process is complete, you will see a “Success” message.
  5. Next, the Otter AI system will begin processing the file(s) to create the transcription text. The processing time will vary depending on the length and complexity of your video.
  6. When complete, your transcripts will be available on the My Conversations page.

Tip! Rename your video files with descriptive titles, including the recording date, to make it easier for both you and your students to identify transcripts in the future.

Step 3: Next Steps

Once your video is uploaded to Otter and the processing is complete, you will be able to view, edit and export your transcript from the My Conversations page. Check out the articles below to get the most out of your processed file:

Editing Transcripts: Learn about editing to improve the accuracy of your processed transcript.

Sharing Transcripts: Learn about exporting the processed transcript for sharing on the CLE as a document or closed captions.

Have more questions? Contact us