You’re in a field where it’s mandatory to keep up-to-date? Just subscribe to podcasts of some experts in the field. Most of those will churn out a 1 hour long audio once a week.

For those of us who have no long commutes it might be impossible to listen to all of them. It would really help if they had (even bad automatic) transcripts of the talks. Skimming over it is so much better.

Let’s be honest:

  • most topics are covered by multiple sources
  • most talks sacrifice considerable time for chitchat
  • most podcasters seemingly expect you to have a lot of time and a recurring interest in their favorite drink/keyboard(-mapping)/anecdotes of childhood

To the occasional listener that all might be not only ok, but even pleasant. Not for me.

Now to the “can’t believe that in this time and age …”: There are free services for al lot of (not) useful things. But apparently the big exception is transcriptions. There are quite a few services for the creators, which can be expensive, billed by words or time. The free options tend to enforce specific platforms. But literally no usable ones for listeners.

Of course you can always play back the podcast in realtime and “record” it with google docs, but how cumbersome is that?

Fun fact: Google transcribes all entries in, so that they’re discoverable by content in the search. But not to be viewed. Argh!