Want to keep track of your favorite YouTube videos or get free-to-use subtitles? One way is to extract the automatic transcription from YouTube and get a subtitle or transcription file from it.
But not all methods are created equal. Here is how you can manually or automatically download an SRT or TXT file from a YouTube video.
Why use an SRT file from YouTube?
When a video is uploaded to YouTube, it is automatically subtitled by the platform. This makes any type of video content accessible to a very wide audience. The other benefit is that you can directly access a very large video transcription library. You can save an excerpt of a video or benefit from a free subtitling for your video.
But beware that these transcripts are not perfectly accurate, so you can’t necessarily use them as such (our subtitle editor allows you to do that though). Let’s just say that you can’t have everything!
Here’s how to do it if you want to take advantage of YouTube’s automatic subtitles.
Extracting YouTube subtitles manually: a step-by-step method
It turns out that you can extract the transcript manually from a YouTube video. The best way is to use the transcription option included below the video player:
To do this, press the small dot icon below the video. Choose “open the transcription”. You can then copy and paste a complete transcript, in SRT format, of any video! If you want, you can also press the same icon as before and disable the timestamp.
But the bad news is that the YouTube creator must have enabled the automatic captioning option to see it appear. So it may not be available on all videos.
The other option is to simply extract the transcript from the source code of the video. If you are really brave, here is the procedure:
Double-click on your YouTube page and press “Inspect Item” and go to the “Network” section.
Turn on automatic captioning and look for the line that starts with “timedtext” in the list of “Name” queries.
Click on it, then on “events” in the “Preview” and open the sequence numbers you are interested in.
You can then retrieve the transcript fragments you want. But then, you have to clean up the data.
Fortunately, there are other ways to automatically retrieve your YouTube subtitles.
What is the best YouTube subtitle downloader?
To make your work easier, there are already many online solutions to download your YouTube subtitles for free from a URL. But they do not necessarily offer the same quality of service:
Downsub is the most widely used YouTube subtitle download tool. It immediately extracts the automatic transcription of your video, and you can translate it into many languages. The service is easy to use and the download process is very fast. Nothing better than to have the result at your fingertips.
DVDVideoSoft is a program that allows you to download any data or content from YouTube. Whether it is an MP4, MP3, AVI file, you can extract the entire content of a YouTube channel. VideoSoft also allows you to download YouTube subtitles according to specific sequences and intervals. In this respect, it is equal to the quality of service of DVDVideoSoft.
If you want even better quality subtitles for free, Checksub not only provides the same quality of service as Downsub (SRT, TXT, translation), but also allows you to edit on its dedicated subtitle editor. This way, you can improve faulty YouTube subtitles in no time. It’s really the best choice if you want perfect subtitles.
We’ll let you try it all. And if not, we hope we’ve helped you share the word about the best YouTube content!