Podcast Transcriptions?

I’m lost on a morass of software that won’t quite do the job. We all seem to like podcasts. Like many of sometimes I hear a host discuss something I want to reference later. Sometimes the discussion is deep enough that I want to take my own notes.

So I would like a transcription. Problem is I can’t find an elegant solution.


  • Airr - wants to be my podcasting app. I just want to transcribe whole episodes.
  • MacWhisperer - fantastic transcription. I need to be able to get the audio file on my machine
  • Any subscription based service $$/mth when I want something occasional

Ideally I would find a way to download episode and then feed it to MacWhisperer. In practice I will settle for anything practical.


I use Snipd, it saves a moment from the podcast and you can find in text form what the podcaster was saying. They have a kind of plugin for bear and other apps to export your snips.

Cool. However like Airr this becomes my podcast player. I may need to resort to this. I was hoping find something that allowed me to continue to use PocketCasts as my playing app.

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Jason Snell just wrote up what he is currently using yesterday. He also compares that to what he was previously using. Interestingly, he links to David Smith’s archive of transcribed podcasts. Smith wrote up his new process last week (spoilers: Snell adopted Smith’s process of using C++ Whisperer). You will find links in Snell’s article for other things to try but based on the above-linked reports, none of them are as good.


Super cool. Now I just need to get David Smith to pay attention to my personally interesting list of podcasts. I mean really he needs to get into “The Rest is History”. I can’t imagine that an American Indie Software developer has anything better to do in life than listen to two British Historians.

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I had to stop using Overcast which was my favorite app. Although I’m thinking of still using it for my news and entertainment consumption while delegating snipd only for educational podcasts where I always revise my snips and summarize them in bear.

At first I dismissed the above quoted comment. But reading closer I get the sense that what you are asking is how to get the audio file out of your podcast app. I think that is the wrong approach.

As a reminder, podcasts are just RSS feeds. You don’t have to use a podcast app. Any RSS feeder will work. In other words, you could subscribe to the feed in your reader of choice (NetNewsWire, Reeder, etc.) and the audio files would simply be attachments which you could manually download locally. Or you could automate a script to run on a regular interval (weekly) which grabs the latest entry in a feed, downloads it and passes it on to Whisperer.

If you really wanted to be manual about it, most podcasts provide links to the the files on their website. For example, the download link for the latest episode of the MPU podcast is highlighted (circled in red) in the screenshot below. Just click that and the file will be downloaded.

Oh and the gray icon in the sidebar of that page is the plain RSS feed for the podcast which you can use with any RSS reader (or script).



You beat me to the punch. I would simply replicate the feeds to my Mac in whatever app seems to do the job most simply… like Apple Podcasts, even. Although that doesn’t seem to want to expose where the files are. Something like NetNewsWire perhaps. All the better to be different to your regular player in that you can set keep limits differently, etc.

Not sure if this would fully do what you need but I like it.


OMG, as they say not all heroes wear capes! Thanks for sharing this! I will try it since I don’t like the “bloated” UI of snipd and pretty much prefer the minimalistic style of overcast and I want to keep using it.

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This is neat. You can almost replicate it for Castro by changing the Overcast variables to the Castro equivalents. The one limitation is the audio and timestamp from the ShareURL are parsed to generate a snippet of transcript. If a Castro timestamped URL is passed, Podcast Highlighter will error and post nothing. So you have to send it some kind of dummp Castro URL (one with blank audio.) That lets you at least save the episode and your note.

I think we need more of these orthogonal podcast app features that don’t require a person with a good idea to redevelop everything else that established players do to be usable.