Finding specific words and phrases in video and audio files can be a giant time suck. If you have to go through tons of video and audio clips, you are going to LOVE this super-easy 5 minutes video tutorial on how to find words or phrases in audio or video files.

I’ve been working on a video editing project for my Bizapalooza Channel. I’m creating mashups and remixes of the dozens (something like 100) Google Hangout Interviews that I’ve done over the last few years. But here’s the problem: I was looking for a specific phrase that I KNOW several people used in their interviews, but I didn’t know WHO said the phrase.

How was I going to find this exact phrase across so many videos?

Hmmm. This required a little thinking. The first thing I did was search for software that might do the trick. Let’s just say that there wasn’t anything great out there — at least that I could afford.

Then I realized that I already had access to an easy FREE way to find these phrases I was looking for — Google Hangouts, YouTube and the trusty “Find” function on my computer. This is all you will need!

You see, when you record anything using Google Hangouts or when you upload any video to YouTube — you actually get a TRANSCRIPT with a TIME STAMP! I know — I’m a little too excited about this feature. But if you’re editing video and looking for a quick and easy way to find a phrase in the video or search for a word in an audio file, this little piece of information is a huge time and money saver.

How to Find Words and Phrases in Audio and Video Files

The video will show you how, and I’m going to write out the list right here for you.

  1. Make sure your audio or video is LESS THAN 60 minutes long. This is HUGE. If your audio or video is longer than 60 minutes, you will need to break it up into sections that are LESS than 60 minutes.
  2. Make sure that you have GOOD quality audio. If your audio is poor meaning it’s noisy, staticky, or the speakers do not annunciate clearly or if the speakers have an accent that Google can transcribe, you will be out of luck.
  3. Convert audio files to MP4 files. YouTube is, after all a VIDEO channel. You need video. But if you only have audio, don’t sweat it, just convert it to a video slide show.
  4. Upload your video to YouTube. YouTube is where all of the magic happens. If you have a video or screenshare or interview that you’ve recorded, upload it to YouTube.
  5. Wait about an hour or so. YouTube needs time to transcribe your video. So don’t freak out if you don’t see it right away. It can take an hour — sometimes longer. Be patient.
  6. Pull up the transcript. Under your video, click on the three dots that say “MORE” — then select “Transcript”transcript
  7. Search for the phrase you want. You can do this several ways. You can click on “Edit/Find” in your browser menu. You can also click on control or command “F” on your keyboard and then simply enter the word or phrase you are looking for. You will see it highlighted everywhere it appears on the site — even inside the transcription window.

And that is all for today! Have fun with this — I hope it helps you.

You can see all of the sites I referenced here: