Mac app claims to make editing audio files as easy as word processing – but it doesn’t come cheap


A new Mac app from the former Groupon CEO claims to make editing audio files as easy as word processing. Descript allows you to edit a transcription of the recording, and the changes are then automatically reflected in the synchronized audio file …

Developer Andrew Mason explained to The edge How it works.

The app relies on text-to-audio alignment to work. A text transcript is generated from the audio file, and from there the app uses machine learning to match the audio sample to the text version of the words. Each word is assigned a timecode, so if you use the text editor to delete a word in the text, it is immediately synchronized with the audio file.

Mason said this was the obvious next step after automated transcription and would be a real boon for podcasters, but admitted that the timing was not yet perfect.

Mason claimed that Descript gets a “surprising number of correct edits the first time”, but added that there is also a waveform editor in the app so that users can continue to edit the audio file or to add lighting effects as needed.

It’s not cheap either. The Descript app is a subscription, which costs $ 20 per month, although it has an introductory price of $ 10 / month. In addition, you pay 7 cents per minute to generate the synchronized transcription. The company said subscription pricing provides more flexibility for users, and per-minute transcription charges are standard in the industry, and this is a lower rate than that charged by subscribers. competing services.

Mason admitted that the app could be misused to create fake recordings of other people.

“While we don’t intend to be at the forefront of the deception, it comes one way or another. But we’ve been through this before, ”Mason said. “Basically what happened to photos and print before will happen to audio and video, and the company is adapting. The credibility of a content comes down to the credibility of the source.

Descript is now available on descriptive, com (The edge previously incorrect stated that it would be available on the Mac App Store).

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