Captions vs. Transcripts: What’s the Difference?

Captions vs. Transcripts: What’s the Difference?
Photo by Camille Orgel / Unsplash

The two terms might get used interchangeably, but if you appreciate using precise language, let’s dive into the distinctions that make a difference. From

While the aim of transcriptionists is to create an accurate transcript of the English speech heard, the aim of captioners is to recreate the full audio experience for non-hearing viewers

What does the full audio experience entail? Laughter, music lyrics, and other noises in the background affect how we consume media. But the biggest difference for’s purposes is that captions are synced to the audio.

Transcripts Captions
Accurate Speech
Atmospherics Noises
Music Lyrics
Synced to audio
Output text file srt, vtt, or json file

In, we handle both transcripts and captions. But for episodes that have captions, we’re able to offer a more interactive experience, including:

  • highlighting the currently-playing word or phrase, karaoke-style
  • jumping ahead to any word that the user clicks on

If you already have accurate transcripts and would like to generate a caption file to take advantage of the interactive features available in, we’re writing up a guide. Subscribe to our newsletter to catch it when it drops.