New in Descript: Transcript correction overhaul, room tone, webcam recording, and more

February 18, 2021

We’ve just released an update to Descript with some big new features. We’ve been talking about it internally, and we actually think this might be the best version of Descript ever, but — see what you think. There are ten new things. Check them out:

1. Space bar playback

First, just as you were finally getting comfortable using the Tab key for playback, we’ve gone and made it so you can use the space bar, like every other app that plays audio and video.

It might seem like, “Why was this so hard? Why didn’t you always do it that way?” And the answer is because Descript is a text editor and the space bar does other things, but we figured that all out and now you can use the space bar for playback.

2. Transcript correction overhaul

This ties into our second big new feature. We’ve made a complete overhaul to the way that transcript correction works. It’s now simpler, and there’s no longer a separate correction mode, but more importantly, we’ve made it faster than ever to correct the transcript. We have a whole separate video on this which you can watch below, but in short, you highlight the word you want to correct, you click the correct button that appears, and you correct it.

But to correct even faster, use keyboard shortcuts. Hold ‘E’ and click a word to correct it. If you do this during playback, it’ll pause until you’re done, and then resume from the correction. Hold ‘W’ and click to cycle through common punctuation options, and hold ‘Q’ and click to toggle capitalization. With these three shortcuts, you can correct the whole transcript without ever really pausing playback.

3. Room tone

Descript now automatically adds room tone to gaps in your recordings. We have another video on this that’s definitely worth watching, but put simply, whenever you add a gap clip to paper over an edit or change timing, Descript will match room tone to prevent glaringly dead-silent edits. We also wrote a behind-the-scenes blog post to share some details about how it works. 

This all just works automatically. You don’t need to do anything.

4. Smart edits

Now when you remove filler words, we work behind the scenes to optimize the edit boundaries and make them sound more natural. This is another one that you might not even notice at first — you’ll just notice that you find yourself tweaking edits less often.

5. Webcam recording

A highly requested feature! When creating a screen recording, you can now record your webcam, fullscreen and full resolution. Mac only for now, but Windows is coming soon.

6. Streamlined publishing

We’ve streamlined Composition publishing. After you publish something with this handy button here, we’ll share a link that’ll take you back to your published page.

7. Six new publishing integration partners

We now have six new publishing integrations, allowing you to publish your finished podcasts, video tutorials, and polished transcripts directly to even more podcast and content hosts: VideoAskCaptivatePodcast.coeWebinarPodiant, and Hello Audio. You can access these integrations via the Export > Cloud Export panel.

8. Published video playback speed

Our embeddable video player, which you see after publishing, now has playback speed controls. We’ve also made the controls on this page nicer and easier to use.

9. Optimized computer storage

We’ve made some improvements to how we deal with file storage on your computer. Now if you’re exporting or performing some other rendering operation and you don’t have the high quality original files downloaded, we’ll download them automatically — so you never get into a situation where you’ve mistakenly exported using lower quality files.

10. Animated GIFs

Last but not least, you can now export video as an animated GIF.

Wow. That’s a lot of new stuff. We’ve also got the normal assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements in our changelog. Hope you like it all, and thanks for using Descript!

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