Draft updates: audio/video transcription tools, comments alongside changes, improved social analytics reports, and more…

Draft has some neat and useful improvements to announce:

 Audio/video transcription tools

I can’t believe how much of a pain it is to transcribe even a short amount of audio. In order to write better, I’ve wanted to start including more transcriptions of podcasts, video presentations, and interviews in my writing, but the tools are in bad shape. I found myself using iTunes for the keyboard shortcuts, but I’d have to flip back and forth to edit the text I was transcribing.

There had to be a better way.

Now Draft can assist you with your transcription. The “New Document” button has a dropdown arrow next to it to start a “New Transcription”.

You can transcribe Youtube and Vimeo videos. Or file types like .mp4/.flv or .mp3/.m4a/.aac. You can have it hosted somewhere else and use a URL, or upload it to Draft.

Your Draft edit mode will then look like this:

The green buttons allow you to skip back and forward. The loop fields allow you to create repeating loops in your audio/video media (for example, 0:00 To 0:05). Once you get that loop transcribed, the skip buttons will increment the entire loop.

Everything is tied to keyboard shortcuts, so you can quickly write, move the loop, write, move the loop. Click the ? in the media window for more help.

It’s been insanely handy. I used it to quickly transcribe a Vimeo video for a blog post. And people have been using it to transcribe interviews for their books and articles.

 Comments shown alongside changes

This is really cool:

When you view changes a collborator made, you can now view some of their comments on that page. If you’re a collaborator and you are editing someone’s Draft document, just make sure to quote some of the text in the document to explain why you made the change.

The comment icon on the edit screen will also glow red, if you have new comments from a collaborator that you haven’t seen yet:

 More social analytics reports

There’s a lot more behind that “Reports” button.

You can now parse the social performance of any RSS/Atom feed. Want to find out the most popular time you post to your blog? Or what’s the most popular day on which someone like Seth Godin blogs? Just add any feed you want Draft to analyze. I also added 3 new reports here: post time, title length, and profanity.

 Set the font color

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this in order to support a dark background color. Just go to Settings to change the text color to your liking.

 Publish to MailChimp and LinkedIn

I’ve got a small mailing list that likes updates when I post a new blog post. I use MailChimp. MailChimp is a great product I’ve been using for years.

The problem though is: I just want to send out a super simple newsletter with a link to the post in it. But there are so many steps to get that newsletter created, the friction caused me to ignore sending out the newsletter entirely.

So I’ve made it easy to publish from Draft to MailChimp.

Go to Settings -> Places to Publish to add MailChimp, click the Publish menu next to one of your documents, and choose your MailChimp account.

Choose the subject of the newsletter email and the list you’re sending it to. You’ll then get redirected to MailChimp when you click “Publish”, in order to confirm and check on everything one last time. Draft will convert your Markdown to an HTML newsletter, and also include the plain-text alternative.

I’ve also added LinkedIn as a publisher. Publish your status there just like you do with Draft + Twitter. This has been super useful to publish news to ALL my social networks from one place.

 A shortcut using the Draft browser extension

People love using the Chrome/Firefox extensions that let them turn any textarea into something they can write to with Draft. This shortcut makes it another step easier.

ALT+CMD+V on a Mac. Or ALT+CTRL+V on Windows/Linux. 

Will automatically switch back to the original textarea and paste your Markdown/text into the box. If you forget, just look for the “Paste Back” item in the action menu when you’re using the Chrome/Firefox extensions.

I can’t thank you enough for all the support on my project. I’ve received so many great ideas and notes of motivation. Thank you!

To stay up to date on Draft, my Twitter account is a good place:


Or the official Draft Twitter account:


And if you have a chance to upgrade to a paid subscription, here’s the link to that page.


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