An update for our Mac users

TL;DR version: We’re working on a complete overhaul of Descript for Mac with a bunch of really nice foundational improvements. You can try the beta today — but it doesn’t have all the features of the current Descript Mac (yet). At the end of this article, we provide some guidance as to whether the beta is right for you.

Shortly after launching Descript last December, we found ourselves overwhelmed by demand from Windows users. This Poynter article captured the sentiment pretty well:

It’s a little bit odd, and they address this in their FAQ so I don’t feel too bad, that they launched their first version as a Mac app. They’re working on a full browser version, which is going to be about a million times more helpful for the Windows-based newsrooms out there, aka pretty much all of them.

So since March, we’ve allocated most of our engineering resources to building Descript for Windows.. While it means we haven’t shipped as many Mac updates as usual lately, not to worry, fellow Mac users — this effort will benefit you as well.

A lot has changed in the tech world since we started building Descript Mac over three years ago. When we looked at the options for building a Windows app, we decided that, rather than build an entirely separate app, we’d take the opportunity to rebuild Descript from scratch using modern cross-platform technologies.

As of a month ago, that rewrite is in the wild as Descript for Windows. We haven’t replaced our current Mac app (let’s call it “Descript Classic”) yet because “New Descript” still doesn’t have all the features, but we have a beta available with enough features to be useful for many of our transcription-focused customers — read on to see if it’s right for you.

New Descript: What‘s better?

What improvements can you look forward to in the new version of Descript for Mac?

Automatic Cloud sync & backup

Like Descript Classic, New Descript works offline — but now your Projects will automatically sync to the cloud. This means you can access your files from anywhere, and makes it easy to share your Projects with collaborators. Also, because we’re saving new versions of your Project to the cloud constantly as you work, you’ll get granular version history, making it easy to recover old versions of your work.

“There’s a way to use this feature in Descript Classic (via Descript Drive), but now it’s something that happens automatically in the background; you don’t need to remember to manually save updates to the cloud.

Better support for multi-user collaboration and commenting

Now you can add collaborators, control privacy settings, and add/reply to comments directly in the app. In the current version of Descript, you need to save your updates to Descript Drive and then do these things from a web browser.

A more intuitive user experience

Our goal with New Descript is to make it possible to use without taking a tutorial. To that end, we’ve addressed the two issues that new users get hung up on:

  1. Eliminated confusion caused by Compositions and Transcripts. Lots of users were understandably confused by Descript’s two types of documents, Compositions and Transcripts (in the Media Library). This is way more intuitive in Descript New.
  2. Unified the two text editing modes. New Descript will only have one text editing mode, from which you can both edit audio and correct text.

The New Descript Beta: Is it right for me?

If you are using Descript‘s audio editing features… wait a bit.

But if you’re using Descript purely for transcription and transcript correction, we highly recommend you download the New Descript Beta. At this point, New Descript is a better experience for transcribers.

Below you can see, feature by feature, what’s currently in New Descript. We’ll keep this list up-to-date, or you can check our product changelog for daily updates.