Providing transcriptions from URLs

In this guide you'll learn how to upload a video file and provide a transcription when both files are available from public URLs. The API service will retrieve the files directly from the specified URLs, so your application doesn't have to store them locally and upload the bytes. For a description of each field in the request and response, see the API Reference > Create a video indexing task page.

Note that, although the example code in this guide is written in Python and Node.js the API is compatible with most programming languages, and you can also use Postman or other REST clients to send requests and view responses.


  • Your transcription must be in the SRT or VTT format.
  • Your video must meet the following requirements:
    • Video resolution: must be greater or equal than 360p and less than 1080p (FHD)
    • Duration: must be between 10 seconds and 2 hours (7,200s)
      If you require different options, send us an email at support[at]
  • A valid Twelve Labs account. For details about creating an account and retrieving your API key, see the Authentication page.
  • You’re familiar with the concepts that are described on the Quickstart page.
  • You’ve created at least one index, and the unique identifier of your index is stored in a variable named INDEX_ID. For details, see the Creating indexes page.


  • For consistent search results, Twelve Labs recommends you upload 360p videos.


  1. Declare the /tasks endpoint:

    TASKS_URL = f"{API_URL}/tasks"
    const TASKS_URL = `${API_URL}/tasks`
  2. To provide a transcription file, you must set the provide_transcription parameter to true, and specify the index ID, the language of your video, and the URLs of your video and transcription file. If you're using Python, declare a dictionary named data and use it to store all the required parameters. If you're using Node.js, declare a variable named formData of type FormData and use it to store all the required parameters.

    data = {
      "provide_transcription": True
      "index_id": INDEX_ID,
      "language": "en",
      "video_url": "<YOUR_VIDEO_URL>",
      "transcription_url": "<YOUR_TRANSCRIPTION_URL">
    let formData = new FormData()
    formData.append('provide_transcription', 'true')
    formData.append('index_id', INDEX_ID)
    formData.append('language', 'en')
    formData.append('video_url', '<YOUR_VIDEO_URL>')
    formData.append('transcription_url', '<YOUR_VIDEO_URL>')
  3. Upload your video. Call the /tasks endpoint and store the result in a variable named response:

    response =, headers=headers, data=data)
    config = {
        method: 'post',
        url: TASKS_URL,
        headers: headers,
        data : formData
    resp = await axios(config)
    response = await
  4. Store the ID of your task in a variable named TASK_ID and print the status code and the response:

    TASK_ID = response.json().get("_id")
    print (f"Status code: {response.status_code}")
    pprint (response.json())
    const TASK_ID = response._id
    console.log(`Status code: ${resp.status}`)
  5. (Optional) You can use the /tasks/{_id} endpoint to monitor the indexing process. Wait until the status shows as ready:

    TASK_STATUS_URL = f"{API_URL}/tasks/{TASK_ID}"
    while True:
        response = requests.get(TASK_STATUS_URL, headers=headers)
        STATUS = response.json().get("status")
        if STATUS == "ready":
            print (f"Status code: {STATUS}")
            pprint (response.json())
    const TASK_STATUS_URL = `${API_URL}/tasks/${TASK_ID}`
    config = {
      method: 'get',
      url: TASK_STATUS_URL,
      headers: headers,
    let STATUS
    do {
      resp = await axios(config)
      response = await
      STATUS = response.status
      if (STATUS !== 'ready')
        await new Promise(r => setTimeout(r, 10000));
    } while (STATUS !== 'ready')
    console.log(`Status code: ${STATUS}`)

    The output should look similar to the following one:

    Status code: 200
    {'_id': '6391c89afb14854546891276',
     'created_at': '2022-12-08T11:20:58.859Z',
     'estimated_time': '2022-12-08T11:34:54.585Z',
     'index_id': '6391c88bfb14854546891275',
     'metadata': {'duration': 810.84,
                  'filename': 'best-racing-moments.mp4',
                  'height': 480,
                  'width': 854},
     'status': 'ready',
     'type': 'index_task_info',
     'updated_at': '2022-12-08T11:34:50.474Z',
     'video_id': '6391c8a669ff3402ec515aba'}



For details about the possible statuses, see the API Reference > Tasks page.