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Creating summarized chapters from podcasts

In this guide, we'll take you through the process of summarizing audio and video files.

You can also learn the content on this page from Automatic Chapter Detection With AssemblyAI on AssemblyAI's YouTube channel.

Get started

Before we begin, make sure you have an AssemblyAI account and an API token. You can sign up for a free account and get your API token from your dashboard.

The entire source code of this guide can be viewed here.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. 1

    Create a new file and import the necessary libraries for making an HTTP request.

  2. 2

    Set up the API endpoint and headers. The headers should include your API token.

  3. 3

    Upload your local file to the AssemblyAI API.

  4. 4

    Use the upload_url returned by the AssemblyAI API to create a JSON payload containing the audio_url parameter.

  5. 5

    Make a POST request to the AssemblyAI API endpoint with the payload and headers.

  6. 6

    After making the request, you will receive an ID for the transcription. Use it to poll the API every few seconds to check the status of the transcript job. Once the status is completed, you can retrieve the transcript from the API response.

Understanding the response

Your automatic chapters will be located in the chapters key of the API response. Each entry will contain a summary of the chapter, a one-line gist and a chapter headline, and start and end timestamps.


Creating text summaries using our Auto Chapters functionality works on all kinds of different input sources, not just podcasts. For example, you can use it to summarize lecture videos or other long-form content.

If you need more fine-grained control than Auto Chapters offers, you can use AssemblyAI's Summarization model to customize the complexity of your summary.