Section 508 Laws Explained and Closed Captioning Made Simple
CHRISTIE HERNANDEZ: Good morning, everyone. Carahsoft Technology would like to welcome you to our 3Play Media webcast. Before we get started, I would like to go over a few housekeeping items. All the lines have been muted to reduce background noise. We hope you take advantage of the chat pod on the left side of your screen to ask question throughout the presentation. We will do our best to answer all of your questions at the end of the presentation. If for some reason we do not get to your questions, the 3Play Media team at Carahsoft will follow up with you offline.
Carahsoft is a trusted government IT solutions provider delivering software and support solutions to federal, state, and local government agencies. Carahsoft maintains dedicated teams to support sales and marketing to all its vendors including 3Play Media, Symantec, Adobe, Data Domain, VMware, and Red Hat. Our contact information will be at the end of the presentation. And please don’t hesitate to call or email us for any of your needs. This webcast is being recorded, and a copy of the presentation will be emailed to you.
At this time, I would like to introduce our 3Play Media speakers for today Josh Miller, co-founder, Tole Khesin, marketing, and CJ Johnson, VP of Technology. Josh, Tole, and CJ, the floor is all yours.
JOSH MILLER: OK, welcome, and thank you for attending this webinar on captioning. My name is Josh Miller, and I’ll be presenting with my colleagues Tole Khesin and CJ Johnson. We have about an hour to cover the basics of captioning. We’re going to keep the presentation to about 30 minutes and then leave the rest of the time for questions. So please type any questions along the way into the chat window.
So today we’re going to give an overview of closed captioning for web video. We’ll talk about the services that we provide and we’ll give you an overview of the workflow as well, and a step by step guide of how to actually make this happen. And then finally, we’ll take your questions.
So to get started, I’m going to turn things over to my colleague, Tole Khesin. And he’s going to dive into accessibility laws and the definition of captioning.
What Are Closed Captions
TOLE KHESIN: OK, well, let’s begin with the basics. What are closed captions? Captioning refers to the process of taking an audio track, transcribing it to text, and then synchronizing it with the media. Closed captions are typically located underneath the video or overlaid on top.
In addition to spoken words, captions convey all meaning and include sound effects. Closed captions originated in the early 1980s by an FCC mandate that applied to most programming on broadcast television. Now that online video has become the dominant medium, captioning laws are quickly catching up.
So we’ll talk a little bit about the basic terminology. When we’re talking about captioning versus transcription, the transcript is usually a text document without any time information. On the other hand, captions are time synchronized with the media. You can make captions from a transcript by breaking the text up into small segments called caption frames, and synchronizing them with the media, such that each caption frame is displayed at the right time.
So when we’re talking about captioning versus subtitling, the difference between captions and subtitles is that subtitles are intended for viewers who can hear the audio but may not understand the language. Subtitles capture the spoken content but not the sound effects. Subtitles are often associated with translation. And for web video, it’s possible to create multilingual subtitles.
Closed versus open captioning. The difference is that closed captions can be turned on or off, while open captions are burned into the video and cannot be turned off. Most web video uses closed captions.
So the last terminology here is post production versus real-time. Post production means that the captioning process occurs offline and usually takes a few days to complete. Real-time captioning is done by live stenographers. There are advantages and disadvantages of each process.
How Are Captions Used
So we’ll talk a little bit about how captions are used. Although captions originated with broadcast television, nowadays captions are being applied across many different types of media and devices, especially as people become more aware of the benefits and as accessibility laws become more pervasive and stringent.
So with that, we’ll talk a little bit about the accessibility laws. We’ll start with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which is a fairly broad law that requires all federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities including employees and the public. For video, this means that closed captions must be added. For podcasts or audio files, a transcript is sufficient.
Section 504 entitles people with disabilities to equal access to any program or activity that receives federal subsidy. Web-based communications for educational institutions and government agencies are covered by this as well. The 21st Century Video and Communications Accessibility Act that was signed into law last October, expands closed caption requirements for all online video that previously aired on television. And expanding legislation to move beyond network television is also being considered. Many states have also enacted similar legislation.
Benefits of Captions
So next we’ll talk about the benefits of transcription and captioning. So originally, the purpose of closed captions was to provide accommodations for the millions of people who have hearing impairments. But people started using captions from many different reasons. And there are many benefits beyond accessibility, especially when we’re dealing with online video. Captions improve comprehension and remove language barriers for people who know English as a second language. Captions also compensate for poor audio quality or a noisy background, and allow the media to be used in sound sensitive environments like a workplace.
From a search engine optimization point of view, captions make your video a lot more discoverable because search engines are able to index it better. Once your video has been discovered, captions allow it to be searched and reused. This is especially important with long-form video. For example, if you’re looking for something in a one-hour seminar, you can quickly search through the text and jump to the precise point in the seminar. Lastly, transcription is required in order to translate to foreign languages.
Next we’ll talk a little bit about the caption formats. There are many different caption formats that are used with specific media players. The image at the top shows what a typical SRT caption file looks like. Here we have three caption frames. And you can see that each caption frame has a start and an end time.
Once a caption file is created, it needs to be associated with the corresponding video file. The way to do that depends on the type of media and video platform that you’re using. For sites like YouTube, all you have to do is upload the caption file for each video. In other cases, you actually need to encode the caption file onto the video. DVD and tape media is the most complicated, because it requires special software and sometimes even equipment to encode the captions onto the physical media.
If you’re using one of the video platforms that we’re partnered with such as Brightcove, Mediasite, Kaltura, or Ooyala, then this stuff becomes trivial because it all happens automatically.
So with that, I will hand things over back to Josh Miller who will discuss the company.
JOSH MILLER: I’m going to walk through some information about the company itself, and who we are, and what we do. The inspiration for 3Play Media started with some work being done at the MIT Spoken Language Lab. We were approached by MIT OpenCourseWare with the idea of applying speech technology to captioning for a more cost-effective solution to put closed captions on their video lectures.
We quickly realized that speech recognition alone was not sufficient due to the accuracy concerns, but that it did provide a valuable starting point. And so from there we developed an innovative transcription process that uses both technology and humans to deliver captions that are more than 99% accurate, but it’s priced very competitively. So we’re able to put together a much more efficient process in general that not only gets the text accurate, but also has very, very precise time synchronization built in.
Overview of Services
So a quick overview of what we actually provide. Our focus is to provide premium quality transcription and captioning services. We also have some pretty unique interactive tools that make video much more searchable, more engaging for the user, and more SEO friendly. And we also incorporate translation into those tools.
Accuracy and Quality
We use a multistep process to deliver the 99% accuracy that we referred to. Even in cases of poor audio, multiple speakers, difficult content, or accents, we’re able to achieve that very, very high level of accuracy. And typically about 2/3 of the transcript can get accurately created by the machine in the process, which leaves a fair amount of work for a human to then go clean up. And so we’ve got the platform and staff to do that really efficiently. In general, it makes the entire process more efficient. But most importantly, it actually allows our transcriptionists the flexibility to spend more time on some of the finer details. Because they’re not necessarily transcribing from scratch, they’re more editing the content that’s already there, they can actually think through some of the content they’re editing as opposed to just typing as fast as they can.
So, for example, we’ll actually research difficult words, names, or places so that not only are we ensuring all the correct grammar and punctuation, but we’re really doing our best to get every possible word, phrase, and sentence done right.
So we’ve done a lot of work on the operational side of the business as well. So we make it possible to match transcriptionist expertise to certain types of content. We have about 200 transcriptionists on staff and they cover a broad range of disciplines. So if you send us tax-related content, we can actually match that content with a transcriptionist who has a financial background. And that is another way that we ensure as high a quality as possible.
So without exception, all of the work that we do is done by professionally trained transcriptionists here in the United States. Every transcriptionist goes through rigorous training before they touch any paid files. And they also go through background checks and enter into other confidentiality agreements.
So one of the things that we’re also training people on is just basic transcription and grammar standards as part of the process in getting started with us. And so we have many, many steps along the way that not only is it a teaching process, but it’s also a filtering process for us. So we’re making sure that we have only the highest quality standards at play, and also the highest quality people working on that transcript.
So one thing we found is that no matter how hard we try and how many tools we add, there are just certain proper nouns and vocabulary that can be difficult to get exactly right. So we’ve actually built an interface that allows the customer to make changes after the transcript has been completed. And it’s built in a way so that you have the media playing alongside the text, so you can really check over anything very, very easily.
And then once you make any changes– say a name is misspelled and you correct it– once you make those changes, you can actually just redownload any caption file, because the changes will propagate through to all of your files immediately. All time synchronization is maintained properly so that the caption frames get regenerated automatically. And really all you have to do is redownload and publish those captions. And for instance, where you’re using things like our interactive transcript, which we’ll talk about, or any files over our API, that will automatically get updated for you.
So the interactive transcript is another tool that we offer using the transcript. Again this helps with accessibility. It also is a big play for user engagement. Because as the video is playing, the transcript falls along and each word that gets spoken gets highlighted as it’s being spoken. You can also click on a word to jump to that part of the video, or even search within the video.
Another tool that we offer within this interactive transcript is the ability to share content, meaning if you highlight some of the text, you can actually create a unique URL that when shared and then clicked on, takes someone back to that exact point in the media. And this in addition to just having transcripts and text on the page, is a really, really valuable SEO tool because it’s propagating links and bringing people back to that page more often.
So while we’ve built many tools to be self-service or automated for this process, we really owe much of the success of our company to our approach to customer service. We give our customers lots of personal attention, and we did really enjoy building relationships with them. In fact, we fully expect and intend to spend time getting someone up to speed and getting them comfortable with the account system and all the workflows that go into making this an easy process.
So we take questions and requests very seriously, and feedback very seriously. And if you read our testimonials or speak to our references you’ll see that that’s a consistent theme. Ultimately it’s the feedback that drives new product development. So we really do intend and hope to have a very open communication channel with all of our customers.
So as far as getting this actually going and how this actually works, getting an account set up to do this is very quick. Payment is very easy. It can be done with a credit card. It can be done with purchase orders and invoicing. The account system has a lot of security features built in as well. So you can set privileges and different permission levels for different types of users.
There are a number of ways to actually upload content into the system for transcription and captioning. There is a basic web uploader within the account, which is a secure web uploader. There’s FTP. You can actually paste just direct links into the account so you don’t have to reupload your content. And we have an API that can be used to develop a custom workflow that’s completely automated.
And then really what we’re trying to do is make that captioning workflow as unobtrusive as possible. So we actually give you the ability to automate that workflow by integrating with some of the existing video platforms out there. For example, with Brightcove, you can actually just ingest the media. And we’ll talk about that in a second.
So one thing to just note here is that everything is web-based. It’s entirely online. And so you do not have to install any software to get this going.
So importing files from existing platforms is really easy. Basically there’s a way to authenticate your Brightcove, or Ooyala, or Kaltura account, or others so that you can actually see the content in that account while you’re logged into 3Play Media. And then with just a press of a button you’re able to start processing content for transcription. So it’s really, really easy, no need to reupload files that have already been processed.
So once the content has been transcribed and captioned, you can actually download the output in many different formats. The standard turnaround is five business days. But we also offer it in two days or one day for an additional fee. But once the files are complete, you can log into your account. You’ll get an email alert telling you that it’s ready. You log into your account and download pretty much any format that you might need. So we produce caption formats for pretty much every web video player. And you also have access to several different transcript formats. These output formats are stored indefinitely, which means you can log back in and download different formats or download duplicates anytime you want. You have the freedom to do that. And there’s no fee to reprocess or redownload
So one thing to note with the formats that are available is that when you pay for a file to be transcribed or captioned, you’re actually getting access to all of these formats. It’s all included with the fee. And you have the freedom to download as many or as few of them whenever you want as needed.
So that concludes what we wanted to walk through with you today. There are a number of other tools that we do offer that take advantage of the fact that our transcripts are fully time synchronized. And we would be happy to talk about that with you as well.
One thing we did want to mention before we move on to the questions, is that Brightcove will be hosting a webinar next week. And so for anyone who is looking at the video hosting, and management, and delivery portion of their efforts, this would be a great opportunity to learn more about one of the most robust platforms out there. They make the process really easy and the integration for captioning with us is all set up and ready out of the box. So we definitely would encourage people to check that out. Because they have a great solution to get things going really quickly.
So with that, we’re going to move on to questions. We’re going to take a minute to aggregate all the questions. One thing to note is there are a couple links here. If you want to learn a little bit more about using our account system, there are some video tutorials that are available. And our contact information is here, Adam from Carahsoft, and myself. Please feel free to reach out any time. We’re happy to set up a side discussion and go into more details. So just give us a couple minutes and we’ll get back to things with questions.
All right, so we have made an attempt to group the questions by topic so that we can try to tackle some of these questions with some relevancy together. So starting out, one question asks, does a PowerPoint presentation with audio count as video or audio programming for Section 508 compliance?
The way we look at it is if there’s an image within the media, it really should be considered a video. It’s a lot safer to do it that way, in which case we would suggest fully captioning the program. Part of that is that there is visual information that is tied to what’s being spoken. So it’s appropriate to keep those in sync.
Explain closed captioning versus open captioning. So closed captioning, or maybe I’ll start with open captioning. Open captioning means the captions are always displayed on the video, meaning there’s no way to turn them off. It’s always on. Whereas closed captioning usually comes with an on/off button, and, by default, are usually off. So on a lot of web video players, you’ll see a little CC button that allows you to turn them on and off. That would be closed captioning.
Is there a site you can recommend for finding captioning versus subtitling standards. There are a couple of sites. I’m going to try to remember off the top my head. One is section508.gov. Another one is Caption Action. Unfortunately, I’m unable to recall exactly what the URL is off the top of my head. And there’s another one on just captions.org. If you want to reach out to us offline, we’d be happy to find those for you and send them to you.
Some questions about the products and services that we offer, a question about just how translation works. Basically what we’ll do is we’ll take the audio or video file, create the transcripts and captions, and then we work with another firm for the translation. So we provide the time synchronized caption file to them. They’ll then create the translated file and send it back to us. And it’ll work with all the products that we offer. So it’s done through another party.
Is all the work done in the USA? Absolutely. All of our transcriptionists are here in the USA. We specifically keep it that way and filter out any applications from people who are outside of this country. We actually do that for a number of reasons. One, there’s some security concerns. Another is quality concerns. So we’re making sure that we’re providing the best quality English transcription out there.
Do we do captioning of files that are audio only? Absolutely. We actually treat audio and video files exactly the same way, everything from uploading to processing for the transcript to the synchronization. We will produce all of the same output formats for either audio or video. And you can use interactive transcripts with just audio as well.
How long do you keep customer video files? So, by default, we’ll purge the video files after about a 60-day period. But we will keep your output files, the transcripts and captions, indefinitely unless we’re otherwise instructed to do something else. But by default, we’ll keep an archive of those transcripts and captions so that you can access them at any time.
Are there other post production features available like creating smaller clips of longer videos? Yes. And also to the search question, we have an interesting tool within the account that we call Clipmaker. What Clipmaker allows you to do is search through all of your content by keyword and jump to different parts of video, and also select portions of the content by just highlighting pieces of the transcript. And when you select those pieces and press a button to cut it, you’re actually pulling those segments out into a clip reel or a playlist. And so you can pull out segments from multiple files into a single playlist that can then be exported either as a text document with all the media information as to which files it came from and what the time segments are, or you can actually export a new media file itself. So there’s some really interesting tools in there.
We have customers in the market research area for interviews and focus groups using that tool, as well as video production being able to make rough cuts to speed up their video editing process.
One thing we should note is that there is information on our website about that tool. We didn’t talk about it in today’s webinar. But there’s certainly some information if you go to 3playmedia.com/interactive, you’ll see a link for Clipmaker. And that’s the tool that we’re talking about here. And there are some video tutorials off that page as well.
So in addition to captioning, can we provide just transcripts? Yes. And by default we’re going to produce, or make available, caption formats and several different transcript formats, so plain text, or Word documents, you’ll have full access to all of those as well. And we treat it all the same way. So when you pay for your transcript or captioning, you’re going to get access to all of the different formats.
Do we work with classified files? There’s also a question about security clearance and quality control of people at 3Play Media. So I’m going to treat them a little bit separately. There are kind of two issues here. One is the quality control. We actually have a number of processes in place for quality and security. Our editors, or our transcriptionists, really are only able to touch the content they’re working on at the time that they’re working on it. It’s a web-based system. It’s locked down pretty rigorously. Once they’ve completed their work, they’re not able to access that file ever again.
The other thing is that while they’re doing that work, it’s not like they’re downloading the video and working in a Word document. It’s a kind of locked interface where the video streams in. So they’re not able to actually download that video at all. It’s very carefully designed for that.
On the security clearance piece, we don’t have any special levels of clearance at this time. So unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to deal with classified content.
Can the interactive transcript be edited post-event? Yes. We have a really useful tool in the account. We touched on it briefly in the webinar. That’s the editing interface. What happens is once a file is complete, you have access to this editing interface so that you can make any change. Say a name is misspelled, you can go in, make a change, or even redact some text from the transcript for any reason.
And when you make those changes, they immediately propagate not just to the output files to download, but also to the interactive transcript. Because the interactive transcript is running over our API. So it’s a dynamic feed of that transcript. So if you just refresh the page that you’re viewing and a change has been made, you’ll see that change immediately.
Would it be possible to see what the product looks like, something we prepared for others. Yeah. we would be happy to send some links around of other implementations. If you just contact us offline we’d be happy to send you some examples. There are also some examples of our work on our website. So you can see the interactive transcript, and captions, even the archive search all in action as live demos on our website. So certainly feel free to do that.
Back to the editing and redacting for a second. There’s a question about redacting the transcript and how that really works. Basically when the redaction occurs, you’re deleting text out of the transcript. You’re not deleting the video. So the video will be exactly the same. In fact, we’ll talk about this because there are some questions about how we host the media. But basically you’re just affecting the transcript and nothing else. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Which video players is the interactive transcript compatible with? It’s actually compatible with a lot of different web video players. And we have this on our website as well, if you want to check it out. But basically, any of the major video platforms, Brightcove, Kaltura, Ooyala, JW Player, YouTube, Vimeo, blip.tv, Wistia. There are probably a couple others that are missing. But most web video players are already compatible with the interactive transcript right out of the box.
There are some questions about pricing and turnaround. So our pricing is based on the duration of the content itself. So we have a standard rate around $150 per recorded hour. And then we prorate that exactly. So if you have a two-minute file, you’re just going to pay for two minutes worth, and it’ll be $5. There are no file minimums. We actually prorate down to the nearest second. So it really is whatever the duration of the content, that’s all you’re going to pay for.
There are volume discounts. So the way that works is you buy a certain allotment of content, say 50 hours, 100 hours, 200 hours, and then you’d lock in the discount to then work against that balance over time. And it’s spread out over a period of two years. So you have plenty of time to use it up. It doesn’t have to be allocated at all to one project.
Are the fees the same for audio and video? Yes, because we treat everything the same way. So the fees are exactly the same. And like I said before, the fees that you pay are all inclusive of all the different output formats. Regardless of how many times you download or which formats you download, it covers everything.
Is there a minimum amount of video required to be a customer? No. We had a minimum at one point. But we’ve done away with that. So really any amount will be fine.
Is there a yearly or monthly contract? There are no contracts to lock you into anything. There’s no start-up fees. The only monthly fees that will ever come into play is around licensing of the interactive widgets themselves, that little piece of software that you’d put on your site. If you’re not using it, you will not pay for it. Plus there is actually a free tier. So there’s a free tier, a paid tier, a more custom enterprise-sized tier, depending on the needs of your site. So that would really only be the only other fee at play. It’s that and the processing of the transcripts and captions themselves.
A question about turnaround time. Our standard turnaround is five business days. That being said, we’ve really built this system to be strong on quality and volume. So the idea is that with higher levels of volume, we can still turn it around quickly and with very high quality. So if you gave us, say, 10 or 15 hours of content in one day, you’d still get that back in five business days. And we do also offer a two-day turnaround and a one-day turnaround for an extra fee.
Do we have any government contracts in place? Yes. We do have a few government contracts in place already. We’re actually working closely with Carahsoft so that we will be on a GSA schedule very shortly. So we’re making sure that all of our ducks are in a row and we can really work with any government agency pretty easily.
So, for example, we’re already working with the IRS, the EPA, the TSA, EducationUSA, which is through IAE. So we can certainly provide some examples of that work as well, if you like
Some questions around media formats and output formats. So what formats can be input into the system for transcription? We can handle pretty much any major web-ready format of audio or video. In fact, we can handle over 200 media formats. The one thing to look out for would be proprietary codecs, which sometimes show up with handheld recorders. So, for example, some Sony recorders will have a proprietary Sony codec embedded within the media file when you extract it from the machine on your computer. So in that case, you’d have to re-encode the file. It’s a rare thing. But it’s something to keep in mind.
Can we receive raw video or do we prefer it to be compressed? We can handle either. That’s no problem. We’ll actually compress the file once it comes into our system a bit as well. But the issue is more around upload time. And so if it’s a large file, it’s going to take a long time to get to our system and to start the process. And so if you don’t mind waiting for that final to upload and potentially have some additional upfront processing time within our system, that’s fine. But that could slow things down overall just a bit. But really the main issue is the upload speed for you that you’d want to consider.
In what format do we take the video and how do we return it? As I said, we can take it in many different formats, .mov, .flv, MP4, WMV, just to name a few. Those are some common ones. We can really handle quite a few. The question about how do we return it, we’re not going to change the video file itself. And that kind of gets to a question later on about hosting the media. We’re taking the media just so that we can create the transcripts and caption files. We’re not really returning any media file, so to speak. We’re really just returning the other output in transcript or caption form.
And just to follow up on that– and the next question touches on this, which is the different output formats– we can provide caption formats for many different video players. So whether it be Windows Media, or Flash, or QuickTime, we have caption formats for all those without much of a problem at all. That’s standard out of the box.
There is a question here about custom XML formats. And that’s something that we can definitely do. We have a number of customers who have a specific XML template that they’d like all their files to follow. Usually that has to do with a certain frequency of time coding and other pieces of the structure. And that’s definitely something that we can create for you.
How do we integrate with other platforms? So there are kind of two pieces to the integration. One is on the publishing side, making the interactive transcript and captions work with the platforms and those players, such as like at Brightcove.
The other part is workflow. And so we have a number of workflow integrations with platforms to make it much, much easier to send files back and forth and to get the process started. So rather than uploading it into your Brightcove account once and then having to upload it again, you can actually authenticate your Brightcove account while in your 3Play account so you can see the media that you’ve already uploaded, and then just press a button if you want to get it transcribed or captioned.
So it’s much, much easier. We have a number of integrations like that to make the media transfer much easier. And in some cases it’s actually been set up so you can do it from the platform interface. So, for example, Mediasite, which is a lecture capture company, has it set up with us so that while you’re in your Mediasite account, you can select a file to be captioned. It’ll automatically get sent to us from your interface. And then when the captions are complete, they’ll be automatically sent back to the right place. So it’s really, really user friendly.
Will the formats be compatible with future ADA requirements or software? One thing to keep in mind is that this is one of the advantages of the fact that we archive and keep all of your transcript and caption data indefinitely. So if a new format were considered to be the standard, so let’s say with HTML5, there’s a decision to go a certain direction that’s not quite the same as a certain standard today. We would be able to build to that standard very quickly and create the caption files in that format basically immediately.
So we’re storing a core document that has time data for every single word. That’s part of the core output and part of the value of what we provide. And with that, we’re able to turn that into a lot of different templates in different formats very, very easily. So we will definitely have the ability to adjust to other formats that may become standards.
Can we submit a caption file that’s been created by a different vendor, or would we have to start from scratch? We prefer to handle that on kind of a case by case basis really. Because it depends on the goals and kind of what’s being used, whether it be captions or interactive transcripts, as well as how much of the content has already been captioned. So we prefer to kind of talk about that offline and figure out what the best solution is for that particular situation.
So there are some questions about some products and services that we don’t exactly offer. I just wanted to address those. So the question about outputting media and hosting media, this one in particular is do we host the media?
The answer to that is no. We host the transcripts and captions. Our goal is to not disrupt what you’re already doing with the video content, and rather just tie in to what you’re doing with the video content. So the captions, the interactive transcripts, the video search tools, they’re all meant to be a layer on top of what you’re already doing and meant to be very easy to install alongside what you’re already doing as opposed to replacing what you’re doing. So one thing to keep in mind is while you’ll see the media in the account for some of the tools like editing, the media is not meant to be hosted like a video platform.
Do you do descriptive audio? So that is one thing that we do not. Our focus is really on capturing the spoken word with transcription and captioning.
Can you transcribe other languages? So at this time, we can only transcribe English content. We do have a translation partner that we mentioned before that can do some transcription in other languages. So if that’s a big part of what you’re working with, let’s talk about that offline. And we can put you in touch with our partner.
Do we do live captioning? No. Right now all we do is the offline or on-demand captioning for content that’s already been recorded.
Can all caption formats be edited in terms of position? For example, can all formats temporarily display captions near the top of the screen to avoid covering the lower thirds? Largely due to two things, one is the video capabilities of web video, or the player capabilities of web video, as well as keeping the costs in line with web video, keeping them low, that’s something that we don’t do. We really only stick to the lower third, middle. The cost implications are actually pretty significant to start moving around the caption frame, at least to do that as a service. So that’s something that we don’t offer.
Are the caption settings modifiable by the viewers, such as the color, the font size, or the position? So this is actually something that we are working on. We are working on a caption plug-in that would be very similar to our interactive transcript plug-in in a sense that it would be a couple lines of code on the page. That would actually allow people to switch between languages if there are subtitles in other languages. It would allow people to change the color, or size, and possibly even the position. So to the position question, this may be the one area where we can actually solve that problem. But it would really be up to the user who’s viewing the content to make that decision. It’s not something that we have out yet. But it is something that we have in the works on a road map. And we hope to be launching soon.
Can we use the software to provide our own captioning? That’s something that we do not offer. There are some free tools out there though that would allow you to create captions yourself. And we actually have a blog post on our website about how you can use some of the resources out there for free to caption your content.
One thing that we would say is that if you only have a couple videos and you need to create captions, that’s a great way to do it. If you have a lot of content, it can be quite a process. So really understanding the need that you have and the budget you really should be driving that type of decision. But there are some resources that could be very useful if you have the time to do that.
Can we submit a caption file to be transferred to a different format, or would we have to start from scratch? We actually have a free tool on our website. If you go to resources on our website, you’ll find it. There’s a caption converter. And if you start from an SRT or SBV format, you can actually convert those files into many other caption formats for free. And the way that works is you paste the text of the caption file into a window. And you’ll be emailed a new format based on what your selection is.
If you have a large amount of content or large number of files that need to be converted, we might suggest that you contact us. And we can possibly create a script that would convert that for you. In that case, we wouldn’t be able to do it for free, but it would be a lot more efficient than doing it all through the website. But certainly feel free to take advantage of the tool that’s on our site.
So I think that does it for our questions. If there’s anything else that we didn’t cover, please feel free to reach out to us anytime. We’d be happy to have a discussion with you offline. Hopefully this was useful. And we look forward to being in touch with you. Have a good rest of the day.
CHRISTIE HERNANDEZ: I’d like to thank all of our participants as well as Josh, Tole, and CJ for being with us today. We hope our webcast has been helpful to you in your organization. If you have any further questions or would like to request more information, feel free to contact the 3Play Media team at Carahsoft. Our contact information will be displayed on your screen shortly. So please don’t hesitate to call or email us. Thanks again. And have a great day.