Introducing Audio Description!
Updated: January 4, 2018
Note: We have expanded our audio description offerings. View the most up-to-date information on our audio description services
Drum roll, please…
3Play Media is thrilled to announce the launch of our newest product in video accessibility. High-quality, cost-effective, and fast audio description is now here!
A New Approach to Audio Description
The process for creating audio description varies; however, traditional audio description providers use humans for the entire workflow. This method is very costly and time-consuming. At 3Play Media, we’re taking a new approach to audio description, utilizing technology to bring down costs. Combining humans and technology has been a critical part of our captioning process – so why shouldn’t it be a part of the description process? We’re using a combination of humans and technology every step of the way. By employing technology, we’re able to make the process of writing and time coding description easier, faster, and more cost-effective.
Additionally, we use certified human describers to write high quality descriptions, then utilize synthesized speech to vocalize these descriptions. In addition, one of the hidden costs of audio description is the resource-intensive process of publishing audio description. Again utilizing technology, we’ve developed a plugin that will alleviate the need to produce a second version of your video with audio description. Using a combination of human editing and advanced technology, the cost of audio description can be significantly decreased without sacrificing quality.
How Does Synthesized Speech Work for Audio Description?
Synthesized speech is artificially produced (computer-generated) human speech. There are pros and cons to utilizing synthesized speech for audio description, but with our unique software, we’re able to provide high quality and customizable description at a uniquely low cost. In traditional synthesized speech is it’s lack of tone and emotion. However, we have created several speaker customization features for selecting the audio that best fits your needs. In the Audio Description Settings page of the 3Play Media account system, you can sample and select from several speakers and speaker rates. A few of the pros to using synthesized speech are that it is a lot faster to produce, a lot less costly, and it gives the user complete control. These benefits, combined with the ability to customize speaker settings provides the best of both worlds!
Preview and Edit Your Audio Description
The 3Play account allows you to preview and make edits to your own audio description. Once the file has been processed in our system, you can make tweaks to change pronunciation, grammar, or word choice. And don’t worry – if you mess up, you can simply click “revert to original” to get back to the original audio descriptions created by our describers.
How to Publish Using the Audio Description Plugin
Just like we do with captions, we want to make the audio description process as seamless as possible for our customers. Being that most popular video players and platforms do not support WebVTT description tracks or secondary audio tracks – although there are exceptions – we provide an audio description plugin for simplicity and cost-effectiveness.
Our plugin is a simple embed that references your video and plays the secondary audio description track along with your video, making it a great option for video players that don’t support audio description in a usable way. It’s also a great alternative to having to create a second version of the video with description.
To order audio description, login to your 3Play Media account. Once in the account system you have the option to customize audio description settings – you can select the speaker voice and speaker rate that you would like to use. Then, simply upload your files for captioning and select Add Audio Description at the bottom of the window.
If you already have a caption file in the 3Play Media account, you can simply add audio description by selecting your captioned file from the My Files page, selecting Order from the top of the screen, and choosing Audio Description. Then, confirm the selected settings and place your order!
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