The Best Online Video Players for Audio Description

January 18, 2019 BY ELISA LEWIS
Updated: September 6, 2023

From the beginning, one of the challenges with implementing audio description (AD) is player support. Most browsers and video players do not support the playing of description in the same way that they support captions. However, there are a few video players that do support audio description. Discover which are the best, and what to do when your player does not support AD.

three different sets of hands on three laptop keyboards


Brightcove is the first enterprise-level video platform to offer audio description support. They are doing this by supporting video with multiple alternate audio tracks, allowing the option to select an audio track with or without description.

3Play’s Brightcove integration makes adding audio description to your Brightcove videos seamless. Simply set up the Brightcove integration from within your 3Play Media account, turn postback on, and get started uploading media from your new linked account!


Vidyard prides itself on going beyond the typical video hosting and management platform, by creating interactive and personalized video experiences.

One way Vidyard does this is through integrations with industry leaders, including 3Play Media!
3Play’s integration with Vidyard allows you to order transcription and closed captions as well as audio description directly from within the Vidyard Platform, posting back to your Vidyard account once completed. Our partnership with Vidyard is an exciting one and we’re eager to work together to make video content more accessible.

woman using a laptop with headphones on


Ooyala supports audio description, but there are a few caveats. Ooyala does not support audio-only assets on the Player, so you will have to download a  Mixed AD + Source Media Asset from your 3Play Media account before publishing on Ooyala. The downloaded asset must be a video file, such as an MP4. You can review these steps on the 3Play support site.

Once you obtain your MP4 with the original audio as well as description, you can navigate to Ooyala to upload and manage your video.


Kaltura currently accepts a single file MP4 that includes multiple audio tracks and that has language notation on every audio track. The Kaltura Player will play inband multi audio tracks and will have a button to select an audio track. The multi-audio track selection button is a plugin, made available in the Player Studio. More information can be found on Kaltura’s knowledge site.

Able Player

Able Player is a fully accessible cross-browser HTML5 media player that supports both audio and video. Able Player offers support for audio description as a separate video. When two videos are available (one with description and one without), both can be delivered together using the same player and users can toggle between the versions.

snapping fingersOzPlayer

OzPlayer is a fully accessible online video player made by AccessibilityOz. Besides being keyboard accessible, OzPlayer supports closed captions and audio description using modern web standards like HTML5.

Adding audio description to OzPlayer is simple, and if you’re doing so with 3Play Media it’s even easier – find out how!


In January 2020, Wistia announced that it was releasing a more accessible version of its player, making it the newest video player to natively support audio description.

Wistia aims to make videos more accessible for everyone, with a solution that allows users to make their videos more inclusive—without compromising the look and feel of their brands. One of the ways they do that is by allowing users to add audio descriptions and captions from a single file, instead of requiring them to juggle multiple files or link to an audio description in the alt text. At Wistia, inclusivity means offering a similar experience for everyone who interacts with videos on the Internet. And promoting accessibility means making it a sustainable (and easy!) process for their customers.

What to Do When Your Player Doesn’t Support Audio Description

two plugs with sparkA lack of player support is a major barrier to the spread of audio description. The list highlighted in this post is quite short, especially compared with the amount of players there are out there! Even video players that support audio description, don’t always make it super easy.

The 3Play Plugin is a FREE tool designed to make your publishing process simpler and more flexible. There are several different features of the plugin, all of which allow publishers to create a fully interactive and accessible video experience for viewers, even when using videos they don’t own. The 3Play Plugin is customizable and compatible with most video players and publishing platforms, including learning management (LMS) systems.


Our audio description embed allows you to easily generate a simple embed code or hosted link for a video with audio description. You can then add audio description to videos without having to republish your audio or video files. You can even toggle audio description on or off and change the volume of the description separately from the volume of your original audio track right from our plugin.

How Does It Work?

The 3Play Plugin is super easy to use! It works with most major video players – like YouTube, Vimeo, Brightcove, Kaltura, and Wistia – and with HTML5 video. It’s also compatible with most publishing platforms, including LMS systems.

To take advantage of the audio description feature of the 3Play Plugin, simply select the audio description feature (and any others you would like included in your plugin), choose your video player, and copy the embed code provided into the bodyof your HTML.

Give It a Try!

  1. Press play on the video.
  2. Press the AD icon to turn description on and off.
  3. Press the AD sliders icon to equalize the volume.
  4. Press the AD volume icon to mute AD.
  5. Use the AD volume slider to change the volume of your description independently from the volume of your YouTube video.

To learn more about publishing with the 3Play Plugin, take a look at the video below.


3Play Media logo

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