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Zoom Captioning 101: How to Caption Your Live Streams and Recordings [TRANSCRIPT]

GEORGIA MCGOLDRICK: So let’s begin. Today, we’ll cover the following topics. First off, we’ll cover getting started with Zoom captions, how to live caption Zoom meetings, Zoom webinars, retrieving captions after the Zoom event is over, tips for live captioning, and benefits for captioning live events. And then we’ll finish off with a Q&A.

All right, so let’s talk about getting started with Zoom. So there are some requirements to getting started with Zoom. First, you do need a 3Play Pro account with us to turn on Live Auto Captioning. You’ll also want to make sure the module for Live Auto Captioning is turned on within your account. You can do this by just going to Settings in your account, and then there’s an Add On Modules Section. And then you’ll just turn on Live Auto Captioning.

You’ll also need a linked Zoom account, so linked to a 3Play project. And it must be a paid Pro Zoom account to be linked and to turn on those Live Auto Captions.

And then lastly, you do need admin or owner privileges. So you must be an admin or an owner within the Zoom account to link to 3Play to create that linked integration. However, once the integration is linked, anyone within that Zoom account can schedule captions for a meeting or webinar. They don’t have to be an admin. We just need an admin to set up the integration initially.

All right, so let’s talk about the actual setup here. So first, you’ll log into the 3Play account system, and then you’ll click on the Linked Accounts page at the top of the navigation bar. You’ll link a new account.

Then you will see Zoom out of the available integrations here. So you’ll click on Zoom. And then you’ll be prompted to sign in to Zoom and confirm to authorize the installation of the 3Play Media app within your Zoom account. So authorizing that installation links the two accounts together, so then Zoom and 3Play will be integrated.

So there are various settings that need to be configured in order to live caption Zoom events. So for meeting hosts specifically, you’ll need to sign into Zoom and navigate to My Account, Settings, In Meeting Advanced. And then you will toggle on Allow Live Streaming of The Meetings, and also check off Custom Live Streaming Service. And then click Save.

So again for webinars, similar setting here. You’ll sign into Zoom, navigate to My Account, Account Management, Webinar Settings, In Webinar Settings, Edit, and Allow Hosts To Live Stream Their Webinar. And also, you will click Custom Live Streaming Service, and then click Save. So both of those things have to be done in order to live auto caption your Zoom meeting or webinar from a host standpoint.

Then for all participants, you must have the Closed Captions button turned on in order to set up or view captions in Zoom events. So this setting is turned on by default, typically, for all Zoom users and can be found in My Account Settings, In Meeting Advanced.

All right, so next step, let’s walk through how to actually set up Live Auto Captions for Zoom meetings. So step one, you’ll schedule the meeting within your Zoom account. You can do this by logging into Zoom, clicking Schedule A Meeting. Within the window of scheduling the meeting, you’ll set up for the right time and then adding any other information needed, like a meeting description, for example, duration.

Also for the meeting ID, you have the option to generate automatically or choose a personal meeting ID. If you choose a personal meeting ID, there is an extra step required. And the overall difference here is whether or not the meeting is within a personal meeting room or just a regular scheduled meeting.

The next step, you’ll head over to your 3Play account, and you will schedule the Live Auto Captions in 3Play. So to do this, you’ll navigate to your account, click on the Live Audio Captioning module on the top navigation bar. Schedule a new event, and your linked Zoom integration will show up there with whatever nickname you give the integration.

Then you’ll come to a scheduling page where you just select the user, select the event type. And under that dropdown, it will show Meetings or Webinars. So obviously, if this is a meeting, you’ll choose Meeting. And then you’ll see the previously scheduled meetings in your Zoom account populate underneath there.

So you’ll select the meeting that you want captions. You’ll give the event start time, which is basically the time that the captions start. And sometimes, we do recommend people to start the captions about 5 to 15 minutes before the actual scheduled time of the Zoom meeting, just to make sure that they’re up and running.

So part two here. So this next step is only applicable to captioning personal meeting rooms. If you generate the meeting ID automatically, then this step is not necessary, and you can skip to the next slide, which we’ll cover next.

So once the meeting and the captions are scheduled, you’ll need to enter the stream URL and stream key in the Zoom meeting in order to use live captions with a personal meeting ID. You can do this by editing the meeting in Zoom, scrolling down to click Configure Live Stream Settings, and then enter the stream URL and stream key into the window that appears. You’ll also have to enter a live streaming page URL, which is required by Zoom, but this has no effect on the actual Zoom meeting or the live captions.

All right, so once you’re ready and everything is scheduled and the meeting time has arrived, you can start the Zoom meeting. Click the Closed Captioning icon and copy the API token. So once that token is copied, you’ll paste that into 3Play. There should be a field here, Zoom API Token, into your event, your captioning event that you scheduled previously. And then you’ll just click Update.

Then in Zoom, you’re about ready to start streaming, so just click More within the player. And then click Live on Custom Live Streaming Service. From there, captions should begin to appear within about 5 to 10 seconds.

Now let’s dive into how to set up Live Auto Captions for Zoom webinars. Meetings and webinars are a bit different, and there is a slight change in process from setting up the captions for webinars as opposed to meetings.

So similar to meetings, you’ll schedule the webinar in Zoom. Give it a name, potentially a description, duration, time, date. And then you’ll head over to 3Play and schedule captions for that webinar.

And this is also done from the Live Auto Captioning module page. So similar to before, we’ll just schedule a new event. Then choose a user and then the event type, which in this case would be a webinar. And then you’ll choose the actual webinar you want captions for, set a start time and date for the captions to begin, then click Schedule.

So once the webinar start time approaches, you’ll click the Closed Caption button at the bottom and again copy that API token. And then you’ll paste it in 3Play within the same field as before for the Zoom API token. So once that’s done, you’ll start the webinar as the webinar start time approaches. And then you will click More and then Go Live on Custom Live Streaming Service.

Once that’s done, you’ll be prompted to a page that asks you to fill in the streaming URL and the stream key and then also a live streaming page URL. So this is also similar to before. The live streaming page URL is a requirement of Zoom, but it has no effect on the actual webinar or the captions.

And to get those fields, you’ll navigate to 3Play, which is giving the stream URL and the stream key. And you can just copy those and then paste them in the Zoom window. Then from there, you’ll just click Go Live. And again, the captions should appear within 5 to 10 seconds.

All right, so there are three ways to retrieve the captions after your meeting or webinar is over. So you can download to your local device if the meeting or webinar was recorded. You can also download to the Zoom cloud. That is an extra setting that your Zoom account does have to include. So some people do have access to the cloud. Some don’t. I believe it just depends on what type of account you have with Zoom.

And then lastly, you can download directly from 3Play Media’s account system. So as soon as your meeting or webinar is over, the Live Auto Captions should populate in your 3Play Media account pretty much instantly. Basically, within a minute or two, the auto captions should be available in your account.

You can view the file. You can download it, edit the transcript yourself. Or also, you can upgrade to our full transcription service, which would, of course, include human editing and human quality assurance to bring it to that 99% human-enabled transcript.

So first off, if you choose to download locally to your device after the meeting or webinar is over, you just have to make sure that you select Record the Meeting Automatically, On the Local Computer. When you’re setting up your meeting or webinar, there should be an option at the bottom within that scheduling page to choose On the Local Computer.

If you choose Download Cloud, again, to the Zoom cloud, just on that same scheduling page, you’ll check off Record the Meeting Automatically. But instead of choosing On the Local Computer, you’ll choose In the Cloud. So once the meeting or webinar is over, it’s automatically uploaded to the cloud, so not much you have to do manually at all.

And again, the recordings usually from Zoom give you an MP4, so with the video and the audio. Or you’ll also get just an audio-only file, and then you’ll also get a transcript of the captions, too. So there’s a few different files that can be downloaded from there.

If you choose to download from the 3Play account system, you’ll just, again, navigate to the Live Auto Captioning module page in the account system. Click Previous Live Auto Captioning Events, then View File. From there, you can view the file, edit, download, or order more services on the transcript. And just to download, you’ll see the Download button at the top here. And you can choose to download in any of your favorite formats or any of our formats, really.

All right, so some tips for live captioning. So let’s go over some general best practices. You always want to make sure that you’re streaming from a strong network connection, so if it helps to have a hard-wired connection to the internet via an ethernet cable, as opposed to using Wi-Fi, since Wi-Fi can be sometimes unreliable.

You’ll also want to make sure that you have good quality audio. So we recommend investing in a microphone or a headset instead of relying just on your computer or phone mic. These microphones can often pick up surrounding sounds and sound very distant or echoey. So a good microphone will cost around $50, and you can definitely find that on Amazon somewhere.

Next, your surrounding sounds– so you’ll want to make sure that you have little to no background noise if possible. I know, obviously, right now we’re all working remotely at home, so sometimes there might be some background noise. But it’s best just to find a quiet room if you can, maybe even hang some blankets to drown out outside noise.

Another really important thing is a single speaker at a time if possible, to avoid multiple speakers speaking at the same time and confusing the captions. And then lastly, clear speech and pronunciation is imperative for accuracy, as well. So if you’re speaking clearly, pronunciating, the ASR, if you’re using auto captions, will be able to pick that up quickly and be able to understand exactly what you’re saying, just so there’s no confusion.

So why should you caption live streams? So this is a great question. So there’s obviously many reasons why you should caption live stream content. The biggest benefit is obviously accessibility and inclusion.

41% of videos are incomprehensible without sound or captions, so captions are really important in order to make your video comprehensible without sound, as well as to drive engagement, too. A research study from the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science found that captions improve brand recall, verbal memory, and behavioral intent. So even if you’re doing a company webinar, people tend to recall the content with captions. There’s just a better frame of reference there.

And also, another big point here for online learning– so 3Play did conduct a nationwide study with Oregon State University. We surveyed students to see how and why they use captions. The results proved that captions do truly help students learn, with 98.6% of students finding them helpful, 65% helping them focus. And 75% use captions as a learning aid.

All right, so we have some resources here. If you have any questions about live captioning in general, please contact us. We have an email alias out there, which is livecaptioning@3playmedia.com, so feel free to send us any questions you have. We also have support documentation to get started with Zoom and some of our other integrations, too.

We also have a lot on our website. We have a website page dedicated to Live Auto Captioning. Then we also have a Zoom how-to guide, which highlights a lot of what I’ve previously just said.

Cool, so we also have an event coming up later this month, which is a free virtual event, Access at Home. It’s completely focused on making sure that you’re really owning your virtual environments, and captioning is a big part of that, and just video accessibility in general, being in a virtual setting, some best practices, some workflow tips.

We also have a lot of interactive workshops, too, so you can hear how other people are doing it. And you can also hear from industry leaders which will be speaking at the event as well.

All right, so now let’s turn it to the Q&A. I will just give a minute for questions to come in.

All right, so what is the fee of live captions, Live Auto Captions? So the fee for our Live Auto Captions with Zoom is $0.60 per minute. But another thing with that is, if you did choose to upgrade to our full transcription service, we discount the per-minute rate of the Live Auto Captions to your base rate of the full transcription. So once you upgrade, the amount that you paid for the live captions will be deducted from that full transcription rate.

So what is the rate of accuracy on the Live Auto Captions? This is a great question. We always recommend people follow the best practices as much as possible, so making sure you have a great internet connection, you have great speakers, clear audio. Those things all affect the ASR. So you all just want to make sure that you’re following those best practices, and we’ve seen accuracy rates from ASR of live events go from anywhere between 90% or above accuracy.

Is there any available foreign language live captions? So unfortunately, our Live Auto Captions with Zoom are currently only in English. But this is something we’ve heard a lot from customers asking for other languages, and it’s something we’re actively looking into.

Do you integrate with other video or meeting platforms? Yes, so for Live Auto Captioning, we integrate with Zoom, obviously. YouTube, Brightcove, and JW Player are some of the others that we integrate with.

If we wanted to use this for patient care activities, how are the captions/content and protected? HIPAA, for example. So our account system is HIPAA compliant. So all of the transcripts in the account system are encrypted. And we follow secure best practices there, so I can assure you that our account system is HIPAA compliant.

Zoom can provide captioning natively via Otter integration. What is the benefit to using 3Play’s automation over the native support? So another great question.

So the benefit to using our auto captions, obviously, is if you already have an account with us, everything is tied to one place. With the Zoom integration, you can have all of those transcripts available in your 3Play account. You can also download in 50-plus different formats. You can upgrade that transcript. You can edit it yourself.

So it’s really all of those other functions that we can provide to the end result. And then upgrading to the full transcription process, obviously, is unique to us and our 99%-plus solution to make making sure that that transcript is WCAG compliant and compliant with all accessibility laws after the fact. So it’s really that added benefit there.

Does your service work directly in YouTube and Facebook without Zoom? So we do have an integration with YouTube Live, so we can definitely provide that. We’re also working on completing a Facebook integration, actually, in the next few weeks. So that should be something that hopefully we can release soon for Facebook Live events.

Can you adjust the size and font color of captions? So this is a great question. For our live captions, currently no. But if you did take the transcript after the event is over and you decided to caption encode into the source media, there are different options for styling that and making sure that you can adjust as needed. But currently not available in the live captioning service.

What is the typical delay in live captions? So another great question. We actually have the ability within the Live Auto Captioning module and the account system, you can edit the settings of a meeting or webinar to adjust for latency.

So that starts between two to– I believe the default is five seconds. So you can make it as fast as two seconds, more slow as five seconds, and even beyond that to, I believe, 10 seconds. So that can be toggled within the 3Play account system before the event starts.

If I’m on a Zoom meeting with a few other people, will we all be captioned? So yes, it will caption whoever is speaking. So it’s not just one person in the meeting specifically.

All right, so I believe we are at time. We definitely got a lot of questions here, which is fabulous. So thank you all for participating today.

And again, feel free to shoot us an email at that email alias, livecaptioning@3playmedia.com. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We’re always here to help. So thank you all again for joining.