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Quick Start to Interactive Transcripts [TRANSCRIPT]

RYAN MARTINEZ: This is a webinar focused on a quick start to interactive transcripts, and my name is Ryan, and I’m an Implementation Specialist here at 3Play. I’m glad you all could join us. Today we have a quick presentation to go through, and we’ll certainly leave time for a demonstration with the 3Play account system, as well as time for Q&A here at the end.

But we’ll cover on today’s agenda what the 3Play plugin actually is, how it works, benefits of the plugin and common use cases, and then we’ll conclude the session here today with a demonstration, some live examples, and a Q&A.

So to start, my name is Ryan Martinez. I’m an Implementation Specialist here at 3Play. My primary job function here is to design workflow solutions that meet accessibility requirements. I do love working with customers. It’s my kind of day in and day out.

I get to work with folks at a variety of different levels throughout their organizations, different verticals. There’s a large number of customers we work with here at 3Play. So no two days are alike, and I really enjoy that.

Fun fact about me is I moved to Colorado for three years to chase snow in the Rockies. I’m a big skier, so if I’m not working and it is winter, chances are you’ll find me at the mountains. So what is the 3Play plugin anyway? Simply put, the 3Play plugin is a free tool that allows anyone to create a fully interactive and accessible video experience for viewers, even when using videos they don’t own.

And I really want to emphasize, it is a tool that allows really anybody to create these experiences. Typically, some of the out-of-the-box functionality that we offer, such as an interactive transcript or the ability to change certain visuals about your players, such as the skin, whether it’s dark or light, is something that is associated with folks who are true developers.

If you don’t know HTML or JavaScript, oftentimes these sorts of features are out of reach. Not the case for the 3Play plugin. It’s designed to be user friendly for both developers and non-developers alike. Now, how does the 3Play plugin actually work? It’s quite simple. Customers upload either audio or video files to the 3Play account system.

In some cases, they have completed transcripts or caption files associated with those videos. But in many cases, 3Play is actually transcribing, captioning, and potentially audio describing content from scratch. Those two elements, the audio or video file, as well as the completed assets, come together to create a media file within the 3Play account system.

And there are really simple options that allow you, within a few clicks, to actually publish the plugin, which is another way of saying, publish an embed code, that can be used and added to your video’s website in order to make that existing content a bit more accessible to folks who may rely on resources like audio description in order to understand your content. So it’s a very simple process. It begins with an upload. Once we’ve completed our work, the process of publishing that content is very simple.

And some of the benefits of the plugin, certainly website embedding is a big one. The plugin makes it really easy to create and embed code out of the box, so you can add videos to your website with whatever custom features that you’ve selected. And again, this is true for someone who is a developer versus someone who’s new to accessibility and wants to be able to create accessible videos for their website.

The interactive features, of course, speak for themselves. The plugin provides a number of out-of-the-box functionality, for example, transcript search capabilities, that are otherwise unavailable in a more traditional sense. In addition, audio description in many video players is not supported. So good examples of this are players like YouTube and Vimeo. They’re super popular video players. They do a great job with closed captions, but they don’t currently have out-of-the-box solutions for audio description.

Because most players and platforms don’t support audio description, we’ve built that in in terms of the ability to add an AD icon to your videos, so users can turn audio description on or off, similar to how they’re accustomed to turning closed captions on or off depending on what their preferences.

The other benefit, of course, is SEO. That the plugin is actually designed to automatically boost the SEO of your video by presenting metadata to Google as a single video object, which, of course, helps your video rank. Essentially, we allow for easy tools to make your transcripts readable by many of these search engines.

Now, some common use cases– they are broad, but I tried to capture some of the most common things that we hear from our customers. Certainly, education is popular for these plugins. It is LMS compatible, so it does allow you to add videos to learning management systems, such as Blackboard or Canvas.

It’s also great for e-learning libraries, because we do have a playlist search tool that actually allows your users to search across your entire video or audio library, which we’ll get to here in a couple of minutes. As I mentioned, that’s also great for content that’s not yours. We do have the option for customers to be able to upload links to YouTube videos.

So it’s really great in situations where you want accurate captions for content that may be used for education, but it’s not something that you actually own and have published directly. You can give folks the option to download transcripts directly from the video, which is certainly a common request that we get across all customer verticals, namely in education.

We also give you tools to create templates for consistency sake. So for smaller organizations that maybe don’t have robust IT departments, these templates make it really easy to create a uniform experience or brand, again, especially for these smaller organizations. And then just overall, the plugin is a great way to boost the overall video experience for your users by providing all of these resources in one place.

And so what’s this really about? It’s all about providing equal access for all people. Using the audio description example as something that we hear commonly, in many cases, if you have a portion of your audience that is deaf or hard of hearing relying on captions and another portion of your audience, potentially, that’s blind or low vision that is relying on audio description, in a more traditional sense, customers are forced to upload their videos, let’s say, to YouTube, so captions can be turned on or off, but provide a link in the description of that video that links out to the audio described version of that same piece of content.

What the plugin really does is, within these embed codes that you create, you’re able to add these videos to your website in order to feature both closed captions, audio description, search functionality, and an interactive transcript, all within the same video player. So you’re not having to direct a portion of your audience to a different page simply because they rely on different resources than the vast majority of your end users.

So again, a lot of what we get to here at 3Play is this idea of providing equal access for all people. Now we’ll go ahead and get into the actual account system, so I can show you a demonstration of what something like the interactive transcript looks like, and just how easy it is to publish these plugins with a variety of custom features.

And so for those of you who are already customers of 3Play, this may look very familiar to you, and this is the 3Play account system. So this My Files page here really serves as the central repository of everything that you upload into the 3Play account system.

On the left, you can expand this section here to filter for certain files according to what you’ve uploaded. But for today’s purposes, I’ll stay focused on this video file that happens to have been both transcribed and audio described. If I click on this file, I can very quickly take a glance at the details and see that, in this example, this file happens to have been uploaded from a linked Kaltura account with this corresponding video ID.

Now, the functionality that I’m about to show will work the exact same for a file that was uploaded from your computer, from a different linked account, such as YouTube or Vimeo, and so the same general principles apply, though this file happens to have come from Kaltura. Under the single Publish menu here, I have the option to actually publish the 3Play plugin for this video.

And so if I click on Publish Plugin, I’m brought into the Plugin Builder that features the video file. And as I mentioned earlier, because it was uploaded through a linked Kaltura account, we automatically have access to the player ID, the video ID, and the partner ID that are required for us to be able to pull in this video to the 3Play account system.

Now, the other benefit of this is because everything is all based off of the video ID within the player itself, regardless of whether somebody goes to Kaltura to view this content or they go to your website to view the embedded video on your web page, all of the SEO benefits track back to the same place based on this video ID.

So it’s a great way to be able to allow your audience to access content in multiple locations, and the analytics all feed back centrally for you. Now, if I go back, or if I reduce this video settings and take a look here at plugin features, the 3Play plugin is really designed for you to be able to go in and simply check boxes of the features that you want to see here.

So in the case of the interactive transcript, what it does is it adds this space beneath the video to allow for these words to be highlighted and track along as the video is played. So if I go ahead and mute this here and play the video, you’ll see how, according to what is said, the actual dialog tracks along.

So the benefit for the end user is not only the ability to be able to click and skip, let’s say, to a different point later on in the transcript, but they can also search the transcript so that each instance of a speaker label, for example in this case, either speaker 1 or speaker 2, is highlighted in the transcript. And so it makes it really easy for these folks to search the transcript and click to a point where the topic that is covered is actually of interest to them.

You also can feature a number of options, such as making the transcript collapsible. So in the case of a video that is maybe hosted on YouTube and users have the ability to click the CC icon and display captions natively, maybe those same users want to hide the transcript so that they don’t have to see it follow along.

You can also give folks the option to download the transcript. Perhaps feature a progress bar in the video, so within the plugin itself, I can click on a word and see the progress of the video file as it progresses. And I also have the ability to add a dedicated space for closed captions beneath the video, which is a great use case for something like a video on YouTube that you don’t own and doesn’t have captions, but you would like to be able to embed this with the 3Play captions that we’ve produced. It gives you that option.

Once you’ve selected all of the features that you want, however, for this video, each time you’ve made a selection, we’ve been actually updating this embed code, this iframe embed code here, automatically to include those additional resources. So when I copy the embed code without making any changes in the 3Play account system, I can either, if I am the IT or web person for my organization, I can copy that embed code and do what I need to with it directly.

Or if I’m simply the 3Play admin and I need to send this embed code to my IT team, it is ready to be copied in its current form. Once I copy that embed code, if I go into my website, this is just a sample web page builder, and paste that embed code exactly as I’ve copied it, it pulls over all of the interactive features that you’ve selected within the 3Play Plugin Builder.

And the features aren’t the only benefit of the 3Play plugin. We also give you the ability to add some SEO information to this video, which essentially makes the transcript readable by Google. And so you’ll see, when I select a SEO Embed and copy the embed code once again, if I add it to my Web Page Builder, you’ll see the only difference between those two is this one with the SEO embed included features an actual copy of the transcript for Google to be able to index.

So there’s no visual difference to those end users. The same interactive features apply. The only difference here is I’ve chosen to embed some SEO information with my video. And so hopefully that really illustrates just how seamless this is and how it is really intended for folks that are both developers and non-developers to be able to choose the features that are of interest to them and may benefit their audiences the most.

And again, once each of these selections are made, this embed code is updated automatically to be used however you see fit. And to further illustrate that point here, I’ll pop over to the 3Play website that really shows a couple great examples of some of the things that are possible with this interactive transcript.

As you can see, the video types are entirely different, but the experience is uniform. And so this video on the left happens to have come from Brightcove. It features an interactive transcript that is collapsible, searchable, downloadable, but it also features a couple of things that I did not mention, such as the ability to toggle keywords.

So it actually really calls those keywords out based on how we index this when we complete the initial transcription. But it also allows for folks to toggle different languages that this file may have been translated in. So if you wanted to watch this content that is spoken in English as far as the audio, but view French subtitles at the same time, that is an option here built directly into the 3Play plugin.

On the other side of things, this video here happens to be from YouTube, and the only features are that it is minimizable, that being the captions here at the bottom. So if folks wanted to watch the captions natively in YouTube, they could. But in this case, this video on YouTube does not have captions associated with it.

So once again, this CC option that is built into the plugin gives you a dedicated space for those captions to display on videos that don’t otherwise have them. But the main call out of this video is the ability for end users to toggle audio description on or off depending on whether they rely on that as a resource.

So you can see when I go ahead and play this video, despite the fact that it is hosted on YouTube, a player that does not have an out-of-the-box audio description solution, when the video is played, the audio description audio automatically kicks in for those users that need it.


– Let me show you a quick demo. What I want to show you is a signal feeding an AND gate.

– Professor writing on blackboard. He draws two horizontal parallel lines attached to a D with a line emerging from its front.

– And one signal is going to look like this.

– Signal two plateaus on top of the first horizontal parallel line–

– And my signal y.


RYAN MARTINEZ: And so not only does this illustrate just how detailed that we can get in terms of the description that we provide. But it also shows how you can direct 100% of your audience to a single location.

As opposed to, again, linking in the description of your video to the audio-described version of the same piece of content, you can direct 100% of your audience to a single page and create a uniform experience for all of your users. So for example, if I was somebody that wanted to watch this video with just the captions on, and I don’t need audio description, that is certainly [INAUDIBLE].


– Let me show you a quick demo. What I want to show you is a signal feeding an AND gate. And one signal is going to look like–


RYAN MARTINEZ: Excellent. So I wanted to make sure to cover certainly a demonstration within the 3Play account system but also a couple live examples on our website to illustrate some of those features that I discussed. And at this point, I’m happy to take any questions that folks have. I really appreciate folks taking the time to join. Certainly happy that you’re interested in the 3Play plugin and making some of your content hopefully more accessible for your end users.

So the first question here is we mentioned transcripted text for the closed captions. Does 3Play Media translate? Or do we get the text translated and put that in? 3Play does actually translate into over 40 languages from English. So most of our customers upload content that is spoken in English. Once that initial transcription work is complete, we can then translate that English content into over 40 languages.

The reason that they’re done in two steps is the accuracy of the translation in large part depends on the accuracy of that English caption work. So the English captions are completed. And then as soon as that’s done, we send the file over– presuming translation is ordered, we send the file to our translation team to translate from English into whatever language you specify.

Any language that is completed automatically posts back to 3Play, the same that anything we do, let’s say, spoken in English. And from there, all it is is a matter of selecting translation as a plugin feature to give the user the option of flipping between languages.

How would this work if I have closed captions already made and an audio description already made and mixed into the video’s soundtrack? So that is a great question, and it really gets to what I was speaking about before in terms of the workaround that a lot of folks will employ if they’re not using something like the 3Play plugin. And that is to add the audio description audio track to the video file itself.

The benefit of that– and we do provide downloadable options for audio description in 3Play. So if you order audio description, you can download an MP4 that includes the original video files audio as well as the audio description track included in the same file.

And so if folks aren’t using the plugin, what they’ll do is they’ll take that mp4, upload it into YouTube or whatever video player as a separate video. And then in the description of the video that just has closed captions, they’ll include a hyperlink to that page that features the audio-described version.

The benefit of the plugin, of course, is it removes the ability to have two separate pages for two different groups of users depending on the resources they rely on. So you wouldn’t really use the plugin if you already have your video file with the audio description track included. It’s really a separate option for folks who prefer to direct everybody to a single location.

Now, the video formats that are– so the question is what video formats are supported. This works with virtually every platform that we offer a roundtrip integration with, that being our ability to access the video player information and pull it directly into the plugin. It is possible, though, to publish the plugin using a video file that, let’s say, an MP4, a WAV, or an M4V. Those are the video formats we support to upload.

If you uploaded a video directly into the account system, there is an option in the plugin builder to allow us to host that content for you on our Amazon infrastructure. So if it’s a direct video file upload that doesn’t happen to exist on a video player, there are options still for producing the plugin for those.

You do. The question is, do you need an account with 3Play to use the plugin? Yes, you do need an account with 3Play to use the plugin. And the cost of transcribing videos with 3Play varies based on turnaround time and language. But as far as the costs that are passed to our customers, the only thing we pass on is the cost of the transcription work. The use of the 3Play plugin is just an added benefit and is free of charge once the captions are complete.

We have a question about if we’re able to change the font color, size, type. How about the backgrounds? Are they always the same color? When it comes to the Iframe embed, we are limited in terms of the customization options that we have.

We have essentially no border, a light skin or a dark skin, some options for resizing, things like that. But as far as the backgrounds, the text, the font size, and that sort of thing, those would all be options in our JavaScript embed version as opposed to our Iframe option.

We didn’t get to it on the purpose– for the purposes of today’s call. It gets a little bit too into the weeds. But the JavaScript option is built off of a P3 SDK is working in the background and provides a fully customizable option for folks who are more on the development side of things. So that’s certainly an option. We are exploring more out-of-the-box options to change, let’s say, the highlighting color of the text with our Iframe version. But we’re not currently there yet.

Go ahead and just take a look at a couple more here. So we have a question about the YouTube example didn’t have closed captions on the video. If you had a YouTube video with captions, does the stop and start for AD affect playback of those captions? So when using the 3Play plugin, it does not affect the playback of those captions. We are actually embedding some JSON into the video to kind of handle the audio pause and auto playback.

So YouTube doesn’t offer audio description, of course, out of the box. So because the file is uploaded through YouTube, and the plugin is published through the 3Play account system, we are able to play the AD playback without affecting the playback of the captions.

So that would be more for the situation of folks going to your website to view it. There wouldn’t really be an option aside from uploading that audio described MP4 directly to YouTube of doing that in YouTube, of course, because that functionality just isn’t available. Let’s see.

Great. And so we have a question. If somebody listens to an interactive transcript that has the audio description, it’s going to be read by a person’s screen reader. It’s not going to be a human-spoken AD narration. That is correct.

Every audio description that we produce is actually read back by a synthesized speaking voice despite the fact that the descriptions are put together by humans. What we found is as far as the cost of that is there was less to pass on to our customers, which reduces the overall rates of the audio description we’re able to charge. But it also gives you the flexibility of reprocessing your file free of charge with a different narration.

So if there’s feedback from your end users that they’d prefer somebody– a male voice with a US dialect as opposed to a female’s voice with a UK dialect, that can be reprocessed on the fly without the need to, of course, loop in your voice actors or whomever produced the original description. It gives you a lot of flexibility. And it brings down those costs so you can operate more at scale.

So we have another couple minutes here. I want to make sure to get to as many questions as we can. So I’m going to go ahead. We do have a question. Somebody, it looks like, missed the first couple minutes, asked if we offer audio description services.

We do offer audio description services. And if both captions and audio description have been completed by 3Play, audio description is a built-in option to our plugin builder. So you can give your audience the ability to toggle audio description on or off depending on whether they rely on that resource or not.

Awesome. So that concludes the session for today. As I mentioned, the 3Play website is a wealth of information regarding every topic that we’ve covered today. We produce blogs and white papers consistently. There’s great industry information, updates to laws and things of that nature.

So certainly encourage everybody to visit the 3Play website and reach out to us. Again, if we’re not already working with you, we’re certainly open to having discussion about what your needs are and how we can help meet your objectives. So thank you so much, everyone, for your time today.