Captioning digital multimedia
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Captioning Digital Multimedia. Geoff Freed Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) WGBH Educational Foundation http://ncam.wgbh.org. What to expect. Part I: Brief history; current state Part II: How it ’ s done editors style

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Captioning digital multimedia

Captioning Digital Multimedia

Geoff Freed

Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center

for Accessible Media (NCAM)

WGBH Educational Foundation

http://ncam.wgbh.org


What to expect

What to expect

  • Part I: Brief history; current state

  • Part II: How it’s done

    • editors

    • style

      • speed; convenience; quality

  • Part III: What’s next

    • formats

    • standards

    • recommendations

    • regulations


About ncam

About NCAM

  • Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media at the WGBH Educational Foundation (NCAM); http://ncam.wgbh.org

    • Part of the Media Access Group

      • The Caption Center (1972)

      • Descriptive Video Service (1990)

      • NCAM (1991)


About ncam1

About NCAM

4

  • R&D facility with the mission to make electronic media of all types accessible to people with sensory impairments

  • Work funded by federal grants, private foundations and strategic partners large and small

  • Expertise in on-line accessibility of all kinds (Web, multimedia, PDF, captioning, description, etc.)

  • Expertise in standards and guidelines (Section 508, WCAG, SMIL, ATSC, SMPTE, TTML, PDF, Flash, e-books/textbooks, image description, etc.)


Captioning digital multimedia

Part I:

General Information


What are captions

What are captions?


What are captions1

What are captions?


What are captions2

What are captions?


What are captions3

What are captions?

  • A visual representation of spoken narration or dialogue

  • Indicate important non-speech information:

    • sound effects, music, laughter

    • speaker identification

  • Synchronized to appear simultaneously with audio

  • Displayed in either pop-on or roll-up styles

  • In some countries, captions are called subtitles


What are captions4

What are captions?

  • Captions and foreign-language subtitles are not the same thing

    • captions contain information in addition to narration and dialog; subtitles do not

    • captions are frequently positioned on the screen to indicate who is speaking; subtitles are not


What are captions5

What are captions?

  • Captions can be closed or open:

    • closed captions can be turned on and off by the user

    • open captions are visible to everyone and cannot be turned off

  • QuickTime Player, iTunes, Apple mobile devices, RealPlayer, Flash, Silverlight and Windows Media Player all provide caption controls

    • some are custom, some are not

  • HTML5 introduces browser playback and control


What about transcripts

What about transcripts?

  • A transcript provides a text version of the audio track

    • a transcript is useful for creating captions

    • a transcript is a by-product of the captioning process

  • Transcripts should be considered a supplement to, not a replacement for, synchronized captions


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • QuickTime (embedded or external track/QTtext format)

translucent overlay

transparent overlay

below the video region


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players1

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • QuickTime or iTunes (embedded track/SCC)


Apple devices itunes

Apple devices: iTunes


Apple devices itunes1

Apple devices: iTunes


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players2

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • RealPlayer (external track; RealText)

transparent overlay

below the video region


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players3

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • Windows Media Player (external track; SAMI)


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players4

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • Flash (ccPlayer; TTML)


Apple devices scc captions

Apple devices/SCC captions

iPod nano

iPhone/iPod touch/iPad


Captions can be displayed by all major multimedia players5

Captions can be displayed by allmajor multimedia players

  • Some BlackBerry smartphones


More and more on line programming is captioned

More and more on-line programming is captioned

  • ABC.com

  • Hulu.com

  • Hulu desktop

  • MTV

  • NBC.com

  • Netflix Instant Play

  • YouTube

  • others


On line customization

On-line customization

  • Some players allow customized views

    • YouTube (no account required)

    • Hulu (account required to save preferences)


Captioning digital multimedia

Part IIa:

How It’s Done/General Rules

CC University (the abbreviated course)


Authoring captions

Authoring captions

  • The most important aspect of caption writing is not…

    • software

    • technical format

    • delivery

    • UI


Authoring captions1

Authoring captions

  • The most important aspect of caption writing is… accuracy

    • accurate transcription

    • accurate spelling

    • accurate editing

    • accurate formatting

    • accurate timing

    • accurate reviewing

  • Speed, convenience/quality


Authoring captions2

Authoring captions

Example 1

Example 2


Authoring captions3

Authoring captions

  • Most caption-authoring applications follow the same basic procedure

    • transcribe audio

      • external transcription/import is usually easier (if permitted)

    • format and edit the text

      • divide text into discrete captions

      • divide rows within captions

      • edit if/as necessary

    • time the captions

      • verbatim vs edited

    • review; export


Authoring captions transcription

Authoring captions: transcription

  • Accurately represent what is spoken

    • spelling, spelling, spelling

    • don’t add information

    • don’t edit unless there is reason to do so

      • reading level; special vocabulary

      • “there’s three things…” vs “going to/gonna”

      • fillers

      • don’t censor

    • indicate different speakers when necessary

    • indicate sound effects when necessary

  • Generally speaking, it’s faster to transcribe into a text editor and import the text into the caption editor


Authoring captions formatting

Authoring captions: formatting

  • Make the captions easy to read

    • use appropriately sized fonts

    • use fonts that are easy to read

      • sans serif vs serif

      • open characteristics

    • break rows in logical places

    • break captions in logical places

      • end punctuation

      • natural pauses

  • Formatting is especially important for small-screen readability


Authoring captions timing

Authoring captions: timing

  • Time the captions to appear when corresponding words are spoken

    • lead/lag +/- one second if it is appropriate for speed

    • take advantage of pauses (to an extent)

    • align with shot changes (+/- one second) for a cleaner appearance

  • Verbatim timing is expected unless there is a reason to do otherwise

    • language level/comprehension


Authoring captions timing1

Authoring captions: timing

Timing example 1

Timing example 2


Authoring captions reviewing and exporting

Authoring captions: reviewing and exporting

  • Always review carefully

    • correct/edit/re-time as necessary

    • if a long video has been captioned by multiple authors, ensure that everyone has followed the same style rules

      • spelling, timing, editing, presentation conventions

  • Export to the appropriate target format


Captioning digital multimedia

Part IIb:

How It’s Done/Caption Editors


Various editors

Various editors

  • Annotation Edit

  •  CapScribe Open

  • CPC

  • DIVX

  • Gnome Subtitles

  • Jubler

  •  MAGpie

  •  MovieCaptioner

  • Subtitle Workshop

  • vSync format converter

  • SubPLY, Subtitle Horse (on-line editors; export captions in various formats)


Cautiously using youtube

(Cautiously) Using YouTube

  • YouTube can generate a complete caption file (transcribed and timed) for you (aka auto-caption)

    • upload video; wait for caption file to be generated

    • download caption file, clean up and re-upload

      • edit with a text editor

      • use a caption editor (required if re-timing is necessary)

    • demo: not bad but still requires clean-up and correction

  • You don’t have to do any clean-up, but…

  • In most cases, you must correct the auto-generated file


Other youtube options

Other YouTube options

  • Upload a plain-text transcript

    • YouTube will generate a timed script (movie)

    • download caption file; correct timing; re-upload

  • Upload your own complete caption file (movie)

    • in most cases, this is the most accurate option

    • TTML, SRT formats; others

  • File-creation guidelines for YouTube caption files


Let others write captions for you

Let others write captions for you

  • Professional captioning agency, such as the Media Access Group at WGBH

  • Crowdsourcing

    • free labor

    • loss of quality control

      • YouTube Subtitler

      • CaptionTube

      • Universal Subtitles

      • Overstream

      • dotSUB


Captioning digital multimedia

Part III:

What’s Next?


New rules

New rules

  • 21st Century Video Communications and Video Accessibility Act

    • programs that were originally captioned for broadcast must retain captions when distributed over IP

      • does not govern mobile television

    • FCC now considering final rules

    • distribution format for captions/subtitles under consideration (or not)


Formats

Formats

  • Old way

    • each multimedia player/device used its own text-display format

  • New way

    • all players and devices use a single non-proprietary format (e.g., TTML)

  • The real way…

    • no single format will be used by all devices

      • FCC ruling on formats for IP distribution will have big impact

        • VPAAC working-group recommendation is SMPTE-TT


Formats1

Formats

  • Existing open formats

    • TTML

      • BBC, Netflix, Flash video, others

      • TTML community group at the W3C

    • SMPTE-TT

      • convert broadcast captions for IP delivery

      • UltraViolet

  • Coming soon

    • WebVTT (WHAT-WG)

    • WebVTT (W3C)

    • WebVTT (W3C community group)

  • Prediction

    • no agreement on a single contribution format

    • TTML, SMPTE-TT and WebVTT will be the primary contribution formats


Viewing captions the new way web

Viewing captions the new way: Web

  • HTML5 makes it much easier to embed video/audio into Web pages

    • <video>, <audio>; no plug-ins

    • <track> to identify and synchronize external caption/subtitle file(s)

      • currently no agreed-upon baseline format

      • (no agreed-upon video format, for that matter)

    • no public <track> support today, but soon

  • What it might look like


Viewing captions the new way mobile

Viewing captions the new way: mobile

  • Apple, BlackBerry devices

  • Mobile TV (OTA)

    • ATSC M/H (A/153) supports CC carriage

    • some LG and RCA receivers decode captions if available

    • receivers also available to build into cars/buses

      • watch television while traveling at speeds up to 120 mph

    • currently no regulations mandating ATSC M/H captions


Resources

Resources

List available at http://tinyurl.com/coa9ykk


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