Closed Captioning for Online Video Services

Today is the day all digital streaming services, such as Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, are required to offer closed captioning. And according to ABC News, this all started by one Tweet in 2009 from actress Marlee Matlin. She wrote:

“@netflix is streaming ‘Wizard of Oz’ free but no plans to close caption for 30 million deaf ppl Email pr@netflix.com Thanks!’ Matlin wrote.

“All it took was one tweet to make so much noise,” she said, adding “that’s what I do.”

Now the 30 million people Matlin referenced, including herself, can enjoy online streaming video with closed captioning. This is a great example of social media making an impact, and creating positive change in digital content delivery, with the addition of closed captioning.

Click for the original article from ABCNews.com

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New FCC rules for Closed Captioning

Pretty interesting article on new FCC rules regarding closed captioning. The article also is a general overview on closed captioning and describes the workflow companies use to produce content with closed captioning.

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Transcription Equipment – The Foot Pedal

Transcribing audio from home sounds like an appealing job. You’re at home, listening to audio and typing at your leisure, but before you get too comfortable let’s talk about a very important piece of equipment that is often overlooked by transcribers: The Foot Pedal.

You might wonder why do I need a foot pedal? When I first transcribed I didn’t use one and people are often reluctant to learn new equipment but the beauty of transcribing with a foot pedal is both hands are free to type while you control the audio with your feet.

Without a foot pedal the transcriber is constantly pausing the audio with her mouse hand (or using keyboard shortcuts) and transcribing becomes very cumbersome and slow. The foot pedal will save you a ton of time over the long run.

The foot pedal is very simple. The large middle button is the play button, the left button is rewind, and the right button is fast forward.

I recommend the Infinity USB pedal, it’s $54.99 on Amazon. It’s the best foot pedal for transcription I’ve used. You plug it in your USB port and it works with any Mac or PC transcription software.

Happy transcribing!

Questions? Send an Email!

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Flawless Closed Captioning

Flawless Transcription offers closed captioning and subtitling starting at $3.75  per minute. Check out our pricing page for more information.

If you’re interested contact us at info@flawlesstranscription.com or 301-330-5868 and we can accommodate you for every closed captioning project!

Our Closed Captioning Examples

Here is a video we subtitled for the web:

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Transcribe: Chrome Add-on

Flawless Transcription: Accurate and Affordable Audio Transcription

I came across an interesting application today called “Transcribe: transcribe audio/interviews fast”. This is a Google Chrome browser add-on. Once you download the add-on you load an audio file and type while you listen. There are short cuts to play, pause, and rewind the audio file. It’s a really simple and neat tool to allow people to transcribe audio right in their internet browsers.

It’s main selling point is you don’t need to have both a text editor (like Microsoft Word) and an audio player running while you transcribe. The two major downsides are you can’t create a time coded document and you cannot use a foot pedal to control the audio. Keyboard shortcuts are a time saver but it still slows you down as you type, a foot pedal for transcription is helpful because both hands are free.

A serious or professional transcriber should still download a dedicated transcription software. That being said this would be useful for someone who is on the road and needs to transcribe a short file on the fly.

Here is the link: http://transcribe.wreally.com/

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Working As a Transcriber

Working from home is both liberating and stressful. It is liberating because you don’t have to drive into the office every day or ride public transportation and grind through a 40 hour work week, but there’s also pitfalls. The stress of trying to land freelance work or being in the house each and every day.

But this article assumes you are deciding to make the leap, or at least part-time to maybe more some more money. One job that is always in demand is audio and video transcription. Transcribing from home isn’t as easy as it seems. There’s some basic qualifications that if you don’t meet then transcribing from home might not be a good fit for you.

  • To make a decent wage you’ll need to type at least 80 words per minute accurately.
  • Transcribers also need an up to date computer that can load large video files.
  • You’ll need high speed internet to be able to download files for transcription.

Once you’ve met those qualifications go ahead and buy yourself a foot pedal, one place that is a great resource is Express Scribe, (http://www.nch.com.au/) they have all sorts of great resources including free transcription software and equipment you can buy. The reason you need a foot pedal to transcribe is you are using your hands to type, but if you want to hit play/rewind/fast forward you don’t want to slow yourself down tremendously by trying to control your or video with your hands, so you use your feet. You’ll also need a good pair of headphones to listen to the audio while you type.

So to transcribe from home you’ll need these basic tools to be a great transcriber.

  • A high typing speed (80 WPM+)
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office
  • A reasonably fast computer (PC is standard but people do transcribe on MACs as well)
  • High Speed Internet
  • Foot pedal for transcription
  • Transcription Software

Once you’ve set yourself up go out and look for transcription jobs via job boards and by sending out resumes to other promising leads. Good luck out there!

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Closed Captioning for YouTube

Today I setup our YouTube account for Flawless Transcription. There’s not a lot of content on it, although a transcription & captioning company isn’t likely to have a ton of fascinating content, I did however put up a closed captioning example.

For YouTube you can either upload a transcription and the website has some software that tries to synch the text with the video or you can upload an .SRT file, which is the method I choose.

If you click CC you can view the captions on this video, they’re a little on the small side I’m going to edit the code to make the text bigger.

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