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HOW TO: Add Closed Captions to a Presentation

Once you have uploaded a presentation to Mediasite and made any optional edits to the content, you should add closed captions the viewer can use instead of (or in addition to) the presentation's audio. You can either hire a third-party provider to create captions for your Mediasite video, or you can create them yourself. Both methods are discussed below.

Outsource or DIY: Which method should I use?

This decision involves considerations of cost, manpower, timeliness and accuracy.

Use a Transcription & Captioning ServiceCreate Captions Yourself
  • Hands-off: Check a box on a Mediasite presentation, and a request is sent to the transcriber, who creates the transcript, adds timings to create captions, and then automatically posts the finished captions to the presentation within a few days.

  • Highly accurate: Most services offer an accuracy guarantee. Transcription and captioning is what they do all day, every day.

  • Can become costly quickly: At a per-media-minute rate, the cost to caption an entire course of lecture videos can add up quickly. Careful budget planning that accounts for these costs is essential to the successful adoption of universal design standards in academic program offerings.

  • "Free," sort of: While you would not receive an invoice from a third-party provider, you would still incur the cost of your time and effort (or that of a student assistant). All costs considered, we generally find it is less expensive to use a professional transcription and captioning service.

  • Labor intensive: Creating and reviewing captions on your own is a time-consuming process. A one-hour lecture may require 4-6 hours to transcribe and caption, depending on the material and the quality of the transcription.

  • Variable accuracy: Chances are, neither you nor your assistant will have any formal transcription training. The quality of the captions will be difficult to guarantee.

Important Note: You should make any desired edits to your Mediasite video before you create and add captions. Mediasite cannot edit or remove portions of existing captions. For example, if a video already has captions, and you edit the video to remove the first 30 seconds of content, the existing captions will remain unchanged, meaning the captions will run 30 seconds behind the edited video. Creating and adding closed captions should occur after your final edit.

Contract with a third-party vendor to create captions

Create and configure your account with the vendor

Mediasite offers integration with several captioning providers, each offering different pricing and service models. The two providers listed below maintain state purchasing contracts with Kansas State University and are the preferred vendors for transcribing and captioning Mediasite videos. Contact one of the vendors below to set up an account for your department or unit.

Automatic Sync Technologies (AST)
CaptionSync by Automatic Sync Technologies

Contract Pricing (pdf)*
*Quality Tier One is recommended

Contact Kara Stark, K-State's AST account rep, at 877-278-7962, extension 715

In addition to stating your affiliation with Kansas State University, be sure to mention you will be captioning Mediasite videos with this account and you would like to receive the on-contract pricing. Kara will assess your needs and ask you to complete the AST account signup form. Under Type of Account, choose Web Captions, and in the Reference Code field, type ukansas.

Once your AST account has been activated, send a request including your CaptionSync username, and a Mediasite administrator will contact you with additional instructions for configuring your AST account to use Mediasite at K-State. Likewise, the Mediasite administrator will configure Mediasite such that you (and others you optionally designate) can use your AST account through Mediasite.

3Play Media, Inc.
3Play Media

Contract Pricing (pdf)

Contact Benjamin Wright, K-State's 3Play account rep, at 617-764-5189, extension 115

In addition to stating your affiliation with Kansas State University, be sure to mention you will be captioning Mediasite videos with this account and you would like to receive the on-contract pricing. Ben will assess your needs, discuss account options, and guide you through setting up an account with 3Play.

Once your 3Play account has been activated, send a request including your desired service level (10 days, 4 days, 2 days, etc.), and a Mediasite administrator will contact you with additional instructions for configuring your 3Play account to use Mediasite at K-State. Likewise, the Mediasite administrator will configure Mediasite such that you (and others you optionally designate) can use your 3Play account through Mediasite.

Order vendor-created captions for a Mediasite presentation

Once your account is set up and configured in Mediasite, order captions for a Mediasite presentation by performing the steps below.

  1. From within the list of presentations in your MyMediasite portal, select the name of the presentation for which you wish to order captions. A summary of the presentation will appear.

  2. Select Edit in the right column. Options for editing the presentation will appear.
    Edit button in the right column

  3. Select the Delivery tab.

  4. Check the Audio Transcriptions checkbox.

  5. Select Choose a Provider for Captioning and then Select a Captioning Profile. Choose your assigned captioning profile from the list. You will only be able to pick from profiles you have been authorized to use.

    Important Note: Selecting "Request Rush Processing" (if offered) requests the transcription service process the transcription faster than the standard turnaround. Selecting this option may result in additional per-minute charges.
    Audio Transcription Settings

  6. Select Save at the top-right.

When the presentation has been transcribed and captioned, the transcription service will automatically post the captions to the Mediasite presentation. You can see the status of a transcription job by visiting the transcription company's account portal and logging in with your transcription account credentials.

Create your own captions using YouTube's caption editor

There are a variety of products which allow you to transcribe and add timings to create captions for videos. A popular technique described below is to upload a copy of the video to YouTube and then use YouTube's caption editor to fine-tune the automatically generated captions.

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) created a very good tutorial video describing how to caption your videos using the YouTube caption editor. Written instructions appear below.

Upload your video to YouTube and edit the automatic captions
  1. Upload your video to YouTube. Before your video starts uploading, you can change the privacy setting on the YouTube video to Private to prevent others from watching it on YouTube. If you do not already have a copy of the video to upload, you can download the video from Mediasite using the Video Podcast delivery option.

  2. While the video is uploading, select the Advanced Settings tab and set the video language as English. If English is not the primary language spoken in your video, choose the appropriate language. Videos containing multiple languages, dialects, or discipline-specific terminology may result in inconsistent transcription accuracy.

  3. Once the video upload is complete, select Done.
  4. Within a few hours to a day, YouTube will automatically create captions for your video using machine-driven speech recognition; however, these captions are only 60-70 percent accurate on average, so you will want to edit the automatic captions. In the YouTube Video Manager, select the Edit button for the desired video, then select the Subtitles/CC tab at the top.

  5. Select English (Automatic) to the right of the video. If this option is not available, YouTube has not yet generated the automatic captions - please check back later.

  6. Select the Edit button at the top-right.

  7. Play and edit the presented transcript as needed. See YouTube's help documentation for assistance. At a minimum, you should add proper punctuation and capitalization, and correct any mistakes made by the automatic speech recognition tool.

  8. Once you are satisfied with your edits, select Save Changes at the top-right. Your changes will be saved and you will be returned to the list of published subtitles.

Download your edited captions
  1. Select the new English published subtitles option that appears to the right.

  2. Select Actions at the top-left and then select the .srt file option to download the new caption file to your computer.

Add the captions to your Mediasite presentation
  1. From within the list of presentations in your MyMediasite portal, select the name of the presentation for which you wish to add the captions you just created. A summary of the presentation will appear.

  2. Select Edit in the right column. Options for editing the presentation will appear.
    Edit button in the right column

  3. Select the Delivery tab.

  4. Check the Audio Transcriptions checkbox.

  5. Select a file, locating and choosing the .srt file you downloaded from YouTube.

    Audio Transcription Settings

  6. Select Save at the top-right.

Verify the captions have been inserted into the Mediasite presentation
  1. From the presentation summary, select Watch from the right column. The player will load in a new tab/window.

  2. Select the Play button to begin playing the presentation.

  3. Using the player controls at the bottom, select CC to display the captions. This button will only be available if captions are present in a Mediasite presentation.
    Show Closed Captions button