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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 $2.50 per minute of video, the cost to caption an entire course of lecture videos adds up quickly

  • "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)

  • 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

Contract with a third-party vendor to create captions

Create and configure your account with the vendor

CaptionSync by Automatic Sync TechnologiesWhile Mediasite offers integration with several captioning providers, Automatic Sync Technologies is one such company that maintains a state purchasing contract with Kansas State University. As such, Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) is the preferred vendor for captioning Mediasite videos. As of this writing, AST's rate for transcribing and captioning Mediasite videos is $2.50 per minute of video.

  1. Contact Automatic Sync Technologies to set up an account for your department or unit

    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 Preferred Educator Plan pricing.

  2. Once your AST account has been activated, contact mediasite@k-state.edu, including your CaptionSync username, and a Mediasite administrator will set up a time to walk you through configuring your AST account to use Mediasite at K-State. Likewise, the Mediasite administrator will configure Mediasite such that you (and/or others you designate) can use your AST 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, click on the name of the presentation for which you wish to order captions. A summary of the presentation will appear

  2. Click the "Edit" tab above, and then click the "Delivery" tab that appears below

  3. Check the "Audio Transcriptions" checkbox

  4. Select "Choose a Provider," and then choose your assigned transcription account from the drop-down list. You will only be able to pick from accounts you have been authorized to use

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

  5. Click the "Save" button 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. Once 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. Click on the video to view it, then click on the "CC" button below and to the left

  3. Set the video language as English and then click the "Set Language" button. 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

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

  5. Click the "Edit" button that appears toward the lower right of the screen

  6. Play and edit the presented transcript as needed and/or copy and paste into editor from a separate transcript (if available)

  7. Once you are satisfied with your edits, click on the "Publish Edits" button

Download your edited captions
  1. Click on the new "English" button that appears to the right (new CC file)

  2. Click the "Actions" button at the top-right and select the ".srt" file 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, click on the name of the presentation for which you wish to order captions. A summary of the presentation will appear

  2. Click the "Edit" tab above, and then click the "Delivery" tab that appears below

  3. Check the "Audio Transcriptions" checkbox

  4. Click the button to the right that says, "Select a file," then locate and select the .srt file you downloaded from YouTube
    Audio Transcription Options

  5. Click the "Save" button at the top-right

Verify the captions have been inserted into the Mediasite presentation
  1. From the presentation summary, click on "Watch in New Window." The player will load in a new tab/window and will begin playing the presentation.

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