Here at Transcription City, we like to offer our clients a range of closed captioning and subtitling services to suit their individual needs and requirements. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some of the pros and cons of automated captioning services and how they compare with manual closed captioning services created by humans.
The Advantages of Automated Captioning Services
Automated closed captioning and subtitling services hold two main (and quite attractive) advantages over manual video transcription and closed caption spotting and these cost and turnaround. In fact, video sharing sites such as YouTube offer free closed captioning services, with an instant turnaround.
The Disadvantages of Automated Captions
Although the above advantages are pretty good on paper, due to the low capabilities of automatic speech recognition for video files, the automatic transcription of online videos (or ATT Ã¢â‚¬â€œ automated alternative text) is low enough (currently around 85% accurate) to the point where it is actually fairly useless to a viewer who is deaf or hard of hearing. While of course the turnaround is fast, this isn’t helpful if the final captioning service is not coherent.
Automated Closed Captions Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A Balanced View
Automatic closed captioning, while not yet accurate enough to offer a complete solution to video editors or video production companies, can still save time and money for those who are on a budget if they are willing to spend time editing the text after the automation has been carried out. After all, it is important that video is accessible and can be enjoyed by all, and if cost is too high to use the services of a professional transcription company and captioning service, then automated captioning certainly has it’s place in the online video forum.
The Disadvantages of professional closed captions
Professional closed captions can be expensive and depending on whether you require foreign language subtitling and captioning services also, can make a significant dent in your budget. Different formats of subtitle or caption files can also affect price and turnaround times.
The Advantages of Professional Closed Captioning Services
The main advantages of using a professional closed captioning company is accuracy. First the video will be transcribed professionally (often with the added bonus of a proofreader) it will then be passed on to a professional spotter, who will add accurate timings to the subtitles or closed captions to ensure that they are insync with the video. In addition to this, the spotter will ensure that each line of text is the optimimum length for readability (not too long to fill the screen and not so short that the viewer does not have sufficient time to read the dialogue). Lines of text will also be considered and split accordingly to ensure ease of readability, taking into account long pauses, change of speaker and sentence structures. Finally, a professional captioning service will also include descriptions of important sounds and audio in the videos such as [thunder strikes] or [knock at the door], all of which will be ignored by automatic online captioning software.
If you have an interest in closed captioning services and automated captioning, you might find these articles an interesting read, along with a short video.
To automate or not to automate
Here at Transcription City, we offer a wide range of video captioning services, foreign language subtitling services, video transcription services and translation services to suit your needs and requirements. If you would like more information, feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to connecting with you.