Information for Web TV Producers

Producer Information

Pay for It - (Very minor cost. The cost to closed caption is far less than most of the costs in a typical web series production budget! On average, about $2-$3 a minute for an accurate transcript to upload to YouTube. You can caption an episode for the cost of a pair of blue jeans!). This is the best option because you are guaranteed your videos will be captioned, without having to rely on volunteers or use your limited time to do it yourself.

There are also places online where you can purchase inexpensive, limited captioning services. One such place is Fiverr. Fiverr has a page for subtitling services: https://www.fiverr.com/gigs/subtitle/, where five minutes of subtitling/captioning can be bought for $5. In addition, a search using the keyword captioning returns more results: https://www.fiverr.com/search/gigs?query=captioning

If you are seeking more professional or more complete captioning services, you may want to check out the list of vendors maintained by the Described and Captioned Media Program: http://www.dcmp.org/ai/10/.

     If you hire a captioning service provider, you may want to model the contract language based on the suggested requirements for captioning listed at https://janiceslintz.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/ana_closedcaption_whitepaper-f.pdf. The suggested contract requirements are in the Addendum on page three.

     Section 44 of the IRS tax code provides for a tax credit for small businesses for accessibility. According to https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/tax-benefits-for-businesses-who-have-employees-with-disabilities "The Disabled Access Credit provides a non-refundable credit for small businesses that incur expenditures for the purpose of providing access to persons with disabilities. An eligible small business is one that that earned $1 million or less or had no more than 30 full time employees in the previous year; they may take the credit each and every year they incur access expenditures. Refer to Form 8826, Disabled Access Credit (PDF), for information about eligible expenditures."

     Use Form 8826 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8826.pdf) to claim this credit. This form states: "2. To provide qualified interpreters or other methods of making audio materials available to hearing-impaired individuals;" Logically, this would include captioning.


FullScreen Network - If you are part of the Fullscreen network on youtube, Fullscreen has a discount partnership with a captioning service provider. This service can be accessed via Sign in with Fullscreen. Or go directly to http://www.captionsforyoutube.com/fullscreen and sign in with your Fullscreen account.

Service matching - Captionmatch at http://www.captionmatch.com will match producers with  captioning service providers. Captioning service providers pay a fee, as explained at http://captionmatch.com/fee-schedule/

Create and Edit Closed Captions Yourself

Many producers opt for doing the captioning themselves but this is not the best option (paying for it is). It is not the best option because quality captioning requires some skill, and producers often don't have the time or people resources to devote to captioning. There is a FREE online course on how to open and closed caption your videos!

YouTube

Edit the automatic captions yourself for accuracy. (Free). Or hire a student intern from a film and video program! Using an intern would work best for web series with a limited number of episodes. If it is a continuing show or a web series with many epsiodes, arrangements would have to be made to continue the captioning after a student intern leaves.


The site NoMoreCraptions.com enables anyone to fix up the automatic captions on any youtube video. The corrected caption file can be downloaded in a variety of formats. A similar site is DIYCaptions.com. In a blog post, the creator of DIYCaptions.com explains how to use the site.

YouTube Captioning How-To Videos - YouTube has videos that explain how to caption YouTube videos. Here are some of them: 

Rikki Poynter, a YouTuber with hearing loss, has a video titled "The Easiest Way to Closed Caption Videos."

Big Nate 84: How to Add Closed Captions to a YouTube Video - approximately 8 minutes long, and includes formatting tips and step by step instructions.

AT Network Training on How to Caption YouTube Videos - approximately 53 minutes long and is a recording of an actual training session.

How to Easily Create Subtitles and Captions for YouTube SEO - from ReelSEO, this video is approximately 8 minutes long.

Adding Text (Closed Captions) To YouTube Videos - From Don Crowther, this video is 9 minutes long. 

How to Caption YouTube Videos - Less than 4 minutes, this one takes a few seconds to poke fun at the results from automatic captions.

Vimeo - Vimeo has a FAQ page on captions and subtitles at http://vimeo.com/help/faq/managing-your-videos/captions-and-subtitles. At this time captions work best in Chrome. Firefox is known to have some issues.

DailyMotion.com - DailyMotion does have support for closed captioning. You can use UniversalSubtitles.org to generate a .srt file, then use that file to create closed captions for a DailyMotion.com video. After you create the captions, users will see the "CC" logo appear in the hover menu that appears in the top right corner of a DailyMotion.com video.

Here is DailyMotion's guidance for creating captions (subtitles): http://www.dailymotion.com/us/faq#tools_1

Facebook - Facebook added support for closed captioning in September 2014. This is Facebook's help page on captioning:  https://www.facebook.com/help/www/261764017354370 (path: Facebook Help>Get Started on Facebook>Accessibility for People with Disabilities. On the Accessibility for People with Disabilities page, scroll down to Photo and Video Accessibility, then select "How do I add captions to my video?" Plus, ReelSEO wrote an article with instructions and illustrations: http://www.reelseo.com/how-to-add-closed-captions-facebook-videos/

In October 2016, Facebook added automatic captioning capability for Pages. Page administrators can automatically generate captions and edit them before saving them to the video. TechCrunch has an illustrated article: https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/04/facebook-video-captions/

The Ultimate Oddball blog has an article, "How to Add Facebook Closed Captions Easily From Existing YouTube Captions." This article is at https://ultimateoddball.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/how-to-add-facebook-closed-captions-easily-from-existing-youtube-captions/

3Play Media offers a free how-to caption on Facebook guide at http://info.3playmedia.com/ht-facebook.html.

     AI Media published a simple 3-step page (must have a .SRT file beforehand) for adding captions to Facebook videos: http://www.ai-media.tv/how-to-add-closed-captions-to-facebook/

All Platforms

Suggested editing guidelines

http://www.dcmp.org/ciy/ - Caption It Yourself (said to be the best guide by many)
http://www.dcmp.org/caai/nadh204.pdf - Providing Captions for Flash-Based Streaming Video
http://www.dcmp.org/captioningkey/ - Captioning Key, including a downloadable PDF (http://www.dcmp.org/captioningkey/captioning-key.pdf)


Use Another Site to Create Caption File (Still Free)

There are a number of free sites online, such as Amara.org, that you can use to generate a .SRT file to upload to YouTube or any other platform that supports .SRT. Note: If there is a problem with .SRT from Amara, try the .SBV format. A web series producer captioning for the first time found the timing was off with .SRT on YouTube, but timing was right with .SBV on YouTube.

Another site is the VideoCritter.org website. Another site that has been recommended by web series producers that caption is http://yt-subs.appspot.com/. One producer found using yt-subs.appspot.com to be "fun" and "super easy." One producer even wrote a blog post about how they used the site: http://www.gopherx.net/2011/06/09/youtube-captioning-an-easier-way/.

Yet another site is CaptionTube, captiontube.appspot.com.

Open Captions (Subtitles) - If you do not mind open captions embedded into the video (can not be turned on and off) there are plenty of free options online. Use any of the several online free subtitling services such as SubtitleHorse.org, SubPly.com, Amara.org, or DotSub.com. However, this option involves labor. Plus, creating accurate subtitles does require some skill.

Use free software for subtitling.

- http://www.aegisub.org/ - AegiSub
- http://www.urusoft.net/ - Subtitle Workshop
- http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Sub_Station_Alpha - Sub Station Alpha
- http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Subrip - SubRip
http://www.afterdawn.com/software/audio_video/subtitle_tools/


Crowd Sourced Captioning

YouTube - In December 2015 YouTube enabled fan subtitling for all channels. Producers need to enable this on youtube by following the steps outlined in this blog article: https://medium.com/@mlockrey/there-s-one-setting-you-need-to-change-on-your-youtube-channel-right-now-325170cdfac4#.t1iu44elh. YouTube Help also has a page "Add Subtitles and Closed Captions," at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2734796?hl=en.

Volunter Captioning Groups –
 There are a few volunteer captioning groups you can submit requests to. However, these groups have limited capacity and you are encouraged to use one of the other options listed here. Known volunteer captioning groups so far:

                                                    i.     Subtitle YouTube – Submit requests via their facebook page (they welcome new members!): facebook.com/subtitleyoutube.  
                                                   ii.     Transcript or Caption Please – Requests for transcripts can be submitted here: http://www.reddit.com/r/TranscriptRequest/ Requests for captions can be submitted at the newer CaptionPlease subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/CaptionPlease/

Amara Crowdsourcing App for YouTube - Amara has an app for crowdsourced captioning on YouTube. You connect your YouTube account to Amara, and a link asking people to help with subtitling is created for your video. More details here! http://about.amara.org/2013/02/05/announcing-crowdsourced-subtitles-for-your-youtube-channel/  This option works well only if you promote the link.









2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention. Mike Ridgway, www.diycaptions.com

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  2. Thank you for advocating for captioning web videos! There are lots of great free tools to make your own captions, but if you have a lot of footage, 3Play Media can help. We have direct integrations with media players, including YouTube, so if you publish regularly you can automate your captioning workflow with the click of a button.

    More about our YouTube integration, for all the vloggers out there: http://www.3playmedia.com/services-features/tools/integrations/youtube/

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