Zamzar – for converting videos to multiple formats
Notepad – for writing and editing of the text only transcript
MAGpie – for the creation of the timestamped XML closed-caption file
JW FLV Player – for embedding of the final video
The video was fast, but here’s how you create the closed-caption file for your video.
Next, you’ll want to edit the transcript into 2 line segments. Each segment will be what you see on the video in your final product. Also, be sure to make the segments short like this sentence <-
Next, select the Captions menu and select to “import” the text file. The program will split up each of your two lines segments from the transcript into individual rows. Each row represents a timestamped section of the text that will appear on the video. (Note: There’s a few bugs in MAGpie, so you’ll first have to delete the first blank row you see by right-clicking and deleting. You’ll also need to do it for the last row after you’ve finished the timestamps).
Now you’re ready to timestamp your video! Put your cursor into the first “Start” box in the first row and then press the “F6” key on your keyboard to start playing the video. As you hear the speech in the video match up with the segment of text in your row, press the “F9” key to automatically add the timestamp for the “Start” field. The time will be entered and it will jump to the next row automatically waiting for your next F9 key press for the next segment. You can also press “F10” if you wanted to add an “End” timestamp which would clear the text from the video until you press “F9” again in the next segment. Continue this for the full length of your video.
Once you’ve finished, “Save” your project. Then go to the “Export” menu and choose the format you want to export to. For the JW FLV Player you should choose the W3C version at the bottom of that menu. This is a W3C Timed-Text format (XML).
Posting to Your Site
That’s it! It may seem like a long process…and it is once you first begin. But after repeating the process several times, you’ll see that it quickly becomes second nature. The only daunting part is creating the caption file with the timestamps. This is a manual process. Eventually software companies will create some automated method using voice recognition to match up text with the video, but until then you’re on your own.
Note: This post is of my own opinion and is not endorsed by any Federal, State, or Local government organization.
Nice work, Scott. I think video is going to become an increasingly important medium/vehicle for sharing agency messages and this tutorial is helpful to ensure that they meet requirements such as 508 compliance. Thank you for sharing your expertise!
I’m sure there are other tools and methods out there to accomplishing the same result, however this is the one I’ve chosen to do since it costs me nothing other than a little bit of time and learning. If people are trying to get their videos posted on the web and making sure they have synced captions then this is a great way to get the ball rolling.
Thanks for sharing Scott. This was very helpful, but more for personal use than professional. Wasn’t aware of most of these tools, but I do use and recommend Notepad++ as an excellent freeware text editor.
Oh, and do you know where that video that was being created/used in the example is available on the web … that looked interesting.
@Sam: Actually, you can use it for professional use…if you mean for posting video content to your agency/organization website. I do it every day. In fact the video that I used as an example is one we have posted on the USGS site: http://gallery.usgs.gov/videos/16.
Right, I didn’t mean it couldn’t … just that creating videos is not part of what I do professionally.
@Sam: Ah, gotcha!
@scott awesome post. BTW, have you followed what Google is trying to provide in terms of machine generated caption?
PS. I loved the Beethoven music!
@Richard: Thanks! Yes, actually I have. I updated our YouTube Channel and all 36 videos (that needed it) with the YouTube captions as well. With that you need to upload your text transcript file and then YouTube does the rest. You can also download your file as well afterwards into a different format. However, I don’t believe the JW Player supports that file format although it would be worth looking into. If it does it may make the timestamping part much easier.
Michael Riedyk just posted an excellent piece (Accessibility Hack #1: Captioning Online Video) that shares the “why” and “what” behind captioning…and this shares the “how.”
IDEA: What if the two of you combined your posts and produced a 2-3 page Guide on Captioning for Government Agencies? We’d be happy to post it to GovLoop’s Scribd and Slideshare sites so that people can embed it across the Web.
Let me know if/how I can help to put it together…
Not a bad idea. Everything is pretty much there, it’s probably more a matter of simply combining the two. He’s also got some links to alternative ways (like Camtasia Studio) to do captioning. Well, can we set up a wiki page to get the ball rolling?