Academic Outreach

Faculty Focused

Recording a Video? Here are 3 Easy Ways to Add Captions to Your Videos

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by annek

Easy ways to add captions to videos

Do you have a video you require your students to watch? Have you recorded audio over PowerPoint, or created a screen-cast with audio? Then the video you have created needs to be accessible to all your students, including students with sensory restrictions, such as hearing or visual loss or who are not native English speakers.

1.     YouTube Auto-caps Service (Free) – 60 to 70% accuracy rate

In 2009 Google combined its automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with YouTube’s caption system and started offering automatic captions, also known as auto-caps. The automatically generated captions vary in accuracy and require editing, but are nevertheless helpful in providing a starting point for creating closed-captions for videos.

YouTube’s auto-caps service is automatically available to any user having a Google or Gmail account. No other downloads or plugins are required. All UM employees and students have accounts already.

2.     Captioning using Dragon Dictate ($99 per license) – 90% or better accuracy rate

Dragon Dictate can be used by faculty to transcribe their audio/video content. It works on both PC and MAC environments. The user trains the software with his/her voice, speaking style, and accent. This takes about two hours. Dragon Dictate’s speech can produce transcripts with up to 95% accuracy if used correctly. Once trained, Dragon Dictate can be used in two ways:

a)     For new media content: The user can record audio lectures with Dragon Dictate “On” and the software produces a Transcript file in a text format. The text file can then be uploaded to YouTube (or another service) to sync with the video in case of videos, or else upload to the LMS as a word document and serve as a transcript for audio content.

b)     For previously recorded content: Dragon allows the user to upload the audio file of an old content and runs an audio scan over it to produce a transcript in a text file.

3.     Subscription to Third Party Captioning Services

UM can contract a third party service provider to offer on-demand captioning service to departments. Below are two of the leading captioning and transcription service providers (post-production) along with their rates per recorded hour of audio/video:

  • – $159/recorded hour
  • 3Play Media – $159/recorded hour