Have you noticed when watching some Facebook Live replays or replays of live streams on YouTube that they have captions playing so that you can understand the content even if the sound is not playing? That is enabled through closed captions.
Closed captions are essential for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing however, captioning has become an even more important feature for online video on platforms such as Facebook where people prefer to watch video without the audio playing.
Earlier this year it was reported that Facebook of the 8 billion views per day on Facebook as much as 85 percent of video views happen with the sound off. So if you want people to stick around and watch your live stream replay, especially if you do not have a lot of interesting action taking place, you will want to include captions to help them understand the content of your live stream.
Optimising your Facebook Live or YouTube replays is of benefit as you can also use your captions and following some editing you can create a transcript which has great benefits for search engine optimisation.
Before I go any further, it’s important to note that adding accurate captions does require considerable time if you do not wish to outsource it so this is not something that many organisations will be able to do for every live stream replay – unless of course you are required to the the law in your country due to the sector you work in.
In this article I share resources that you can explore for adding captions to your live stream replays on YouTube and Facebook. Of course you could use this same approach for other videos that you host on those and other video platforms.
The resources featured in this article to caption your live stream replays will cost you time or money or both! So you may want to be selective with the live stream replays and the videos you transcribe.
How To Add Captions To Your Live Stream Replays
Firstly here are some resources to help you understand about how to add captions to your YouTube and Facebook live video replays.
- Learn how to add subtitles and closed captions to your YouTube or Google Hangout On Air replay – find the details here.
- You can learn how to add captions to your Facebook video from your live stream here.
How To Create Captions For Your Live Stream Replay
There are a host of resources I researched when exploring the steps I wanted to take for captioning some of my live streams. I hope you will find them of assistance.
YouTube has provided a way to automatically create captions on videos you have uploaded. However, the quality of the captions is usually poor and you will probably need to edit the caption file manually.
If you prefer to outsource the captioning of your live stream replay you may want to explore using Rev.com – find the details here for this low cost service.
Additional captioning resources are referenced on this resource from YouTube
You can convert your caption files into other formats using this free resource from Rev.com – use this resource to help you create a transcript that you can add to your video description or your supporting article, or even repurpose into an ebook or special report. Or alternatively this free caption and subtitle converter tool from 3PlayMedia.
Alternatively ‘Subtitle Edit’ (http://www.nikse.dk/subtitleedit) is a free (open source) editor for video subtitles – you can easily adjust a subtitle if it is out of sync with the video.
Apparently for American users, captions will not work unless the name of your caption file for Facebook video is in the following format: yourfilename.en_US.srt.
If you use Camtasia to edit your live streams, you can add closed captions using their tool – learn more about it at the bottom of this article and you can use the speech to text feature to create text captions.
Another DIY way of accessing captions that you can then upload to your Facebook Live replay is covered in this tutorial from the University of Iowa – they suggest that you can access the captions from the automatic YouTube captioning service – though you will need to edit it – or you could upload a transcript to YouTube.
And if you want to do the transcription without the assistance of a third party or a tool such as Camtasia you can read how someone transcribed their replay line by line – you could also invest in software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking to help you with the transcription.
For more resources on DIY captioning check out this white paper from 3PlayMedia.
What Decision Did I Make For Captioning My Live Streams And Videos?
At the time of writing this article I have just received back the captioning file for a video from Rev.com – the video was under 9 minutes in length and I had to wait only an hour for the file to be returned to me. I was impressed by the speed of their customer support when I submitted questions about the service and they advised me that their typical guaranteed turn around time is based on 30 minutes of file in good quality and that they can provide a 24 hour turn around on files 30 minutes or less. I now need to check the captioning is correct and there are no spellings before I upload the captions to my video on YouTube and Facebook.
I am also experimenting with captioning using Camtasia to see how that process works. The initial tests were not accurate as we had not trained the software – the quality of your audio will also affect the accuracy of the captions created automatically. In comparison Rev.com states that they will transcribe to 99% accuracy – though I am anticipating I will need to make changes for UK versus US English spellings.
It was easy to track, see and playback to edit captions created using Camtasia in conjunction with the video replay, and easy to export the file with the captions that you could then use to upload to Facebook Live and YouTube. We found that Camtasia does not capitalise or punctuate your captions, so you will need to pay attention to that.
What ever solution we choose in the long term, there is no question that captioning will take time – whether that be time to review what we receive back as a file from the provide we choose to use, or the time to check the captioning created with Camtasia which will reduce if we train the software. I don’t plan to caption every live stream replay or every video I publish but it is certainly something that will be of benefit to key strategic videos I create.
Let me know how you get on captioning your live stream replays and if there are other resources you recommend. And if you are not sure how to get started with live video, you can schedule a confidential conversation with me here.
UPDATE 9 September 2016: A new tool has been released today that makes it easy to create SRT captions for your video content – learn about it in this article and how you can create your video and live stream replay captions
UPDATE: 13 November 2016: read this tutorial that shows you how to create SRT captions for your Facebook videos and Facebook Live replays with a new feature on FacebookPages.