Post-Production Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions for Pre-Recorded Events

8 minutes to read | Last updated August 18, 2021

Learn how to add video captions, audio transcripts, and audio description to your pre-recorded content.

Professional captioning and transcription services (pre-recorded)

Review the comparisons on pricing and turnaround time. Services will deliver ADA compliant content. Pre-recorded content should be above 99% accuracy.

How the process works:

  1. Set up an account and billing with the vendor of your choice
  2. Provide the vendor access to your media. The vendor will send or make available your caption, transcript, or audio description to upload to your media player.

Vendor options

New UW–Madison captioning, transcription, and audio description negotiated pricing contracts will take effect January 1, 2022 with 3PLAY Media, AutomaticSync Technologies (AST), and Cielo24.  You are welcome to use any vendor you would like for captioning and transcription, but UW-Madison has negotiated discounted rates with the following vendors. See the Captioning, Transcription, and Audio Description Vendor Rate Comparison for more information. 

CaptionSync (AST)

FERPA/HIPAA compliant:

AST is FERPA/HIPAA certified

CaptionSync(AST) Self Service experience does have some accessibility barriers, see CaptionSync (AST) – Accessibility & Usability Information for details.

3Play Media

HIPAA compliant:

3Play is HIPAA certified

3Play Self Service experience does have some accessibility barriers, see 3Play – Accessibility & Usability Information for details.

Cielo24

New non-English captioning and transcription negotiated pricing contract began January 1, 2022.

Cielo24 Self Service experience does have some accessibility barriers, see cielo24 – Accessibility & Usability Information for details.

Do it yourself captioning

The following are the basic steps to adding captions to your pre-recorded video content.

  1. Record a video
  2. Upload the video to the captioning service or tool
  3. Use the auto-captioning function or add a transcript you already have
  4. Review and edit the results for accuracy
  5. Share the appropriately captioned video

Captioning And Transcription Format

Captions and transcripts should include the following:

  • Punctuation
  • Who is speaking in brackets at the start of a new speaker
  • Ambient sound in brackets if applicable to media content
  • Vocal or emotional tone in brackets if applicable to media content
  • For video, any on-screen text that is not read aloud in brackets

Learn more about bracket content format.

Add captions in Kaltura

Kaltura is a set of UW-Madison supported tools that allow you to pre-record your video (using Kaltura Capture) and then upload your video (to Kaltura MediaSpace) and add captions. Kaltura video player is an accessible player that is easy to use.

Steps for editing captions in Kaltura MediaSpace

  1. Install Kaltura Capture to record your video.
  2. Record your video/screen capture in Kaltura Capture using these best practices.
  3. Log in to Kaltura MediaSpace with your NetID and upload the video to Kaltura MediaSpace.
  4. Use the machine captioning function in Kaltura MediaSpace (“ordering machine captions”) to generate auto-captions. The results are approximately 75% accurate and are best recorded with a dedicated headset/microphone, and when there is a single speaker with no overlapping speech. Upon generation of machine captions, the suffix “auto-generated” will append to “English” in the caption options of the player.
  5. Review and edit the machine captioning results for accuracy and correct punctuation. In brackets state who is speaking at the start of a new speaker and indicate relevant ambient sound or emotional tone if applicable. Editing on average takes 3.5 times the duration of the video. Once proofed for accuracy and edited, update the caption suffix by removing the term “auto-generated.”
  6. Share the captioned video to Canvas using Kaltura MediaSpace or using Kaltura My Media within Canvas.

Editing captions and transcripts from a recorded meeting

Some web conferencing platforms will allow you to download a transcript or caption file from a recorded event. If you use auto-captioning, this file will need to be edited for accuracy.

For more information about captioning live events, see Live Captioning And Sign Language Interpreting

Audio descriptions

If your pre-recorded event has important visual content  (such as presentation slides not described by the presenter, or visual action happening in a film) there needs to be an audio description of the visual experience.

You can add audio descriptions in two ways:

  • Add audio descriptions yourself.
  • Get professional audio descriptions. You are welcome to use any vendor you would like for audio description, but UW-Madison has negotiated discounted rates with 3PLAY.

For information on how to add audio descriptions, read about the audio description of visual information or see the Described and Captioned Media Program’s Description Key.

3Play Media

New negotiated pricing contract began January 1, 2022.

Get help with accessibility

Resources to get assistance with accessibility at UW-Madison.

Get help with accessibility