Welcome to week III with Susanne. Sorry for the technical difficulty. I think it's the election, that's what I'm going to blame it on. I'm turning it over to Susanne.
Susanne: Good afternoon. Today it's my pleasure to talk to you about advance captioning tools and technique. We're going to talk about some available tools, software, things that I use, best practices that I try to apply and I try to share. And then we're going to go through several of my processes. I had a hard time picking out which processes to share. So I try to share a few that would be most useful to the most people, but in the process when I introduce a software or something that I use for something in particular or to solve a problem in my workflow, I will mention that at that time, and I'll try to -- I have 53 slides. So I'm going to try to talk a little bit fast so that we can get through everything and hopefully maybe have some time for questions.
Susanne: No one can hear?
Okay, let's see.
Susanne: I said good voice reception in the corner. Can anybody hear now? Okay, awesome. Well, I'm watching the screen, so if the audio goes out I'll be watching for that. Great, fantastic. All right.
As I mentioned regularly in pretty much every captioning session that I do, in 1972 the French Chef hosted by Julia Childs and produced by WGBH in Boston was the first nationally televised broadcast show to be captioned for the deaf and hard-of-hearing which as we know is a little bit different than just captioning or subtitles. Captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing including all of the audio information and that was okay.
Are we hearing? Hello. Can you hear me now? My audio says good voice reception, and I'm watching my microphone thing go up and down. I will keep talking until I hear somebody say they cannot hear.
In 1972, then it started with Julia Childs, WGBH has been instrumental in captioning progress throughout the years. And we still turn to them for quite a few of the resources that we use. A few of the things we're going to talk about today just in a nutshell, transcription captioning hardware, Accessories, apps, software and my processes. If you have a question about anything in particular, I'm not going to as much talk at this point about guidelines and regulations as about process and about how to use things that are available and try to introduce you to what I call my cool tools.
Okay. First let's talk a little bit about transcripts and captioning, transcripts and captioning pretty much we covered. What we want to do is set a standard for our transcripts and our captions. We want to make sure that the content that we provide is the best that it can be. And the best way to do that is to start out from the very beginning with these guidelines. In this powerpoint I've included the link to the DCMP captioning key which is probably the go-to information or the air credits captioning Bible. If you are just (indiscernible) it's impossible to perfectly follow every single guideline, but it's sort of like having a resource book to refer to. If you don't know how to solve a problem, and you don't know the best way to do something, and someone thinks you should do one way, these are great. The three tools that I have listed for transcription and captioning and audio descriptions are great goals to aspire to. And it takes a long time to apply most of them, but you start out having something to go by. And the audio description guidelines, I have a link available and captioning guidelines also through Captioning Key. They provide transcript and captioning guidelines, and we all need those.
I also have a brief handout that I'm going to make available to Norm that he can share with everyone that just has some basic rules for transcripts based on the DCMP guidelines putting it in a nutshell in a nice chunk that even a beginner can work on.
Just like everything else that has to do with technology and computer, garbage in, garbage out. When you are working with content, multimedia or audio that you are going to transcribe and caption you want to use the best quality version available. That's whether or not you are assuming you are creating something new or something you are acquiring or something you are buying. You want to make sure that the quality of the audio and the quality of the video is the best that you can get because that's going to make a difference in your transcription and captioning process.
Now transcripts, speech to text just in a nutshell you can use a Mac or a PC. You can use web- based tools. You can incorporate apps to put on your phone. Dragon microphone, Dragon dictation is personally good. You have to have an Internet connection for it to work, but it's very accurate. And Nuance has just come along with -- just come out with Dragon 15 Professional and Dragon 6 for Mac, and I have been using Dragon for a long time, and I started getting excited buying version 10 because with a little bit of training and some patience, you can get pretty accurate transcription of your own voice. And if you were in a good environment, and if you had a nice computer, Dragon 15 Professional, and it's not the really expensive version, it's a personal professional version. I'm going to also try to say how much some of the things cost. I got these for $99 each. I believe they have gone up to $100 each now, but I think this version is particularly worth it. It was 96% accurate doing a two-minute -- I was doing a reading just right out of the box with just turning on my microphone and making sure my microphone passed the test, and as you know Dragon continually gets better the more that you use it. One tip, if you are using speech recognition, if you have used it for an hour or so, reboot your computer, stop, say, if it wants to save your updates, reboot your computer. That makes a big difference in accuracy if you are using speech recognition instead of just using it to create your transcripts. Good time to get up and take a break and walk around a little bit too. There are some great web-based tools. GoogleVoice I tested, I think, four years ago and I was surprised. They had to use a telephone, but I read a whole page document and I talk pretty fast into the telephone, and it did a great job even four years ago; and it's improved tremendously. That's one where someone can call, leave you a voicemail and they'll send you a text message of that. And you can take advantage of that to create transcripts. It comes in handy if you are traveling and need to do it. It's a great resource if you are in a bind and you need to caption something for someone which has actually happened for me. I take advantage of GoogleVoice to create the transcript. I find it very helpful trying to keep up with all the web-based transcript tools. They are coming and going. There are several good ones. The google transcription tool is great. There are three or four right now that open in Interface. They don't let you really pull in your content, but they make it easy to manipulate your controls so that you can be pretty efficient. They are not as efficient as on a computer system, but again it's free and it works and it's getting more and more accurate. So that's a thought of something to include in your workflow that can be a problem solver if you have to do something in a hurry, and you don't have your usual tools and resources available.
Speech recognition is built in to both PCs and Macs. It's been built in to the PC windows machine since XP; and XP, it wasn't even worth talking about when Vista came along. It was a little better. You had to do a lot of training. It wasn't crazy accurate, but it was making if you -- I know four or five years ago when I went to higher ground, someone was telling me that their workflow for their students was to use the windows speech detect as part of their captioning workflow. So it's considered in some places as pretty accurate. It does not fix punctuation but you can do a pretty good job creating a transcript. In most cases I think faster than most people can type. The Mac speech recognition is very accurate; in fact, I use it frequently. I have arthritis in my hands. So I click the function button twice and a little microphone pops up, and I say what I need to say and it types it. And I click the function button twice again. I don't need a headset or a microphone. It does a good job. The thing you have to be aware of, you have to make sure that you allow enhanced dictation to expect the really good results. So if you have a Mac and want to do that, go into your dictation and speech offering and enable your enhanced dictation. It has to do some downloading, then it doesn't depend on going up to the network and the server. It transcribes actually on your computer, and I find that to be a great tool. I use that all the time outside of my captioning workflow, creating emails and all kinds of things on all my Macs. And here is just a quick little shot. I did these backwards, but the window in speech recognition, you open the speech recognition. It's in the accessibility area in your group of -- I hate to tell you because it's totally in a different place than 7 and 8 and 10. So you do have speech recognition. The best thing to do is search for it and find it that way. And it takes some training. This one isn't as accurate right out of the box, but it's free and comes with your computer. So if you need a transcription tool in your workflow, maybe you can bump up to Dragon; and you don't have a Mac, Mac is a little more accurate, but this is a good start. It's well worth doing and it's well worth considering when you are setting up a captioning workflow.
GoogleVoice, and I just -- and I put up the original four year ago transcription, and I called the number on the phone and rattled off to it for a considerable length of time, and it was pretty darn accurate. I didn't really put this up there for you to read it, but just to emphasize the point that even four years ago GoogleVoice was pretty accurate. So you can incorporate that into your workflow, and it's used in a lot of web-based speech to text through Google, and I think it's thanks to Google that speech recognition between Google and Nuance and Apple too, but speech recognition is improving so much, so fast. If you have an Apple device, and I think one of these is also available on other mobile devices other than Apple, but definitely if you have an iPhone you can get these three different Nuance apps. One is Dragon speech to text, one is Dragon microphone that you can actually use as a wireless microphone to dictate into your computer. You can use it actually to dictate into Dragon wirelessly if you want to, if you -- that's generally not as accurate but it often is a good solution. Then you have a Dragon recorder that allows you to record audio at a meeting or in an environment that you need to make a recording and then use that recording as good quality. And you can bring that in to Dragon actually speaking and do the transcription. That works quite well.
So there are three apps out there that can enhance your workflow. Hardware is very important because when you are working with video, and unless you are getting everything totally on the web and totally in Youtube or something like that, you are going to need to work with speech recognition at some point or some type
of speech to text you'll probably do. You need to keep your hardware in mind, and you want to make sure that you have a computer that is suitable for the job, a computer that you dedicate to doing your transcription and captioning work that is up to the job, especially if you need to multitask which often you need to do. You need to do something else while you are waiting for something to render. And you really have to have enough horse power, Ram and processing power above and beyond the recommended Nuance as expected for really good results. Now if you are mixing this with any kind of video editing, you really want to consider what computer you are going to dedicate to that job because ultimately that's going to have a lot to do with how efficient you can be and how efficient your process is going to be.
This is something that people normally don't think of, storage and backup. Never, never, ever work directly to an external device or directly to a cloud or something on the web. That's asking for trouble. You always want to do speech recognition, and most types of video with some exceptions for some video editors do this different, but for the most part I advise everybody to work on their computer after you are finished. Then you can save backup to an external device, but you never ever want to do -- you just won't get the same accuracy if you try to do your speech to text to the cloud or to an external drive as you will when you have it right on your computer. In some situations with the more expensive versions of Dragon, there are some that are made to work on a network. I don't think they are as accurate as using the version that's out now that I paid $99 for on my computer. I think that's really important to consider as well.
Okay. Let's talk about accessories. This is when we start getting to the fun stuff. Microphone is critical for anything you are going to be doing here. The speech recognition part, creating the transcript, you have to have a transcript to be able to have captions. So you want to have -- unless you have a good video card on your computer -- you want to make sure you have a USB headset, mic, noise cancelling, wireless or Bluetooth are convenient but not as accurate. So you want to consider maybe you have one of each. If at a point you have to have something like that, but it's not going to be as accurate in your workflow as something that is wired.
Excuse me. Sorry about that. You do want to have a headset microphone, a USB microphone. Also I love all the blue mics. This is a Blue Nessie. It's about $100. It does a really good job of sifting out some of the chaff. If you set it up correctly you have three options. If you are going to be right in front of it, and you set it up correctly, it's going to give you really good results. It's USB, and it works really well. This is very similar to the headset mic that I use most of the time. It folds up. It's easy to carry. I keep my headsets in plastic containers. As I told you in past sessions, these used to be really expensive. I spent about 50-60 at the most. This is when I originally bought this particular headset microphone on the left. I really recommend it. And in session II, I listed all the names and the brands and all the information about that. I think you can get those for $30. And I paid twice that when I got them originally, and they work very well.
Garbage in, garbage out here. You never want to use just one of those little inexpensive tabletop mics if you are doing speech recognition. You are not going to get the accuracy you want. It picks up everything around you; although, there are some good wireless and Bluetooth headset microphones out there, I have yet to find one that does as well as my USB headsets that are plugged into my computer. So you want to consider that that might not be a great option.
Again something else for audio, I love my Sony voice recorder. If I'm creating a video that I know I'm going to have to transcribe, I often suggest we put that in their pocket additionally as with a microphone, then I can get the audio just, just the audio while the video is being edited in really high quality here. So it makes it easier for me to proceed.
Foot control. This is something I couldn't live without. Anybody that does captioning of any quantity, this is a wonderful tool. The only thing is it just doesn't work with everything. It only works with a couple of softwares right now. It works well enough that when you really have a lot to do and you want to be efficient, you are going to incorporate the foot control into your workflow. When I talk about my processes specifically, I'm going to tell you how I use mine in great detail.
This is actually three pedals. One side goes forward faster; one side goes backward faster, and the middle, if I put my foot down it goes. When I lift my foot it stops. So you can just buzz right along and not having to key stroke or use any kind of shortcuts to start and stop the audio. Regardless of how you do your transcriptions, how you create your captions and where you are creating them, this speeds the process up tremendously, only as I said unfortunately, it doesn't work with everything. It doesn't work with anywhere near the softwares I would like for it to work with, hopefully eventually it will. Again there are many apps out there. There's just lots of new ones that have come out. I strongly recommend other ones that are Nuance and Dragon, but if for some reason they don't work for you, or if they are not available for your phone, it's worth it to go out and look at some of these others. If you are going to use speech recognition, the quality of your audio is really key.
Okay. Now here's the really fun part. Let's talk about software. I'm going to talk about software I use in my workflow. First I'm going to talk about a variety of software, different types that I work in my workflow, my captioning workflow for different things. Then I'm going to tell you about other free things that are available out there and how they might be featuring captioning and transcript toolbox.
I can't say enough good things about Dragon. I have been on board for quite some time since really when it was just frustrating, but it paid off to stick with it because it's come a long way. You can use it for speech recognition, for transcription. I'll tell you how I use that in my workflow.
Speech to text, you can control your computer with it. It comes for windows and Mac. And now they have the Mac version; it's a little bit different, but it's just as accurate as the PC version. And out of the gate with no training, these tools are good now, and they just get better as you go along. Nothing is 100% accurate, but I can tell you with Dragon when it makes a mistake usually it's because I'm mumbling. It's not because it's anything Dragon is doing wrong, it's because I haven't enunciated my word correctly, or I turned away from my microphone when I spoke, but it's right on the money. And it can really, really make your captioning workflow efficient.
Express Scribe is a transcription version, and it comes in a Pro version. It's about $40. You can usually find it on sale for $19 or $29. What the Pro version allows you to do is pull in video as well as audio. With the free version you can use a couple of foot pedals, and you can still pull in the audio files, and it's very helpful.
You can really stack up a workflow here, and you can sort of feed it in. If you have several captioners, you can get a system going with this. I do everything that I do myself, but you can have things lured from a network and people can feed things to you, and then you can log them and have them delete as you finish. You can really speed up the element if you have a large amount of work to do. As I said, the free version is good. I go ahead and go with the Pro version. It works with a whole lot of devices, more foot pedals, gives you more functionality in the foot pedal, and it has added the functionality for speech to text too. And it looks on your computer, whether you are on a windows machine with Dragon or whatever you are on, it will figure out what speech recognition you have in, pull it in so far, not really accurate. But I like seeing that they are bringing it in there. What they are trying to do there is totally automate the transcription process; obviously that's where they are headed with this. I don't think technology is quite there yet, but it is with voices that are training in the speech recognition, but it's improving. And I think they're going to be on top of it when the technology, accuracy and quality of audio across the board catches up with it. So this is something, a must-have for your workflow. And I'll tell you a little bit more when we talk about my processes how I use this.
Subtitle Edit. I don't know if any of you have ever heard of this, but Subtitle Edit is a free tool for windows only. It is so robust. I don't use half of the things that it does. It imports or exports, renders captioning format I certainly have never heard of, just about anything you can actually imagine. You can use it for captioning. You can use it for translation. As I said it's free. They keep it updated frequently. It's really, really, robust, and they've added since I started using it. As you can see it's got this neat little visual representation of the audio file. And I'm going to give you an example when I show you my workflow of how that comes in handy.
This is also a tool. It will be intimidating at first because it just does so much stuff, but you just have to play around with it. And I think that I'll even show you enough to tempt you to give it a go, that it's really not that difficult when I show you how I use it.
Handbrake is another source tool, and it's for video conversion, times you need to change a video format from one thing to another. In the process of captioning, in the process of making video go from one format to something that is available to the person that needs to use it, be that in a classroom or be that as an accommodation, it's a great tool. You can also use it to add subtitles to movies. That's a known fact. I was using it for a lot of other things before I figured out you could fully do this. It's very handy, and this is an Interface I'm showing you this in this screen shot that lets you pull in your subtitle file, and then it syncs it together. It's a little more complicated than that, but it's a helpful tool to either reunite or unite audio files with video files that have to eventually end up together that maybe aren't going on the web, that you have to figure out how to provide them in a working manner for someone else that's not going to upload them to the web; Handbrake is a good tool for that. That's quite detailed, but there's great direction on that.
Subtitle Workshop. When I started doing captioning and researching tools, this is a tool that has been out there for a long time. This is a tool that I'm told was at one time considered an industry standard. Even though it's a free tool, you can do a whole lot with it. One problem is it hasn't been updated since 2013. It has glitches and issues. You want to keep it in your toolbox because it may be the ideal tool if you've got to work with an older computer, if your work environment, your computers are configured differently, if you are using an older version of windows or something, and your newfangled captioning, it's wheels aren't working as well with it. Like Subtitle Edit, this really is a great option. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles because it doesn't have the graphic face and audio that the subtitle does, but it has a nice easy useable interface to create captions as you listen to the videos to see what they look like and then do a lot of fine tuning. You have a lot more adjustment abilities in this of how your captions look then you do in most tools; although, even Youtube is coming around about that. Initially your captions just looked -- they lacked, but now you're getting in these free tools, you are even getting a lot more say-so on what your end result looks like. You used to be at the mercy of how they are rendered. I have no idea how to pronounce this one. I'm going to say, Aegisub Captions and Subtitling and Max PC and Linux. It's free. It hasn't been updated since 2014. I played with this a little more before I found Subtitle Edit, and I liked it then. Once I discovered Subtitle Edit, I didn't go back and mess with this, but then again worth keeping in your toolbox because it might be the perfect tool on certain computers. It has that nifty visual representation of audio file, and that's very helpful. So I suggest that you put this in your bag of tricks because it may come in handy sometime. I keep it in mine. Who knows at work when I'm going to have to do something on an older computer that won't run things that I like.
I've actually never used this tool, but I included it because it's a free tool that was updated in June 2016, and a lot of these standard captions and subtitle tools that have been out there for a while have gone by the wayside and haven't been updated, but this also links you to open subtitle.org which is a database of caption files, and that is very handy as well.
Can everybody hear me okay now? Are people able to hear pretty well? I've got -- mine says good voice reception. Great, thank you. All right.
Even if you aren't really interested in this Aegisub subtitles maker you might very well -- I'm glad you can hear -- you might want to check out open subtitles.org. They are not going to have subtitles of the speech a college president made last week, but if you're going to have to caption for a history class in an academic situation, or one of President Obama's speeches or one of the campaign speeches, something like this could be available in one of the subtitle resources. So don't reinvent the wheel. Keep these things together and get in the habit of searching around so you know what's available and what's out there that you can download for free and not have to start from scratch because that is also very helpful. Be careful of copyright, but a lot of these when it says open subtitles, they are truly open and available for you to use. Make sure that you check and be aware of how that goes.
Jubler is another one that has been out for a while. I experimented with this several years ago. I haven't played with it. It's fine tuned and interfaced a little bit. It was fast, easy, efficient, pretty user friendly, doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but again here's a free -- from Mac, PC and Linux that was updated in March 2016, again worth looking at for your captioning toolbox simply for that manner because it's great to have stuff on hand to solve different situations, and you never know when a situation is going to come up, and it's going to be the perfect tool.
Audacity. Audacity, I say just -- it's an audio record, editing conversion tool made for Vista or any later machine. You can convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit audio files. What I've used it for is when I needed to caption something that was really garbled, and I basically couldn't understand what somebody was saying, meeting files and something like that, before I had better audio programs like a couple audio programs I have right now are more efficient, maybe not better, but easier to use to a certain extent. I guess he is on the Mac as well. I put windows here as well, but you are correct, I use other tools on a Mac; but Audacity, my son thinks it's pretty -- oh, I didn't know that. They had something special for screen reader. Oh, that's great to know. You have to keep this in your toolbox if you do anything relating to audio, video captioning whatever, because at some point you are going to have a change of format. You are going to have a cleanup file. I've used it in cases where I just couldn't understand what people were saying, and it does a really nice job and it's a free tool. There are great tutorials for it. You can figure out how to do pretty complicated stuff with it if you poke around with it a little bit, and it's user friendly. You can figure it out pretty easily. It's not really complex.
I know we don't have a whole lot time, but I want to talk to you a little bit about my processes. I just picked three. I have a lot more, but these are three that I thought might be helpful to you.
Okay. Making the most of software. Let's say in this scenario I have a Youtube video that needs captions, and I want to automate some of the process. I've got tons of things to do. So I'm going to use the tools that I have, some of them free, some of them not free, to get my audio transcribed as fast as I can because I have these Youtube videos that I need to caption.
Okay. So, first of all I have videos with audio. I want the audio file. So I'm going to open up the videos in Camtasia; they created videos in Camtasia which I can do with a nice variety of formats. And then Camtasia has a feature that allows me to export just the audio file. Now the nonversion doesn't get you a WAV in mp3. You always want to choose a WAV. It's higher quality than mp. Mp is a smaller file size, but WAV transcribes better. I tested the exact same thing side by side on several different occasions, and WAVs do better across the board as far as the quality of the audio for all transcribing, but in this case I am not going to use the audio transcription feature in Youtube. I'm going to do it a different way. I have gone into Camtasia, and I have saved this audio file as a WAV file. And I opened up Dragon naturally speaking and seeing Dragon naturally speaking. I have an option where I can transcribe that recording. Now I've tried it with other voices that are not terribly different than mine, and other women's voices without strong accents that didn't sound like mine at all. It doesn't do as well with my voice, but it's better than nothing. I make a lot of videos, and I use it a lot with my own voice, but I've used it to transcribe to get started at least on transcribing what isn't my voice, and it does a good job here, too. So I'm going to go into my tools and select the transcribe recording option. And then I'm going to transcribe a spoken recording. I'm going to pick where the input file is, and I'm going to make sure that I check automatically, add commas, periods which sometimes it does that better than others. You want to automatically check. It will help you out, and when you go to edit as you edit things, it will automatically add caps and when you do a period, and it helps you out at least there. And you have a couple more options but those are really the important ones to see right now. We started using Camtasia to separate the audio file, and we are waiting while it transcribes. You don't get to watch it as the words come up, but it's pretty cool. I'm going to open it in Microsoft Word because that's going to really help me expedite the editing that I need to do. How much editing I need to do depends on the quality of the audio. This is what I get. This one didn't have a lot of punctuation, but it was relatively accurate. And when I went through here, but the places where it didn't do very well is where I was mumbling or turning my head away from the speaker. I have a lot of confidence in the accuracy of Dragon, and now I'm going to locate my video in Youtube, the one that I am anxiously having to caption because I have to release it to the world. And I don't want to do that without having captions. I have to put it in a class. And then I go into Youtube and I select upload transcript, and I pull up my transcript file, and it pulls it right into this window. And I click "settings." I think it's a set timing, and I come back in a little while. It's going to tell me it's in the processes, and you want to check and make sure it's in the process. Then you come back in a little while and there you go. You have your caption video ready to go. And if you know that process, now all the while this is going on, are you sure I'm doing this, but I'm doing other things at the same time too. So I can really have five or six videos that I needed to caption, and it wouldn't require my undivided attention, just flood to it because I've automated this process as much as I possibly can. That's really useful especially if you are doing a lot of captions.
If it's all right with Norm I'll keep going until I'm finished, but I want to tell you a little bit about these as well, Subtitle Edit. I'm going to show you a little bit about why I love it and what it looks like. Okay. When I open it up, you're going to load your video and go to click a little video button, and you load your video. Then you click on this little grid that's below the video, and what that will do is create your audio file. And then whether you upload a transcript that you are going to add timings to, which it will sort it out by number of letters and words, and you go back and fine tune it, or you can just type each -- it will play each section for the amount of seconds you tell it to and keep repeating that. It will allow you to use speech to text. You have to dictate into it. You have to move your curser, but you can dictate into the -- dictate the captions without having to type. Then what you have here, and this really is easier to me than the Youtube or any of the other -- any of the other interfaces that have audio. You can pretty much see exactly where your captions should start and stop here. I love this tool. Once you get going and you can very often upload a video even if it's not going to stay in Youtube I upload a video. Let Youtube do the audio transcripts. You download mp4. I also have mine. Then I download the SRT file. Load it into Subtitle Edit and I can very easily tweek my file and fine tune my captions here so they look really good, and not a lot of time. And you can really do a lot of it without even listening to the audio because it's really obvious here where things start and stop, and because the way this is represented it stays that way throughout.
You can adjust this interface around. I find this is very helpful. You see you can have three different interfaces and create which is where I am right now, and you have your adjust. Then you have your transcribe. So you have a dedicated interface for your tools for each one of the things that it focuses on. So again this tool is free.
There is another tool I really, really like for Macs. It now has a windows. It's called MovieCaptioner. I didn't do that one because it's not free. It's worth the $100 it costs very much so. And it works better than anything with speech recognition, but I tried to stick pretty much to the free tools because they were out there.
Another thing this does is you can set it up to highlight how long you want your captions to be, and it will give you an indicator if there are too many characters, or the time is too short or too long. So you can visually go through there and tweek your captions quite easily. The numbers are still there and very available, and you can work in that interface, but it's very easy to work in the visual interface looking at the audio. And when you get a caption there that you want to change, you right click, split the line where you're curser is, and it splits the timing too. You have to tweek them a little bit, but it does a good job of knowing how much timing when you have to split a caption. And you can jump in and accomplish something. It still does a lot of things that I don't use. I've not done any of the translation tools or anything like that, but it's also a tool. If you have audio and captions that are out of sync, you can sync them with this tool. At one point this matches here and this matches here, and you let it line it up the rest of the way too. You have a little more control over that than you do in Youtube. So it's great to use for that purpose as well.
And here you see where I'm easily manipulating the captions around using these little sliders and each one of those gray areas that covers a portion of the audio file that's represented just slides around with your curser, super, super easy to use.
And so, my poor man's transcription, if somebody hands me a 30-minute video and says, look, I really need this transcribed and captioned by tomorrow. This is what I do. I have two computers. Sometimes I can do it with one, but I sit down at my computer. I'm using Dragon, Express Scribe, a foot pedal, a mono headset with a mic, and then I'm going to put an earbud in my other ear. And pretty much what I'm going to do is listen with the audio in one ear, control it with the foot pedal, and whether I'm dictating right into the captioning tool or dictating into Express Scribe the transcription tool or MovieCaptioner, the captioning tool that works so well with Dragon, I'm stopping and starting, and I'm pretty much getting it done as I go along saying what I hear, and going really fast. And I can do a great workflow even though I can't type fast at all.
In some cases because the audio overlaps and you get some issue with speech recognition trying to hear something that you're not ready to hear, that's why sometimes I have to use the computers. But just this week I did it all on one computer with my earbud and exactly this process. This is really my down and dirty fast process. If I have to get a bunch of stuff done in a ridiculous amount of time, this is where I start. And I upload the video to Youtube, and I get the initial captioning syncing done in that. Then I bring it down and I fine tune where things start and stop. And I set up the food pedal in Express Scribe. You can see where I'm dictating into Express Scribe. This is the window that Dragon pops open. It's not totally familiar with an interface, but it works stellar. And going with the foot pedal I can move right along. So that's the last of this one.
Those are three of the processes that I use. I've got three or four others that I use frequently. This last one that I showed you how I do the transcription and often the transcription and captioning at the same time. Then the transcription and captioning at the same time. I'm sorry for that.
Okay. If I do the transcription and captioning at the same time then I'm just really, really efficient. But if I'm going to upload it to Youtube to get it started, to get it syncing, then this is a great way to start it too. And I would say probably it's three times faster than if you just sat down to create a transcript the old fashioned way and then to bring that in line by line into a captioning tool. Using these tools together and figuring out what works best in your workflow is really the secret.
Yeah, I don't like Camtasia's captioning workflow. I think it's slow and clunky. I can do the same thing better and faster with other tools; in fact, I just wrote a letter to reflect fully to TechSmith, and made a couple suggestions of things that I think would use that. I use Camtasia a lot of times for a lot things. It's not in my captions workflow either in the Mac or the PC version just because I don't have enough control because I can't do what I want to do as fast as I can with something else. Don't get me wrong, I love Camtasia. I use Camtasia for the Mac and for the PC. I just don't use either one for any part of my captioning process just because I think it's slow.
Recommendations on captioning workflows, what you really have to do is, I think, it's so -- the reason you don't see a lot of that is because it's so unique to situations. I try to help others with the resources I have. I think you have to be open minded about your workflow. The way I work in a certain situation might be totally different than the way I work tomorrow in another situation simply because I try to be as efficient as I can with the tools that I have on hand. When I am going to caption for a graduation, the video that I talked about that I burn in so that nobody forgets to put on captions, that plays it when everybody is coming in for graduation. I do that totally different than I might do if they were uploading that same video to Youtube.
And then, even though I got the majority of my own personal videos in Camtasia, I might use Captivate for captioning because I like their text to speech feature. And I tried Camtasia every time it comes out, but it really just doesn't work for me. I think Subtitle Edit is the bomb, and I use that a lot. I love MovieCaptioner on the Mac. And those are the ones that I recommend. If you have a Mac, there is a free captioning book that talks about a captioning workflow, or captioning workflows for the Mac using MovieCaptioner that's available free on that website. And there are a lot of really good videos, new ones that he has just done. The fellow that developed it, Patrick Besong that developed MovieCaptioner and has kept it updated. I bought a brand new version for my newest Imac this week. That's what I would recommend.
It's not a good idea to say this is how we are going to caption all the time. This is our captioning, and this is what we are going to do. And you set yourself up for failure in not being able to be as efficient as you can because you have to evaluate the different situations. If you work on a Mac, I would head you in that direction, and I would also encourage you to work with the new version of Dragon for Mac because you can dictate directly into MovieCaptioner, and that works really well. You have to do decent tweeking, but it speeds along more so than doing it manually. I hope TechSmith sort of ups What it's got going on there right now. It doesn't work for me. I recommend it for people, especially Camtasia for the PC version for people who are just starting captioning. It's fine for that. It's just when you are trying to be really efficient and use your time as best you can, I don't think you can with that one, but give Camtasia a try. I believe you will like it.
And I will look forward to seeing you next week, whoever our new president is. Thank you very much.
Professor Norman Coombs: Next week it will be at noon Pacific. I'll have the archive up for this web Thursday. I'll send that announcement about next week.
Susanne, that's another packed, thrilling presentation. The hotspot worked pretty well. Thank you. See you all next week.
That was awesome, Susanne. Thank you everyone so much with our technical difficulties.