Automatically align a transcript

We bang on a lot about our amazing speech recognition, now in 28 languages. Quite rightly: with well recorded audio, it’s a massive time saver. We’ve had people write in to say that they’re seeing savings of up to 80%.

But we feel like our Auto Transcribe is getting all the glory. We’re just as proud of how we can import a transcript, with Auto Align.

Let’s back up a bit. In order to create captions, first you need a transcript. Second, you need to time that transcript out against the video. When you do this, you’ll want to put caption breaks and line breaks in sensible places, respecting natural pauses in the video, who’s speaking, grammatical rules, and the video’s edit points.

If your video has already been transcribed, then it still needs to be timed out against the video. We offer a few methods to import transcripts in CaptionHub, but Auto Align is almost always the fastest. Here’s how it works:

  • Create a project in CaptionHub, as you normally would
  • Take a plain text (sorry, no Word files yet) verbatim transcript
  • When creating your original captions, choose Import Transcript, then choose Auto Align
  • That’s it, you’re done!

What’s going on behind the scenes is that we’re using speech recognition to align your transcript. We’re basically telling the system: ‘Look, here’s a perfect transcript. Analyse the audio of the video to work out where it goes. And, while you’re at it, put caption breaks in sensible places.’

The net result is that the speech recognition has to work much less hard, and the results are almost always astonishingly good.

Give it a whirl!

New feature: burnt-in subtitles

We’re delighted to announce that CaptionHub now has the ability to export burnt-in subtitles (open captions) directly from a web browser. At last! The feature’s still in beta, so if it’s something you’d like to road test, then please contact us and we’ll get you hooked up.

Update: this is now fully functional, and available to all customers.

Content & Captions: Three Reasons to Subtitle

The decision to use subtitles has always, until recent years, been one of practicality or necessity. For example foreign language films that are being distributed globally, programming for the hard of hearing and even documentary style programmes where the speech which is muffled or difficult to understand. read more…

5 tips to stay small – but go global

The notion of a small two-man business only existing on a village parade has some what changed over the last decade. Technology has turned the globe into our village high street.

A single jewellery maker in Derby can have a client base in Australia, a family carpentry company in New Zealand can have a thriving business in Asia. You don’t need high rise office blocks in every major capital city to have an international business. You just need a plan.

No matter what your business is selling, be it anything from shoes to production services, I believe the same principles apply. These are my 5 top tips to taking your business to the global market place.


  1. Know how you are going to deliver. Make sure that you have thought about, and tested your workflow before you go live. What are your costs? From postage to digital transfer. Is it viable to deliver your service and remain competitive in that market? If not, how can you tweak your workflow to make sure that you are.
  1. Find partners. Whether it’s partners to deliver your service in market, online selling partners or alliances for advice. It’s always good to have ‘friends’ and a support network to help you deliver your product or services successfully.
  1. It is crucial to have a social media and online presence. You must keep your personal and business profiles separate. Follow and interact with relevant businesses and potential customers in market, whether it’s on Facebook, twitter or Instagram. It is hugely important to keep your website up to date. Your online profile is your shop window.
  1. Get to know publications, journalists and bloggers. Especially those that are popular in the markets in which you are selling. Keep them up to date to try and get coverage.
  1. Research and be aware of cultural differences. Make sure that any promotional photos, films and literature appropriate for the markets in which you are advertising. Different phrases and imagery that are fine for one country, may not be deemed acceptable for another. It may also be worth considering translating some of your press releases or subtitling any promotional films to ensure that your products and services feel more ‘local’ to the people to which you are talking to.

Learn more about CaptionHub’s features for translating here.

Is mute killing video’s impact?

As you’ve no doubt noticed, video is becoming much more commonplace on social media. It’s now easier and cheaper than ever to create videos with some apps even providing the ability to add directly to timelines and news feeds.

Advertising giant ZenithOptimedia’s Online Video Forecast believes that over half of all video consumed in 2016 will be on mobile devices. Reuters also project that within the next five years up to 70% of mobile network traffic will consist of video. read more…

The time is “now”

Tapping foot syndrome – we all have it. As a society we just don’t know how to wait anymore. Impatience boils at the first sign of a delay of any kind: a train, a slow barista, crap Wi-Fi. Anything less than ‘now’ is not acceptable.

Technology is to blame: it’s all become so damn efficient. Automated workflows, cloud services and instant communication bouncing around the globe. Its all go go go; there’s no time for pausing, no staring out the window having some thinking time while you are feeding pages through a fax machine or hand writing your job sheets. Click – and it’s done. read more…