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How to add and edit closed captions for QMplus Media videos

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For: Staff and StudentsApplication: QMplus MediaTagged: accessibility , baseline , Captions , closed captions

QMplus Media allows you to have captions auto-generated for any videos that you upload. As auto-generated captions are never 100% accurate, we do not generate captions by default for videos uploaded to QMplus Media, it would be confusing for your viewers to have to deal with inaccurate captions. You must therefore explicitly request that captions are generated for your video. This is very simple to do and the captions are generally returned within minutes of the request, depending on the length of your video.

Once the captions have been returned, it is almost certain that you will have to tidy them up to improve their accuracy. This is also easy to do with the QMplus Media online caption editor. It is also possible to download the caption file and edit it directly using a text editor.

Along with generating captions, a full transcript is also generated for your video. This transcript appears in an interactive widget below your video and allows users to search for text in the transcript and jump to different locations in the video by clicking on the text. The transcript is also downloadable.

So, while caption generation does require some effort it does have many benefits for all users.

Generating captions for videos is part of our QMplus baseline standards and is particularly important to ensure that videos are accessible to as many people as possible.

How to request captions for your videos

  1. Open your dashboard in QMplus and select My Media to locate the video which you wish to access captions for.
  2. Click on the name of the video
  3. Underneath the video, click on Actions and from the drop-down menu select Captions Requests
  4. Click Submit to request the captions
  5. The machine generated captions will now take a few minutes to be added to the video. The status will change when you reload the page and access the Captions Requests page again, moving between pending, processing and completed. Unfortunately you do not receive a notification to tell you that the captions have been generated, you will have to keep checking the page.
  6.  Once completed, the captions now appear when you navigate back to the video:

How to edit your captions

The easiest way to edit your captions is to use the built-in capture editor on QMplus Media. This is a simple online tool similar to the one used on YouTube to edit captions. You can also download the caption file in SRT format and edit it in software of your choice, this is more complicated for the average user.

Using the caption editor

To edit your captions with the built-in editor, return to the caption request page and select the Edit option which appears as a pencil icon to the right of the caption request status.

You will be taken to the online caption editor.

The QMplus Media caption editor with captions being edited

In the caption editor you can play your video and edit the captions as necessary. The editor has search and replace functionality and if you have a video with multiple speakers, there is also the ability to identify who is speaking.

Tip: There is no autosave functionality so it is advisable to save your edits periodically to avoid losing any work.

Downloading and editing the caption file

You can download and edit the caption file in a standard editor such as Windows notepad. Editing the timings of captions in this way is not particularly easy.

The caption file is downloaded in the SRT file format. You may need to familiarise yourself with this format before editing.

  1. Find the video in your My Media area and click on the pencil icon to edit the settings for the video
  2. Select Captions from the list of options underneath the video
  3. Select Download from the options listed in the Actions menu. The captions will then download as an SRT file.  
  4. Open the file in your editor of choice.
  5. Your SRT file will now show the captions, alongside the timings, which can be edited: (You may wish to hit the <enter> key after each timestamp to make it easier to read)
  6. You can now make the appropriate edits and save the file (as the same file type) so it is accurate and ready to upload back into QMplus Media.
  7. Return to the video and navigate to the Captions tab to upload the updated SRT file.

I’ve captioned my video…I’m sorted…right?

It is worth noting that although captioning, as described here, is a good step towards accessibility, it does not necessarily ensure that your video is accessible to all. Captions should also take into account things such as sound that is not speech. For those with a visual impairment, audio description may be necessary. You may have to consider other ways in which to make the content in your video accessible.

You should still caption though!

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
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