10/07/2020

A Quick Look at the New Transcription Services and Subtitle Editor

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Planet eStream Closed Caption Support


Planet eStream has always supported subtitles and, where available, content added from the TV and radio recording and Connect services automatically includes closed captions. In fact, just over 2 years ago we introduced a specific subtitle search tool to both the media library and Connect archive; this enabled users to find specific videos faster or discover new resources easily.


Up until now, the workflow for adding subtitles to user generated content required using third-party applications to generate the subtitles and then upload them separately. We are pleased to announce several options for users to easily add, create and edit closed captions for their own content.


Transcription Services


We have included both free- to-use and chargeable third-party services…


Mozilla DeepSpeech - Available to use without additional cost.


Microsoft Azure Media Services - External third-party chargeable service that provides machine-generated speech recognition, with AI integration to further enhance the transcription results.


AmberScript - External third-party chargeable service that offers both machine-generated and human transcription services. AmberScript adds transcription support for the following source languages:


English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish


As charges for transcriptions processed via both Microsoft Azure Media Services and AmberScript are billed directly to your organisations account, we have included permission settings that enable organisations to control and manage the services available and who can request and authorise transcriptions.



Transcription Accuracy

With all machine-based transcription services there are varying degrees of accuracy - these services are getting increasingly better as time goes on and the speech training models become more mature. The accuracy is also dependant on voice characteristics such as accent, volume, and noise. When testing our free-to-use option based on Mozilla DeepSpeech, the results with speakers without pronounced accents were between 80-90% accurate, however this dropped significantly with speakers with a broad regional accent. This is where the more advanced chargeable services fare better, even with speakers with broad regional accents - the MS Azure Media Services option and the AmberScript offering returned impressively accurate results.


Editing Subtitles


All machine-based transcription services will have a varying degree of errors; we have therefore introduced a Subtitle Editor that is built into the platform. This tool enables authorised users to create subtitles from scratch or easily edit existing subtitles.


We have included text colours and built-in guidance prompts to assist users in maintaining accessibility standards.


Accessibility

These fantastic new services and tools will assist with the ongoing drive towards making web-based resources accessible to all. They will also be of huge benefit to Further and Higher Education organisations in the UK, assisting them with compliance with new accessibility legislation coming into force in September 2020.