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Automatic Closed Captioning - Free Tools vs AI Enabled Tools

By Huma Rajput
A woman watching a video with closed captions on her phone

Having closed captions along with your videos is important to help you reach out to diverse audiences, and these need to be generated automatically to save resources and manhours.

Video use is evolving and its consumption is changing too. According to a study, around 69% people view videos in public places without sound and in private places, 25% view videos without sound. 

If you are the person who utilizes video in your business, be it video ads, product demos, recruitment videos and other types of video content, then you should definitely optimize for muted watching, and if not, you are losing a great number of potential customers.

According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 466 million people – have disabling hearing loss, and that is projected to increase to over 900 million by 2050.

Not adding captions to videos makes content limited to only those people who understand that specific language spoken in the video. That ultimately means limited reach to your content, whereas automatic closed captioning encourages global reach.

This article highlights the importance of closed captioning and the top free and paid automatic video captioning tools.

What is Closed Captioning?

Closed captions are a visual display (as text) version of the spoken parts or words of television, movie, video, or any computer presentation. Closed captions were developed to aid people with hearing loss. However, it has become useful for various situations. For instance, you can read captions when audio can't be heard, either because of the noisy environment or because of an environment that must be kept quiet, such as the library. Closed captions are identified by the [CC (Closed Captions)] symbol.

Closed captions also include descriptions of visual elements in the video as well, such as sound effects or identity of speakers. Examples include *door knocks* *swish* etc.

Why Is There a Need for Closed Captions in a Video?

It enables deaf or hard of hearing individuals to watch videos, understand them, and help individuals focus and remember the information more easily. Moreover, people can also watch videos in sound-sensitive environments such as hospitals. To aid with disabilities, closed captions are required by Section 508, ADA and other accessibility compliances.

Video captions help your page to index higher in search ranking, and it also boosts SEO performance.

Video captioning helps localize your content for different geographical areas and international audiences.

According to a research, closed captioning is not specifically for the students who have some sort of hearing issues, closed-captioning is beneficial for everyone as it helps to recall and understand video better.

Free Tools for Automatic Video Captioning

1. YouTube

YouTube is one of the most-watched and common video platforms. YouTube provides in-built transcription tools to add closed captions to your YouTube video easily. However, YouTube has some downsides – captions can “only” be added to the videos that are uploaded on YouTube. Now what’s the drawback of that? By uploading content on YouTube, you agree to certain terms where you give YouTube the right to reproduce and use your content.

In YouTube, you can either add captions manually or can use the ‘auto-sync’ feature. However, the transcription should be in a language that YouTube’s speech recognition technology supports. Currently, YouTube automatic captioning is available in English, French, Dutch, Korean, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. However, English is an auto-generated language in automatic closed captioning.

YouTube is a great choice for individuals who want to translate videos and add captions for free and are also fine with uploading their videos on YouTube. Along with, can put more effort into reviewing and editing automatic captioning.

2. Amara

Amara is an award-winning tool for adding subtitles and captions. Amara gained that much popularity because it’s flexible; it allows users to caption their videos in more than one language. Moreover, it offers different playback modes from beginner to expert in order to have a speed at which the user is comfortable with.

In addition, it allows you to add captions easily; it also supports keyboard shortcuts, which saves a lot of time while syncing captions to your videos. So, if you are looking for free captioning, then ‘Amara Public’ is your go-to option.

However, if you want to create subtitles files for a private workplace, you have to purchase ‘Amara Pro’ or ‘Amara Enterprise.’

3. Quicc

Quicc claims to provide 91% accuracy rate in an automatic captioning tool, which is quite good. It also allows its users to embed captions directly into videos. All its plans include custom font styles and colors, automatic burnt-in captions, 11 language profiles, SRT file export, and more.

However, Quicc free online version comes with certain limitations. With their free plan, you get only 2-minutes per month, and if you want more minutes, you have to buy them. You can also upgrade to one of their premium plans according to your requirements in order to reduce the cost.

4. Kawping

Kawping provides two simple pricing plans, ‘free and pro plans’. Kawping is great for beginners. Whether you want open or closed captions, it’s great for both. All you have to do is upload your video or paste the URL, transcribe and space the captions with the editor. That's it; your video is ready to go! I

In Kawping free plan, users can add captions text directly into MP4 as long as they want. Per month, videos can be published for up to 7 minutes and up to only 3 hours. And if you want to upload more videos, then you have to upgrade your plan to pro.

Paid Tools for Automatic Video Captioning

1. Rev

Rev provides a premium on-demand transcription, closed captions and translation services. Rev supports a 24/7 live chat, so there is someone to follow up with if any trouble occurs. However, source videos must be in English, and foreign language transcriptions are available at a premium price ($7.50 per minute).

2. 3play Media

3play provides premium closed captioning, subtitles, and audio description services. Users can preview and edit the captions. It also integrates with most of the web providers. Moreover, their professional plan allows multiple users/reviewers. However, they are currently limited to English and Spanish Languages.

3. Automatic Sync Technologies, LLC

Automatic Sync Technologies, LLC provides transcription as well as automated captioning services. They support over 100 caption output formats. They also provide quick turnaround options available for transcription, ranging from 8-hours to 3 business days. However, it works well if you already have a transcript of the video, but if not, you may also need to engage the company’s transcription services (for an additional fee).

4. Vimeo

Vimeo supports a larger library of captioned and subtitled languages. (over 150+). On their paid plan, Vimeo offers liberal video size uploads. Moreover, Vimeo is a more professional and user-friendly interface compared to many similar platforms.

However, Vimeo supports only few file formats: SRT, WebVTT, DFXP/TTML, SCC, and SAMI. Also, a Plus, Pro or Business account is required in order to hide Vimeo's default controller. If videos are hosted on a free account, the Vimeo controller and Able Player controller are both shown.

VIDIZMO- A Comprehensive Solution! 

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VIDIZMO provides a higher accuracy* of closed captions as it uses AI technology to do so. But that's not just it!

VIDIZMO provides closed captioning in the most secure and compliant way, and these can be translated into multiple languages to reach diverse audiences. Let's suppose a following scenario: You want to share a confidential Spanish video to one of your American clients. How will you generate closed-captioning for that? And how will you share it ahead securely? Generating closed captions through free tools may not be the most secure option.

As compared to VIDIZMO, which offers an end-to-end encrypted solution for closed captioning. And that’s not just it! VIDIZMO also eliminates the need to use separate systems for video management, by providing one comprehensive solution for all end-to-end video needs.

 

VIDIZMO enables users to automatically generate closed captions for all sorts of live and on-demand videos, ingest recorded Zoom, MS Teams (or other) meetings and caption them, embed them ahead and do much more. Moreover, you can also integrate with your existing applications such as LMS, CMS, etc.

Click below to learn more about VIDIZMO or contact us for a demo!

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*Accuracy of closed captions may vary due to sound quality and speaker voice. 

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