CaptionSync results can be affected if you submit audio that is difficult to discern. This article explains why and when a Difficult Audio option is presented, how the Difficult Audio process is handled, and how it can be avoided altogether.
Why are Submissions flagged as Difficult Audio?
The biggest factor affecting the quality of your captioning results is the clarity of the audio content. We make every effort to transcribe all of your submissions, but with poor audio clarity, transcription will take longer and require more resources. When CaptionSync receives a submission for transcription, it is automatically assigned to an appropriate transcriber. We use only trained, professional transcribers, and they are generally able to handle a wide variety of subject matters and audio quality. If the transcriber is unable to provide a transcript that meets our quality standards with a reasonable effort, the submission is rejected. Our transcription manager will then try multiple transcribers to see if a transcript can be generated. The Difficult Audio option will only be presented if this process fails. AST maintains a pool of transcribers who are capable of transcribing more difficult recordings, but doing so takes considerably more time and cost. If your submission is flagged as difficult, and you approve the additional costs of routing to this specialty pool, we will re-attempt to get your submission transcribed with those resources.
The best approach to Difficult Audio is taking measures to avoid the problem in the first place. If our professional transcribers are struggling to discern the words within the audio content, even with specialized transcription tools, it is more likely that your audience is having an even harder time. Please check out our Improving Audio Quality article for guidance on how to improve your recordings and avoid difficult audio assessments.
If your Submission is flagged as Difficult Audio:
By default, you will be emailed if a submission has been flagged as difficult audio and moved into the state of Await Accept Difficult Audio Charge. You then will either need to accept the Difficult Audio Surcharge in order for transcription to begin; or, cancel the submission, from within the Submission Details page:
Automatically Accept Difficult Audio Surcharges
If you prefer to have the Difficult Audio Surcharge accepted automatically for all future submissions flagged by our transcription management team as difficult audio, go to Settings -> Difficult Audio, check the Automatically Accept Difficult Audio Surcharges box, and save these settings:
You can also select this setting at submission time, from within the Advanced Settings. Note that if you save it as default in the Advanced Settings, the Difficult Audio Surcharge will be accepted automatically for all future submissions flagged by our transcription management team as difficult audio:
If no action is taken on a submission where the Difficult Audio Surcharge was requested (Await Accept Difficult Audio Charge status), within 7 days, the order will be automatically cancelled. In this case, no results will be generated and no charges will be billed.
Difficult Audio Notifications:
You can configure your preferences for Difficult Audio email notifications under Settings -> Contact Settings, in the Difficult Audio section:
Difficult Audio billable information:
Any submission where a Difficult Audio Surcharge was applied will show the billing code Z, under Billing -> Billable Submissions, and appear on all reports and invoices:
- A Difficult Audio assessment is used very sparingly; our transcribers are able to handle most of the audio we receive without having to categorize it as a "Difficult Audio." This is just a tool to help us address those very challenging requests that will take a great deal of extra time to obtain a transcript.
- If our transcribers cannot make out the audio without special efforts, then your viewers are undoubtedly having similar problems; we would not expect to see difficult audio for studio-produced material -- this is more likely to occur in situations where you cannot control the recording conditions.
- The costs of a Difficult Audio Surcharge are available on the Main price sheet, in your account.
- A Difficult Audio Surcharge assessment results in a notice back to the user that such an assessment has been made -- you always have the ability to accept or decline it. If the assessment is declined, the submission is rejected and there are no charges for it.