Closed Captioning online videos is easy with the CaptionSync Smart Player. This tool displays captions for online media in a hassle-free manner, including videos that you do not own. It provides a number of enhancements over regular players, and is packed with a range of powerful features, including:
- Keyboard-accessible playback controls for WCAG 2 Level AA compliance (Play/Pause, Rewind, Progress Bar, Mute/Unmute, CC On/Off, AD On/Off) with full keyboard control, high-contrast, and aria-labelled for screen reader compatibility.
- Playback speed controls for MP4 videos.
- Flexibility to position captions either below the video or overlaid on lower third of the video.
- The CaptionSync users can also edit their results on the CaptionSync Caption Editor and have captions aligned to the left or right side of the screen (rather than centered).
- Administrators who distribute or embed Smart Player videos can use URL parameters to control whether captions are on or off when first loading the video, and whether audio description is on or off.
- Preferences dialog box to set and save personal preferences, like position of transcript and captions.
- WebVTT captions (for links generated after March 2017) for better compatibility with mobile devices.
- An interactive transcript that allows viewers to see the entire text transcript and immediately jump to any point in the captions by clicking on that point in the transcript. Likewise, if viewers click on a point on the video timeline, the transcript will immediately synchronize to that point in the video.
- A text search feature.
- Dictionary lookup.
- Wikipedia lookup.
- Automatic SEO using the caption data.
- Clip and share.
- Ability to embed player in your own website.
- Support for both HTTP and HTTPS URLs.
- Support for Audio Description results -- a verbal description track of relevant visual elements that appear in the video and are essential for comprehension, but are not communicated through the video’s existing audio. The Audio Description will be displayed in the interactive transcript pane, along with the verbatim transcription of the audio.
Making the Captioning request:
There are several important notes you should read, before placing your request:
- The Smart Player is only available for existing Captioning requests. The Smart Player feature is made available by default for requests placed using our List of URLs feature. For requests submitted via direct upload or via integration, you'll need to supply a URL to the media file, and then manually generate the Smart Player instance.
- The Smart Player feature only works if the owner of the video allows embedding and playback as embedded. If you are submitting YouTube or Vimeo videos, ensure you check the Embedding settings, before placing your request! Detailed notes are available for YouTube URLs and for Vimeo URLs.
- There are several configuration options available that you should check before placing your request.
- The Smart Player is available for the URLs listed below. Please check the article that matches your URL in the list below, to see how to properly format and submit it, before placing your request:
- Dropbox (only files in the .mp4, .m4v, .f4v, or .mp3 formats)
- Direct URLs to .mp4, .m4v, .f4v, or .mp3 media files: http://www.domain.com/path/video_filename.mp4
Note: If you're having trouble finding a direct link to your media file, check out these tips.
- Videos submitted via the following integrations: YouTube, Box, Google Drive, Echo360 ALP, Legacy Brightcove, Brightcove Video Cloud, Kaltura, Kaltura MediaSpace, Warpwire, 3C Media and D2L Capture.
- With the exception of media files located on Box or Google Drive, the videos need to be published and publicly available.
- The Smart Player is only available for Google Drive integration requests placed for media files smaller than 100 MB. If your media files are larger than 100 MB, check out alternative options.
- For the Echo360 ALP integration, only an audio version of the media file will be available in the Smart Player.
- If you want to use the Smart Player with Warpwire, please open a ticket.
- The Smart Player will only be available for Audio Description requests placed for List of URLs captioning submissions, for the URLs listed above, except for Vimeo, and Echo360 ALP integration requests. For Dropbox and direct URLs, users need to supply us with a video in the .mp4, .m4v or .f4v format.
Generating the Smart Player link:
- Once captioning is complete, go to Caption/Transcribe -> Status of Lists, and open the List Details page for your request. You'll see a new Smart Player URL column. Click Generate:
- NOTE: If you requested Audio Description for your submission, both captioning and audio description results need to be completed for the Generate link to appear.
- Then click Launch to open the Smart Player page for each individual request:
- Alternatively, you can click the AST ID for each submission, and on the Details page, click Generate Smart Player URL. The page will refresh with a URL to the Smart Player:
- Once you open the Smart Player URL in your browser, your media file, an interactive transcript and several other features will be available:
Using the CaptionSync Smart Player:
- The On tap/click menu allows you to determine what happens when you click on a string on the transcript. You can jump into that point on the captions (the matching caption will play immediately); or, you can get dictionary or Wikipedia definitions of words/phrases:
- The player also offers a Search tool, which allows you to search the text of the media. If you type in a word or phrase that you want to find, the player will instantly show all instances of the search phrase, and if you click on any one of them the player will bring you immediately to that segment in the recording:
- Under the video pane, you'll find the player controls and other features:
- Play, Rewind, Full screen, and Sound controls.
- CC control: toggle captions on and off.
- AD control: toggle audio description on and off.
- Speed controls (for MP4 videos only): you can increase or decrease the playback speed from 0.5x to 2x.
- User Preferences: click it to hide the interactive transcript pane, or change its position (Right or Below the video); and to change the position of the captions (Overlay or Below the video).
- Help: click it to see more information about the Smart Player, including a list of keyboard shortcuts.
- Embed: click it to create a link to embed the player in a webpage.
- Clip & Share: click it to generate a link to share part of the video with others.
See an example of the CaptionSync Smart Player playing.
The Smart Player will display Audio Description results in the interactive transcript pane, along with the verbatim transcription of the audio. See an example of a CaptionSync Smart Player with Audio Description available playing.
Smart Player Appearance:
Check out our article describing the several options available to configure the appearance of the Smart Player, either embedded or as a standalone page.
Embedding the Smart Player:
- Click Embed to generate the embed code. Copy/Paste the embed code into any LMS or Video Hosting platform.
- The CaptionSync Smart Player supports both HTTP and HTTPS URLs. By default the Embed option will generate a HTTP URL; add an S to HTTPS in the URL, if you wish to embed the player securely. For example, if the Smart Player URL that is generated starts with http://smartplayer.automaticsync.com..., change it to https://smartplayer.automaticsync.com..., refresh your screen, and then click Embed to get a secure embed code.
Generating and Receiving the Smart Player links automatically:
- You can choose to have the Smart Player links generated automatically, by configuring the Automatically Generate Smart Player Links options, under Settings -> Smart Player:
- If you want to receive the Smart Player links via email, once results are available, ensure you do the following: go to Settings -> Contact Settings -> List of URLs/List Integration, check the Smart Player Links Auto-Generated box, and finally click Update Contact Settings:
Editing the Source URL or the title for an existing Smart Player instance:
If you have a Smart Player instance that no longer works because the original location of the media changed, you can edit the source URL in our system, so that you can play the media file from its new location, along with the existing results. Note that, if the media file was edited, the existing results in our system may no longer match the new content. Also note that, the new URL must be in a format we accept.
To edit the source URL or the title for an existing Smart Player instance, open the Captioning Details page of the request, and click Edit Smart Player:
Once you've made all the changes, click Update Smart Player:
- With some recent modifications YouTube made to their APIs, the Smart Player for YouTube videos throws an error (Y.getVideoData is not a function), when the user tries to play the video. The workaround it to click the video pane and the video will play. More information in our article Error displaying YouTube videos on the Smart Player.
- If you wish to hide the title of the video being embedded, add &hidetitle to the end of the URL. E.g.: https://smartplayer.captionsync.com/play.php?vid=1449610060yourID_17afc3e607fe&hidetitle
- You can set the default for closed captions with the &showcc=t parameter (to turn them on by default) or &showcc=f (to turn them off by default). You can set the default for audio description with &showad=t (to turn them on by default) or &showad=f (to turn them off by default).
- For other appearance options, check out our article on how to configure the appearance of the Smart Player, either embedded or as a standalone page.
- The CaptionSync Smart Player is accessing the video via the URL you provided; if this URL is changed or removed, then the Smart Player link will no longer work.
- When you generate a SmartPlayer link, it will remain functional for five years.
- Our Smart Player is made available to CaptionSync users at no cost. We endeavor to keep the Smart Player up to date, but changes to browsers and video platforms are frequent and usually unannounced, so we are unable to guarantee that all features of the player will work on all combinations of browsers and video types. If you find something not working as expected, please let us know so we can get it repaired.
- The CaptionSync Smart Player is an optional feature that should only be used with material that can be posted publicly; if you choose to use the Smart Player, please understand that it necessarily makes your content and captions available on an anonymous URL (the URL is unlisted but accessible to anyone who has the link). The video and caption data will be exposed once you share this link. Please keep this in mind if you are using the Smart Player with sensitive or confidential material.