Welcome to CaptionSync by Automatic Sync Technologies; thank you for choosing us for your captioning and transcription. CaptionSync is a sophisticated system and offers many options and settings. This article provides an overview of our services.
What Services are available?
The core service offered by CaptionSync is to accept media files and return caption and subtitle files. Users can provide their own transcripts, or have CaptionSync generate the transcripts using our professional transcribers. Most CaptionSync accounts are set up by default to provide caption/subtitle files.
CaptionSync can also provide Transcription Only services (no caption files), or Production Transcripts (transcripts that have sparse time-stamps to aid in production editing). If you want either Transcription Only or Production Transcripts, and did not choose these at sign-up time, you can add them at any time via Settings -> Account Features (see How to Enable Account Features).
CaptionSync also offers Translation Captions – caption files in other languages can be created from your existing caption files. We can do the translation or you can provide your own translated transcript. Detailed information is available in the Translation section of our Help Center.
Finally, CaptionSync offers many other supplementary services related to captioning and transcription. In the Supplementary services price sheet, on the help page, in your CaptionSync account, you'll find a list of supplementary services we make available. If you have a need for a service not listed there, please open a Support ticket, so that we can advise you further.
To check pricing for the services you want to request, open the help page, in your CaptionSync account. In the Main price sheet you'll find pricing for the main services (Captioning, Transcription and Production Transcript). In the Supplementary services price sheet you'll find pricing for supplementary services, like Result Review, Video Encoding, Translation or Cinema Certified Result Review.
Prepaid accounts: You'll need to purchase credits before using your CaptionSync account. Click Buy more, upon login (upper-right corner); or open the Billing tab. You will see the total credits available, and a detailed list of how many credits each service requires. You can then either purchase credits for a specific service or services; or purchase credits for additional services for existing submissions; or just purchase a certain amount of credits. If you purchase credits for services, you can then select the priority required, and/or add-on services. Finally, you just need to generate the invoice and pay it. The credits will then be added to the credit balance once it is paid.
Note that there is a transaction minimum; any remaining unused credits must be used in the following 4 years (credits purchased prior to April 1, 2019 are valid for 5 years). Also note that for one week following a transaction, you can add more funds in any amount.
Learn more about billing information in the Billing FAQ article.
Postpaid accounts: You will receive an invoice at the end of each month. If you have no activity during the month, no invoice will be issued. Invoices are normally issued immediately after the end of the month, but if you have requests in progress at that time, your invoice will be held until your requests clear our system.
If your account is configured to accept Purchase Orders, then you will receive a separate invoice for each unique Purchase Order number entered during the month. Purchase Order accounts must have at least one valid Purchase Order enrolled before being able to submit media. Learn more about billing information in the Billing FAQ article.
You can either provide your own transcript with your media file, or you can have our professional transcribers create the transcript for you.
If you choose to provide your own transcript, ensure you follow our formatting guidelines. Complete documentation on transcription formatting and markers is available in our Transcription Guidelines article. More information about our formatting guidelines is available in our Sync Marker Summary, Caption Results Not in Sync and Getting Sync Markers to Work articles.
If you are having us perform the transcription, we recommend using our Guidance for Transcriber feature to help the transcriber produce an accurate transcript. By informing transcribers of correct spelling of names and special terms, this will help minimize transcription errors. If you wish to set your Commonwealth English spelling preference, you can use our Regional Spelling Preference feature.
Note that if you need to have the speakers identified, you need to make that request via Guidance, when making your submission.
CaptionSync can produce transcripts, caption/subtitle files, and Production Transcripts for English, Spanish, French or German content. New languages will be made available as demand warrants; if you need other languages, let us know.
Our policy regarding musical content is to refer to it using [ Music ] or [ Singing ]. If your audio content contains songs which you want to have transcribed, please read our transcribing/captioning lyrics article for more information.
How to submit your content:
Content is normally submitted by logging into your CaptionSync account and uploading your video/audio file at the Submit page; however, we have several other options available:
- AST-Link: a simple application for batch uploading large numbers of files (also useful for sending very large files). More information in our tutorials for AST-Link on Windows, and AST-Link on Mac.
- List of URLs: CaptionSync can accept a list of URLs and then fetch your video(s) from those URLs. In our Using List of URLs article, we provide step by step instructions on how to submit your media files.
- Workflow Integrations: CaptionSync has been integrated with several lecture capture systems (including Tegrity, Mediasite, Echo360, D2L, Ensemble, and Panopto) and video hosting systems (such as Brightcove and Kaltura) to enable you to choose captioning right from those applications. For a complete list of our integration partners, see the Integration Workflows section in our Help Center.
- DVD/MP4 Transfer: mail-in DVDs or VHS tapes to convert to captioned DVDs or MP4s. Our DVD/MP4 Transfer Service tutorial provides more information on how to use this service.
- Custom Integration: CaptionSync offers a simple API that allows direct integration with our system.
If you are interested in using these features, most can be added via Settings -> Account Features. Learn how to enable your account for these features from our How to Enable Additional Account Features article. For more information on other features and custom integrations, open a Support ticket.
When do I get my Results back?
CaptionSync is very fast; as soon as your results are ready, they will be emailed to you (this can be disabled via Settings -> Contact Settings, if you do not want the emails) and they will be available for download on your account.
- If you submit your own transcript, results will typically be available in less than 15 minutes.
- If you are using AST’s professional transcribers to create the transcript, results will typically be returned based on the turnaround requested, e.g. 2 Business Days, 1 Business Day, etc.
A couple things to note:
- Weekends and a small set of holidays are not counted as business days. Holidays will be announced in advance via a news item.
- Please note that poor quality audio, strong accents or overlapping dialog can be difficult to transcribe and may take extra time.
- If you choose to use our Result Review service, or if your request is routed to Result Review for any reason, this service will typically take an additional 24 hours to deliver.
- Video Encoding post-processing services typically take an additional 20 minutes to 2 hours to be delivered, after the closed caption files are generated.
A word about accuracy and errors:
AST uses trained, professional transcribers to generate our transcripts, which allows us to offer the highest transcription quality possible. Transcribers do make occasional errors, but in general, you should find that their error rate is well below 1%. Please be aware that error rate does vary with audio quality; if you submit poor audio, you should expect higher error rates. To minimize error rates, provide the best audio quality that you can, and make use of our Guidance to Transcriber field to provide special terminology and proper names.
If our transcribers feel that they are simply unable to provide a quality transcript for your material due to poor audio quality, you will receive a notice that the submission is being rejected. There are no fees charged for a rejected submission. Poor audio is the most common culprit behind rejected requests. If you get a video that has been rejected double check the audio quality. Look into better ways to record the audio – clip-on microphones are inexpensive and are great at picking up the speaker.
If you notice minor typos in your file, incorrect terminology, incorrect speakers' names, or if you realize you need a file format that you didn’t request initially, you can use our Redo feature to make minor adjustments to a request and regenerate the caption files. There is no additional cost when you use the redo feature; it is available for 6 months after the original submission was placed. Learn more about this feature in our tutorial on how to use the Redo feature.
If you have poor audio and it is causing problems, or if you are submitting your own transcripts and are unsure of the correct format, you may want to consider our Result Review service to have AST review the results and ensure the transcripts are correctly formatted and the captions are in sync. More information on Result Review can be found in our website and also in our Support Center.
You can also try to improve your recording circumstances to ensure you submit better quality audio and then get the best possible results.
Some additional Information:
- Mouseovers: Mouseovers are used throughout our site. You just need to put your cursor over the text, and descriptions will pop-up to help explain what they mean.
- Support Center: If you need help, click the Help link in your CaptionSync account (upper right), then choose the CaptionSync Support Center link. During regular business hours Mon – Fri you should have a response in about 2 hours.
- Submission Results: To check the status of a submission, or download results, go to Caption/Transcribe -> Status of Submissions, then choose the AST ID of interest. More information about downloading different types of results (Translation, Audio Description, Video Encoding, etc) is available in our Result files article.