CaptionSync supports Audio Description, a tool for the blind and visually impaired. Our Extended Audio Description is used with media players that automatically pause the video, when a description needs to be read, like our CaptionSync Smart Player. When it's not possible to use such a player, our Open Audio Description feature provides an alternative, by creating a new video, with an expanded timeline, so that the descriptions can be read. This results in a video which can be played in virtually any media player. In this tutorial, we show how to request Open Audio Description for your videos.
Open Audio Description provides an alternate version of your media file, where the video's picture is paused when a description is read. This will extend the total duration of the media file. This new video is intended to be provided to the blind and visually impaired audience; captions for this timeline are also provided. See our open-described video sample, for an illustration of the end result.
If you are interested in employing this feature, please make sure Audio Description is enabled on your account (under Settings -> Account Features). If you've just enabled Audio Description, log out and back into your account, once you've received the confirmation email.
Requesting Open Audio Description:
Open Audio Description is an add-on to an existing Captioning/Audio Description request, and can be ordered in a number of different ways:
(a) Place a New Captioning, Audio Description, and Open Audio Description request:
- Place your Transcription and/or Captioning submission, under Caption/Transcribe -> New Captioning Submission, or, under Caption/Transcribe -> New List of URLs for Captioning. On the submission form, there will be a step that allows you to request Audio Description. Check the box that says Add Audio Description:
- Once you check that box, a new section will be displayed. Check the Generate Open Audio Description Video File box (this option is currently not available on the List of URLs form, but we will add it soon). You can also add guidance for the describer. Complete all the remaining steps in the form and submit the request.
You can monitor the status of the Captioning submission under Caption/Transcribe -> Status of Submissions, and the status of the Audio Description request under Describe -> Status of Audio Descriptions.
(b) Ordering Audio Description and Open Audio Description for existing Captioning submissions:
You can order Audio Description, plus Open Audio Description, for existing Captioning submissions placed in the last 45 days, for example, for those placed via AST-Link or a 3rd-party integration. You can do this in two ways:
- Go to Caption/Transcribe -> Status of Submissions. Open the Details page of the submission you want to add Audio Description and Open Audio Description to. Click Request Audio Description. On the next screen, check the Generate Open Audio Description Video File box. Fill out the remainder of the form (if applicable) and finally click Request Audio Description:
- If you want to do a bulk request for multiple Captioning submissions, go to Describe -> New Audio Description. Check the Describe box for all the submissions you want to add Audio Description and Open Audio Description to. Click Request Audio Descriptions. On the next screen, check the Generate Open Audio Description Video File box. Fill out the remainder of the form (if applicable) and finally click Request Audio Description.
You can monitor the status of the Audio Description request under Describe -> Status of Audio Descriptions.
(c) Ordering Open Audio Description for a successful Audio Description request:
You can order Open Audio Description for successful Audio Description requests, as long as the source Captioning submission was placed in the last 45 days:
- Go to Describe -> Status of Audio Descriptions. Open the Details page of the request you want to add Open Audio Description to. Next to 'Open Audio Description', click Generate Open Audio Description. On the next screen, confirm the request by clicking Yes, generate open audio description:
You can monitor the status of the Open Audio Description order under Describe -> Status of Audio Descriptions.
Retrieving the Open Audio Description results:
The Open Audio Description results are typically generated within a couple of hours after the request, as this step requires re-encoding your original media file and creating a new video, with a new audio track. You will be emailed when this completes and the new video file will be available for download from within the Details page of the original Audio Description request, under Describe -> Status of Audio Descriptions. The new video is called Filename.od.mp4 (or .od.mov for example, depending on your media type). Additionally there are Filename.od.mp3 and Filename.od.srt, which are the audio track and captions, respectively:
- Open Audio Description results are only kept for 90 days. Ensure you download the video within this time frame.
- This service requires a .mov, .mp4, .f4v, or .m4v as input file (for the Captioning request).
- If you need to redo an Audio Description request, so that you can get a newly open-described video, the Redo needs to happen within 45 days of the original Captioning submission.
- There are circumstances under which we may not be able to generate the open-described video for you (for example, if your original video is in the wrong format or if it uses a codec unknown to our system); in such cases you will receive an email notifying you of this and no charges will be levied.
- Open Audio Description is not supported for YouTube or Vimeo videos submitted via List of URLs, because sometimes these platforms do not provide us with the video in its original format. Submitting your video via Dropbox instead is a good workaround for this issue.
- For more information on our Audio Description feature, check out our How to Request Audio Description tutorial.