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Add Captions in Video on Demand

How to add machine generated captions using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) in Video on Demand.  This method can generate captions in 10-20 minutes, but may require an hour or longer depending on the length of the video and the service load.

This article applies to: Video on Demand

Accessibility Requirements

Beginning in April 2018, Video on Demand will automatically add captions to all newly-uploaded videos using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). After this initial change, ASR captions will also be added to all previously-uploaded videos (which do not already have captions).

These instructions can still be used in the event that you have accidentally deleted your captions, or to add captions to previously-uploaded videos in the interval prior to these being added automatically.

Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) captions are rated at 70-80% accuracy. This varies depending on the audio quality of the recording, the clarity of the speaker(s), and the amount of technical terminology used.  Given these variables, ASR captions will not, by themselves, meet the accessibility standards Cornell seeks to achieve.

Video owners are responsible for editing the ASR captions to meet the WCAG AA accessibility requirement for caption accuracy.  If you need help, human captioning is available for a fee. (You will only be charged what the vendor is charging CIT). Please contact the IT Service Desk.

Recommended Method

  1. Log in to Video On Demand.
  2. Select My Media.
  3. Select the video title or thumbnail.

    My Media page with video thumbnail and video title highlighted
  4. From the video’s page, go to the Actions drop-down menu to the bottom right of the video.
  5. Select Order Captions from the drop-down list.
    Actions drop down menu with Order Captions highlighted
  6. Select the Source Media Language for your video.
  7. Select Order Captions. The speed of the machine ASR captioning depends primarily on the current load being experienced by the captioning service.  During periods of light load, machine captioning, even for videos of an hour or two, usually requires no more than 10 to 20 minutes to complete.  During periods of high load on the captioning service, it may take several hours for captions to be completed.
    Source Media Language set to English and Order Captions highlighted
  8. On the confirmation screen, select OK.
    Confirmation message states "Your caption request has been received.  Captions will be automatically uploaded to your video upon completion."  OK button is selected.
  9. Once completed, captions will automatically be added to the video.  Refresh the page with the video (after captions have completed) to see the captions. The machine ASR system will also auto-populate the video with AI-generated tags based on the caption content.  Users can edit these tags as normal.  Select the Edit button for the video to go to the Edit page to remove tags you don’t want.

Video Tags with Edit button selected

Once you have added captions to your video, you must edit your captions to meet accessibility requirements.

Shortcut Method

  1. Open your My Media page.
  2. Select the Edit button next to the item.
  3. Under Tags type captionasr.
  4. Select captionasr from the results.
    Picture of Tags field with captionasr entered and captionasr selected
  5. Select Save.
There is no additional confirmation using the shortcut method.  You will not see a caption request listed if you choose View Caption Requests under the Actions menu for your media.
Once you have added captions to your video, you must edit your captions to meet accessibility requirements.

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