The American Disabilities Act requires creators to embed closed captioning in their content. Such gave rise to the development of closed captioning software, which is a program that makes videos more accessible to people with hearing impairments.
Considered an essential tool by many editors, a closed caption software helps create content that captivates a broader range of audiences. It also helps improve watch time, since most people prefer streaming videos with good captions.
More than just making your content more accessible and understandable, closed captioning software can also help your web presence. Search engines can only crawl through text. As such, your video’s captions can help thrust your content (your website even) to the top of the search engine results.
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If you are looking to create closed captions that can help improve your customers’ experience, then make sure to try any of these 11 trusted programs:
1. 3Play Media
3Play is a company that promises to create “captions that make you look good.” This full-service video accessibility program is a one-stop-shop trusted by over 5,000 companies.
The company offers a pay-as-you-go Express plan, which is best for people with occasional projects. For bigger projects, however, 3Play recommends the Enterprise plan. Apart from captioning services, this also comes with SEO tools, interactive plugins, and other professional services.
To use 3Play, you first need to create an account. Afterward, you can upload a video from your computer – or through a link. You can then choose your preferred turnaround time. The norm is 4 business days, but there are options for 1 to 2 business days.
3Play then processes your videos, undergoing 2 quality assurance rounds along the way. Once the captioning is finished, you can download the finished product in any of the 50 available formats.
More than just captioning and transcription services, 3Play also offers translations and audio description programs.
- 2 rounds of quality assurance checks
- 99% Accurate captions
- Easy to use
- Expensive: costs $3 per minute
- ‘Slower’ turnaround time (normally 4 days) compared to other programs
Rev is a program that lives by the motto “closed captions made simple.” True enough, this system is very easy to use. All you need to do is upload your video through your computer, a public URL, or a Youtube/Vimeo link.
Afterward, you just need to sit back, relax, and let Rev do the professional captioning. They will mail you the finished product within 24 hours of your submission, guaranteed. It can even be faster, as the average turnaround time for a video less than 5 minutes is 2 hours. It is 4 hours for a 5 to 10-minute video, and 8 hours for a 10 to 30-minute file.
If you’re not happy with the results (though it’s impossible), you can edit the captions to your heart’s content. You can also share your account with others, should they wish to make any modifications to the captioning.
What’s great about Rev is that it can handle even the most difficult of projects. Even if the audio is garbled, has multiple speakers, and is spoken in a foreign language, Rev can do the captioning with relative ease.
- Speedy turnaround time: within 24 hours for videos less than 30 minutes in length
- No added cost for difficult audio files
- 99% caption accuracy
- Pricey, but not as expensive as the others. Service typically costs $1.25 per minute
New-York based company CaptioningStar aims to deliver “accurate captions that will transform your videos.” The company offers several types of captioning services, including embedded captioning, closed captioning, live/real-time captioning, emergency live captioning, open captioning, and broadcast captioning.
To use CaptioningStar, all you just need to do is upload the file that you would like captioned. This will then be analyzed by the CaptioningStar team professionals. Once the service is done, you can download your captions in any style you wish.
Transcription services cost $1 per minute while captioning costs $2. Combined CaptioningStar services, on the other hand, start at $2.75 per minute. It doesn’t levy additional fees for difficult audio, even if you want it done immediately.
- No minimum volume required
- Bulk volume discounts.
- 24/7 services. CaptioningStar’s daily work hours are 12 am to 11:59 everyday
- Turnaround time of fewer than 24 hours
- You can earn huge CaptioningStar discounts by referring your family or friends
- Captioning and transcription services cost $2.75 per minute, which is more expensive than some programs
More than just offering captioning and translation services, Dotsub promises to deliver readable text in any language. It makes use of the VTMS platform, which is a cloud-based, end-to-end project management system. This unique system helps the program achieve excellent captioning and translation services.
Dotsub also has a VTMS API, which can be integrated with most video platforms.
What’s great about Dotsub is that it makes use of professional linguists, who are more than qualified to create accurate captions for your project. At the same time, it makes use of automation processes that help save time and precious resources.
Dotsub prices depend on the language for captioning. Services for English captions start at $3.30 per minute, while foreign language captions cost as much as $5.50 per minute. These prices are available through any of its 3 plans, namely Basic, Pro, and Enterprise.
- Fast turnaround time
- Human quality results
- Unlimited video time limits for Pro and Enterprise plan users
- Costs $3.30 per minute for English transcription and $5.50 per minute for foreign audio
Vitac offers professional captions made especially by captioning professionals. Its services entail live captioning for programs such as YouTube live, Zoom, LiveStream, Adobe Connect, and Skype for Business. Vitac does this through video via IP, seamless switching, multiple connections, and extensive research.
Vitac also offers integrations for offline captioning, such as that of Facebook, Twitter, or Broadnet. Its services, which include roll-up, pop-on, and pop-center, all meet the FCC offline captioning requirements.
Vitac is the largest captioning company in the US. It has offered its exceptional services to many companies, including Fox, Bravo, CNBC, CNN, and BBC America, to name a few.
Unfortunately, Vitac does not offer its pricing scheme online. According to the website, the cost will depend on several factors, including the length of the video, the volume of work, the required turnaround time, and the caption style, to name a few.
- Live captioning made by trained professionals who average 300 words per minute
- Captioning that supports any language
- 24/7 customer assistance
- No specific pricing scheme
Aberdeen Broadcast Services offers various language services, one of which is captioning. It is one of the most trusted companies in the industry, having delivered 8,901 hours of captioning in the year 2019 alone.
Aberdeen specializes in live captioning, which works well for corporate events, webinars, and church services, to name a few. The captions are delivered by a remote professional, who encodes in steno. This is then translated into text, which is then formatted into readable captions.
Aberdeen also offers post captioning for videos that have already been recorded beforehand. This is done by a trained writer who transcribes the program’s content. This is then checked by an editor, who feeds the content to a captioning software.
Through its AberFast digital file delivery service, the company can send the captioned videos directly to the broadcasting company.
- 100% accuracy, at least for post captioning
- FCC compliant captioning services
- Comes with an AberFast digital file delivery service, which is fast and free
- Markedly slower turnaround time of 3-5 business days for post captioning services
Archive Captioning is a program that aims to ‘connect people and information every day.’ It offers a variety of captioning services, one of which is broadcast or real-time captioning. This entails the help of a trained captioner, who uses a stenograph machine to translate the spoken words. The captions are then broadcasted for the viewers.
Archive Captioning also deals with post-production captioning, which makes content accessible to hearing-impaired viewers or foreign language speakers. It only makes use of US-based professionals to ensure impeccable accuracy.
What’s great about Archive Captioning is that it ensures the security of its captioned outputs. The company makes use of IP address white-listing, domain name restrictions, Google credential log-ins, and password-protected accounts.
Archive Captioning customers include Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Auburn University, and Penn State University, to name a few.
- Uses US-based professionals for accurate captioning
- Secure captioning services
- Additional fee for other caption formats (SRT, YouTube)
CaptionAccess is a program that promises to “make your meetings, classes, webinars, and videos accessible today.”
What’s great about CaptionAccess is that it understands what the viewers want. After all, the company is owned by run by individuals who have hearing problems. The founder, Bill Graham, uses his own services for his daily activities.
The company delivers various services, one of which is media captioning. This is made possible by CaptionAccess’ trained editors who deliver accurate transcriptions. Depending on the length of the content, the turnaround time can range from 1 to 4 days.
It also makes use of Communication Access Realtime Translation or CART, which helps translate spoken words into understandable text for your phone or laptop. This is especially useful for webinars, online classes, lectures, and other events.
- Made by the hearing impaired for the hearing impaired
- Accurate captioning produced by expert professionals
- Turnaround time can be as long as 4 business days
20/20 Captioning is a Kansas-based company that specializes in several captioning services. One is live captioning, which works best for conferences, webinars, live broadcasts, and live streams.
Another 20/20 Captioning service is that of foreign language captioning. It offers live, real-time captioning for Spanish, Italian, and French content. It also has a machine translation service for 80 more languages. This is 90% accurate, which makes it a good option for social media posts.
20/20 Captioning also delivers a one-of-a-kind program named 1CapApp. It is specially created for the hearing or sight-impaired who wish to enjoy an interactive experience. With this platform, the captioned text can be easily integrated with most programs. It works in most gadgets, including the iPhone, iPad, Android tablets, and Kindle.
- Free demo available for interested users
- 1 CapApp program available for mobile devices
- Machine translation for most foreign languages is only 90% accurate
If you always use YouTube for your videos, then you might as well take advantage of its closed captioning feature. Upon uploading your video, you can head straight to the Creator Studio. All you need to do is choose the captioning option to get started.
A good way to create your captions is to choose the “Transcribe and Auto-Sync” feature. It makes use of speech recognition to generate subtitles.
If you have a slow-paced video with clear enunciation, you will enjoy the auto-generated closed caption feature. While this is the easiest way to get captions, it’s not that accurate. If you want to have perfect caption content, then you need to check the text before uploading it.
- Easy to use
- Incorporated with the YouTube program itself
- Inaccurate auto-generated closed captions
If you want to get closed captioning for free, then you need to set your sights on Adobe Closed Captioning. This program allows you to showcase different types of captions, whether it’s word by word, line by line, or real-time.
The Adobe Closed Captioning program comes with several features, including a customized caption font size or color and rewind/fast-forward options. You can make use of captions in multiple languages that you can save and download easily.
If you like, you can also use the professional services delivered by either Caption First, Caption Colorado, StreamText, or WGBH.
Adobe Closed Captioning works well with Adobe Connect 8 or 9.
- Multiple captioning options
- Limited only to Adobe Connect
There are many closed captioning programs available in the market. What you choose will depend on your specifications, as well as your budget. Most products have varying prices, mostly billed per minute of transcription. Turnaround times, on the other hand, can vary according to the length of the video.
With that being said, you need to weigh each product’s pros and cons to come up with the best closed captioning software for your needs.