Thursday, November 11, 2010

NatCapVidMo Day 11: Visual Illusions



So Universal Subtitles isn't just fun and games. The above video was shown in one of the classes I CARTed today. Yesterday the class's instructor picked out the video and informed the student, the disability office transcribed it, I got the transcript, and then I captioned it on my lunch hour so that the student could watch it in class. Usually when there's a video shown in class I'm not given any warning, so I have to CART it on the fly. It's not usually a big problem, except that day when the professor decided to show this video (warning: salty language) out of the blue, which is not the easiest thing to write, let me tell you. But even when I'm able to CART the video accurately, it can often be a frustrating situation for the student, because they're forced to constantly look back and forth between the video screen and the laptop's CART display, which not only gives them a crick in the neck but can also result in them missing some of the words, some of the video images, or both. Captions are of course ideal for this, but before Universal Subtitles it wasn't generally possible to get a captioned video up in time, especially since professors don't tend to choose the videos they show in class more than a day or two ahead of time. Now if I have even a little advance notice, I can transcribe the video (or have the disability department do it for me), caption it in minutes, and give the instructor the link to the Universal Subtitled version instead of the original one. Easy as anything!

Because I did this video on my lunch hour, have done a total of nine hours of CART today (seven in the Bronx and two in Manhattan, including a mad dash from the former to the latter via Metro North), and have to do 24 audio minutes of paid transcription work before going to bed tonight, this video is not as finely polished as some of my previous ones. For instance, there are a few captions with hanging/orphaned words, which I usually try to avoid. It would be great if Universal Subtitles offered a "line break" option within a single caption block, but I suppose that's not ultra high priority. Anyway, I hope you like it. I know my client was pretty happy with the results.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. I was searching for info on editing line breaks in Universal Subtitles. I really like US but would also love to be able to have control over where lines are broken.

    Do the university disability offices you're familiar with usually transcribe videos for you? What role do they play in your CART services?

    Sean

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  2. Actually, I've found that if you copy and paste across a line break -- I do it in Vim, but I presume it'll work in other programs as well -- and then paste that into a universal subtitles caption text box, it'll break the line as well. So you can just keep that invisible line break character in your clipboard and paste it in whenever you want to break the line. Let me know if it works for you. It's kind of an annoying workaround, but definitely better than nothing.

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  3. Oh, and this was the first and last time (so far) that the disability office transcribed a video for me. It's pretty unheard of in my line of work, though I understand that some universities place a higher priority on captioning videos used in class.

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