With the rise of virtual and hybrid events, you have the power to reach a global audience with your event's live stream content and create more inclusive experiences. This means that providing closed captions and translation likely sits near the top of your priority list. That's why we offer our own free Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations as well as 3rd-party integration to provide text and audio captions and translation.
This article explains how to use a 3rd-party human captioning or translation service with your Socio Streaming, Socio RTMP, or Socio Simulive stream. To learn all about the free machine translations and captions available with Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations, check this out.
Human caption, translation, and interpretation providers
Human captioning means that real people listen to your stream and then provide captions in real-time. Our official partners are SyncWords for closed captioning and translation, and Interprefy for audio interpretation. Other providers like Vitac and Caption Max have also worked well. The general process described here should apply to nearly any human caption provider. 👍
Before we take a closer look at our supported providers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Captioners generally provide one-to-many translation and interpretation, not many-to-many. This means that speakers in a single stream must speak the same language for captioning to work.
Human captions and translations work with Socio Simulive video.
You can only use one type of captions per Live Stream or session. This means you can provide either text captions or audio interpretation — not both.
Captions from 3rd-parties are only supported in the Web App, and aren't supported in the Mobile App. If you need Mobile App captions and translations, check out our free Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations solution.
SyncWords provides actual people who listen to your live stream and provide real-time closed captions in multiple languages. If you're streaming pre-recorded video as Simulive content, they'll translate that, too! Web App attendees can select their preferred language from the drop-down next to the Show/Hide Captions button below the live stream.
⭐️ Keep in mind, text captions don't appear when a stream is in fullscreen mode. Audio Captions do work in full screen.
Interprefy provides actual people who watch and listen to the stream and then simultaneously interpret the speech. Web App attendees can click the AUDIO CAPTIONS button below the live stream and select their preferred language.
If there's a different captioning or interpreting service you'd like to work with, make sure you verify compatibility with Socio. A great way to know if a provider is right for you is to simply arrange a test stream with your provider to make sure everything works smoothly. If you have any questions after testing with your provider, let us know via Live Chat or email.
Working with the provider
⚠️ We highly recommend reaching out to your caption provider at least 4 weeks before your event to ensure you have time to coordinate and test with them!
This article focuses on working directly with SyncWords and Interprefy to purchase and coordinate their services for your event, and the general steps also apply to most other providers.
First, gather the following information:
The start date of your event
The number of sessions for which you need captions
The language the presenter(s) will be speaking during the Stream
The language(s) captions should be translated into
The Web App URL for your event
Once you have this information, please fill out this form to start the process with SyncWords. Use this form for Interprefy. After submitting the form, someone will reach out within 1-2 business days.
If you're working with a different provider, contact them directly via their website and send them the information noted above.
After sending the initial information, you'll coordinate with the provider on pricing, availability, and scheduling.
As you work with the caption provider, you'll need to provide them with a way to access your live stream(s) so captioners can watch the stream and add captions in real time.
If you're using live captioning with Socio Streaming, provide a Speaker Link for each session you need captions for. This will make sure the captioner is hearing the stream with as little delay as possible. If you plan to go live multiple times in the same studio, make sure you communicate that with your captioner.
If you're using pre-recorded video to stream a Simulive session, or if you're using another streaming platform, create an attendee profile for each captioner so they can view and provide the captions for the live stream from the Web App.
⭐️ Keep in mind, we recommend that you make sure each captioner can log in to the event well before the event starts.
Send pre-recorded video (optional)
If you're using pre-recorded video for a hybrid or Simulive stream, it's a fantastic idea to provide video files and associated scripts to your captioner at least a week ahead of the stream. Since your captioner can prepare and review captions before the stream, this provides a highly accurate caption experience for your viewers.
Even though captions for Simulive content can be prepared in advance, you'll still need to set up an attendee profile for your captioner. They'll watch the stream in the Web App and make sure the prepared captions are in sync with the video at all times.
Add the Widget Code/URL
Any closed caption provider must give you a unique Widget Code for each stream that will have captions. Others, like Interprefy, will supply a URL. Once you have your Widget Codes/URLs, you're ready to enter them into your Socio event.
⚠️ Caution, when you paste in the Widget Code/URL, be very sure you're pasting in the correct code for each session or Live Stream. If you paste in the wrong code, captioners may be confused or unable to provide captions.
Edit each session or Live Stream feature that will include captions and click the Enable Closed Captions toggle to turn it on. This reveals the Closed Caption Provider drop-down. Select Syncwords, Interprefy, or Other if you're working with a different third-party provider. Now, paste in the Widget Code or URL for that stream into the field below and click Save Changes.
Now you're ready to go with Captions. Keep in touch with your captioner about any last minute schedule changes or delays. When the live stream starts, so will the captions! 👍
Captions in practice
If you're using visual closed captions, attendees will see a Show Captions button beneath the live stream. Once revealed, the captions can be hidden again, or users can select a language if the caption provider is supplying multiple language translations.
If you're using audio captions/translation, the button will say Audio Captions.
Attendees click the button to open the modal and select a language. Once they select a language, they'll start hearing the captions right away, and the modal can be closed.
⭐️ Keep in mind, attendees should mute the live stream audio so they don't hear two different audio tracks.
Now you know how to implement 3rd-party captions for your live streams! Don't have the budget for captions with every live stream? Webex Events Closed Captions & Translations from English into 33 languages are included with your Socio Streaming or Socio RTMP credit!
Pro Tips! 😎
Any information that you can provide to your caption provider early (e.g. names of speakers, topic descriptions, etc.) helps them to be better prepared.
Arrange a test stream with your caption provider to make sure everything works smoothly before your event starts or even before you contract their services!
With SyncWords, each session can only have 1 base language, meaning you can't have 1 speaker in English, and another speaker in Spanish.
SyncWords advertises support for English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French since those are the most commonly requested languages. However, they support many more. Reach out to your provider for more info on supported languages.
When a stream is over, you can download the recording and send it to SyncWords to have them merge the captions with the recording, so you can distribute it with the captions. If this service is critical to your event, verify with other providers to ensure they offer it before contracting their service.
SyncWords can provide you with a script of captions for a session. If this service is critical to your event, verify with other providers to make sure they offer it before contracting their service.
Presenters won't be able to see or hear captions unless they're watching the stream as an attendee.
Questions? Chat Us or Email firstname.lastname@example.org