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Syncing Up with Automatic Sync

March 2011 Volume 6
Automatic Sync offers broadcasters, educational institutions and government agencies a transcribing and captioning service for media. CaptionSync was funded by a US Department of Education grant to research and develop a cost-effective way to automate the process of making media accessible to comply with a variety of federal and state and local laws.

Cover Story

AST Offers Services under GSA Schedule 70

GSA Logo, contract number GS-35F-0220X

AST's CaptionSync effort was initially funded by a US Department of Education SBIR grant, so our history of working with the government dates back to our very beginning. So it is with special pleasure that we announce our captioning and transcription services are now available under a GSA Schedule 70 contract. Our GSA contract number is GS-35F-0220X and we can be found in the GSA Advantage catalog.

To qualify for GSA pricing, you must be eligible to purchase on a GSA schedule and you must have a GSA CaptionSync account. If you are obtaining a new CaptionSync account, use the GSA application form at www.automaticsync.com/caption/signup_gov.php to get a GSA CaptionSync account.

If you have an existing CaptionSync account and would like to convert it to a GSA CaptionSync account, please contact us to request that your existing account be converted.

Company News

AST Announces Spanish Language Captioning

Keyboard showing Spanish characters

AST is pleased to announce that Spanish language transcription, captioning and subtitling are now available through our CaptionSync service. For several years CaptionSync has provided an efficient and cost-effective captioning solution for English media and that same high level of service is now available to our clients with Spanish media files. Whether you are providing your own transcripts or need AST to produce the transcript for you, we can easily accommodate your Spanish media. CaptionSync now supports all of the special characters used in Spanish, and those characters will render correctly in all of the caption and subtitle output formats which support them.

AST se complace en anunciar que los servicios de transcripción, capción y subtitulación en español están ahora disponibles a través de CaptionSync. Durante varios años, CaptionSync ha proporcionado una solución eficiente y económica para la producción de capciones para medios en inglés. Ahora, este mismo servicio de alta calidad está disponible para nuestros clientes que tengan contenido en español. Sin importar si usted proporciona sus propios textos o necesita que AST se los produzca, podemos fácilmente trabajar con audio y video en español – con los símbolos en español fielmente reproducidos en todos los formatos de capción y subtítulos que respaldamos.

Customer Spotlight

TECH APPLICATION recommends AST for Homeland Security Webcasts

Tech Application is a technology consulting group that specializes in applying new technologies to organizations and businesses. Theo Mayer, Senior Technology Advisor for Tech Application has chosen AST as a provider for closed captioning for many TechApplication clients.

Department of Homeland Security Logo

One such client is the US Department of Homeland Security which uses webcasting to reach a large audience with its content in a very cost effective way. The Department's web channel hosts hundreds of hours of media. The site gets 40,000 unique visitors per month currently, and this number has grown every month since the site was launched in 2008. Since 2010, TechApplication has used AST to caption Homeland Security's public Webcasts so that they are accessible to all viewers as well as 508 compliant.

Theo Mayer says, "We are solidly ahead of the curve with regard to 508 compliance thanks to Automatic Sync Technologies. They are an affordable solution and I will continue to recommend their services to all government agencies who want to make their content accessible."

AST is proud to be a part of this important project.

 

NBC Learn Captions its Archives with CaptionSync

NBC Learn is the education arm of NBC News, making the video archives of NBC News available to teachers, students, schools and universities. The extensive video archive at NBC Learn will be a valuable asset for K-12 and Higher Ed institutions alike. Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) is proud to have been selected as the captioning provider for NBC Learn. AST’s CaptionSync service will be providing closed captioning for video appearing on the NBC Learn website.

NBC Learn Logo

The NBC Learn archive contains thousands of videos covering a broad range of topics. Making that content widely accessible was an essential component of the NBC Learn project. Michael Levin, Director, Sales Operations for NBC Learn says, “Making the valuable content in the NBC Learn archives as accessible as possible is very important to NBC, not just to meet compliance requirements, but also to make this content accessible to the broadest possible audience. AST's CaptionSync is a great solution for our needs -- allowing us to caption a vast amount of material very quickly and easily.”

In the past few months, NBC Learn has captioned thousands of video clips using CaptionSync. Check out the archive at www.nbclearn.com to see examples of AST’s captioning on the NBC Learn website.

Legislative News

ADA Title II Revisions may Impact State & Local Entities

In July, the Department of Justice started the process of revising the ADA's title II regulation to establish requirements for making the services, programs, or activities offered by State and Local governments to the public via the Web accessible. Such revisions have been necessary in recent years since communication via the Web use has increased significantly and since the decades old ADA no longer insures equal access to the information communicated. Having accepted public comment on the revision through January, the Department has until January 2012 to issue a Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM). Following more comments, a Final Rule will be published some time next year, and would go into effect 6 months after publication.

While this is clearly a lengthy process, anticipating change is important for State and Local governments. AST has many state, county, and local government clients and will be happy to work with you to figure out appropriate process and workflow for captioning your web media. Being prepared for these upcoming changes will help you stay ahead of compliance requirements, minimize the impact on your production schedules, and reduce costs.

In addition to supporting your captioning needs, AST will keep you informed of impending legislation & rule changes. See the federal register for more information.

Partnership News

ReelSurfer Partners with Automatic Sync

AST is pleased to announce a partnership with ReelSurfer. ReelSurfer helps take your captions beyond accessibility and use them to power video search for your website, improve your SEO, and allow viewers to clip and share video easily. ReelSurfer works with several leading providers of content within the education, online video and entertainment segments. ReelSurfer can be found at www.reelsurfer.com.

ReelSurfer Logo

AST's partnership with ReelSurfer facilitates the transcription and captioning of video assets from within ReelSurfer’s web-based video search platform. ReelSurfer is now fully integrated with AST’s CaptionSync service, allowing ReelSurfer users to caption videos with just a few mouse clicks. This new feature allows users to make their video content accessible and compliant with state and federal accessibility laws, as well as enable a powerful search capability for viewers.

The ReelSurfer platform also allows viewers to rapidly find and make clips from existing videos, making it a simple matter to find, create, and organize tailored content from your video archive.

“Captioning offers so many benefits beyond accessibility; this partnership offers many of our users a simple path to realize the powerful benefits of video search that captioning can enable,” said Brent Robertson, SVP of Marketing at Automatic Sync Technologies.

Neil Joglekar, Co-Founder of ReelSurfer adds, “Video captions are a key enabler for the search functionality that the ReelSurfer platform offers; this important addition to the ReelSurfer platform offers our users a simple and efficient workflow to get their videos captioned.”

Read more about using CaptionSync with ReelSurfer.

 

CaptionSync service for Brightcove Online Video Platform

Brightcove Logo

AST recently expanded its service offerings to streamline the captioning process for users of the Brightcove video platform. Brightcove is used by some of the world's most recognized organizations and brands to deliver video to audiences on a broad variety of devices, and it recently added improved support for captions. AST now supports Brightcove's preferred caption format and has also added features that will help Brightcove users automate their workflow processes when adding captions to videos. Watch for more features to support Brightcove soon.

 

CaptionSync Delivers Captions for Camtasia

Automatic Sync Technologies recently announced that CaptionSync delivers captions for TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio 7.1 and Camtasia for Mac. Camtasia users can easily add captions to their videos faster and more affordably than before, thereby enhancing accessibility and usability. Additionally the captions are completely searchable, empowering viewers to quickly find relevant points in the video. These caption files are available immediately at no additional cost to AST users.

Camtasia Logo

The new Camtasia coupled with our CaptionSync caption files makes captioning scalable for any institution or business. Furthermore, captioned content in Camtasia Studio 7.1 is now searchable, powered by the closed caption data.

Because it’s now so easy to import captions into Camtasia, users can not only make their video accessible to the deaf, hard of hearing, those with learning disabilities, and those with English as a second language, but they can also deliver video search to benefit all viewers, at no additional cost.

Watch our How-To Tutorial on using CaptionSync with Camtasia for full details. More information about Camtasia Studio 7.1 and Camtasia for Mac can be found at www.techsmith.com/camtasia.

Events

Upcoming Conferences

Tech Tidbits

AST Introduces New URL List Feature

Do you have a bunch of URLs you would like us to caption and/or transcribe, such as a list of YouTube videos, videos on your webserver or FTP site? Our new Submit a List of URLs feature can help you out! With this feature, we will download the media files for you, send them off for captioning and transcription (or transcription only) and email results back to you.

Screen shot of URL lists interface

A few things to keep in mind:

  • It works in a similar fashion to submitting a group of files via AST-Link, except we download the files for you.
  • You can add notes to the transcriber, but keep in mind that like AST-Link, they will be added to all the submissions.
  • You can choose to have results emailed either as they are completed or when the whole list is completed (this is the same as submitting as a batch with AST-Link).
  • Since this is automated, your URL needs to be to the media file itself -- not just to a page containing the media (e.g. http://www.somewebsite.com/fishing/video/lvideo.wmv rather than http://www.somewebsite.com/fishing/intro.html ).

If have transcription only with your account, you can submit a list to be transcribed. You just need to make sure you've selected the correct submission type first.

To enable this feature on your account, go to the help page (upper right after login) and submit a support ticket requesting the List of URLs feature.

Resources

Useful Resources

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