Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

How do I create automatic captions for my uploaded videos?

Updated May 20, 2020

You want to add captions into your videos to make your content accessible for your students.  Microsoft Stream is currently licensed by the University of Toronto and is a video hosting service (see which video hosting service should I use?). It be can be used speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. 

Microsoft Stream enables you to use captions in multiple ways:

  • When watching a video, you can select to see captions at the bottom of the video.
  • Captions are concatenated to form a transcript, which is available in the transcript window.
  • Captions are indexed, so you can go directly to a specific location in a video by searching using deep search.

Before you begin

  1. If a video's Language field is set to a supported language, Stream can automatically generate captions using Automatic Speech Recognition technology. English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish are currently support for autogenerated captions.
  2. Only MP4 and WMV files are currently supported for automatic transcripts.
  3. You can select between autogenerating captions or you can upload your own transcript file (you can't do both):
    1. You can't autogenerate captions if you have already uploaded a caption file.
    2. You can't upload a caption file if you have selected the Autogenerate a caption file option.
  4. Automatic captions take time to create. It typically takes 1-2x the video's duration, so for example, for a one hour video, expect to wait approximately two hours to finish processing.

Remember to review the captions! Automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content (especially in technical videos using less common language and terms) due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects, or background noise. It is important to check the automatic captions and edit any words that haven’t transcribed correctly. To edit, see how to edit the transcript in your Microsoft Stream video.

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