Frequently Asked Questions
Services & Pricing
Why should I choose Video Subtitler?
We have a proven track record of providing highly accurate transcriptions and captions to a wide range of industries. Since we began operations in 2015, we have transcribed millions of minutes for thousands of happy customers. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. That’s why we guarantee 99% or better accuracy, provide an easy and smooth ordering process, and offer 24/7 customer support.
What kind of transcription and captioning services do you offer?
We offer clean copy and verbatim transcription. Clean copy is lightly edited to remove filler words, false starts, repeated words, etc. Verbatim is an unabridged word-for-word account, including every utterance and non-verbal sound. Timestamps can be ordered with either type.
We offer standard and premium captions. Standard Captions provide a cost-effective solution for making your videos more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. Premium Captions are specialized captions for films, TV shows, and documentaries that are designed to convey everything that you’d hear in a video, including dialogue, music, sound effects, etc. They also satisfy FCC regulations for broadcast video.
How much do your different services cost?
We charge an additional $0.25 per minute for verbatim transcription.
How long does it take?
Standard turnaround time options are: 24 hour, 48 hour, 72 hour, and 4 days. We can also provide same-day turnaround times as fast as two hours upon request.
Standard turnaround time options are: 48 hour, and 1 week.
Due to the detailed nature of this work, our standard offering is 1 week turnaround time. If you need faster than that, please contact us to discuss your needs.
Do you guarantee the quality of your work?
Absolutely. We guarantee accuracy of 99% or better, and we also offer a satisfaction guarantee. If we can’t make you happy, we’ll refund your money.
Our international customer base ranges from Fortune 500 companies to boutique businesses and individuals, and it includes the following industries and applications:
Insurance and Legal
business meetings and conference calls
recorded phone calls for quality assurance
seminars and webcasts
financial earnings calls
Marketing and Advertising
video transcription for SEO purposes
promotional videos for products and services
market research and focus groups
product research and usability sessions
customer satisfaction surveys/interviews
online courses and educational videos
News and Entertainment
streaming video services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Video, etc.)
Yes, we handle audio and video with multiple speakers. However, we do not charge an extra fee for that. Check our pricing page.
How do you handle poor-quality audio?
Our pricing assumes that the audio is clear and understandable, without too much background noise or crosstalk. If this isn’t the case, we’ll do our best to get it done for you in the time frame you requested, but we may let you know that we need additional time to complete the job. In extreme cases, we may need to charge an additional $1.00/audio minute. In either situation, we’ll give you the option of canceling the order for a full refund.
Do you transcribe and caption files that are in a foreign language?
Yes. Please see our foreign languages page for details.
Can you transcribe or caption really, really long files?
Yes, but please contact us ahead of time if you need 48 hour delivery on files longer than 3 hours or 24 hour delivery on files longer than 90 minutes.
I have a lot of files. Can I get a bulk price discount?
Yes, please contact us for discount pricing if you have bulk audios and videos.
Do you have an API?
Yes. Please contact us for details.
I have files that are very confidential. How do you assure confidentiality?
You can trust us with your sensitive data. In order to comply with security requirements of our major customers in the insurance and legal sectors, Video Subtitler has developed a comprehensive set of policies and procedures governing the protection of private customer data. Please see our Security Pledge for more details.
Will Speechpad sign an NDA?
Yes. Our enterprise customers often require NDAs. If you need for us to sign an NDA, please contact us.
Is the price the same for audio and video files?
There is no difference in price for transcribing audio or video files. However, if you believe your video file could benefit from captions, the best value is to order captions. You’ll receive both a transcript and a caption file. The transcript will help increase search traffic, and the captions will make your video more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. Captions also increase search traffic and page rank, since they are read and indexed by search engines.
Can you do strict verbatim transcriptions?
Yes. We have a team of trained verbatim transcribers who typically work on transcripts for our legal and insurance customers. You can request a verbatim transcript when ordering by entering the word “Verbatim” in the transcriber instructions (the link below the Submit button). There is an additional charge of $0.25/audio minute.
Can you handle multiple speakers and do you charge extra?
Yes, we handle audios with multiple speakers at no-extra fee.
What video file formats do you accept?
We accept most common web video formats, including MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg), MPEG-4 (.mp4), Flash (.flv), QuickTime (.mov), Windows Media Video (.wmv), Audio Video Interleave (.avi), HD Digital Video (.mts), Blu-ray (.m2ts), DVD Video Object (.vob), and RealVideo (.rm). Other supported formats include .3gp, .3g2, .m4v, and .webm.
Do you need high-resolution versions of my videos?
A low-resolution or even a proof version of your video is fine. Our captioners only need to see enough detail to disambiguate the dialogue. In fact, we transcode high-resolution videos down to low-resolution to make them easier to work with in our captioning console. Providing lower resolution versions of your videos will also decrease your upload time, which could be significant depending on the speed of your internet connection.
There is one exception, however. If you are requesting open captions, you’ll want to upload a video with resolution at least as high as what you want to receive back from us. We use the video you upload to us as the source, and overlay captions on top of that. The resulting video will be the same resolution as the original video you uploaded to us.
When I order captions, what do I actually get back?
You’ll receive caption files that can be downloaded in any of the industry-standard formats. You’ll also receive a transcript which can be published alongside your video for SEO purposes. If you ordered premium captions, you’ll also have the option of receiving your original video back with burned-in captions (aka open captions).
When I order captions, do I get a transcript too?
Yes, you’ll be able to download a transcript at no additional charge. Video transcripts can improve your SEO and help attract visitors to your website. Publish the transcript alongside the video, and every spoken phrase is instantly searchable on the web.
What caption file formats do you provide?
We provide all the the industry-standard formats:
SRT (SubRip Text)
DFXP (Distribution Format Exchange Profile)
TTML (Timed Text Markup Language)
SMPTE-TT (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Timed Text)
WebVTT (Web Video Text Tracks)
SCC (Scenarist Closed Captions)
ASS (Advanced SubStation Alpha)
For Premium Captions, we also offer burned-in, or open captions. That is, you’ll have the option of receiving your original video back with “always on” captions that have been added permanently to the video.
If your project requires a specialized caption format not listed above, please contact us, and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.
Can you actually burn the captions into my video?
Yes. We offer burned-in captions, also known as open captions, at no additional charge when you order. Before placing your order, you’ll need to contact us to advise that you want open captions and work out the presentation and encoding details.
How can I view or edit the caption file I receive?
If all you want to do is view the captions on top of the video as it is playing, the best way to do this is to use VLC, a very popular cross-platform free video player. As long as the caption file is in the same folder as the video and has the same base name (without the extension), it should play automatically. Otherwise, just select “Add Subtitle File…” from the “Subtitle” menu on the main toolbar.
Most caption files formats are plain text, so you can open and edit them in any text editor (e.g. Windows Notepad). You could also use one of the many free caption/subtitle editors, such as Subtitle Edit or Subtitle Workshop. Some caption formats, such as SCC or XML-based formats are more technical in nature, and therefore more difficult for the average person to work with in a text editor. For those cases, you’d be better off using a caption/subtitle editor.
What do I do with the caption file I get back?
This depends on the platform you are using to host your video. Each platform has its own instructions for uploading captions. The first step is to find those instructions to understand what formats the platform accepts. Then, log into your Speechpad account, and download one of the supported formats. For your convenience, here are some links to caption upload instructions for the more popular video platforms:
If you are hosting videos on your own website, how you integrate captions will depend on the video player your developers are using. The HTML5 <video> element is a popular choice for modern websites. You can use the <track> element to add captions. There is plenty of documentation on the internet for how to use these elements. You might want to start with this article from Mozilla: Adding Captions and Subtitles to HTML5 Video. The HTML5 <track> element requires captions to be in WebVTT format.
I already have a transcript of my video, can you turn that into captions?
Yes. We charge $1.00/minute to turn your transcript into Standard Captions. The price includes an edit pass of the transcript, and you’ll be able to download caption files in any of our supported formats.
Are your captions FCC-compliant?
Yes. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 required that video programming distributors (television, cable, and satellite service providers) dramatically increase the availability of closed captions. Specifically, the act required that by January 1, 2012, all new non-exempt English and Spanish video programming include closed captions. Furthermore, it required that 75% of all pre-rule non-exempt English and Spanish video programming include closed captions.
These requirements were later expanded by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), which was signed into law on October 8, 2010. The CVAA is a comprehensive update to federal communications law with the goal making modern communication systems more accessible to people with disabilities. More specifically, the CVAA makes sure that 20th-century accessibility laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 are brought up to date with the digital, broadband and mobile innovations of the 21st century. The Act authorizes and requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce a wide range of regulations to make advanced communications services and video programming more accessible. Title II of the act specifically addresses closed captioning requirements. In particular, it requires that video programming that is closed-captioned on TV to also be closed-caption when distributed over the Internet.
On March 31, 2014, the Federal Communications Commision (FCC) issued Document FCC-14-12, a report, order, and declaratory ruling aimed at improving the quality of closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. In part, the order set quality standards for the accuracy, synchronicity (timing), completeness, and placement of captions.
Taken together, these above acts and regulations require that nearly all broadcast TV content re-broadcast internet videos to include high-quality closed captions.
Video Subtitler captions satisfy all of these requirements. In particular, they satisfy the following quality standards detailed in FCC Document FCC-14-12:
Accuracy: Captions must reflect the dialogue and other sounds and music in the audio track to the fullest extent possible based on the type of the programming, and must identify the speakers.
Synchronicity: Captions must coincide with their corresponding dialogue and other sounds to the fullest extent possible based on the type of the programming, and must appear at a speed that can be read by viewers.
Program Completeness: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program, to the fullest extent possible, based on the type of the programming.
Placement: Captions may not cover up other important on-screen information, such as character faces, featured text, graphics, or other information essential to the understanding or accessing of a program’s
Are your captions ADA-compliant?
Yes. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended in 2008, created a comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. This includes enforceable standards and requirements for making public business and facilities accessible to people with disabilities. These requirements are codified in Title 42, Chapter 126 and Title 47, Chapter 5 of the United States Code. The following sections of this code are relevant to captions and subtitles:
42 U.S.C. 128182(b)(2)(A)(iii) – Specifies that discrimination includes any failure to provide auxiliary aids necessary to ensure that people with disabilities will have equal access to public accommodations and to the goods and services they provide.
42 U.S.C. 12181(7) – Broadly defines “public accommodations” to include most government facilities or private business that the general public has access to.
42 U.S.C. 12103(1)(A) – Specifies that the definition of “auxiliary aids” includes “effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.”
47 U.S.C. 611 – Requires that public service announcements provide closed captioning. This requirement was expanded by recent regulations to be much more comprehensive.
Video Subtitler satisfy 42 U.S.C. 12103(1)(A) as an effective method of making audible materials accessible to the hearing impaired. They also satisfy 47 U.S.C. 611 for closed captioning.
Placing an Order
How do I get started?
The first step is to click order now. You'll will be taken to the choose the service you want and then fill a requirement field. Hit submit and you will be directed to the create an account and then sign in. An invoice will be emailed to you regarding the amount you should pay. Go to the payment page and pay using your prefered method enlisted.
Do I need an account to order a transcription or captions?
Yes. It takes less than a minute to create an account. Creating an account is free, we won’t ask for a credit card until you make your first purchase.
What payment options are available?
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) and PayPal.
When do I pay?
At the time you place your order.
What web browsers do you support?
The Video Subtitler website has been thoroughly tested with modern versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari on both PCs and Macs.
Is my information secure?
Private customer data is secured using industry-standard algorithms such as AES 256-bit encryption, and access to customer files is only available on an as-needed basis. Our transcribers, proofreaders, and quality control personnel are required to sign a confidentiality agreement which governs the treatment of customer data, including its destruction upon job completion. We do not share customer data or personally identifiable information with outside parties. Your credit card information is securely encrypted, and none of our personnel are able to decrypt the credit card number.
What kind of audio and video files can you transcribe or caption?
We currently support the following digital audio and video file formats:
Audio: acc, aif, aiff, amr, ape, au, cda, gsm, flac, m4a, mid, mp3, mpga, ogg, raw, shn, sri, vox, wav, and wma.
Video: 3g2, 3gp, avi, flv, m4v, mov, mp4, mpeg, mpg, video, and wmv.
If you have a digital file in a format not listed here, please let us know. We are adding more and more file formats all the time.
How do I order a transcription or captions?
Create an account, upload files from your computer or the web, submit your order, and provide payment information. When your files are finished, we simply email you the final product.
Can I cancel my order after I’ve placed it?
In most cases, we can cancel your order and issue a full refund. Please contact us to cancel and provide the appropriate details.
At the time of your cancellation, we will refund your order amount less any costs incurred if your file has already been accepted by a transcriber.
Do real people actually transcribe my audio and video?
Absolutely! While voice recognition technology gets better every day, it’s still not nearly as accurate as a team of dedicated human transcribers, who can understand accents and slang phrases, handle multiple speakers, and describe sounds: all things that transcription programs can’t do.
Video Subtitler is constantly evaluating the state of automatic speech recognition technology, and we already take advantage of it as part of our captioning process. As the technology evolves, we will continue to incorporate it into our process where it makes sense to do so.
What is your Q.A. process?
When it comes to Video Subtitler’s corporate priorities, customer satisfaction is at the top of the list. We value happy customers more than anything else. The quality and reliability of our service are the two biggest factors that influence customer satisfaction. That’s why we’ve implemented a multi-tier quality assurance system.
Reviewers are the first tier and the foundation of our Q.A. pyramid. They are responsible for ensuring that each customer receives an excellent quality product. Reviewers turn good quality work products into excellent ones, reject poor quality, and return mediocre products for rework. In that sense, they are the “gatekeepers” to the customer, ensuring that only top quality products make it out of the system.
The next tier in the pyramid is our Quality Assurance Team. The Q.A. Team members are responsible for ensuring that reviewers are doing their jobs effectively. They regularly perform Q.A. checks on work that has been approved by Video Subtitler reviewers. If they ever find that the work does not live up to Speechpad’s standards, the reviewer is put on probation, and his or her Reviewer qualification is temporarily revoked. Likewise, if a customer submits a rating of less than 4 out of 5, the reviewer is either put on probation or permanently disqualified, depending on the circumstances. Certain trusted members of the QA Team are chosen to spot check the work of other Q.A. Team members. This provides an extra level of assurance that reviewers are receiving sufficient oversight.
The Video Subtitler Operations Team is responsible for ensuring service quality and reliability, customer satisfaction, worker satisfaction and efficiency. As part of fulfilling those responsibilities, the team provides 24/7 customer support, 24/7 worker support, and customer management. Certain members of the Operations Team are also responsible for overseeing the Q.A. Team and spot checking their work (the top tier of the Q.A. pyramid).