A complete preparation software solution for offline subtitles
– Frame-accurate digital media playback with frame-step audio scrubbing (using Direct Show, QuickTime and/or MediaLooks Multiformat SDK)
– Import/export of common file formats including PAC*, STL, 890, SRT, WebVTT (dongled version only) and Timed Text XML including EBU-TT
– Advanced timing rules including automatic adjustment for shot changes
– Audio level waveform display and speech presence detection
– Side-by-side dual-file display for master file translation or separate audio/dialogue and visual/graphic translations (supers)
– Unicode language support, TrueType fonts and multilingual spell-checking (via MS Office Proofing Tools, not included)
– Vertical timeline display to reduce eye-movement plus clickable (drag-and-drop) subtitle boundary time editing.
– Datastore – for collation of customer and programme related information (e.g. templates, vocabulary, export rules), for network users this can be easily centralised and shared
– Network video indexer option to save time processing clips before loading into client UI
– Frame rate conversion and comprehensive range editing functions, including easy re-conformance to new video edits
– Multi-language UI in other languages (ships with English, French and German)
– DVD Builder** – converts completed Wincaps subtitle files into DVD/Blu-ray subtitle assets as a sequence of image files and associated control files, includes a set of user-configurable templates for various popular output formats, and a batch processing mode.
– Screener** – creates WMV clips with subtitles in picture for preview/approval, using source proxy video in mpeg-1, avi or wmv format.
For more information please refer to the datasheet.
* PAC File Conformity Checks – For customers who use subtitle creation software exclusively for the QC of PAC files prior to use by Polistream we would recommend our Poliscript software (Poliscript Product Page). Although Poliscript is more limited in its capabilities than Wincaps, PAC is its native file-format, whereas Wincaps has to convert PAC to & from its own internal W32 file format – which can therefore be more time-consuming.
** These utilities are supplied as standard with the standalone package and will also be available soon in the subscription/prepaid online licence versions.
Wincaps Qu4ntum Pro – adds some powerful time-saving functions for same language workflows (e.g. subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing or a source language master for translation) with automatic text-to-speech alignment and optimisation of text entry via respeaking – as described below. Such users may also find our Script Extractor utility to be effective time-saver by quickly processing the useful dialogue elements from a script document. Click here for more information on Script Extractor
Automatic text-to-speech alignment – speeds up timecoding by assigning timecodes automatically based on phonetic alignment of the (known) subtitle text with the spoken words in the audio track. The alignment process is augmented by the timing rules also used in the standard version (e.g. reading speed, shot-changes, gaps). This feature currently supports the following languages only: Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. Alignment accuracy depends on the audio quality and is less reliable where there are intrusive sound effects, simultaneous speakers or long periods without dialogue for instance – for most programming we therefore recommend timecoding in sections rather than an entire programme and the UI is designed with that in mind.
The aligner can be used with a script or transcript, regular keyboard input or with respeaking (see below). Indeed when used with respeaking a fairly accurate subtitle file can be produced very quickly indeed, with only a minimal amount of subsequent editing needed. This enables offline captioning of fast turnaround material that would otherwise have to be live captioned (with the inevitable latency and occasional inaccuracy associated with that).
Speech recognition (re-speaking) – an optimised SDK interface allows Dragon NaturallySpeaking® speech recognition software to be used more easily for faster transcription. The Wincaps integration provides a light user interface for the Dragon software – so there’s no need to run the Dragon toolbar separately, which provides a slightly faster response using fewer system resources and ensures that recognised text is always directed into the document space. (Speech recognition systems can still be used with the standard version – as a keyboard alternative, without the above benefits.)
Dragon also allows MP3 & WAV files to be transcribed automatically, with the text then imported into Wincaps, corrected and timecoded using the automatic aligner, which may again be quicker than working from scratch if the text recognition is reasonably good.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking® software (available for English (with various accents), Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish) is not supplied with Wincaps and must be purchased separately; the Professional version is recommended for corporate users although the Premium version may be a suitable alternative for individuals.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking® is a registered trademark of Nuance, Inc. and is used here under license.
Automatic subtitling using speech recognition
Speech processing technology is not yet quite good enough to reliably convert normal film & television soundtrack audio into accurate text. The challenges are multiple and include sound effects and background music, different voices and accents and switching between them, unexpected vocabulary and punctuation. Even with clean audio from a single speaker the results are still rather unpredictable – to the point where our experiments indicate that in most cases it’s quicker to transcribe using a trained re-speaker rather than trying to correct the automatic transcription.
It’s now well recognised that high quality, real-time speech recognition software provides a viable alternative to conventional stenography or other keyboard-based methods for live captioning. Indeed it has become the tool of choice for many because of the reduced costs and training times (compared to stenography for instance) and Screen has been at the forefront of the introduction of this technology for captioning of live television programmes – and we are now pushing ahead with the use of the same technique for faster turnaround of offline (recorded) material also.
It’s worth noting at this point that the use of speech recognition for subtitling does not mean recognising the voice of the TV presenter – the technology is not yet good enough to deliver sufficient accuracy. Instead, a trained “re-speaker” listens to the programme, and repeats what is said (slightly edited in places) into speech recognition software that has been trained for their voice profile. The re-speaker and the software’s library of vocabulary are trained to achieve consistently high accuracy.
Good speech recognition software for live captioning is not just about reasonably accurate dictation (as you might use on your phone or tablet) but also requires real-time, low-latency processing and essential tools such as vocabulary management and speaker training to improve accuracy. It’s worth considering that an accuracy of 90% may sound great, but in practical terms that is an average of about one word out of place in every sentence!
Wincaps supports the use of speech recognition for both live and offline transcription with an integrated speech input interface that is optimised for Dragon NaturallySpeaking®, the most popular speech recognition system. (Other real-time speech recognition engines may also be supported using a Microsoft keyboard messaging interface where the speech recognition system effectively mimics the keyboard as far as Wincaps is concerned.) Wincaps adds further value by enforcing a house style, interpreting spoken style control commands, smoothing the delivery rate and providing for keyboard intervention/correction if required.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking® is a registered trademark of Nuance, Inc. and is used here under license.
Flexible licensing – Wincaps supports a variety of licensing strategies for permanent and time-limited licences. Time-limited licences for a single PC may be purchased online at any time. Permanent licences are typically tied to a USB dongle or a multi-user network licence (where a pool of concurrent user licences is managed by a “licence server” Windows service running on a suitable host PC on the customer’s network). We will soon be introducing cloud hosted licences also, offering even more flexibility for the corporate customer to manage their licence pool.
Video indexer – Whenever a new video is first used Wincaps processes the clip to generate “helper files” (shot change, audio level and speech presence). Although this process doesn’t take very long, time can be saved by using the separate video indexer utility rather than the equivalent feature in the Wincaps software itself. A free option for multi-user customers, the network Video Indexer automatically processes new video files (in a watch folder) so that clips load faster into Wincaps and users don’t have to wait.
Datastore – Wincaps Q4 includes a “Datastore”, a database that serves as a repository for programme vocabulary, customer style templates, shortforms and related useful information. On a single-user installation this is simply installed on the local PC as a normal part of the Wincaps installation and templates can then be manually copied and shared if needed (for instance to allow a freelancer to use the same template as the facility they are working for). In a multi-user enterprise environment this database can be hosted centrally on a network server and shared between many users across a local network, ensuring everyone has easy access to the most up to date information needed to complete their task. The network Datastore is recommended for all multi-user sites.
Launch control – larger customers may like to consider the XML launch control feature in Wincaps to enable users to start tasks quicker. The launch XML contains all the information needed for a particular subtitle file such as a link to the media file, the language, programme identification and customer style template. The launch XML is populated from the customer’s workflow management system and can be customised to suit the particular site requirements.
Script Extractor – uses a few operator prompts to analyse a complete script file and generate a dialogue list with speaker cues. The extracted script can then be imported into Wincaps and easily divided into well-formed subtitles, coloured according to speaker and timed (using the automatic aligner). Script Extractor can be used with any version of Wincaps. Click here for more information on Script Extractor and click here to try it out for yourself for the cost of just a minimum one month subscription. You can also click here to download the user manual.
MediaMate – Many subtitle manipulation tasks can be automated using Screen’s MediaMate software (available separately). For instance, using an EDL to remove subtitles following an edit or joining together files for hard-parted programmes. MediaMate can also be used to encode teletext subtitles or closed captions directly into a media file as part of an automated file-based workflow – saving time and effort and avoiding the expensive broadcast hardware associated with traditional video dubs. MediaMate is very flexible, supporting various pre-designed workflows, subtitle/caption types and media file formats. Click here for more information on MediaMate.
Translation Manager – to help co-ordinate and manage subtitling project workflows, covering all the essential tasks in a single web-based portal. Translation Manager tracks all the project stages from inception to end-delivery, collating all the assets involved and connecting all the users involved – with dedicated views to suit each user’s role. Click here for more information on Translation Manager.
Wincaps software can be purchased online as a time-limited licence, just click here.
Such subscriptions are locked to an individual PC so this licence method is not suitable if you frequently want to switch your licence between PCs, for that we would recommend a dongle (see below) or a corporate licence package.
Order a Dongle
Single user permanent licences for the Standard or Pro versions using a USB dongle (for portability between PCs) may be ordered here https://subtitling.com/order-prep-dongles/
Wincaps Qu4ntum Pro
The Pro version’s automatic text-to-speech aligner can provide significant time-saving benefits for same language subtitling (limited range of European languages only). Due to the increased complexity, the Pro version is not available on online monthly subscription terms however one-year and permanent licences are available via the above methods. Click here for more information on the Qu4ntum Pro feature set
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