Ensemble Captioning

With Ensemble Video, you are able to apply automatic captioning to every video you upload. After the automatic captioning is applied, you can use the built-in Amara editor to make sure the transcript is accurate.

Log in to Ensemble and Upload a Video
Submit your Video for Automatic Captioning
Editing Captions in Ensemble
Amara Caption Editor
Keyboard Shortcuts

Log in to Ensemble and Upload a Video

If you have an account in Ensemble, log in using your LakerNetID username and password. Be sure to select the “Oswego LDAP” option for the identity provider.

Submit Your Video for Automatic Captioning

SUNY Oswego partners with SUNY ITEC and Ensemble to offer an automatic captioning service. The length of time it will take to caption the video will depend on video length.

  • Choose what video you would like captioned
  • Select the Manage option
  • Select the Caption tab
  • Select the Submit for Automatic Captioning option

 Selecting the manage option under a video, then selecting the CC tab, then selecting the submit to automatic captioning option.

Editing Captions in Ensemble

When in your library, there is a CC icon on your video once the captioning is complete.

  • To edit the captions, select Manage
  • Choose the Caption tab
  • Choose the Amara Caption Editor tab
  • Select the Launch Amara Editor button

Animation showing the amara button location.

Amara Caption Editor

The main screen will appear. Click anywhere to clear the tips off the screen.

 Amara Caption Editor interface highlighting the Help Panel, Video Player, Progress Panel, Timeline, Reference Panel, Typing Panel, and Notes Panel.

 

Help Panel

The Help Panel, in the top left corner, shows keyboard shortcuts, general subtitling guidelines, and adjustments to the playback mode.

 Amara help panel featuring the view/edit video info section, keyboard shortcuts, playback mode selection, and guidelines for subtitling submissions.

  1. View/Edit Video Information—You can view and edit the video title and description in a pop-up by selecting the pencil icon. Edits will be displayed on the Amara site.
  2. Keyboard Shortcuts—This panel has buttons that show the most frequently used keyboard shortcuts with descriptions of the actions they perform.
  3.  Playback Mode—This menu allows you to set the playback mode. There are 3 modes: Standard, which is on by default with no automatic pausing; Recommended, which has a magical auto pause function; and Beginner, which plays 4 seconds then pauses. Be aware that if you change the playback mode, you might not be able to use the same keyboard shortcuts.
  4.  Subtitling Guidelines—Select this link to find Amara's subtitling guidelines or the instructions and style guide for the team which subtitles the video. The guidelines will appear in a pop-up.

Video Panel

The Video Player is in the top middle of the screen. This panel displays the video with your subtitles overlayed on it. The video player has a play/pause button, a clickable timeline, and volume control. You can click and drag subtitles to change their position in the video player, which will be preserved if you export the subtitles.

Progress Panel

Amara progress panel with save draft button, exit button and review and complete section.

  1.  Save Draft Button—This button saves a new version of the language you are working on. Make sure you always save your work before pausing your work or closing the editor. Save often because nothing is worse than losing your work, especially work as tedious as captioning. The “Save draft” button is hidden when you are editing subtitles after they are marked as complete. An "Update Subtitles" button is in the Progress Summary.
  2. Exit Button—This button enables you to close the editor immediately without saving any changes. Use it if you were just testing the editor or if you have changed your mind about editing these subtitles. If you have made any changes you care about, make sure you save them before exiting.
  3. Progress Summary—This summary guides you through the process of subtitle creation, from typing the first line to checking the complete set. It will remind you when something important is missing and allow you to mark your subtitles as complete when you are done.

Timeline

Amara timeline

 This bar displays the start and end times for each subtitle in the language you are editing. You can drag the vertical edges of subtitle bubbles on the timeline to change the time when a subtitle appears on the screen or gets hidden. The vertical red line marks where you currently are in the video.

Reference Panel

Amara reference panel featuring the reference language selection menu, saved version option, and scroll lock function.

 This panel on the bottom left displays existing subtitles for the video. You can use this panel to translate from or a reference version of the language you are editing. If the video already has subtitles in multiple languages, you can choose between different reference languages while editing your own translation.

  1. Reference Language Selector—Here you can choose any existing subtitles for the video to compare your own subtitles with, just select the language from the drop-down list.
  2. Reference Language Version Pick—By default, the editor displays the last version of the selected reference language, but you can choose an earlier revision from this drop-down list.
  3. Scroll Lock Button—This button has two positions: Locked (by default) and Unlocked. When it is Locked, subtitles in the reference and the editing panels will scroll up and down together. When scroll lock is Unlocked, scrolling in one panel does not affect the other panel. By default, the top subtitles in both panels stay aligned with each other as you scroll up and down. However, you can align any two subtitles (in unlocked mode) and turn the lock on. This is useful if you have changed the number of subtitles in the version you are editing. 

Typing Panel

Amara typing panel featuring the subtitle tools menu, timing tools menu, active subtitle cell with it's own cell menu, and subtitle information flyout.

The bottom middle panel under the video player is where you type your subtitles. You can add, insert, or delete as many subtitle cells as you need and type text inside them.

Subtitle Tools Menu

Amara subtitle tools menu which shows the options to delete empty subtitles, clear all text, upload subtitles, hide warnings, show tutorial, undo and redo subtitle edits.

  • Delete empty subtitles—Select this option to delete all empty subtitles in your subtitle set instead of deleting each individually.
  • Clear Text—Erases all the text from the subtitles in the editing (middle) panel, without deleting subtitle entry cells or timing. You can only clear text from the version you are currently editing. Earlier versions of these subtitles will not be affected.
  • Revert to Last Saved Version—Discards all edits since the last time you saved your subtitle draft and loads the last saved version into the editor. This action is irreversible. When you confirm your choice to revert to the last saved version you cannot recover the edits you have discarded.
  • Upload Subtitles—Opens a pop-up window where you can select a subtitle file to upload. You can choose files in DFXP, SRT, SSA, SBV, TXT, or VTT format to upload into the Amara Editor. If you have any unsaved changes in the subtitle editor prior to uploading, those changes will be discarded and permanently lost.
  • Hide / Show Warnings—Hides or shows the red exclamation marks and related warning messages in subtitles that violate subtitling guidelines. Review subtitling guidelines (the maximum character number per line, subtitle duration, or reading speed) by selecting Subtitling Guidelines in the Keyboard Controls panel (top left) in the Amara Editor.
  • Show Tutorial—Shows the tutorial overlay which labels the important areas of the Amara Editor, including the subtitling guidelines, timeline, and submit button. Click anywhere on the page to close the tutorial.

Timing Tools Menu

Amara timing tools menu with options for copy timing, hide timeline, clear timing, shift subs forward, and shift subs backward

  • Copy Timing—Copies start and end times from the reference subtitles (left panel) and applies them to the subtitles you are editing (middle panel). See our article on the copy timing feature.
  • Hide or Show Timeline—Hides or shows the timeline below the video player. You can use the timeline to add or modify timing for your subtitles. If you do not want to view or use the timeline, you can hide it at any time.  In syncing mode, hiding the timeline switches you to typing mode. See our article about the switching between modes in the Editor.
  • Clear Timing—Erases all the start and end times of the subtitles you are editing in the middle panel. You can only erase timing for the unsaved version in the Amara Editor. Earlier versions of the subtitles are not affected. See our clear timing article to learn more.
  • Shift subs forward—Shifts subtitles forward in time. Clicking this option opens a dialog box that asks you to input the start time and shift time. You can shift all of your subtitles or choose a time to start the shift. Enter the amount of time you want to shift your subtitles and click “Shift.”
  • Note: Subtitles can only be shifted within the duration time of the video. Shift amounts must be positive.
  • Shift subs backward—Deletes subtitles in a time range and shifts all subtitles that come afterward. Clicking this option opens a dialog box that asks you to input the start time and shift time. Subtitles are shifted backward by the duration between the start and end of the time range.

Active Subtitle Cell with the Cell Menu

The active subtitle cell is the one currently selected (the one you type into). Subtitle cells contain subtitle text and the start times when the text first appears on the screen.  

Each cell has a wrench icon in the bottom left corner, which becomes visible when you hover the mouse over the cell; hovering the mouse over the wrench icon expands the cell menu.

Subtitle cells have different background colors depending on their status:

  • White: active cell, with text
  • Yellow: active cell, no text
  • Gray: inactive, subtitle not currently shown on the video
  • Blue: inactive, subtitle currently shown on the video

Subtitle Information Flyout

While you are typing in a subtitle box, a flyout on the right-hand side shows you the information about the subtitle. It shows a count of characters per line. If the subtitle is synced, it also includes start and end time as well as the number of characters for each video second. This information helps you keep your subtitles easy to read on the video screen and compliant with your preferred subtitling guidelines. 

Notes Panel

Amara caption editor notes section

This section allows you to leave notes for whomever you may be working with on a caption file in case there is a word or phrase in question. Note that if working with another person, it will not enter your name next to it, so put your name in the note if you want it identified as yours.

Keyboard Shortcuts

To make the repetitive actions of editing a little easier, below is a list of keyboard shortcuts for both PCs and Macs.

PC shortcuts

Action

Keys

Play / Pause video

Tab

Skip back 2 seconds

Shift + Tab

Skip back 4 seconds

Ctrl + Shift + ,

Skip forward 4 seconds

Ctrl + Shift + .

Navigate to the next subtitle or insert one at the end

ENTER

Insert line break

Shift + ENTER

Exit edit mode of the current subtitle

ESC

Split subtitle at cursor

Ctrl + ENTER

Insert subtitle (above)

Alt + i

Insert subtitle (below)

Alt + Shift + i

Delete current subtitle

Alt + Delete (or Backspace)

Navigate to the previous subtitle

Alt + Up Arrow

Navigate to the next subtitle

Alt + Down Arrow

Undo last action

CTRL + z

Redo last action

CTRL + y

Mac shortcuts

Action

Keys

Play / Pause video

Tab

Skip back 2 seconds

Shift + Tab

Skip back 4 seconds

CMD + Shift + ,

Skip forward 4 seconds

CMD + Shift + .

Navigate to the next subtitle or insert one at the end

ENTER

Insert line break

Shift + ENTER

Exit edit mode of the current subtitle

ESC

Split subtitle at cursor

CMD + ENTER

Insert subtitle (above)

CMD + i

Insert subtitle (below)

CMD + Shift + i

Delete current subtitle

Option + Delete (or Backspace)

Navigate to the previous subtitle

Option + Up Arrow

Navigate to the next subtitle

Option + Down Arrow

Undo last action

CMD + z

Redo last action

CMD + Shift + z

Questions?

Contact the CTS Helpdesk at x3456 or help@oswego.edu with any questions.