Closed- Captioning Metrics - What is "good-enough"?

Mar 01, 2022

Looking for thoughts and opinions...

We frequently send our audio tracks to transcription services (.srt files), to caption our lesson content. The transcriptions are usually pretty good, but as grammar nerds, sometimes we get really tripped up over the punctuation or small grammatical issues with the captions. How perfect should they be? 

Curious what everyone uses as a metric to determine when they feel their captions are "ready to launch". 

2 Replies
Elizabeth Pawlicki

Hi Kristin! I don't think you're alone in wondering this, especially with how many options there are for captions out there these days. I think a good rule of thumb comes from The Described and Captioned Media Program

The DCMP believes that all captioning should include as much of the original language as possible; words or phrases which may be unfamiliar to the audience should not be replaced with simple synonyms. However, editing the original transcription may be necessary to provide time for the caption to be completely read and for it to be in synchronization with the audio.

Errorless is a great and admirable goal but I personally would probably give more weight to the preservation of the meaning and intention of the material and worry less about small mistakes.