Multimedia (Audio & Video)
What are captions?
Captions appear on the video screen and change dynamically as the video plays.
They can be open or closed.
Captions includes description of important sounds.
The primary audience is hard of hearing, deaf/Deaf viewers.
What is a transcript?
A transcript is a written version of the entire video — like a screenplay.
It includes description of important sounds and visual elements.
The primary audiences include visually impaired users, viewers with learning/cognitive disabilities.
When are captions and/or a transcript required?
Audio only files (e.g., music, sounds/spoken word, podcasts) should have transcripts available, either on the same page as the audio file or through a link to a clean, simple HTML page.
For example, if you upload an audio file of a student reading a poem, you should also have the text of the poem available for those who cannot hear the file and would like to read it. You can have the actual words on the page, like this:
Learn more about creating a transcript.
Pre-recorded video files must have captions, preferably closed ("closed captions" have a button to turn captions on and off). A descriptive transcript is also recommended.
- New Video: If MTS is filming your video, they can work with you to set up closed captions.
- Videos Created by You: Visit the How to Add Captions page to learn more.
- External Videos: Do not embed videos that do not contain captions on Brandeis websites. If the video is not accessible, you should avoid linking to it directly from the Brandeis website. If the video does not belong to you, try contacting the owner of the video and requesting that captions be added.
Live streaming video should have captions, preferably closed ("closed captions" have a button to turn captions on and off). It is generally understood that transcripts are unavailable for live video, but when possible (streaming a speech or a reading/performance of pre-written material), transcripts should be provided.