Remember how you used to wait ages for a bus and then three turned up at the same time? Well sometimes it’s a bit like that with customer requirements, three companies come along with very similar requirements. Recently we’ve been working with a number of clients to help them speed up the validation, QC and re-timing of multi-language content.

The story¬† is usually the same; there are a lot of subtitle files and we’re not sure they match the latest media version. Often the subtitles have been produced for one version and since then other edits have been made. Sometimes a compliance cut has been made, sometimes it’s just a bumper added or maybe advert breaks have been added or removed.

In some cases the subtitle file naming convention helps, sometimes not. Sometimes there is an edit list (EDL) or compliance data, often not. In some cases the process of using an EDL to fix up multiple subtitle files automatically is viable, often not. In all cases at least a manual review is required to give confidence in the final output.

Conventionally, each subtitle file would have been opened in a subtitling system by an expert in that language and checked and edited against the video media. If there are eight or even twelve languages per program that’s a lot of people, organisation and time.

We have added productivity features to Stellar that can reduce the time and cost of this type of task by 80% or more, that’s a big claim but it’s achieved by using multiple simple tools working together to improve productivity:

  • Use Job automation tools to collect all the matching, or potentially matching subtitle files together
  • Generate shot change data to help identify alignment issues.
  • Open all the subtitle files in a single tool. 25 languages – no problem
  • Use Google translate to allow anyone to work with all the languages with the confidence they can see that the subtitles all match each other and the dialog. (One button press will translate 25+ different languages for a subtitle in about a second).
  • If the user doesn’t speak any of the subtitle languages then translate one to their native tongue and add it as a new text track to aid checking against the dialog.
  • Import any EDL or compliance information into the same tool to speed up the location of cuts and edits.
  • Make subtitle timing adjustments as simple as possible:
    • Offset the whole subtitle file – enter one new start time or drag the whole timeline
    • Move a single Subtitle in time – just drag
    • Align all the subtitles after a specific point – double click on each language timeline
    • Delete single or multiple subtitles in multiple files – just a few clicks on the timeline
  • Run all the tools in a web browser so the tools can be used by anyone, anywhere at any time.
  • Provide content security features so you can use remote and home workers with confidence.

Each of these functions provides a small improvement in productivity but together they can give significant savings.

One client recently performed QC and re-timing edits on over 1200 subtitle files in 26 languages for 70 hours of content. Two people, who’d never used Stellar before, managed to correct all the files at a rate of over 40 files per day, each.

Stellar will be in action at BVE – Stand G30- Pod2 – 26-28th February @ Excel London

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Mr. Neb