Understanding the Pros and Cons of Live Captioning

Live captioning is used to transcribe what is being said at the time of the conversation. It is very helpful for conferences and broadcasts. However, live captions do have somewhat of a bad reputation that precedes them. People tend to disregard them, failing to acknowledge how beneficial they can be. As such, we thought we would write this article today, discussing the general pros and cons of live captioning, in the hopes that this will expand our audience’s understanding of the subject. So, keep reading if you’re interested and want to find out more.

Improving Accessibility

The main benefit of captioning is that it makes live content more accessible to those with disabilities or hearing impairments. Captions can transcribe what is being said, identifying different speakers and helping people to follow along with the conversation. Though live captioning is commonly used for broadcasting events, it is also being applied to web conferencing and remote education.

Turnaround Delays

Live captioning needs to be speedy to keep up with what is being said in the broadcast. Otherwise, they become disjointed and confusing for people who are using them to follow along with the conversation. In the past, live captions were notoriously bad at keeping pace with speakers. Sometimes, they were delayed by several minutes, rendering them completely ineffectual. Fortunately, real time captioning has significantly improved these past couple of years because transcription software is much more powerful.

Breaking Language Barriers

Another brilliant advantage of live captions is the fact that they can break down language barriers. By transcribing what has been said, people whose first language isn’t the one being spoken can follow along a little better. This is because real time captioning can understand accents, filter out background noise, and make sense of mumbling. For people who are trying to learn a language, living captioning is also useful because they can see how each word is pronounced. Teachers and lecturers sometimes use live captions to make their lessons more accessible to all their students.

Inaccurate Transcriptions

It has become a common joke that live captioning is never accurate to what is being said. This was certainly a problem in the past, but nowadays transcription software is much more sophisticated. Some service providers also use professional type correctors to ensure absolute accuracy. As such, real time captioning is 99% accurate, making it much more reliable.

Better User Engagement

These days, consumers tend to watch content without using the audio. This could be because they are in a public place or because they are in a noisy environment and can’t hear what’s being said anyway. Either way, live captioning can improve user engagement and experience. In fact, Facebook reported that their closed captions can increase the average view-time of a video by 12%. Organisations should invest in transcription software to keep up with this trend. 

These are some of the main pros and cons of live captioning. If it weren’t already apparent, real time captions are incredibly useful, making content more accessible and engaging than ever before.

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