How to use the Sasquatch online captioning software.
To use Sasquatch you will need to sign in. You can create an account using an email and password, or by using an existing social account. When creating an account for the first time you will need to accept the terms and conditions. You can review these T & Cs at any time by clicking on the appropriate menu item.
Once you’re signed in, you will find yourself on the projects view where you can view and manage all of the projects you have created. You create new projects from this view. The projects view shows all your projects and their current project score (a broad view of the accuracy and readability of the captions in the clip). You can use the dustbin icon in the top left corner of any project to delete it and free up some space for more projects.
You will also see some demo projects here, which you can use to get comfortable with the controls before you start working on any of your own projects. You can’t delete demo projects, but don’t worry – they don’t count towards your storage limit.
In order to create a project you need to have enough purchased Sasquatch minutes to process the video clip. For each minute purchased, you can upload and process one minute of video. You need enough minutes for the full duration of the clip. Minutes are always used up by Sasquatch in whole numbers, rounded up; so a clip that is a minute and twenty seconds long will use up 2 minutes.
If you need to purchase minutes you can do so using the sidebar menu which you open by clicking on the ‘burger’ menu icon. The projects icon at the top of this menu will take you back to the projects screen. The ‘Contact’ option will allow you to send us a message, and help will take you to a set of video tutorials on YouTube. The terms and conditions [T & C] and the log out function are available here too.
Clicking on the Buy Minutes option will take you to an online store, and will automatically put 15 Sasquatch minutes in your basket (this is the minimum purchase quantity). You can increase the quantity if you wish. Please note that it takes some time for payments to confirm, but when payment is confirmed you should see your remaining minutes updated.
Creating a new project
You can use the Create New Project option in the Projects view, or click on the ‘plus’ icon on the title bar. You must give the project a title, and also a little more information that allows Sasquatch to process the video accurately. Make sure to pick the correct language and remember, Sasquatch does not translate, it can only listen to the speech in the video in the selected language. Picking a category will also add to the information that Sasquatch uses to interpret the audio. Adding keywords will allow us to improve the speech recognition in the future. You then need to choose the video file to be uploaded and processed.
Once the clip is uploaded, Sasquatch will process it and generate subtitles. This can take a few minutes, depending on both the size and the length of the clip. Sasquatch ‘listens’ to the audio from the clip, and analyzes it to create captions. The captions are tagged with timing information in order to accurately synchronise them to the speech in the clip.
Once the processing is completed, the project is ready for review, and optional editing and downloading of the captions.
Reviewing the captions and scores
Once a project has been processed you will want to review the captions and potentially adjust some of them. From the projects screen, click on the project, and you will be taken to the review screen. The score at the bottom of the page is based on an average of the overall lowest score of all the captions, across several categories.
- The Coverage category is the percentage of the clip that is captioned. In other words how long are captions displayed compared to the length of the clip. Some clips (with little speech) will not have many captions, so coverage will naturally be low. (Sasquatch will prompt you if a caption is needed in these empty spaces – perhaps to describe a sound effect or music that is audible but that Sasquatch does not recognise).
- The Text accuracy score is based on the confidence that Sasquatch has in the accuracy of recognition of the speech it detected for a given caption.
- The Readability score is calculated from the number of characters in the caption versus the time it is on screen, and will flag if a caption may not be on screen long enough to give a viewer time to read it.
- The Layout score is a measure of how crowded the caption is on the screen, long captions have lower scores.
You can navigate around the clip using the play/pause controls, like any media player, or drag the play slider. You can also use the two CC buttons to move to the next or the previous caption. There is a special control, with the little triangular warning symbol, which will jump to the lowest scoring subtitle in the clip.
Clicking on the text of a caption will enter edit mode, where you can make changes. The scores at the bottom of the page change in edit mode to show the scores for the current subtitle only, and the coverage score disappears (as it applies only to the whole project).
Once in edit mode, playback is confined entirely to the caption selected, with a few seconds either side, so you can’t lose your place and you can see the context of the caption and how it fits with the previous and next ones.
If you want to adjust the timing of the caption you can use the bar underneath the video. Dragging the ends will move the start or the end point of the caption independently. The timing of the captions is constrained by the surrounding captions, and the interval between captions is also constrained. You can either have a very short interval (for captions in a continuous flow), or a longer interval (over half a second). A longer interval is usual to break the flow of the captions, for example if the speaker changes, or some new topic is being talked about. Note: You may find you need to change the end time of the previous caption in order to make the start time of a caption earlier, particularly in a long flow of speech. Similarly you may need to adjust the start time of the following caption to make space for a later end time of a caption.
If a caption has too much text you can use the split control at the top of the window to split it up. The other controls here will bump a word from the beginning or the end of this caption into the next or previous caption. The split control splits the current caption approximately in half. If you want merge a caption with the next one, there’s a button for that too. When you merge captions the start time and end times of the caption are changed to the start of the first caption, and the end time of the second caption.
There are also controls to move the position of the caption up and down vertically. (But please note that vertical position may not be supported in all downloaded caption formats).
Marking a caption as correct
If you want to override the score for any subtitle, for example the readability, you can use the thumbs-up button to confirm it. You don’t need to ‘thumbs up’ a caption, but it will improve the overall project score.
As previously mentioned, Sasquatch will also create placeholder captions. These will not be exported in any downloaded caption file but Sasquatch will insert these whenever there is no speech that it can transcribe. You may want to use these placeholders to add captions describing other noises here, such as a ringtone, a car horn, an explosion, or, human noises that don’t come under speech such as yells, laughter, sighs or sneezes.
If there is nothing to caption, you can just leave the place holder caption as it is, there is no need to get rid of it. (But you do need to thumbs up it to make the coverage score ignores this empty space).
If you use the thumbs up to confirm a caption, a little alert is displayed showing that you have marked the caption as correct.
Final review and downloading
Once you have edited captions you may review them by using the ‘eyes’ icon at the top of the window to return to review mode. Remember, don’t worry about any placeholder captions, they won’t appear in the finished file. You can download captions from a project at any time by clicking on the blue “Download subtitles” button. There are currently two file formats here. (SRT and WebVTT).
Different video host systems use different formats (e.g. Facebook video uses SRT files, while YouTube is compatible with SRT and WebVTT). Remember, there is no limit to the number of times you can download from Sasquatch (or the number of times you download a file from a project), so if you want to compare formats, or download both, then feel free.