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  • iheartsubtitles 10:04 pm on April 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , BSL, ,   

    Live Music & Live Lyrics & Live Subtitles 

    Last month I did something I’ve never done before, and I don’t think many others will have done it either. What was it? I attended a live music gig with live subtitles! The gig was called Club Attitude. It was organised by Attitude is Everything and the live subtitling was provided by StageTEXT.

    Having been to several StageTEXT captioned plays, and live subtitled talks I was pretty confident that the quality of the live subtitles would be excellent. But I also know that high quality subtitling doesn’t just happen without a lot of prep, a lot of technical set up, and of course skilled subtitlers.

    I am sure that this gig had its challenges, especially considering it hadn’t been done before but I was really pleased to see that even for this first ever subtitled gig, the access worked well. I felt for the stenographer wearing their headphones listening intently in order to deliver the lyrics in a time accurate manner in what was already musically noisy environment. Talk about powers of concentration!

    The subtitles were displayed on both sides of the stage at a high height on the right so that the screen could still be seen at the back of the venue (as per the Vine above) and also on a screen at a low height on the left side of the stage in case wheelchair users also wanted to read the captions throughout the gig. I should also point out there was also a signer on stage translating the lyrics into BSL for BSL users. None of this got in the way of the band members performing. It was lovely to see full access had been thought of and was indeed being provided including an accessible venue (if only this was the norm and I wouldn’t even point it out in a review like this but sadly it is not always the case).

    I’d love to have known what the artists performing at the gig thought of the live subtitles (although they cannot really see it from their position on the stage.) But if they are reading this article, or any other bands who might be thinking about captioning or subtitling their gigs, an overlooked but massive benefit isn’t just the lyrics. I shall try to explain:

    Because the subtitling provided at this gig was live, the dialogue and conversation that the bands had with the audience is also subtitled. I am taking about the intro and chat between songs. “Hello everyone, thanks for coming.” etc That might not seem important but what if you happen to be talking to the audience about where they can buy your music or your merchandise?  Ordinarily this information is lost on me. The number of gigs I’ve been to where I can enjoy the music (because I’ve listened to the songs over and over and looked up the lyrics on the internet) but cannot understand any of the talking is well pretty much all of them without a hearing friend confirming what’s being said. Even if I am close to the stage, I can’t lip-read you – your microphone is in the way. And this means you’ve lost communication with me and a connection. What I often hear is something like, “And so fdfgddfas this is our next song that dfawesfasdf  and its called dfaefavdfa.” What this means is, I never catch the song title, so if I like the song, I can’t go home, search the title online, listen to it again, and you know maybe buy it!

    So, we know live subtitling of music can be done, so why isn’t it done more often? I do hope we have got rid of the misconception that deaf and hard of hearing people are not music lovers. I can relate to an awful lot written in this great article from @ItsThatDeafGuy especially the bit about getting the lyrics from Smash Hits magazine and subtitled music on TV! Being Deaf Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Care About Music.

    I too have blogged several times already on this subject including my frustration that music DVDs seem to be exempt from requiring subtitles, and how having access to subtitled music via TV was hugely important to me as a teenager. And it still is. Search the music tag for more articles.

    And who doesn’t love knowing what the lyrics are? The way we consume music has changed drastically in the last 20 years, and technology is providing new ways to get the lyrics. Recently the music streaming service Spotify launched lyrics integration and the company has been retweeting the positive feedback it is getting about it.

    I also can’t help but notice that the trend of official lyric videos being released by music artists isn’t going away. And that’s just fine by me because a probably unintentional side effect is that it gives me access to the song and allows me to consume the music in my preferred way by reading the lyrics alongside listening to the song. Arena and stadium artists have started to incorporate this into some of their video screen stage graphics during concerts. And naturally I love this.

    Given all of these trends maybe this reviewer of Club Attitude is right: Perhaps the most extraordinary thing is that this gig night does not feel extra-ordinary at all. Now that would be something.

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    • Victoria O'Hara 5:47 pm on August 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Afternoon. I am working on a research proposal, and I was wondering if there was any way that I could ask you a few questions about closed captioning in the UK?

      Like

    • iheartsubtitles 3:43 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Victoria, I have sent you an email.

      Like

  • iheartsubtitles 12:59 pm on August 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , BSL, , , , , ,   

    Q&A with Films14 Director Shaun Sadlier 

    A fully subtitled from launch, with the aim to also eventually provided full BSL signed movies from a Video On Demand service.  Imagine that? Well one business entrepreneur Shaun Sadlier is planning to do just that through Films14.  Read the Q&A from Shaun below and watch the video for more information:

    Q:  Your service is called Films14.  Is there a story behind the name?
    A: I was looking for a name which it is easy to remember and maximum is 7 letters or numbers, films is what we provide and 14 references 2014 when we want to launch.

    Q: You are based in the UK but the internet is global. Can anyone sign up to Films14 or is it UK residents only?
    A: That’s correct, we are global brand but we start out in UK and if it goes well then we will expand across the world. Anyone can sign up but it is for UK residents only. If I found anyone who aren’t UK residents then they have to wait for us to come over.

    Q: Can you reveal what content there will be available to watch?
    A: We’ve got two types of content, Subscription and On Demands. There will be 50+ movies / TV shows in the first month and additional 50 or more on every month for Subscription. There will be 60+ blockbusters movies every year for On Demands.

    Q: The subscription content – does that cost extra to access it in addition to the monthly fee? Or does the monthly fee give you access to the subscription content?
    A: No, it will not cost extra. It is a monthly fee to access subscription and discount blockbuster movie from On Demand.

    Q: Are there any benefits to signing up in advance of the Films14 launch?
    A: Yes, there is a benefit.

    1. £4.99 for first month and then £6.99 monthly
    2. Access to subscription movie’s and TV series (50+ Movie’s & TV Series addition every month)
    3. Discount Blockbusters movie’s On Demands (60+ New movie’s in a year)
    4. Can cancel membership after first month
    5. Pay nothing until launch
    6. 100% Subtitles and In-vision signer for sign language (On and Off feature!) – World first!
    7. Mystery Gift on the Launch day for Pre-Launch membership only

    About the Mystery Gift.
    1. If we get over 20,000 UK residents sign up before launch then Pre-Launch membership will get £4.99 monthly for life.
    2. If we get over 50,000 UK residents sign up then before launch Pre-Launch membership will get £3.99 monthly for life.
    3. If we get over 150,000 UK residents sign up then before launch Pre-Launch membership will get £2.99 monthly for life.

    Q: How is this service funded?
    A: This service will be funded by crowdfunding and then membership sign up on the first month of launch. Our Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Enterprise Investment Scheme are currently pending which take up 4 to 6 weeks.

    Q: How will the subtitles be provided, are you creating them?
    A: Our content distributors provides movies with subtitles included. I won’t accept any movies or TV show without subtitles available because in my view, it is pieces of junk.

    Q: How will the BSL be provided, are you creating them?
    A: I have a studio which I can use and hire professional BSL signer’s but it will take lots of time to edit them therefore I am looking around for a professional company that can offer a good deal.

    Q: Will all content released on the website have subtitles and BSL immediately?
    A:  All will have subtitles immediately and BSL will start out with a few titles because it is very expensive and it is new technology. Eventually, all movies will have Sign Language included. That’s our mission.

    Q: What are the challenges you are facing in getting this service up and running?
    A: The most challenging is to get as many subscriber’s as possible to cover the costs and in-vision signer features. I am very confident it will go OK.

    Q: Will you be able to watch the content on all internet enabled devices or desktop and laptops only?
    A: It will work on Playstation 3, Wii, iPad and any devices with an internet connection and screen because we are going to use HTML5 video player.

    Q: What can readers do to help get the service up and running?
    A: Readers can help us to find weakness in our services and sign up please.

    Q: What is your favourite subtitled content?
    A: 100% Subtitles with options of size, colour and background colour to suit their need.   I don’t have a favourite subtitled movie because I love so many movie’s so it is very difficult to choose. But I mostly watch Sci-fi, Horror, Thriller, Adventure and Drama. Sometime Comedy.

    Q: What is your favourite BSL content?
    A: In-vision signer with on and off feature. We are going to start with British Sign Language and when we expand to USA we will put in America Sign Language. American’s are excited and want us to come over, even Australia as well!  I don’t have a favourite British Sign Language movie because I haven’t seen one yet considering we don’t get 24/7 access to entertainment and currently it is very limited access.  When I heard about a movie with in-vision signer on TV, they normally show these at 2am in the morning which it is frustrating for us. And, some BSL TV series are shown on PC or Laptop which is limited devices. Therefore, our company is 24/7 access, you can watch anytime, anywhere and any devices with internet connection and screen. It will also be the fastest way to watch movies.

    Q: Why do you think current content providers are so slow at providing access?
    A: They don’t think how important about our access need because they don’t see how we feel after all these years. I feel so frustrated to have limited access to entertainment and it is getting worse. So, here I am.

    Q: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about Films14?
    A: Films14 is Deaf-led company and we know what we need to access the enjoyment of movies and TV Series. Also, we are world first to have sign language with on and off features. Just like subtitles.

    All the best!

    Shaun Sadlier
    Director
    Films14

    Shaun has already made a BSL signed and subtitled video explaining the service which you can watch on the Films14 website or watch it below:

     
  • iheartsubtitles 8:16 pm on January 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BSL, ,   

    Deaf or hard of hearing? Want to appear in a video and help Universal Subtitles? 

    …. go on!  

    Universal Subtitles Infographic

    Universal Subtitles Infographic

    I’m part of the voluntary, non-profit making community for Universal Subtitles and received an email asking me to promote this opportunity having already done so on Twitter. So here’s the opportunity.

    We’d like to find someone who relies on captions for videos and wouldn’t mind appearing in a video that would be on our volunteer page.

    Basically, we’re going to have a page for volunteer contributors to help caption/translate videos that are requested by the deaf/hoh/international communities. So in other words, a person or socially progressive organization could request that a video be captioned or subtitled in a particular language and then it would show up in a list of things for volunteers to work on. We thought it would be awesome to have a video on that page explaining the system. We also thought it would be appropriate to find a deaf user to sign a little explanation of how it works.

    We had hoped to find someone in NYC, so we could help make sure the production values were sufficiently high; but it wouldn’t be out of the question to try something remote.

    Definitely let me know if you think of anyone who might be interested!

    If this sounds like something you’d like to get involved with then send an email to universalsubtitles@pculture.org

    If not, check out the site anyway, and why not join the community – whether you’re a subtitles/captions user, a techie, a creative – everyone can help.

     
  • iheartsubtitles 10:29 pm on January 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , BSL, , ,   

    Cee Lo Green – Fuck You – part 2 

    Ok so this isn’t technically about subtitling or captioning but thought it made a nice follow up to this post which actually on topic. Having already provided the song is English, Spanish, and German text, Cee Lo Green’s Fuck You or radio friendly Forget You song has now also been translated into American Sign Language (ASL) and British Sign Language (BSL) online. Happy viewing!

     
  • iheartsubtitles 10:50 pm on September 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BSL, , , ,   

    It’s all gone Pete Tong (wrong) 

    Yesterday I got upset because some else got upset in a conversation via Twitter in which we discussed how two music shows have been subtitled on UK TV rather poorly recently. The two in question are X Factor (see Ian Noon’s blog) and Later with Jools Holland.  Both shows are not subtitled prior to transmission because of close filming dates to its transmission date which does not allow time for the final edit to be sent to a captioner/subtitler before broadcast. Live subtitling of music for obvious reason can be a bit of a challenge – especially if the person doing it is not familiar with lyrics or is not given the chance to research them beforehand because they are not provided with the information to prepare with.  This is probably why the subtitling can be out of sync, miss words or a combination of both.  But  here’s the thing – both programmes are repeated in the TV schedule – why oh why can we not have a bit of quality control and the live subtitling be reviewed in time for a repeat schedule and/or for the internet broadcast on itv player / BBC iplayer.  Right now on BBC iplayer – listen to the latest episode of Later with Jools Holland in silence, put the subtitles on and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Scissor Sisters had a song out called ‘Subtitles unavailable for 3 minutes’ except you wouldn’t know what the lyrics are for it:

    Later with Jools Holland - Poor subtitles :(

    I don't feel like subtitling, no sir, no subtitles today

    Now I am an optimist generally speaking but after the depressing conversation about the lack of quality subtitles on the above  music shows I began to wonder how many people might be narrow minded and assume that the only people who use subtitles are people who are hard of hearing or deaf (this is not true) and they won’t have any interest in music (this is definitely not true).  Similarly, and perhaps even worse,  is this the assumption also by broadcasters and  why  it seems as if it is not considered a high priority to review the quality of the subtitling output for music shows in particular?  I admit that I couldn’t help but respond to a tweet recently in which someone asked why was BBC4 ‘bothering’ to subtitle a documetary on Jimi Hendrix. Why on earth not?! I did attempt to educate said person that deaf and hard of hearing people are music lovers too!

    Ironically, whilst this is going on, I’m reading reports that in India subtitling music videos has helped drive an increase in literacy rates:

    India’s public karaoke-for-literacy experiment is the only one of its kind in the world. Technically known as same-language subtitling, or SLS, it manages to reach 200 million viewers across 10 states every week. In the last nine years, functional literacy in areas with SLS access has more than doubled. And the subtitles have acted as a catalyst to quadruple the rate at which completely illiterate adults become proficient readers.

    SOURCE: New York Times

    And it wasn’t always like this on UK TV. My earliest memory of discovering the joy of subtitles was in turning them on for the Thursday night BBC1 broadcast of Top Of The Pops in the 1990s (see The Author ). This was subtitled, and subtitled accurately right down to the #Oooh Ohhhh Ooooh# ‘s of the latest dance tune with albeit limited lyrics (2 Unlimited anyone? Love it!). It meant music was accessible to me in a way it could never be on the radio. It saddens me to think that a teenager now watching chart music on TV may not have the same access as I did. I am always pleased when I turn on 4Music or Viva to discover the video playing has been subtitled – it does seem a bit random but at least it is being done and is also accurate. I applaud this. Also great is to see some music video’s with in vision signing for those that use British Sign Language. If only because it has inspired this next guy Lee, who in turn inspired me (I may share that another time, not right now), to upload BSL music videos to share with the world via You Tube. He makes it look so easy (it’s not) and a heck of a lot of fun (I bet it is). Check out the speed (and accuracy according to the comments) of Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feelin’ :

    And yes this video is also accurately subtitled (though you may have to shut down the advert to see them)

    At least people online are currently putting TV to shame – which really is shame because it *is* TV that inspired Lee in the first place (see his comments on his You Tube channel about how he learned to sign). It could still be for many others if TV can be relied upon for greater accuracy and quality subtitling than the poor examples discussed.

     
    • Page 888 3:06 pm on September 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I actually learned the lyrics to songs by watching TV subtitles too, (well that and reading the song words section in Smash Hits). Have you tried watching some television shows on DVD when they don’t subtitle the lyrics to the opening theme of the programme, instead they just put the episode title.

      Like

      • iheartsubtitles 10:34 pm on September 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Ahh Smash Hits and TV Hits song lyrics sheets – they too were a great resource in the pre-internet days. I feel ancient! Anyway, yes I have noticed DVD subtitles often are not as detailed as UK TV subtitles particularly with regards to music lyrics – this is even more annoying when the music is part of the programme’s story as often the track has been chosen with the lyrics in mind so you are missing part of the message the director wants to you to receive/get.

        Like

    • guffin elam insurance 8:55 am on October 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Great writing! You may want to follow up on this topic!

      Genevieve

      Like

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