News and Notes related to Digital Media Transcription, Analysis, and Captioning.
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  • Working Around Discontinuous Timecodes

    Posted on April 6th, 2018 Alex No comments

    We often hear from users working with video that has a running timecode burned in to the video image. The most common issue is that the on-screen running timecode doesn’t match up with InqScribe’s default [00.00.00:00] starting point. You can easily resolve this by running a timecode adjustment. However, you may also have a gap in the middle of the footage that causes the on-screen timecode to becomes out of sync with InqScribe. A transcript with a gap like this is said to have discontinuous timecodes.

    The problem is that InqScribe can’t read the burned in running timecode and has no way of knowing about the gap. InqScribe bases its timecode on the total length of the video itself, not the on-screen footage that makes up the video.

    You can work around this limitation by offsetting your timecodes so that they match up after the gap. Note that this will effectively “break” the timecodes in your transcript. They will no longer be clickable and cannot be saved as a subtitled QuickTime Movie. With that said, it won’t affect your end results when exporting the transcript as a subtitle file, in formats like SubRip SRT, WebVTT, Plain Text, etc.

    Here’s what to do:

    1. Prepare your InqScribe transcript. Here’s a short sample text we’ll use for the purpose of demonstration:

    [02:17:58.00] John crosses the street
    [02:18:08.17] John enters a rickshaw
    [02:18:29.19] John exits the rickshaw

    2. Make a new copy of your transcript. This way, you have a backup to refer to in case you inadvertently make a mistake adjusting timecodes.

    3. Find the point in the video where there is a gap between the burned-in timecode and the corresponding timecode in your transcript. Click on the first timecode entered after this gap and note the burned in timecode that appears on screen. You’re going to subtract the value of the timecode written in InqScribe from the timecode burned into the video (or vice versa if there was a jump backwards in time). To make this easier, you may want to make use of this free timecode calculator from Michael Cinquin. (Tip: If you use this tool, make note of the timecode frame rate selector at the top of the calculator. This should match the frame rate of your InqScribe transcript. You can check the timecode frame rate of your InqScribe transcript in InqScribe’s Transcript > Transcript Settings menu. By default, it’s set to 30 fps.)

    In our example, let’s say we noticed a gap between the first entry at [02:17:58.00] and the second entry at [02:18:08.17]. When we click on [02:18:08.17], we notice the burned-in timecode shown below:

    Burned-in Timecode

    Since the timecode jumped forward, we take the on-screen value [03:19:09.18] minus the transcript value [02:18:08.17]. This comes out to a gap of [01:01:01.01].

    4. Highlight the affected region of your transcript, from the offset point through the end of your transcript, and select “Transcript > Adjust Timecodes”. Select “Add” (or “Subtract” if there was a jump backwards in time) and enter the number you got from your earlier subtraction. Based on our example, we’ll enter [01:01:01.01]. Check “Adjust Selection Only” and click OK.

    5. You should now see the selected timecodes match up with the running on-screen time. If you find another gap in your running timecode later in the transcript, you can repeat the process as needed.
    Here’s how our sample text turned out:

    [02:17:58.00] John crosses the street
    [03:19:09.18] John enters a rickshaw
    [03:19:30.20] John exits the rickshaw

    If something didn’t go right, make sure to check that the timecode frame rate of your video, your InqScribe transcript, and the timecode calculator tool (if used) all match. Otherwise, if you have questions about InqScribe, you can contact us at support@inqscribe.com.

     

  • How to Insert Quick, Marker-style Snippets

    Posted on August 23rd, 2016 Alex No comments

    One of our users recently asked if it was possible to insert Final Cut Pro-style markers into their InqScribe transcript. Although InqScribe doesn’t support true Final Cut Pro markers yet, you can create a custom Snippet to quickly insert a short note about a video.

    As an example, let’s say you want to note every time the video changes perspective to the second camera. We can create a Snippet that inserts the current timecode, the text “CAMERA 2”, and then the out timecode 1 second later.

    Obama Video Camera 2

    Here’s how:

    1. Open up your InqScribe transcript and select “Edit > Edit Snippets”
    2. In the Edit Snippets menu, click “Add” and enter a name for your new creation. “Marker 1” will do.
    3. Select a trigger key for your Snippet. Make sure to set it to an available trigger key (see this article for some suggestions). You could set it to Ctrl-Shift-; or Command-Shift-; if you’re already accustomed to using the Ctrl-; or Command-; shortcut combination to insert timecodes.
    4. Enter the following into the Snippet text area and then click “Done”:
      {$time} CAMERA 2 {$time_offset(00:00:01.00)}

    Once you press the Snippet’s trigger, it will output to the following (assuming pressed 23 seconds into the video):

    [00:00:23.00] CAMERA 2 [00:00:24.00]

    If you want to adjust the amount of time the out timecode is “offset” from the in timecode, you can adjust the value in the parenthesis. More Snippet variables are listed in our User Guide here.

    WARNING: Watch out for overlapping timecodes. The out timecode of the first subtitle must come before the in timecode of the next subtitle. In the example above, if you have a timecode that’s placed less than a second after the previous one, it would cause timecode overlap. If overlap occurs, you won’t be able to export your transcript properly.

    If you have questions about Snippets, or about InqScribe in general, feel free to contact us at support@inqscribe.com. We’re always happy to hear from our users.

  • Taking and Sharing Notes on Video

    Posted on May 11th, 2011 ben No comments

    InqScribe’s free-form text editing is intended to support a wide variety of tasks. So while we often talk of “transcribing” video, in practice oftentimes it’s more efficient to simply take notes. I was reminded of this in recent conversation with one of our customers at a cable tv network: sometimes all you want to do is review a clip and call out highlights from the video that you might want to use.

    This is particularly useful in team environments: you can watch a video, insert a timecode and quick note about interesting moments, and then share the InqScribe document with your editor or director. The editor/director can click on the timecode to view the segment of video.

    For example, we need to edit our introductory screencast. I review the video and I write the following in an InqScribe transcript to tell Matt (who’s editing the video):

    Cut [00:00:06.00] through [00:00:14.23] -- we can jump straight into the intro.
    The audio at [00:00:27.00] is unclear.  Can you re-record that?
    End the clip at [00:01:06.03].

    Matt already has the video on his computer, so I can just email the InqScribe file to him. He’ll copy it to the folder where the video is, open the InqScribe file, and the transcript will automatically link itself to the media again. (Alternatively, you can reference a common file on a network somewhere). He can then click on the timecodes I’ve inserted to see exactly what I”m talking about.

    The “transcript” is only few lines, but it conveys everything he needs to know. And obviously, there’s no need for a line by line transcript. A few timecoded notes suffice.

  • Tip: How Do I Remove Frames from Timecodes?

    Posted on December 14th, 2010 ben No comments

    I don’t want the frame number to appear in my timecode. I want [hh:mm:ss], not [hh:mm:ss:ff]. Can I turn it off?

    For example, I don’t want my timecode to look like this: [00:01:23.29]
    Instead, I want to remove the last two numbers so it looks like this: [00:01:23]

    To remove the frames from your currently open transcript:

    1. Open the existing transcript in InqScribe.

    2. Select “Transcript->Transcript Settings…” from the menu bar.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.

    4. Click “OK” to close the window.

    This will tell InqScribe not to use frames in the future for this particular transcript (Frames will still be used by default for any new transcripts that you create.  See the next section to turn off frames for all future transcripts). Next we need to remove the frames from your existing timecodes.

    5. Select “Transcript->Adjust Timecodes…” from the menu bar.

    6. Leave the “Adjustment:” field at “00:00:00”, and click “Adjust.”  This will reformat all of your timecodes to remove the frame number.

    To change ALL of your future transcripts to omit frames by default…

    (You can always enable frames on a per transcript basis. This will just disable them by default for any new transcript you create.)

    …On a Mac:

    1. Select “InqScribe->Preferences…” from the menu bar.

    2. Click on the “New Document” tab at the top of the “InqScribe Preferences” window.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.

    …On Windows:

    1. Select “Edit->Options…” from the menu bar.

    2. Click on the “New Document” tab at the top of the “InqScribe Preferences” window.

    3. Under the “Inserted Timecode Format:” section, check the “Omit Frames” checkbox.