Why I'm Hesitant To Recommend Rev For Captioning Videos
What do you when a closed captioning service who gets praised so much ends up having to be criticized?
If you know me, you know that I am a huge advocate for captions. From having captions at all to having captions that are properly done. Whenever I make a video about captions and send a YouTuber an email asking them to caption, I recommend Rev. I recommend Rev because they are in fact the cheapest paid service (that I am aware of). They’re also, for the most part, pretty fast.
I’ve recommended them for quite a few years now and I think I’m at the point where I almost feel like I need to stop, or at least tell people to be extra careful. For the last year or so, I’ve noticed a decline in quality. I’ve ordered a good amount of caption files and I’ve rated less than three stars on most of them, and have requested refunds on a few. My deal is that if I spend most of my time editing the files, it’s a bad file. I should not be doing what I paid someone to do.
Getting specific names wrong, the spelling wrong, is not the biggest issue. Not everyone is aware of everything or everyone. (However, when you take on this kind of job, I really suggest Googling who you’re typing about while you’re working on the file.) The main issue has been that captions leave out words, add in words that were never said, lots of incorrect grammar (I’m no expert in grammar, but I’m talking about lack of capitalization and either no punctuation or too much punctuation that has no place being there), and alignment being totally off.
What I’ve noticed, and why this worries me, is bigger channels tend to not look over the file once it’s on the video. Watching Hannah Witton’s and Lilly Singh’s videos, I notice that since I see mistakes still there. More specifically, when words are absolutely wrong. I always tell people to look over the files they receive regardless of whether it’s from YouTube’s community contribution or a professional company. Everyone makes mistakes and these mistakes should be fixed so your viewer has proper access.
I’ve talked with Rev about these issues over Twitter and in emails. It’s been a few months since our conversation. I’ve ordered a few times since our interaction and I’ve had one really good file, a few okay files, and some pretty bad files.
You may be wondering why I still continue to order from Rev. Well, you have to think about financial situations. Like many other YouTubers, $1 is really what I can afford. $3 a minute services really add up. Normally, I have Ai-Media caption my videos since we have a business deal, but due to different time zones as they are based in Australia, sometimes I can’t get the captions when I need them and Rev is my best bet. It’s what I call a necessary evil.
Am I going to tell you to stop ordering from Rev? Of course not. Like I said myself, Rev is what I can personally afford. What I will tell you is to make sure you provide feedback when you get less than stellar files. Don’t let Rev continue to go down in quality.
Until next time.