What does audio description mean?

First things first, let’s talk about what audio description services are, why it’s important and why you should have Gotham Lab handle your audio description needs. Audio description services can be described as a human voice narration to help describe visual elements in a video to individuals who are blind or have visual impairment. This helps describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. Without audio description services, elements and details in the video will be impossible for the visually impaired to comprehend.

Audio description is commentary and narration that guides the listener through the presentation with concise, objective descriptions of scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and “sight gags,” all slipped in between portions of dialogue. For television, movies and videos, the audio description track is provided as an alternate audio track and can be turned on or off.

Here’s the FCC’s definition of audio description:

§79.3 (a)(3) Video Description/Audio Description.

The insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements into natural pauses between the program’s dialogue.

Why is audio description important?

In 2002 the Federal Communications Commission ruled that all major broadcast television networks and the largest cable television networks are required to provide a certain number of hours of audio described television programming each quarter in the USA. The FCC’s authority to do this was challenged in court by various organizations, and the FCC’s mandate was struck down. It took 8 long years for Congress to reinstate the FCC’s authority to mandate description, and nearly 2 more years to implement it. Currently, nine broadcast and cable networks are required to provide a minimum of 87.5 hours of audio description for television shows per quarter.

Many of your favorite American TV series have audio description tracks. Currently over 200 TV series in the USA contain audio descriptions.

Why choose us for your audio description needs?

For starters, we use human experts that are specially trained in creating an audio descriptive script that will adhere to legal and regulatory standards. Once the audio descriptive script is created, we use human voice-over talent to record in a neutral, informative and friendly tone. We do not use text to speech, AI or other automated software tools that compromise the quality and sound of the audio description service. Contact us today for a personalized experience and quote.

A few more things we’re great at

We are the one stop shop for media localization and language services

Spanish Translation Services

Language Translations

Need a translation? We have your back. With hand-selected translators in over 50 languages let us help you break the language barrier and get your content out there. Our translations are handled by thoroughly vetted professionals, not software or AI, and we’re proud of that. 

Subtitling services

Subtitling & Captioning

With an increase in global viewership around the world, having subtitles and captions for your video content is a necessity. Subtitling and captioning your content will help you reach the largest audience possible and enable viewers to understand your videos in any language.

Voice over recording studio

Voice Over Recording

We have hundreds of professional voice talent in over 50 languages. Our in-house studio uses the highest quality microphones, hardware and software to produce broadcast ready recordings in any language. We have exclusivity agreements and audio engineers ready to get it done. 

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