Spanish Alignment: Best Practices


To achieve best results using the Spanish transcript alignment service, it is important to be aware of the following best practices when submitting transcripts and media files. 

Transcripts & media files must both be in Spanish (Latin America)

Please be advised that this service is strictly for aligning Spanish transcripts with media files where the speech is entirely in a dialect of Latin American Spanish.



This service is NOT for syncing a Spanish transcript to a media file with English audio to create subtitles.
Subtitles can be created using 3Play Media's translation services.
See more information about our translation services.    

Spanish files cannot be translated into other languages.
Translation is only available when the source file is in English.
Translation from Spanish coming soon!

Text Requirements

Submit UTF-8 encoded text only

-The Spanish text file submitted must be UTF-8 encoded. 

UTF-8 encoded text ensures Spanish characters (ñ for example) and the special characters like apostrophes are retained in your completed file.
Errors may occur if the text is not UTF-8 encoded resulting in unwanted characters such as apostrophes getting converted to ???s.

-DO NOT submit a Microsoft Word .doc file as your transcript

If your Spanish transcript is currently a Microsoft Word .doc it MUST BE EXPORTED/CONVERTED to a UTF-8 encoded text file.

See more information on converting your transcript to UTF-8

Spanish text must correspond to audio

-All of the text in the Spanish transcript must correspond to the audio or be speaker IDs.

Transcripts submitted containing extraneous text impact alignment quality. 

This means:
Remove all stage directions, overview information, i.e., any extraneous information. 
Remove all tables, html markup, logos etc. 
Remove all time codes/stamps


Factors Affecting Alignment Quality

Incorrectly Formatted Speaker IDs:

Speaker IDs are not required but can be included in your transcript. 
Speaker IDs must be ALL CAPITAL LETTERS followed by a colon when used.  

Below are two examples of properly formatted speakers IDs.




Extraneous Text: 

Text which does NOT correspond to the audio interferes with the process.  

Occasional items (e.g., [CLAPPING], [MUSIC PLAYING]) shouldn't cause too many problems.  

Howeverlarge chunks of text that do not correspond to the audio or significant sections of audio that do not correspond to the text will likely throw the alignment off in that time region.


Overlapping speakers:

...are difficult because the text cannot accurately show the ordering of words. 
Regions containing overlapping speakers tend to be very confusing to the process.


Low-quality audio:

...will also negatively affect the alignment.  
This will usually be reflected in the audio difficulty rating for the file.   

It's important to realize that poor correspondence between the text and audio may also be reflected in the audio difficulty rating, even if the audio quality is actually good. 

See more information on audio difficulty

Formatting Transcripts

Paragraph breaks:

The processing assumes that each and every line-feed sequence in the transcript is intended to be a paragraph break.
If this is not your intention, you must manually remove these line-feeds from your input transcript prior to upload.

Speaker IDs:

Must be ALL CAPITAL LETTERS followed by a colon


Stranded Media Files

These are media files uploaded for alignment that do not have corresponding text files.

- Every morning, we check for these, and... 

  • If it has been stranded for greater than 24 hours  but less than 48, we will send project admins a reminder and warn that it will be deleted in 24 hours.
  • If it's greater than 48 hours (i.e., the warning has already been sent), we delete and notify project admins.



Please note that the duration of each file submitted for alignment should not exceed 2 hours.

From the Account System: 
Direct Upload, Using Links, or from a Linked Account.

Submitting the Spanish transcript from the account system:

When uploading Spanish transcripts directly from the 3Play Media account system, it is best to drag and drop your unformatted plain text (.TXT) transcript file instead of cutting and pasting text.

Drag/Drop is the preferred method when uploading .TXT transcripts from the account system because cutting/pasting text can introduce encoding errors. 

DO NOT drag/drop or cut/paste text from a Microsoft Word document as this will result in encoding errors.

Using FTP or API:

For large numbers of submissions for alignment FTP/API uploads are best assuming the file has no extraneous formatting and all text corresponds to the audio.
See below for information regarding formatting and text. 





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