Describe content that is otherwise only accessible to people who can see it. Examples:

  • Words on the screen
  • Critical actions
  • Other critical details about the setting, etc.

Script it first. Then record the narration. Then sync it with the video.

Description in MAGPie

  • Write script using the caption interface.
  • Record audio description segments.
  • Save as Real or Quicktime.
  • Output is a SMIL file that synchronizes the wav files with the video.
  • Play the SMIL file in Real Player or Quicktime.

Description using JW Player

  • JW Player supports a single MP3 audio description track
  • Includes ducking so it automatically lowers the program audio when audio description starts (experimental solution)

Outsourcing Audio Description

There are many examples of vendors' work one the Listening Is Learning page, What is description?

Text description in HTML5

  <video controls tabindex="0">
    <source src="" type="video/mp4"> 
    <source src="" type="video/ogg">
    <track kind="captions" src=""> 
    <track kind="descriptions" src="">
    <!-- fallback content goes here -->

Text Description Proof of Concept

Greg Kraus of North Carolina State University has developed a demo that uses ARIA to communicate text descriptions to screen reader users during video playback. The demo and accompanying blog post is available at