Crooked Media And Adobe Partner To Make Podcasts More Accessible

Adobe announced a partnership with Crooked Media, the progressive independent media company that delivers bold content to entertain, inform and inspire action, to make podcasts accessible, leveraging Adobe Premiere Pro’s Speech to Text technology to caption popular content.

At a time when video and podcasting are both skyrocketing in popularity, the ability to turn around entertaining, digestible and accessible content on increasingly tight timelines is crucial to the success of any media company. When Crooked Media, a longtime user of Adobe Creative Cloud, committed to making its award-winning content accessible to wider audiences through captioning, it was a natural fit for Adobe and Crooked Media to work together.

This partnership is now a reality as Adobe’s industry-leading Speech to Text feature set in Premier Pro is being used across Crooked Media’s video platforms to caption popular content including interviews and clips from Pod Save America, the popular political podcast hosted by Crooked founders and former Obama staffers and speechwriters, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, as well as Lovett or Leave It, Offline, Pod Save the World, Keep It, and X-Ray Vision.

“When Crooked Media debuted in 2016, we were purely a podcast company, but we quickly learned that video was going to play an important role in helping us reach new audience and make our content accessible to more people,” said Matt DeGroot, senior director of video production at Crooked Media. “However, the tools in the market didn’t offer the speed and accuracy that we needed for our quick productions and turnaround times. Speech to Text in Premiere Pro allows us to put high-quality captions on all our video content, opening the door for more people to participate in the podcast experience.”

“Making amazing podcasts is Crooked Media’s bread and butter, and we’re big admirers of their work,” said Meagan Keane, principal product marketing manager at Adobe. “It’s so exciting for use to see Speech to Text in podcast content available today, and we are proud to know that it’s helping to make their shows more accessible so that more people can partake in the experience.”

As a media company that publishes news analysis and timely commentary, efficiency and accuracy are extremely important for the Crooked Media production team, who aim for just three hours between the moment the producer hits “stop recording” to when the podcast episode is live. However, turning around high-quality captions in a quick time frame can be challenging. Video creators and editors often have to make their captions manually after waiting for the transcription to be created – which can take longer than 24 hours – or switch between different tools for various tasks, limiting the use of captions across video content.

Speech to Text in Premier Pro leverages AL and machine learning to automate the creation of transcriptions and captions, speeding up the tedious and time-consuming process so that the Crooked Media team can get high-quality, precise captions for their video podcasts and social media channels fast, making their content more engaging and accessible without missing a beat.

The podcasting industry has matured and expanded into one of the world’s biggest platforms for people to tell stories, share news and content authentically with their audiences. Adobe is committed to innovating alongside the growing industry by introducing tools like Speech to Text in Premier Pro, Project Shasta for AI-powered editing and recording to make audio sound like it was recorded in a studio and Adobe Express for free podcast cover templates and art.

Adobe’s Project VoCo Could Revolutionize Spoken Word Audio Production

Adobe VoCoIt’s no secret that audio editing is a task many podcasters must begrudgingly embrace. While modern digital audio workstations have come a long way to make audio editing easier, these applications are still lacking in tools that truly speed up or automate the process. A skilled audio producer will be able to see some obvious correction points when looking at waveforms within an editing program. But for the most part, when it comes to editing spoken word tracks, it’s necessary to listen to all of the audio that’s been recorded.

Adobe could turn spoken word audio production on its side with a new prototype software called Project VoCo. Ars Technica has already dubbed VoCo the “photoshop for audio,” quoting developer Zenyu Jin, who debuted VoCo at a recent Adobe conference.

VoCo works like this: Give the software a sample of about 20 minutes of spoken audio from a single voice (the sample could be recorded specifically for VoCo, or taken from a podcast or audio book recording). VoCo then generates a transcript of the words that were spoken and displays the transcript as text. From there, an audio producer can simply rearrange the text into a new order, and VoCo will edit the audio to match the changes in text.

It doesn’t stop there. VoCo can also synthesize spoken words based on the sample audio it’s received, allowing the editor to literally put words into the editing subject’s mouth.

For those who are dreading that next audio editing job, VoCo could speed up the process dramatically. Of course, the software’s ability to convincingly produce spoken words from text will create endless potential for hilarity. But it could also be used for evil. With this in mind, Adobe has added a watermarking tool to VoCo to make it easier to identify authentic audio.

See VoCo in action in the video below.