An Audio Description (AD) track is a secondary narration track, intended to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main video soundtrack alone. An AD track provides information about actions, characters, slide contents, on-screen text, and other visual content to people who are blind or have low vision, as well as those with cognitive limitations who have difficulty interpreting visual elements.
- Providing AD tracks (when necessary) helps to meet the requirements of WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.
- AD tracks are not necessary if the video narrator sufficiently describes what's happening on the screen as part of their normal narration.
- AD tracks should occur in natural breaks/pauses in your video, to prevent overlap with the main audio track.
- AD tracks should sync up with and, in most cases, not be longer than the main audio track.
How to Create an Audio Description Track
You currently cannot create an audio-only file with the TechSmith Relay recorder. However, many free audio editing tools exist online. Users can also export audio-only files using Camtasia, a powerful screen recorder and video editor, also from TechSmith.
Please Note: TechSmith Relay supports both the MP3 and M4A audio file formats, when adding AD tracks to video content.
How to Add an Audio Description Track to a TechSmith Relay Video
- Visit the video view page in TechSmith Relay.
- Click on the Accessibility tab.
- Select the Manage Audio Description action from the dropdown menu, then Confirm.
- Upload your audio file by clicking Select a File to Upload (MP3 or M4A files only).
- Once an AD track has been uploaded and attached to a TechSmith Relay video, viewers can toggle the playback of the secondary track using the AD Track button on the video player controls (note: this button is only displayed when an AD track is present).
For any video that has an existing AD track, you can select Accessibility > Manage Audio Description again (Step 3 above) for options to Dowload, Replace, or Remove the existing AD Track:
- The AD track does not have separate volume controls. The video player volume slider controls boths tracks simultaneously.
- Videos without closed captions can still have AD tracks.
- AD tracks are also sometimes referred to as "video description" or "descriptive narration" tracks.