How to loopback Zoom meeting audio for auto-captioning with spf.io

Last updated: October 19, 2020

Automatic captioning of your Zoom calls is a convenient way to enhance your meeting with captioning. In this article, we’re going over how to set up your computer and spf.io, so you can provide automatic captioning of your Zoom calls. This is useful where:

  • You are an event organizer supporting a Zoom meeting for a client
  • You have multiple people on the same Zoom call that will be speaking
  • You do not have someone to manually caption your meeting
  • You have a separate computer that can be used for auto-captioning
  • You understand the risk of mistakes that come with auto-captioning

In order to caption multiple speakers on the Zoom call, you will need to loopback the meeting audio so the sound is routed into spf.io to generate captions. Here are the steps to set up and loopback audio of a Zoom call.

Note: If you are also a participant, the computer setup to auto-caption the Zoom meeting must be a separate device from the one that you yourself will use to participate in the Zoom meeting.

 

For Mac: Computer Setup  |  Within-spf.io Setup  |  Zoom Setup

For Windows: Computer Setup  |  Within-spf.io Setup  |  Zoom Setup

 


 

For Mac

Computer Setup

1. Download the VB-CABLE Virtual Audio device from their website and complete the installation. It is free to download.

2. Once the installation is complete, open the Audio MIDI Setup application on your computer. One shortcut to do this is to press Command + Space Bar and type in “Audio MIDI Setup” then press Enter.

3. This opens the application and displays all the audio devices you have available on your computer.

4. Click on the “+” icon in the bottom left hand corner and select “Create Multi-Output Device”.

5. This will create a new audio device. Select both VB Cable and the speakers to be used.

6. Open your computer’s System Preferences > Sound, under the Output tab,  select “Multi-Output Device”.

Within-spf.io Setup

1. Create a new session in spf.io then open up the Streamer window or Operator window.

2. Select the channel of the spoken language in the meeting. If in the Streamer window, click on the “Stream captions” button so it turns red. If in the Operator window, click on “Autopilot” so it is enabled.

3. Turn on the microphone. If in the Streamer window, click on the little microphone icon below the “Streaming Captions” button to enable it to begin listening. Then click on the speech bubble icon so it is set to display the raw captions. In the Operator view, just click on the microphone icon.

4. Next, ensure the correct microphone input is selected for spf.io to listen to. Click on the microphone icon in the URL address bar to see which input it has selected. You want “VB-Cable (Virtual)” to be selected. If you changed the input, you may need to refresh the Streamer window for the change to be picked up.

Zoom Closed Captioning Setup

1. In your Zoom call, click on the arrow next to your microphone button to set the microphone and speaker settings. Select the Speaker as “VB Cable”.

2. If you want to show captions in Zoom using the closed caption API token, follow instructions here.

Note: The computer setup to auto-caption/translate the Zoom meeting must be separate from the device that you yourself will participate in the Zoom meeting. 

 


 

For Windows

Computer Setup

1. Download VB Cable for Windows and install the virtual audio device.

2. Open the Sound settings on your Windows machine.

3. Ensure the default output device remains your built in speakers and your default input device as your built-in microphone.

4. Click on “Sound Control Panel”

5. A new window will appear. Confirm that the VB Cable device is enabled in the Playback tab and in the Recording tab. If it is not enabled, right click on it and select “Enable”.

6. Then click “OK” to close the Sound settings.

Within-spf.io Setup

7. Now we need to set up spf.io to auto-caption. Log into spf.io and create a new session. Set up spf.io as you normally would for either raw captioning or auto-caption and translate.

8. Click on the microphone icon to enable the microphone and click on the video camera icon in the URL address bar and check which microphone input it is listening to. You want to select “VB Cable”. You may need to click on “Manage” to change the microphone input. It will open a separate window where you can change the selected input.

9. You may need to refresh spf.io so that the change in input is picked up.

 

Zoom Setup

10. Open up your Zoom call. Click on the arrow next to the mute button and select VB Cable as the speaker output.

11. If you want to show captions in Zoom using the closed caption API token, follow instructions here.

Note: The computer setup to auto-caption/translate the Zoom meeting must be separate from the device that you yourself will participate in the Zoom meeting. 

 

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