Batch Virtual Appliance

Important Notices

Removal Note

The legacy V1 API that the Batch Virtual Appliance currently supports is now removed. The V2 API is the only supported API in the Batch Virtual Appliance following this release. How to use the V2 API can be seen in the docs (https://docs.speechmatics.com/en/batch-appliance/api-guide/api-howto/).

The new enhanced model requires increased compute requirements and new recommended AVX flags. Please check the updated system requirements in the installation guide and ensure your hardware meets Speechmatics' recommendations. Otherwise you may see a slow down in processing speed when using the enhanced model. It is also now necessary to run the appliance on processors that support AVX2 in order to take advantage of latest performance optimisations for both the standard and enhanced model for all language packs.

If you are importing an appliance through VirtualBox, and AVX flags are not automatically enabled, you can also take advantage of the the performance benefits from AVX2 following these guidelines.

High-Level Summary

This release provides new improved language packs for all Speechmatics' commercially available languages. Two new language packs Cantonese (yue) and Indonesian (id) are released. It improves on existing punctuation in several of these languages, as well as existing speaker diarization and custom dictionary features. Common numerals (entities) are now transcribed in a consistent and predictable fashion for a subset of languages. Additional data about these entities can be requested via the API.

What's New

4.0.0

  • Improved accuracy for all 31 language packs. Gains will be for both standard and enhanced operating points
  • New Cantonese (yue) and Indonesian (id) language packs
  • Improved formatting of numeric entities such as dates, currencies and large numbers for 11 languages, which are as following
    • Cantonese (yue)
    • Chinese Mandarin (cmn)
    • English (en)
    • French (fr)
    • German (de)
    • Hindi (hi)
    • Italian (it)
    • Japanese (ja)
    • Portuguese (pt)
    • Russian (ru)
    • Spanish (es)
  • Additional metadata about these entities can be requested by using the new enable_entities config parameter. For more information please see our documentation for entities here
  • Improvements to speaker diarization functionality in scenarios where two speakers are labelled when it is only a single speaker
  • Improvements to custom dictionary functionality. Custom dictionary entries should now have less false positives
  • Languages with updated punctuation marks
    • Japanese (。 、)
    • Italian (. ? , !)
    • Portuguese (. ? , !)
    • Russian (. ? , !)
    • Mandarin (。 ? ! 、)
    • Hindi (। ? , !)
    • All other languages will not see a change in outstanding punctuation marks
  • The JSON-v2 output format version is now 2.7
  • The transcription can now output words containing non-breaking spaces as a single result
  • The V1 Speech API has been removed from the Batch Virtual Appliance
  • Speaker Diarization sensitivity parameters (previously deprecated in March 2021) are now removed from the API
    • Jobs will now be rejected if these parameters are included in the job config
    • This includes speaker_diarization_params, new_speaker_sensitivity, segment_boundary_sensitivity
  • Documentation is no longer embedded in the Appliance. Please use this website for all your documentation needs

Known Limitations

The following are known issues in this release:

Issue IDSummaryDetailed Description and Possible Workarounds
REQ-1409Proteus HCL with <unk> causes out of memory errorA custom dictionary list that contains the word '' causes the worker to crash.
REQ-7549Memory leak affecting gRPCThere is a small memory leak in the gRPC Python server https://github.com/grpc/grpc/issues/5913.
REQ-10160Advanced punctuation for Spanish (es) does not contain inverted marks.Inverted marks [ ¿ ¡ ] are not currently available for Spanish advanced punctuation.
REQ-10627Double full stops when acronym is at the end of the sentenceIf there is an acronym at the end of the sentence, then a double full stop will be output, for example: "team G.B.."
REQ-10634Putting "-" as an item in additional vocab configuration will cause the container to failDo not enter just a "-" on its own in Custom Dictionary either as an additional vocab item or in the sounds_like property. Hyphens are still supported when entered as part of phrases or words
REQ-14402When running very large numbers of small jobs (less than 10 seconds) offline, this may cause some of the jobs to be rejectedIf you encounter this issue, please ensure licensing is in offline mode when running the appliance offline

Supported Platforms

Virtual Appliance image (OVA) for installation on:

  • VMware ESXi 6.5+ or VMware Workstation Player.
  • VirtualBox 5.2+
  • Amazon EC2

See the Installation and Admin Guide for details on the minimum specifications for the VM. The maximum number of concurrent jobs (maxworkers) that you can run on a single appliance is 30.

Form Factors

VariantImage SizeMax. Disk SpaceLanguages
nano10GB40GBen
mini15GB40GBen, de, es
midi30GB60GBen, de, es, fr, ko, ja, nl, pt
maxi52GB80GBen, de, es, fr, ko, ja, nl, pt, it, da, pl, ca, hi, ru, sv
plus60GB80GBen, cmn, no, ar, bg, cs, el, fi, hu, hr, lt, lv, ro, sk, sl, tr, ms, id, yue

Upgrade Path

Remove the license from your old appliance (see the Admin Guide), then re-import the new OVA and configure networking as per the Installation and Admin guide. You will need to re-apply the license code you have once the OVA has imported.

Installation

Upload the OVA to VMWare ESX, VMWare Workstation Player, or VirtualBox. See the Installation and Admin Guide for more information.

Performance at Scale

Further notes on IOPS requirements under heavy usage of the appliance are now provided in the System Requirements section of the Installation Guide.