Captions and subtitles allow people to better understand what is being said in a video. They help those people with hearing impairment and everyone else who does not understand the language to follow along. Captions and subtitles add another layer of communication to videos, making them accessible to even more people. However, there are several different types of captions and subtitles, each with its own purpose.
There are many ways to go about adding captions and subtitles to your videos, including using third-party software, self-hosted solutions, and paid professional services. In addition, some solutions offer free trials while others require payment upfront. Some are better suited for specific tasks, like editing text, while others are designed primarily for translation. And some are specifically targeted toward certain platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook Live, and Vimeo.
How to make closed captions, subtitles and transcriptions efficiently
Video captioning and subtitling tools are essential parts of every video production team’s workflows. They are used to provide captions and subtitles for videos that require them. These days, there are many different types of captioning tools out there. Some are browser-based, while others are standalone apps that must be installed separately.
In addition to captioning and subtitling tools, there are several software packages that can be used to transcribe audio recordings into text files. This includes speech recognition programs, voice-to-text conversion software, and transcription software. Each type of program provides unique capabilities and advantages over the others.
The purpose of this guide is to help you understand what each of these tools do, how they differ from one another, and why you might want to consider using multiple ones throughout your video production workflow. We’ll start with the most basic form of captioning – the creation of closed captions. Then we’ll move on to subtitling. Finally, we’ll discuss some of the common formats for video transcripts, and how they can be converted to one another.
Free Machine Subtitling Tools
There are a lot of free voice recognition tools online for video or speech dictation. They’re easy to use and often offer a 30-day trial period. But what happens when you want to transcribe something longer than 30 days? Or maybe you just want to give it a try without spending $100+ per month on a subscription. Well, you’ll find plenty of free alternatives here.
Some of the most popular ones include:
1. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 ($59): This is one of the better known “free” solutions, especially among beginners. It works well for short clips, but it doesn’t work as well for long recordings.
2. Camtasia Studio 8 ($199): This is another good choice for both beginner and intermediate users. You can record up to 4 hours of audio and add subtitles for a total length of up to 5 hours. If you plan to do lots of recording, this might be the best option for you.
3. WebcamMax 7 ($39): This app offers a similar feature set to Camtasia Studio 8, including the ability to record up to 4 hours. It does not support closed captioning, however.
4. Audacity 2.0.5 ($80): This open source program is great for editing existing videos, adding effects, creating music, etc., but it isn’t really designed for transcription.
5. ScreenFlow 3 ($99): This is a Mac-only solution that supports closed captioning and allows you to capture up to 10 minutes of audio. It’s perfect for people who primarily edit videos.
Google Docs Voice-typing (combined with Soundflower)
Voice typing is one of those things you either love or hate. If you’re like us, you’re probably somewhere in the middle. But there’s no denying that if you want to type fast, it’s a great way to do it. However, it’s a pain to try and use a microphone to dictate text into a document. So how about combining both methods together? You guessed it — Google Docs now has a built-in speech recognition feature. This works just like any other voice-recognition software out there, except it’s integrated directly into Google Docs. All you have to do is open up a spreadsheet, hit “Record,” and start talking. Then hit stop and save. Your audio file will automatically upload to Google Drive where you can access it later.
The best part is that it seems to work really well. We tried recording ourselves speaking in several different languages and the results were impressive. We even recorded our dog barking at us while trying to record her saying “I’m hungry.” In fact, she didn’t even realize what had happened.
We tested this system against some of the better known voice-recording apps out there, including Dragon Naturally Speaking, Nuance, and Microsoft Speech Recognition. While none of them came close to matching Google Docs’ accuracy, they did all offer a good experience, especially considering the price. For example, Dragon NaturallySpeaking costs $99 per month, whereas Google Docs offers a completely free version.
Of course, there are a few caveats. First off, you’ll need a computer running Windows 7 or newer and a sound card. Second, you’ll need to download Google Chrome. Finally, you might run into issues if you’re trying to record multiple people at once.
That being said, it’s worth giving this a shot. Especially since it’s free.
Free Online Closed Captioning Platforms and Subtitle Editors
There are many different ways to make captions and subtitles for your videos. Some are free, some cost money, and others offer both. In this article, we will cover three popular online platforms, namely CaptiView, TranscribeMe, and Talkwalker. These are great because they don’t require downloading anything, they work well, and they give you access to lots of different languages.
CaptiView allows you to upload files up to 5 GB, transcribe them, and export the results to PDF, MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, WebM, MPEG, M2T, OGG, 3GP, MKV, WEBM, and SWF formats. They have over 20 million subtitle tracks in their database, and they support more than 50 languages.
TranscribeMe offers similar features, except it doesn’t allow you to upload large files, and it does not provide any format conversion. However, it does provide transcriptions in over 60 languages and supports more than 40 file types.
TalkWalker is another option, although it requires you to install a plugin into your browser. This way you can easily add captions to your videos and sync them to social media channels. Also, you can use the built-in editor to change colors and fonts.
Last but not least, Amara editor…
The Amara platform provides tools for creating subtitles and closed captioning for YouTube videos. You can access Amara directly from YouTube, or from your desktop browser.
With the free version of Amara, you can add subtitles to up to five different languages simultaneously. If you want to add subtitles to multiple languages, you’ll have to upgrade to Pro.
You can also upload your subtitles into the cloud, where they’re automatically synchronized across all devices. This way, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to update your subtitles.
You can even sync your subtitles to popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Telegram, WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk, Kik, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Soundcloud, and Slack.
And because Amara is a web application, there’s no installation required. Just open the URL in your browser and start working.