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Closed Captioning In Web Video? 164

Posted by kdawson
from the obvious-improvement dept.
mforbes writes "Like many geeks, I enjoy watching TV, movies, and streamed video. However, in company with 2%-3% of the population, I suffer from a problem known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder, which essentially means that I have difficulty separating the sounds of human voices from various background noises. When watching TV and when watching movies at home, this isn't a problem, as I can simply turn on the closed captioning. (I find radio to be simply an annoyance.) How much effort would it take the major purveyors of Internet video (the broadcasting majors, etc.) to include an option for CCTV? I doubt the bandwidth required would be more than 1% of that required for the video already being presented. As a social libertarian, I would never ask for government regulation of such an enterprise; I ask only that the major studios be aware of the difficulties that those of us with auditory disorders face. If it's rough for me, how much more difficult can it be for someone who can't hear at all?"
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Closed Captioning In Web Video?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:38PM (#19543181)
    AOL video provides CC on some videos. It really is up to the studio to provide the CC (which there is a defined spec) to their online counter parts. After that its just a matter of the player supporting it - which the AOL video player does.
    • CC on some videos. It really is up to the studio to provide the CC

      At this point I think the lion's share of the effort is in the transcribing the audio into text. This is viable for movies and TV because of the large viewership, but if you are talking about CC for YouTube, you're out of luck for now, except perhaps a few directors videos. I suppose it would be possible to create a program/plug-in that would do real time transcribing, but it's gonna be one mother of a complex program to decypher home-vide
      • by pgillan (1043668)
        Isn't it more an issue of FCC regulations that require television broadcasts to include closed-captioning, as part of their agreement for the airwaves, in the same way that they're supposed to provide X hours of publix service content? I assumed this had something to do with Americans-with-Disabilities Act,
        • by colfer (619105)

          they're supposed to provide X hours of publix service content

          Once upon a time. Now it's more like this:

          Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]:

          A substantial portion of other regulations were repealed, such as guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming in 1985.

          They are still supposed to operate in the public interest though.

          • Sure, until you try to actually register a complaint.... I tried, and was told that the FCC didn't have the authority to make a company in Taiwan comply with captioning standards for their TV tuner cards sold here. Incredible? Call the FCC and ask for Jenifer Simpson, if she's still there; mayhaps SHE can give you their rationale.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bursch-X (458146)
        No the lion's share is timing the text to the actual audio/things going on on-screen, while also editing the text, so the chunks of displayed text can be read in time. There's no point of capturing/displaying exactly everything that is being said, because most of the time nobody is going to be able to read along that quickly and still get a grasp of what it's all about.

        It's basically like subtitling, you just leave out the translation part. This is a lot of work, and unless there are already plans to subtit
    • by ayf6 (112477)
      If you can do transcribing of video on youtube/yahoo whatever you'd be able to corner the video search market in a second there is $$$$ in that market right now for someone that figures it out.
    • Harkle [harkle.com] has a lot of stuff. They do their own captioning for some of the posted video.

      Google video with captioning [blogspot.com] and the developer instructions [google.com] and tools [google.com].

      Here is a related article [i711.com] on this topic.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Lots of google talks have closed captioning and I use them to watch the talk without listening to the audio. This is really nice sometimes and often beneficial when there are foreign speakers with heavy accents.
  • by JoshJ (1009085) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:40PM (#19543215) Journal
    Youtube, Google Video, etc; aren't captioned at all. It'd be great if videos were captioned- it'd also serve as a nice way for people to browse those sites at work without having to deal with people overhearing the videos.

    Google should get on it.
    • by dotpavan (829804) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:49PM (#19543297) Homepage
      it is left to the uploader to give the subtitles, as per their FAQ here [google.com], so they do support .SUB
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Or maybe you shouldn't be browsing YouTube and Google Video at work?
    • There are a lot on Google Videos [google.com]. I would like to see more since I am partially deaf and can't hear well as well.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877)
      The hassle is not into distributing it, but in making it ! Hopefully, we are not that far from voice recognition softwares that would caption videos automatically
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Youtube, Google Video, etc; aren't captioned at all. It'd be great if videos were captioned- it'd also serve as a nice way for people to browse those sites at work without having to deal with people overhearing the videos.

      Google should get on it.

      Yeah wouldn't it be nice if we had a way of transmitting information in a text format saving huge amounts of bandwidth and without the need for any fancy browser plugins? Oh wait, we have this thing called html, or heck even plain text.

      Video is killing the internet,

  • dotSUB (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raindance (680694) * <johnsonmx@gm a i l . c om> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:40PM (#19543217) Homepage Journal
    You may want to check out dotSUB.com -- a site dedicated to collaborative subtitling of videos. Not a panacea, but it's something.

    http://dotsub.com/ [dotsub.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by acidrain (35064)
      Then there is the the fact that less than half of the world population speaks English. These kinds of community driven subtitling projects are the best way to reach all the different language groups. To address the "ask slashdot" question I think we need players that support third party subtitles, then we can work on building communities to provide the content. This is a rapidly growing area on the internet. My favourite right now being subscene.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by squarefish (561836) *
      yes, exactly what I would recommend starting with.
      here's [dotsub.com] a rocketboom on dotsub about dotsub and how it works.
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by Snaller (147050)
      Try disabling font sizes in explorer and visit that site -Someone should, I won't again.
  • The market (Score:2, Insightful)

    As a social libertarian, you should know that the market drives companies to produce closed captioning, so as to expand their viewing audience. If you're referring to free content on the web, you don't have very much leverage to convince them to spend the extra resources.
    • Re:The market (Score:5, Insightful)

      by codegen (103601) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @04:40PM (#19543695) Journal

      .. the market drives companies to produce closed captioning, so as to expand their viewing audience

      *wipes soda off of the screen*. What planet are you from? The reason most close caption is because they are required to by law. Most really don't care about the small segment of the marketplace. If you want proof, look at the large number of complaints about poor close captioning, and the vast majority of commercials without CC (Commercials are not required to CC by law). If the market drove companies to produce close captioning, then the commercials would be CC'd as well. Your argument does not stand up to scrutiny.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Most really don't care about the small segment of the marketplace.

        It's getting bigger every year, and as time goes on, it's probably going to become an important minority. I've just recently developed high-frequency hearing loss, and my audiogram shows a typical "artilleryman's notch." Not surprising, considering the time I spent on the Gun Line back in '72. More and more 'Nam vets, Gulf War vets, and Iraq vets are going to be needing hearing aids as time goes by, and it's a good thing that the VA pr

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by eobanb (823187)
          No, I'd say that the number of hearing-impaired people to the number of shows is surely getting smaller, not bigger, because there are more and more TV channels and videos out there. If you're old enough, you'll remember when cable TV didn't exist and the US just had a few networks, like NBC, ABC, CBS, and NET (predecessor to PBS). Everyone who watched TV then watched those networks. The Nielsen ratings for a show in the 70s and 80s was absolutely superior to the ratings shows get now. Only stuff like t
          • I understand your reasoning, but don't agree with it. I expect the percentage of Americans with hearing loss to increase, for the reasons I gave. Having more programs to watch isn't going to change this, because the same percentage of the audience for each show will need captioning or other assistance.

            As for remembering the ratings of the '60s and '70s, I'm a Nam vet; that means I remember what ratings were like in the '50s as well. Among other things, I was watching the night Lucy had her baby, the sh

          • by jafac (1449)
            Well, I think that eventually, maybe 5-10 years; there will be available, speech recognition technology that can parse through an encoded audio channel, and; maybe not in real-time, but close enough, create a transcript that can be used for closed captioning. Can't really say who this will come from - but there's a lot of very encouraging research going on in this field right now. And folks like Google will sure be eager to field technology that can do this. Imagine how it could benefit the search-abili
        • by codegen (103601)
          You are correct, it is going to get bigger. I have significant loss from a childhood illness (severe measles at 16 months). I grew up with the problem and I've been careful to keep what I have left. The true measure of the market recognizing the growth in the segment will be when most commercials are CC'd.
        • by afidel (530433)
          I'm really not convinced that exposure to loud noise leads to hearing loss. I'm almost thirty and I can hear sounds that are supposedly hard for those in their late teens to hear. I've stood in front of 25" subs at many a rock concert or rave, and I work in a loud datacenter almost every day. Of course I've always had VERY good hearing, so perhaps I am suffering just as big a loss as others but my large lead means I am still an outlier?
          • Unless the noise level is very high, hearing loss is gradual. Mine was probably caused by my ship's 5" gun in '72, but didn't show up enough to be a problem until last year. This isn't that unusual because the damage is gradual and cumulative. You've probably lost a little high frequency sensitivity already, but not enough to notice. Yet. Some day, you may find yourself wondering why everybody's mumbling and realize that you're now paying the price for those rock concerts.
    • As a social libertarian, you should know that the market drives companies to produce closed captioning

      Try again.

      Closed Captioning wasn't a market-driven process, it was a social-equity driven process, a government-driven process.

      [T]he Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1976 set aside line 21 for the transmission of closed captions in the United States. Once the Commission gave its approval, PBS engineers developed the caption editing consoles that would be used to caption prerecorded programs,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The Market! The Market! The Market will save us and cure all our Ills!! So it is written by Adam's Himself!!!

      Seriously, there are people who call on the supposed omnipresent "Market" like some ancient pagan deity. Like any religion, their belief is more than a little irrational and unsubstantiated. Adam Smith has been elevated to the status of a prophet, and all he did was write a book or two. The Church of the Market has unfortunately become the state religion in many countries. Whither now separation of c
  • I don't think any of the big companies will do this for a very long time. What I expect will happen is some startup company will offer this as a way to get that 1%-2% market share. Then once the big companies realize what they are doing they will follow behind. Because there is no point for them to offer it until someone is taking their business away from them.

  • I always thought the difficulty of separating voices from background noise was the result of poor sound editing (especially when movies are transferred to DVD). I was watching "Flags of our Fathers" the other night, and the remastered sound editing was so piss-poor, with dialog dynamic levels well below the background sound levels, that I found myself repeatedly re-playing scenes. It saddens me that studios are so quick to rush their movies to DVD they don't even take the time to preserve the sound qualit
    • by Cygfrydd (957180)
      I seem to be finding the dialogue is completely intelligible in the surround mix, but more and more often the stereo mixdown or matrixed audio is nearly impossible to understand; I don't know if it's poor mastering or just a side-effect of ProLogic II or whatever, but it's aggravating as hell.

      I almost always watch with subtitles.

      @yg
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        I seem to be finding the dialogue is completely intelligible in the surround mix, but more and more often the stereo mixdown or matrixed audio is nearly impossible to understand; I don't know if it's poor mastering or just a side-effect of ProLogic II or whatever, but it's aggravating as hell.

        I almost always watch with subtitles.

        The problem I think starts at the mastering. For some reason or other, the person at the mixing panel decides that some SFX has to be REALLY LOUD, and of course, there's some conver

    • There are two basic types of hearing loss. If the problem's mechanical (wax buildup, punctured ear drum, problems with auditory bones) it affects all frequencies the same, and a simple amplifier is all that's needed. The other type is nerve damage, and that affects different frequencies in different amounts. Generally, you find high pitches harder to hear than low ones, and most of what makes language understandable is the high parts. You need an amplifier that passes the low tones as is, and boosts the
    • This is usually something you can fix yourself:

      DVDs usually have 5.1 or more channels of sound. Simply turn up the center channel and you will find the majority of the voices stand out far more clearly.

      Note this works especially well if you are only using two speakers, as the DVD player is still having to downmix form the surround sound and they nearly always over emphases the Left/Right front channels instead of the center.

      DVD sound is one of the few things where they don't aim to the lowest common denomin
    • I always thought the difficulty of separating voices from background noise was the result of poor sound editing (especially when movies are transferred to DVD).

      Some of us interact with people face to face as opposed to just watching them on the TV, you know.

      And, yes, I too have some minor trouble discriminating speech over background noise (not as bad as the poster of the article, though). While I rarely need to result to closed captioning to get by watching a movie, I do frequently have to ask people to r
  • by Brad1138 (590148) * <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Sunday June 17, 2007 @03:47PM (#19543291)
    Subtitles [youtube.com] can create problems.
  • Its not like TV - you have a hi-res monitor capable of displaying plenty of text. Just include a text link, or embed the video in a page with text, displaying the dialog.

    Now there's a thought - a REAL dialog box :-)

  • by kingduct (144865)
    To be frank, the reason why TV has closed captioning is because of laws. I don't think it is a question of social libertarianism, but rather a question of equal access. There is NO reason of any sort why closed captioning can't be done. It is cheap and easy and the only thing it does is expand the market for the producers of videos. It is a thing that should be required, otherwise an important minority (people with hearing impairments) is being ignored. It has the added bonus that a lot of non-hearing
    • Re:Laws (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @04:22PM (#19543573)
      Your statement that the captionign is "cheap and easy" is not at all correct. As someone who works in education where captions are often required to be added to material that wasn't previously captioned, I can tell you that it is a major PITA to get this done. First you have to send the video to a transcriber, who generally charges about $15/hour (their hours, not running time hours). If the material is highly technical or specialized, than somebody who is a subject matter expert needs to proofread the transcript for accuracy and spelling of terminology, etc. There exists NO MAGIC BULLET for this work. The best computer voice-to-text program (Dragon Naturally Speaking) is only 95% accurate when recognizing text from a voice to which it is trained with no background noise or music - so you can't just feed a video to it, which would result in complete gibberish.

      Next the transcript needs to be broken up into phrases and sentences for the screen using natural cadence (can't be done by computer automatically) and then the resulting captions need to be synchronized to the video - basically creating time stamps for each caption bit which are then turned into a caption track able to be read by a computer media player like Real, Quicktime or Flash.

      This is very labor intensive work. It's basically costing around $100/hour of video to do right now, and that's prohibitive in the public education system where resources are scarce - and there's the question of whose responsiblity it is to pay for it and have it done, not to mention intellectual property issues wherein a caption or transcript is being publicly released for a video obtained from a copyright owner - legally the transcript belongs to the owner!

      So don't tell me this is cheap or easy unless you're willing to come do it at my college, cheapy and easily.
      • by BrianH (13460)
        Indeed. I work at a mid sized college and subtitles have been an ongoing issue for distance education. We currently have a telecourse system that REQUIRES students to check out physical DVD's and VHS tapes to complete their for-credit classes. These DVD's generally all have existing SAP and CC tracks to accomodate our legal obligations and to serve the widest possible audience. We would love to put these videos online, but it there is no straightforward way of transferring that information from the existing
        • Why would putting it in Matroska container be a problem? It accepts the dvd subtitle format as-is. Simply re-encode the video with a modern codec to make it small enough for download and mux it in matroska with the subtitles. Or if you simply must have the subtitles in a text-based format (for whatever reason) there are specialized OCR programs around (Subrip...)
          • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            I've always wondered why there is so little contact between people doing closed captions and the fansubbing scene. Maybe they see us all as "pirates" and prefer to buy overpriced software rather than using some free tool that has "rip" in its name. I don't know about CC ripping software, but Google Video started years ago by distributing ripped TV shows with ripped captions, and subs for TV series are being ripped from CC and published on shooter, seriessub, opensubtitles, etc. within 2-3 days even if nobod
          • by Cadallin (863437)
            This is an extremely good point. For materials already in digital form (DVD) and for which subtitles already exist, this is a fantastic solution. However, in the broader spectrum that TFA was about it's anything but the case. I think its important to realize that the fansub communities are basically doing extremely expensive, time consuming work for free as a hobby. And that while there are a number of very, very good, fansub groups, there are many very shoddy ones as ones. The disparity between the ab
    • At the end of the program, they credit whomever payed to develop the closed captions. Until recently, it was always one government agency (at least, whenever I noticed it. Small sample size warning.) I forgot which one.

      • At the end of the program, they credit whomever payed to develop the closed captions. Until recently, it was always one government agency (at least, whenever I noticed it. Small sample size warning.) I forgot which one.

        At least on The Weather Channel, closed captioning is sponsored by HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead. HeadOn is available without a prescription at retailers nationwide.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Video codecs don't, because it's not part of the video. Most container formats allow a subtitle track, and there are also some formats for including a subtitles in separate files. Subtitles are basically text with a small amount of markup (often none, sometimes colours for different speakers) in a stream with timestamps. It's up to the player to display them at the correct time. VLC manages it, I've not tried others.
    • >There is NO reason of any sort why closed captioning can't be done. It is cheap and easy

      The true mark of someone who's never done something is when they say "It is cheap and easy". (The engineer in me knows that too well.)

      It is neither cheap nor easy.

      NOT CHEAP: The prices for closed-captioning production and encoding software start at around US$2k, and quickly climb to almost US$10k. I own a video production business, and those prices are simply out-of-reach for the few times (zero) that a client has
  • Mine stems from a different cause - Alports syndrome. I wear hearing aids, and as anyone who could once hear normally and now wears then can attest, they suck! Well, they're better than being deaf, but in some circumstances you may as well be. I am a habitual user of CC, but not all programs have it and many that do, do a very poor job of syncing the captioning up with the video. Argh. ANYWAY, that out of the way, the reason is of course money. CC costs money. Someone has to sit down and transcribe e
    • Offer x large numbers of hours of decent content mailed back on disk for every hour of volunteer transcribing? There might be a ton of semi or full retired folks might want to get into that, if the software deal was setup for them and it was easy to use and understand.
      • Offer x large numbers of hours of decent content mailed back on disk for every hour of volunteer transcribing? There might be a ton of semi or full retired folks might want to get into that, if the software deal was setup for them and it was easy to use and understand.

        "Offer x large numbers of hours of PORN mailed back on disk for every hour of volunteer transcribing? There might be a ton of semi or full retired folks might want to get into that, if the software deal was setup for them and it was easy

        • ...whatever the particular media company that is offering the swap has on the shelf I guess. If they have porn, they could offer that. Like..hmm...retired geezers doing the transcribing..what might they want.. hmm ... MATLOCK AND GOLDEN GIRLS PORN!!1

          heh heh heh
  • According to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (A UK charity), there are nearly nine million people deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK alone. I'm sure a fair proportion of these would benefit from subtitling for online content - I certainly would. I am deaf in one ear, and wear a hearing aid to help boost what remains of my hearing in the other, and have difficulty understanding a lot of online content. I find the only reliable medium for subtitles to be DVDs - TV subtitling in the UK
  • OpenCaptions.com (Score:5, Informative)

    by everyplace (527571) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @04:15PM (#19543515) Homepage
    A friend has been working on Open Captions [slashdot.org] for quite a while, that seems to address a lot of these issues. From what I understand, its aim is to pick up where video distribution companies and content authors have left off.

    When you think about sites like youtube, you can't hope to have users caption their videos before uploading, but you still want this content available in an accessible way. OpenCaptions takes any online video source, and allows user-captioning, that can be layed over video in a number of ways. It still requires a captioner, like any other captions, but allows the tasks to be distributed to anyone who wants to lend a hand at captioning a video.

    From the about [opencaptions.com] page:

    Open Captions allows anyone to add captions and subtitles to Internet video - caption your own work, or a favorite video from another website. Captioning allows for everyone to share the same media experience on the Internet regardless of hearing abilities and language barriers. Open Captions wants to encourage more people to caption videos for each other, this site will help provide the tools and forum for online captions. The phrase 'Open Captions' is referring to a community of people transcribing and translating Internet videos for the world to watch. The term 'open captions' is also used technically to describe captions that are always available on some videos.
    • by emj (15659)
      OpenCaptions work pretty well, but you don't have subsecond control over when the captions should start. So it can be hard to get right most of the time.
  • I have Dyspraxia, which creates symptoms very similar to Central Auditory Processing Disorder in some people. (this situation applies to me). For me, closed captions are Essential.

    I'm often dismayed by closed captions on regular TV that are often garbled (words are omitted, grammar is improperly done, and worst of all, sentences trail off into a garble of random characters that are impossible to decipher. Also annoying is the fact that on some shows, the dialogue and captions are out of sync, so it make
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Errors occur because people are human. Synchronization errors happen when television is being captioned live - just like translators are a little behind during UN session.

      When sentences trail off into garbage characters, it's not because the captioning is bad but because the video signal from which the captions are being decoded (line 21 of the NTSC broadcast specification) isn't good enough to decode the captions clearly. The failure could occur because the satellite signal isn't good enough, or even if th
    • by Frogbert (589961)
      Those random characters are caused by poor reception, not malice on the CC transcribers part.
  • How hard would it be to adapt speech/voice recognition software to this purpose? Everyone talks about how far along that kind of stuff has come... I know the background noise would present the biggest problem, but I think that there's got to be some software company out there that can tackle it.
    • by tepples (727027)

      How hard would it be to adapt speech/voice recognition software to this purpose?
      That would be a Hard Problem(tm). Off the shelf dictation software expects a clean signal, not a signal in front of music and foley. How many PhD's are you willing to hire?
  • When the major TV broadcasters are still not bothering to get their players compatable with Vista, maybe they just aren't interested in getting everyone connected...
  • by Roy van Rijn (919696) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @05:04PM (#19543939) Homepage
    IMO with today's voice recognition software it shouldn't be very hard to make a problem that makes closed captions on-the-fly. A good commercial product that does this would be very good for people with hearing problems. Maybe software like this already exists, I don't know. Might be worth checking out. Then you can have closed captions with every video/youtube/thingy on the web.
  • Not only am I moderately deaf, but my healthcare coverage (USA) is so poor that I don't have coverage for hearing aids or anything that would give me any relief. So I just have to crank the volume up and hope for the best. Youtube videos tend to have very poor audio, with a lot of background noise, so I do miss out on a lot there.

    Realistically, I seriously doubt that most producers (and I'm including YouTubers in that group) are going to subtitle any video that they aren't legally required to. And I don't
  • One of the great advantages a new medium has over older media is it hasn't accumulated the amount of cruft the older media have accumulated in years of special-interest pleading. One of the best ways to kill the new medium is to dump all that cruft upon it.
  • Broadcasters would have never adopted Closed Captioning technology unless the government forced them to...And mforbes is banging a Libertarian socialist gavel while talking about adopting Closed Captions on web content??

    Just goes to show you that the hearing impaired can be just as fucking ignorant as any Cletus T. Jigglebelly you'd see on Jerry Springer.
    • by Neuticle (255200)
      Take a rage dump, then re-read the GP post: he clearly stated "As a social libertarian, I would never ask for government regulation of such an enterprise"

      He's clearly not calling for gov intervention like the TV version.
      • by imroy (755)

        He's clearly not calling for gov intervention like the TV version.

        The problem is that the poster seems to take for granted the CC on TV, which is there because of government regulation, but somehow wants CC on web video without regulation. Like a lot of libertarians and other anti-regulation folk, the poster appears to forget about the *good* stuff that regulation has achieved whilst railing against *all* regulation.

        I personally don't think CC on web video can be regulated. But that's because the internet

    • by Goondra (855859)
      There is a real need. Whether the politics will support it is quite a different matter. First the need and then the solution.
  • Revver [revver.com] has a link under their videos going to Project ReadOn, which is a user-requested captioning system. Users first request captioning for a video and Project ReadOn assigns the video to their staff to caption it. It's what Barack Obama uses on his site [barackobama.com].

    They announced it on their blog [revver.com] a few weeks back.

    The Ask A Ninja videos tend to be captioned, here's an example one with captioning already done [revver.com], just click the closed captioning link under the video.
  • ... already has support for closed-captions.
  • http://www.sanctuaryforall.com/ [sanctuaryforall.com] is a site trying to see if they can make a new entertainment model to work: They produce "webisodes" (roughly 15 minuttes a piece) only for the website, its not for tv, its not for dvd's its for tv. If enough people buy it they'll make more - but... no subtitles, except some fans haved started to make their own and link to them in the forum.

    You'd think that someone who tries to be inventive and use the internet as a new medium would take that in to cosideration, but apparentl
  • As a french-Canadian watching mostly english content, I'd like to see subtitles available on all videos. Sure, I have no problems watching things like The Simpsons, Futurama or Family Guy. However I've started watching the new Doctor Who series and sometimes it's quite hard to understand what they're saying (as in, figuring out the words spoken, not their meaning).

    Subtitles would be quite useful in cases like these.

  • Watch any of the "featured tours" of on Adobe's CS3 programs and you'll see them use this option.

    example: http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/ssi/iframe/fea ture_tour.html [adobe.com]
    http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/photoshope xtended/ssi/iframe/feature_tour.html [adobe.com]

    Now whether they make it easy for others to do the same with their products, I'm not sure. I haven't seen Flash CS3's video options.
  • In terms of technology, obviously there is VideoLAN client combined with any one of the embedded (or secondary file) subtitle formats. The real issue is transcription for the subtitles. Transana is a project that can be used to help transcribe audio and video, but there is still the issue with needing people to actually do the transcription.
  • QuickTime 7.2, apparently the version shipping with Leopard, supports standard analog-style 608 captions. I'd like to think that this means TV downloaded from iTunes (and iTunes U) will include the same captioning data as regular TV broadcasts (i.e. not a QuickTime text track). It may well already be there.

    The blurb is here [apple.com], but the rest is my speculation. I'd suggest inquiring with Apple in any case.
  • My ears are good (for now, touch wood) but I always watch movies with subs enabled, for some reason it enhances the experience (comprehension perhaps). Anywho, this is a good move - I think Adobe should just add .sub support to Flash player. Now if people would just create accessible websites.
  • Problem I see is, as soon as you close-caption something and release it, you'll get sued for redistribution and violation of intellectual property. This happened a bit with fan-subtitled anime. They couldn't legally do it, even though no company was doing it either. The stance of the production companies was "we may someday wish to release a subtitled version ourselves for profit, therefore, any free fan-sub is ruining our potential market and causing market confusion."

    How "you are ruining potential futu
  • Captions are done with text tracks. A text file with time codes and dialog can be added to any movie with QuickTime. I don't know what the support is in MPEG-4 for this yet, but it would be done the same way, the QuickTime container and the MPEG-4 container are the same, inside you have audio track, video track, now you need a text track with dialog and time codes. The only other option would be to burn the text into the video frame by frame, but that means you can't run captions off, you can't modify the s

  • Hi,

    Noise reduction, or noise blocking, headphones may be an answer.

    If you buy noise reduction, go for a good pair (Bose seem to get the best reviews). I tried a Bose pair on a flight and was amazed, then bought a Panasonic pair and was dissapointed.

    There are also noise blocking phones that shield out a lot of background noise. Again, you get what you pay for with these.

  • It never cease to amaze me how people will go through all the trouble to encode and upload a 4-9 gig mkv file and then leave the 100k of subtitles out to save a little room. Same goes for chapter stops and audio commentaries. These things are practically zero cost and are so very nice to have. These are the things that made mkv cool in the first place and was the impetus for me to finally encode all my DVDs. Come to think of it, music should be closed caption by default as well (not just have the lyrics app
  • I imagine there would already be a good captioning solution if we could all agree on 1 or 2 basic video formats. It drives me nuts that there are so many codecs and standards out there. All the time spent on those could have been spent on developing a single free, cross-platform video format, which scales nicely from tiny to HD, which can be streamed or downloaded, and which supports captions and any other nice features people might want.
  • both public and personal. In addition to being able to help point several people toward resources to help them with the same or similar problems, I also discovered that I'm apparently about to become extremely wealthy from the displaced sons and daughters of several different Nigerian dictators, who need me to help them transfer their money to the USA! -Mike

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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