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Ways to Transcribe for Closed Captions or Subtitles

example of closed captions

Closed captions and subtitles have proven to be quite effective and beneficial when it comes to videos. Not only are they helping deaf and hard-of-hearing people, but they’re also breaking boundaries in terms of views, engagement, reach, SEO, and more.

These two things are somewhat similar but the distinction is in their purposes. Closed captions assume that the audience cannot hear the audio, so it includes descriptions of the background noises, music, and more. Subtitles, on the other hand, assume that the audience can still hear the audio so it only features the dialogue. 

Whether you’re a student with film projects or video assignments, a member of the film industry who creates videos and movies, or even a YouTube content creator who pushes out videos regularly, you should definitely start utilizing subtitles and closed captions. 

Here are several ways you can transcribe for closed captions or subtitles:

Use a free transcription service

One of the easiest and fastest way to transcribe for closed captions and subtitles is to use a free transcription service. A free transcription service, such as FreeTranscriptions, uses the best online audio-to-text conversion engine to transcribe the audio and provide transcripts. You can have a transcript in a matter of minutes and all you have to do is add the timestamps or speaker label, before inserting it onto your videos.

Download a closed captioning software

Downloading and using a closed captioning software is also a good choice. These kinds of software gives you the chance to input the necessary captions in the correct times, customize the fonts, and set the positions of the captions on the screen. Some of the closed captioning software you can use are Aegisub, VisualSubSync, and AHD Subtitles Maker. 

Use speech recognition apps

Technology continues to provide impressive benefits as there are now various speech recognition apps for captioning. With these apps, you’ll be able to apply the automatic captions, manually edit them, and customize how they look. The downside is some of these speech recognition apps are only available on certain mobile devices, so you’ll have to be careful and put in extra effort to edit and finalize the captions in the videos. 

Use YouTube’s automatic captioning

If you’re a YouTube content creator and you need closed captions for your YouTube videos, you can easily make use of YouTube’s automatic captioning.  Take note that you’ll probably need to edit these automatic captions as they have a reputation of being inaccurate, especially if there are too many people in your videos, if you’re using some kind of jargon, or if the dialogues are inaudible.

You can check and edit these captions by clicking your account and locating Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos. Once you picked a specific video, click the drop-down menu and select Subtitles and CC. Here, you can correct mistakes, edit, and add in missed words and phrases. 

Create subtitles manually

And of course, you can also choose to create closed captions and subtitles manually. If you’re captioning a short video for a project or assignment and you want to personally work on it, this is a good way to do it.

You’ll need certain programs like the VLC media player with the Jump to Time extension, and Notepad (for Windows users) or TextEdit (for Mac users), where you can write and edit the captions or subtitles and save as an .srt (SubRip) file later.

Closed captions and subtitles can help you in many ways in different fields. Keep these methods in mind the next time you have a film to do or a video content to publish and make sure you have captions or subtitles.