What are Captions?
Captions are just a textual representation of audio within a media file.
What is the difference between Captions and Subtitles?
Even though these two terms are often used interchangeably, the difference comes down to their purpose and the audience that they are created for.
- Captions were originally created to make video content accessible for the deaf and hearing impaired. As a result, captions will typically include non-speech elements such as indicators for sounds.
- Subtitles were introduced for translation of the spoken word into text using a language the viewer can understand.
What is the difference between Closed Captions and Open Captions?
This really comes down to whether the viewer has an option to make the captions viewable or not.
- Closed Captions: These captions have the ability to be turned on or off based on viewer preference.
- Closed Captions are what SnapStream uses to make content searchable.
- Clips created using SnapStream from content with closed captions results in a clip with closed captions.
- Open Captions: These captions are always on (aka burned-in captions). The media file has to be encoded to have these captions burned-into the video images, and these captions can't be turned off.
- SnapStream Supports creating a clip with Open Captions (see How to Clip with Burned-In Captions)
What are Embedded Closed Captions?
These are closed captions that are built into the video file itself. No accompanying files are needed with the video file to view the closed captions that are built in to the video file. Simply open the video file using a video player that supports this, and you can use the player options to turn the closed captions on or off based on your preference.
- SnapStream created clips made from content that has embedded captions will result in a clip with embedded captions.
What is an SRT file?
This is a file extension for a SubRip Subtitle file. It is a plain text file that stores the closed captions and timestamps for the video. These files will have the same name as the video, but will have a file extension of .srt.
- Any time SnapStream records content with embedded closed captions, an accompanying srt file will be automatically created along with the video it is recording.
- Clipping from content that has an accompanying srt file will result in a clip that has an srt file as well.
- SRT files are what the SnapStream software is using to index the closed captions to make them searchable.
- SRT files are also what is used to make the transcripts you see in our software.
What is a VTT file?
This is a file extension for a Web Video Text Track file. It is another type of plain text file that can store captions and other data about a video file.
- SnapStream Supports the ingestion of VTT files for captions when importing new video content into SnapStream using our upload feature.
What if my content doesn't have any Closed Captions?
This can happen when recording from sources that doesn't come with closed captions, or when uploading/importing content without an accompanying srt or vtt file.
Fortunately, we have a feature that can analyze the audio in your content, and use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to transcribe it into closed captions for you. Using this transcription feature on your media will make the newly generated closed captions searchable, and give it an easily viewable transcript.
- The only language currently supported by our transcribe feature is English.
- Live Transcription is only available using SnapStream Cloud.
- Transcribing content after it has already been recorded is available to customers with an on-premises SnapStream Servers and SnapStream Cloud systems.
- The amount of minutes worth of transcription that can be used on a SnapStream system is determined by your transcription license.
What is the difference between our Transcribe feature and a Transcript (Generate Transcript)?
- The Transcribe feature is for content that doesn't have any closed captions. Transcribing that content will use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to generate an SRT file for media that doesn't already have closed captions.
- A Transcript is generated from content that already has closed captions. It is just an easily readable form of those closed captions that is generated from the SRT file for that media (see the comparison of an SRT file and the transcript view below).
Another form of the transcript can be viewed when showing closed captions in the SnapStream Webplayer during media playback (see below).
- The transcript can be viewed in our WebUI by clicking the CC icon in your SnapStream Library.
- The transcript can be downloaded as a .txt file from CC page above.
- Generate Transcript is also available as an action in our automated Workflows. This allows our automations to generate an easily readable TXT file from the relevant SRT file for the purposes of exporting or sending it as an e-mail attachment.