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Re: [Osdc-list] Fwd: Open and Closed -- Closed-captions for opensource.com videos?

Hi Everyone,
I have done some research on this and here is what I found.

We should not be using rendered sub-titles. The captions/sub-titles should remain separate from the video for ease of translation and updates.

We should be using a standard format to make it easier to caption and manage. I am leaning toward using .srt or .smil as the storage format. Here is some more info on this if your interested.
 - .srt seems to be a very common standard
 - .smil is a proposed W3C compliant format (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronized_Multimedia_Integration_Language)
 - W3C Timed Text
 - more info here: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Accessibility/Caption_Formats#Caption_.26_Subtitle_Formats

There are several online services that facilitate easier captioning and subtitling but this also means we would be dependent on an external service to host (at least in some capacity) the captions and subtitles. Also, an external service would allow for the community to contribute towards the translations. Using an external service would also limit our access to move the captions to a new system later (We would need to redo them for every video).

Should we choose to do this "internally" we can still use an open source solution, but not a hosted service. This would allow us to store the translations in a common format which makes moving to a new player in the future rather simple.

My recommendation would be to use an open source player that supports captions and sub-titles and host it internally. It may be more difficult in the short term, but would cause us a lot less of a headache down the road if/when we want to migrate to a new player. It is important to note that we will need to identify and implement a new player for all videos to make this happen. This means, of course, it may be a while till we can use it on all our websites. :/

Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions on this.

P.S. just to clarify, captions reflect the native language of the video in text. Sub-titles are the translated languages (otherwise they are the same as captions). It is important to note that we will need to identify and implement a new player for all videos to make this happen.

On 10/25/10 11:05 AM, Kim Jokisch wrote:
Hi all,

The video team is committed to figuring out a solution for subtitling the osdc videos. Wes Leonard is leading the effort on our side, and is currently looking into the most scalable approach, since this impacts other types of video we make too.


On 10/22/10 10:47 AM, Nicholas Reville wrote:
Hi All,

With our release last week, Universal Subtitles is now ready for broad adoption-- we've got lots of folks starting to use it in all sorts of contexts and I think it would be perfect for opensource.com.  Mozilla has been starting to use it on several public webpages.

Try it out and let me know what you think-- and if there's anything we can do to make it work better for uses like what you have in mind.  It's designed for crowdsourcing, both for captions and translations:


Take care,


On Oct 22, 2010, at 12:27 AM, Asheesh Laroia wrote:

On Wed, 20 Oct 2010, Mel Chua wrote:

Hi, folks - wanted to chime in on this... Kevin's a friend of mine from Gallaudet, and reminded me that opensource.com is not yet accessible to those who need captioning for video.

We *can* crowdsource the work - I'm not asking the video producers to add more work to their plate for what I know is already a labor-intensive thing. But I would like to know... if volunteers stepped up with time and skill, what would need to happen to make captions possible with the system that osdc is using for video?
You might like to check out the Universal Subtitles Project, too: http://universalsubtitles.org/

I think they're still developing pre-launch. They're a free/open source software project, too.

I don't think they're quite ready for use on opensource.com quite *yet*, but I'm CC:ing Nicholas Reville at the Participatory Culture Foundation in case he has any related thoughts.

-- Asheesh.

You have a deep interest in all that is artistic.

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