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

On Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 12:23, Wes Leonard <wleonard redhat com> wrote:

Hi and thanks for the research.

> 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

I've done a bit w/ .srt files (both with a program designed to help
build them, and raw editing) and they seem easy enough.  And for what
it's worth, the Universal Subtitles site imports and exports SRT,
among other formats.  I thought about poking around with .smil files
but haven't done it.

> 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).

Well... If the external service imports and exports standard formats,
a cron job might mitigate some of the problem.  My bigger concern is
that it's not a beautiful world, and the price of freedom (and
open-source-dom) is eternal vigilance: Wikis get messed up by spammers
et al, so there's no guarantee that jerks won't f' around with
publicly editable captions.  That said, over all, I think Wikipedia's
done a great job.  So, enough eyes can mitigate THAT problem.  The
question is, are there enough eyes?

> 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.

Often, subtitles do not include environmental sounds, as it is assumed
that non-native speakers will know what music, car sirens, explosions,
etc. are, without needing a translation.  Captions tend to be more
"transliterative" as well.  For example, when captioning the video
about the Open Source High School of Utah, since I'm somewhat used to
working with many who can lipread (and many who cannot), I tended to
include "Um, like, you know," speech artifacts, as they, um, more
closely mapped to, like, you know, what was being said. Totally. Dude.
;-) Such artifacts don't map well to translation.  Someone cleaned up
after me, removing those, and on thinking it over, although I know
many of my deaf friends might appreciate a more exact mapping, warts
and all, I think in the long run, it may probably better to leave
those out. I'll try to poll some of my friends and colleagues, and see
if it's a big deal or not.

WGBH in Boston was one of the earliest to become involved in closed
captioning, and they have a style guide that may be of assistance:


I seem to recall there's something better out there on the web, but at
the moment, I'm drawing a blank on that. If I think of it, I'll post.

 Kevin Cole                    |  Key ID: 0xE6F332C7   (GPG/PGP)
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