Closed Caption Creator
Original Author(s): Nathaniel Deshpande
Closed Caption Creator is a subtitle editor that can be used for authoring subtitles (and closed captioning). We currently support a wide range of subtitle file formats used in broadcast and online distribution (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, etc.). Version 8 of Closed Caption Creator also supports the creation of Audio Description using virtualized voices. Our goal is to offer a software product that can help to solve the current problem of creating accessible media for all viewers.
The purpose of this document is to provide a companion guide to the online video series we post on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/closedcaptioncreator). Many users have requested a written user guide that can be referenced when getting started with Closed Caption Creator. If you have any questions, or would like to request more information please visit the support section below where you will find contact information for Closed Caption Creator.
Before getting started with Closed Caption Creator there are a few things you may wish to know.
Closed Caption Creator uses what are called events and event groups. In other applications these may be called subtitle blocks or subtitle screens. Because Closed Caption Creator supports more than just subtitles, we’ve needed to use a more generic term: events.
For example, a subtitle event will have a start time, end time, and some text. The start time will indicate when the event should be shown on screen, the end time will indicate when the event should be removed from the screen, and the text is what should be shown on screen. There are other properties for an event including the horizontal position, vertical position, and style (pop-on, paint-on, or roll-up).
Event Groups can be made up of one or more events. These events will change depending on the event group type. For more information please see the event group section in the UI chapter.
A single Closed Caption Creator project can support multiple event groups. For example, users may choose to have an event group for each subtitle language (e.g. the original language, and translations). Or they may wish to have an event group for each operational task to be completed (e.g. subtitle event group, transcription event group, and audio description event group).
Closed Caption Creator supports a number of different “workflows” depending on the task you are trying to accomplish. There is no right way - there are many ways to complete a task using Closed Caption Creator. We simply try to provide tools for all workflows.
Closed Caption Creator can be used for transcribing, captioning/subtitling, translations, and even audio description/described video.
A standard captioning workflow may involve the following steps:
Some of these steps can be completed automatically using machine learning. For example - a user may choose to automatically transcribe a video which will generate the events along with timings. All that would be left is to QC the transcription for errors and make small adjustments to timing.
The bottom line is that we want to create a tool you will love to use and that can provide value in multiple situations. We want to make it easier to create accessible content that can be enjoyed by everyone. Captioning and audio description tools have been slow to progress - but we believe we offer a great option for editors looking to adopt a new tool.
Captioning, transcribing, and writing scripts for audio description are all very difficult tasks that require a great ear and creativity.
We hope you find value in Closed Caption Creator and that you enjoy using it.
Closed Caption Creator is available for Windows 7+, Mac OSX 10.13+, Linux Ubuntu 18 LTS+, and Chrome V85+. We’ve made every effort to make the web (ie. Chrome) version as similar to the desktop (ie. Windows, Mac, and Linux) versions as possible with a few exceptions (e.g. Video Export, and Audio Description Export).
Note: An internet connection is required for all versions for Closed Caption Creator.
Intel Core i3 Gen 7 Dual Core (or better)
4GB DDR3 (or better)
1GB Available (or more)
Integrated (or better)
1920x1080, 60Hz (or better)
Intel Core i5 (2.3GHz) Dual Core
4GB DDR3 (or better)
1GB Available (or more)
Intel Iris Plus Graphics (or better)
1920x1080, 60Hz (or better)
Intel Core i3 Gen 7 Dual Core (or better)
4GB DDR3 (or better)
1GB Available (or more)
Integrated (or better)
1920x1080, 60Hz (or better)
Please see Chrome system requirements for CPU and RAM requirements.
1920x1080, 60Hz (or better)
In order to install Closed Caption Creator you can visit our download page available online. From here you can choose the suitable version from the list of options based on your operating system.
Note: If you choose to use the web version for Chrome you do not have to install any software. Simply visit https://app.closedcaptioncreator.com to get started.
The installer for each operating system is fairly straightforward. If you require assistance please feel free to contact support.
When you first launch Closed Caption Creator you will see the login screen. If this is your first time logging in, simply enter your email address and the system will walk you through choosing a password.
The login form will ask you to choose a password for your account if it is your first time logging in.
Note: If a subscription has not been set up for your account, an error message will be displayed. Simply visit our homepage to subscribe first before relaunching the application.
Once you’ve successfully logged into your account you’ll be greeted by the Welcome screen.
The welcome screen shows a number of different options including a link to this guide. Other options are described in sections throughout this user guide. In order to start a new project simply click the New Project button (the first option in the top row).
The New Project window will be shown:
On desktop, the project will require the user to select a local project folder where working files can be stored. When using the web client for Chrome there will be no option to select a local folder.
Start by selecting the project type. Closed Caption Creator supports both default projects and team projects. Team projects are great when working with other users in order to get a job done quickly. For more information on Team projects please see the Team Project section below. If this is your first time working in Closed Caption Creator, we recommend choosing the Default option.
Projects can be given a project name/title. If no project name is given it will default to “Untitled”.
If you know the framerate of your media you can select that now using the frame rate select menu. Closed Caption Creator supports multiple frame rates and drop frame options. When creating subtitle files that use millisecond timing (hh:mm:ss:mss), for example Subrip (.SRT), the frame rate may not be as important and any option will be suitable.
From the media source select option you can select where your media (e.g. video, or audio) file is hosted. Closed Caption Creator supports local files, as well as cloud urls, YouTube links, and Vimeo links. When using a local file it must be compatible with our video player. We currently support mpeg4 (h.264) video in a MOV or MP4 container. If you need help with your video file please contact our support team.
If you open the Advanced Options dropdown you will see additional options for when creating a new project.
The Group Type will indicate what default group is created in the project. Additional groups can be removed and created once the project is created. Groups are a way of organizing and customizing events in a project. For example, you can have a group for different subtitles based on language, or have event groups set up for transcriptions, audio description, and subtitles.
The Display name is the name given to the default event group (this can be edited at a later time).
The language is the language assigned to the event group (this can be edited at a later time).
Right-to-left will set the writing direction of the text inputs for the input group. Some languages require the text be written right-to-left instead of left-to-right.
The aspect ratio will change the video player to properly display the media being played.
Once you’re content with your project settings you can click the Create Project button located in the bottom right of the New Project window.
When you first create your project there will be a single event group with a single event located in the editor on the right hand side of the screen.
Note: a complete UI overview can be found below in the next section.
Before starting we recommend playing back your video which will allow the player to determine the duration of the video and start to generate an audio waveform. On desktop, we also generate a list of shot/scene changes that can be used later to time events.
There are multiple options for how to add new events to the event group. The easiest way is to use the “New Event” icon from the vertical editor toolbar:
Note: we recommend setting up a keyboard shortcut for creating new events once you are more comfortable with the application.
Each time you click the “New Event” icon, an event will be added to the selected event group (shown at the top of the editor).
Text can be added to an event along with a start, and end timecode value.
Note: the subtitle preview look can be changed using the Styles panel below the media player.
Once you’ve transcribed the audio in the video you can move onto timing your events in the next section.
Note: If you prefer to use automatic transcription to transcribe the audio to text you can find more information here.
There are a number of ways to time/sync your events to your media. The easiest way is to use the Timing and Sync panel located below the media player.
Start by going to the beginning of your video and selecting the first event in your editor. Next you can enable the sync panel using the toggle in the top left of the panel. .
When you start to playback your media, you’ll be able to click the “Show Event” to show the event on screen. The event timing will update automatically in the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
In order to show the next event simply click the “Show Event” button again.
If you want to “Clear” or “Remove” the event on screen but not show the next event (quite yet), simply click the “Hide Event” button. This will hide the event but not show the next event. When you’re ready to “Show” the next event, simply click the “Show Event” button again.
Once you’ve completed the timing of your events you can go back through and use the timeline to make fine adjustments. You can also use the timecode inputs to update the start and end times down to the frame.
Once you’ve finished adding your events and timing to your project you’re ready to export your subtitles. You have the option to export a video with your subtitles burnt-in to (overtop) the video. In this example we’re going to look at exporting a SubRip file instead that can be used to upload to YouTube, or other social media platforms.
Go to the File menu in the top toolbar and click the Export option. This will display the File Exports menu. Select the Subtitle File option and hit Next.
You will then see the Subtitle Export menu.
You’ll need to select the event group you want to export, followed by the profile you want. In this example I’ve selected the Ai Transcript event group for my project and the SubRip Video Subtitles Script profile. The file extension menu can be used to filter the profiles and make it easier to find the correct profile you want. When you’re ready click the Export button.
This will bring up the file explorer for your operating system so that you can select a location to save the file.
Click save and you’re done! Great work!
In this section we’ll go over each of the UI components found in Closed Caption Creator. If we miss anything please feel free to let us know. We’ll start with the larger parent components and then delve deeper into each individual component.
The Closed Caption Creator UI is made up of a five main components:
The main toolbar is located at the top of the window and offers access to a number of sub-menus:
The File Menu includes options for:
Launch the New Project window for creating a new project.
Launch the New Event Group window used for creating new event groups within a project.
Open the Cloud Storage Explorer used to manage project files.
Launch the Recent Project window used for loading recently modified projects.
Save your project once a project file has already been created (using the Save Project As options).
Launch the Cloud Storage Explorer used to manage project files.
Launch the file import menu used to select the type of file to import.
Launch the file export menu used to select the type of file to export.
Change the Zoom level of the application. This is useful when the resolution of your display is greater than or less than the recommended resolution (1920x1080).
Exit or logout of Closed Caption Creator.
Undo or redo the last change to the event group.
Cut the selected event(s) or text.
Copy the selected event(s) or text.
Paste the copied event(s) or text.
Remove any events where the text is blank. This is often used when importing subtitle files or transcripts with additional spaces.
Launch the Shortcut Keys window used to customize the application shortcuts.
Launch the Options window used to customize additional application settings (e.g. Style Guides, Metadata, Fonts, and Speakers).
Auto format the text of all selected events. This will attempt to square up events and distribute the text evenly across multiple lines.
Snap event start or end times to scene changes when within 0.2 seconds of each other. This option is only available on desktop when the selected media is stored locally.
Snap event starts to the end of the previous event when the event end is within 0.2 seconds of the start. This option can be useful after using the timing/sync panel in the Quick Tools drawer.
When manually adjusting the timing for events it’s possible to make a mistake and overlap certain events. Many subtitle formats do not support overlapping events. This option will automatically adjust the timing to remove the overlap.
Re-order the events in the Event Editor by their start time.
Launch the position editor for applying offsets to all selected events.
Launch the timecode offset window for offsetting events by a set amount of time.
Update the frame rate of the project. This option can be important when a new media file is being used or if the frame rate requirements change.
Apply a multiplier to the timecode of all events in order to expand or compress the duration of events. This can be used when converting from 23.98 to 24 or 29.97 to 30 frames (and vice-versa).
Insert event into the current event group.
Insert a full block into the selected event.
Insert a music note to all selected events.
Open the Automatic Transcription window used for submitting transcription jobs.
Open the Automatic Translation window used for translating a selected event group to another language using AI.
Re-render the virtual voices of all events. (Requires the Audio Description Plugin subscription).
Launch the Ai Transcription Import window used to check the progress of transcription jobs and to import completed transcripts.
Launch the self-service portal for managing your subscription (upgrading, cancelling, and downloading invoices).
Open this guide in a new window or tab.
Navigate to our support contact form used to submit support requests.
Clear all settings and cached settings.
View application information including version and release number.
The Media Player is made up of the video/audio player, subtitle preview, and the player controls.
The subtitle preview can be customized using the Styles panel in the Quick Tools drawer. The preview is disabled when the event group type is set to transcription, or audio description.
Set the volume of the media and audio description players.
Set the speed of the media playback.
Go to the start of the video or audio.
Reverse 1 frame.
Play or pause playback.
Go forward 1 frame.
Jump to the timecode of the last event.
Outputs the current player timecode in SMPTE format (hh:mm:ss:ff)
Shows the currently selected event. Click to jump to the selected event in the editor if not in view.
Select the previous event.
Select the next event.
When enabled it will cause the media player to pause whenever a change is being made to the event text. This can be useful when transcribing video.
Lock the selected event to the timecode of the media. During playback this will cause the selected event to automatically advance to the current event based on timecode.
Lock the media timecode to the currently selected event. This means when you select an event it will automatically jump to that part in the media based on the start time of the event.
When enabled it will display the subtitle preview as you would see it on export. When disabled it will show the selected event’s text. Both options can be advantageous depending on how you choose to work.
The Quick Tools drawer is made up of multiple panels/tabs for tools that are used at different times during the captioning workflow. The drawer can be hidden using the two arrows in the bottom right of the drawer. It includes the following panels:
The Styles panel is used to customize the look of your caption preview. The caption preview is used when exporting video as well on desktop. Meaning that changes to the styles panel are carried through to export.
The Save Style button can be used to cache the current style so that it becomes the default style when creating a new project.
The Search (and replace) panel is used for searching through the events in the selected event group for a specific phrase. It can also be used to replace a phrase in the event group.
The Case Sensitive option can be used to enable case sensitive searches.
The Match Whole Word option can be used to limit the search to the entire word (word match) and avoid false-positive matches.
The Replace All option can be used to replace all matches at once instead of going through each result.
The Timing & Sync panel is used to sync events to the media. It makes the process of timing captions much simpler by automatically entering the start and end time of events.
Prior to using the panel it must be enabled using the toggle in the top left of the panel. The panel is meant to be operated during playback of the media with all Locks disabled.
The Show Event button will update the start time of the selected event and clear the current event (by updating the end time of that event).
The Hide Event button can be used to hide/clear the current event by updating it’s end time to the current time in the media.
The Redo Last Event button is intended to be used when a user makes a mistake. It’s similar to using the Undo shortcut, however it also updates the current time in the media (making it more useful). Users can click the Redo Last Event button whenever they mistime an event.
The QC (and review) panel is used in conjunction with custom Style Guides. Once a style guide has been created via the Options window, you’ll be able to select the style guide in the QC panel. When running a review it will test each event in the selected event group for any problems/issues (based on the style guide). Users are encouraged to create multiple style guides depending on the client or event group type (e.g. Subtitle, Audio Description, etc.).
The Style Guide select menu will list all of the available style guides.
The Run Review button will test each event in the event group.
Failed events will be displayed in the Failed Events list.
Errors for the selected event will display in the Errors list.
Users can choose to ignore the event and remove it from the Failed Events list using the Ignore Event button.
Users can reset the entire QC process and choose to start over using the Reset button.
The interactive Editor timeline is used to view events and update their start and end timings.
Tip: You can scroll through the Timeline by click-and-dragging the ruler, using the horizontal scrollbar, or holding down the shift key while scrolling.
The Timeline is made up of two tracks (audio and an event group track), the timeline ruler, playhead, scene change markers, events, audio waveform, zoom control, and the event finder button.
Track Labels are located on the left side of the timeline denoting the type of track. Here we see a caption track and the audio track.
The timeline ruler is where you will also find the scene change markers (in red). The timeline ruler can be used to navigate the timeline by click-and-dragging.
The zoom controls can be accessed by clicking the current zoom label. You have the option to view 10, 15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds of timeline at a time. Clicking the current zoom label will close the zoom controls again.
The Event Finder button will scroll to the selected event in the timeline. This is useful when navigating using the Event Editor and then lining up to the timeline.
The Audio Waveform track will display an audio waveform when the source media is stored locally. The waveform can take a few minutes to generate when starting a new project depending on the length of the media. You can update the current time of the media by clicking anywhere in the audio waveform track.
The track events will display once a start and end time is assigned to them. The handles on each side can be used to update the start and end times by click-and-dragging them. Both the start and end times can be updated by click-and-dragging the text at the top of the track event. Multiple events can be selected by holding shift or ctrl when clicking on events.
The timeline Playhead is used to denote the current time of the media and updates in close to real-time.
The Event Editor is where you can select event groups and make changes to the events within the group. The Event Editor is made up of the Event Group Tabs, Editor Controls, and Event List.
The Event Group Tabs are where you can select which Event Group to edit.
The first tab is used to create/add new event groups.
Each event group tab will have a custom icon () denoting the event group type.
Event group options can be accessed using the vertical ellipses menu icon ().
Event groups can be duplicated (copied), merged, deleted, or have their settings updated.
Note: Once an event group is created, it’s type can not be modified. In order to change the type of an event group a new event group must be created and its events be copied over.
Transcription event groups have the option to convert to a subtitle event group if required.
Tip: The Event Group Tabs can be scrolled using the scrollbar or by holding the shift key and scrolling down using the mouse.
The Editor Controls are available in a vertical ribbon to the left of the main editor. All of the control functions will be applied to all selected events - so be careful when making changes to multiple events.
Add New Event - inserts a new event below the selected event. If no event is selected it will add an event to the end of the event list.
Delete all selected events. If no events are selected the button will be disabled.
Align event text left, right, or center. This will impact all selected events.
Copy, Cut, and Paste can be used to copy/cut/paste events or event text when text is selected. If multiple events are selected they will all be copied/cut from the event group.
Split selected event by cursor location. This will split an event and create a second event based on where the cursor is located in the text input.
Merge events when two or more events are selected. This will combine the event text of multiple events.
Expanding event text causes the event text to take up more horizontal space.
Compress event text causes the event text to be compressed and take up more vertical space.
Update the position of the event on the screen. This will place the event text in one of the nine quadrants. Custom offsets can be applied at the event level for even more placement control.
Snap event to start or end of previous/next event. This will remove any timing gap between events.
The Event List is where all events within a group will be displayed. Events can be selected by clicking on them. Multiple events can be selected by holding the shift or ctrl key while clicking an event. Selected events will be highlighted in yellow.
Events will display differently depending on the event group type.
Subtitle events will display in four columns. The first column will display metadata including the event ID, words per minute (wpm), characters per minute (cpm), and the total duration in seconds of the event.
The second column includes the start and end timecode inputs. You can update the timecode manually, or by “stamping” the current timecode using the clock icon () button. The clock icon will copy the current time from the media player into the timecode input saving you time from entering it manually. Alternatively, you can update the timecode using the events in the timeline at the bottom of the screen.
The third column has the text input that can be used to enter text. The formatting options are hidden until text is selected. Once text is selected the bold, italics, and underline options will become visible.
The fourth (and final) column has options for the subtitle style (pop-on, roll-up, or paint-on) and the position controls. The subtitle style only applies when exporting to SCC, or MCC. In most cases, subtitles will display as pop-on.
The position controls have a horizontal, and vertical position followed by two controls for offset. Users should position their subtitles near the top or bottom center of the screen. Offsets should be applied as required in order not to cover important visual information (e.g. lower third graphics, faces, signs, etc.).
Transcription events are simpler events that offer more space for paragraph text.
Each transcription event will display the speaker information in top left along with a colour corresponding to the speaker information. Speakers can be added via the speaker menu in the options window.
Below the speaker information users will find the timecode inputs (the same as the subtitle events). Here you can enter start and end time for each transcript event.
The textarea input is where transcribed text can be added to the event. The formatting options are hidden until text is selected. Once text is selected the bold, italics, and underline options will become visible.
Translation events are similar to subtitle events with the exception being that they also display the text of the linked event group to the left of the translation text. This allows users to view the original text when QC-ing translations. The original text is soft linked - meaning any update to the original text will not inherit down to the translation event group. For more information on each input please view the subtitle event description above.
Audio Description events contain a start time, playback rate slider, and the text input. This allows for users to quickly craft audio description scripts using Closed Caption Creator. When an event is deselected the virtual voice audio for the event will be rendered and a duration is calculated. This is how we’re able to offer a live preview of audio description audio in projects. Note: Audio description event groups are only available on desktop for users with a subscription to our Audio Description Plugin.
Project information is available at the bottom of the Event List in the Event Editor. Here users will be able to see the project title, frame rate, and number of events in the selected event group.
In this section we’ll look at how users can manage their projects using the Cloud Storage Explorer. We’ll also look at exporting project files locally and importing them back into Closed Caption Creator.
Closed Caption Creator offers free cloud storage for project files to all users. However, it is important to note that no media content is ever saved to the cloud. This means that the user will always need access to the video/audio content when opening a previously saved project.
To save your project go to the File menu in the top left corner of the screen. If this is your first time saving your project the Save Project option should be disabled.
Click the Save Project As… option to open the Cloud Storage Explorer.
The Cloud Storage Explorer is where you can manage all your projects in one place.
By clicking the Save Project button () your project will be saved to the currently selected folder.
If you only plan to use Closed Caption Creator for a one off project it may make sense to save everything to the home (top level) folder. However, for users who need to stay organized we recommend creating a custom folder structure to work with.
Organize folders by client, show, or using based on the kind of project. It’s completely up to the user to decide.
In order to create a new folder simply click the New Folder icon ().
An alert will appear at the top of the screen asking you to input a name for the new folder. Enter a name for the new folder and click the OK option.
New folders will appear at the bottom of the Storage Explorer. In order to resort (or reload) the current folder directory simply click the refresh button () near the top left of the window.
There are times when it makes sense to mark a project or folder to denote its importance. The Storage Explorer allows users to star projects and folders by first selecting them and then clicking the star icon () in the top right corner of the window.
Projects and folders can be unstarred following the same steps.
Sometimes projects and folders will need to be removed from storage in order to reorganize and declutter your workspace. Simply select the folder or project you wish to delete and click the delete icon () in the top right corner of the window.
Users may also wish to move a project or folder to another location or sub-folder. Simply select the project or folder you wish to move and click the move icon () in the top right corner. This will start the move action and load the Home folder folder view. Users will also notice the confirmation option near the top of the window: . As the user navigates the folder tree the confirmation option will update to read the current folder to move the folder or project record to.
Once the user has selected the appropriate folder, they may click the Yes option in the confirmation to perform the move. The folder view will automatically refresh to display the new record.
Users will also notice the explorer breadcrumbs will update as they navigate the folder tree. Clicking on any of the links in the breadcrumbs will navigate back to that folder location.
Once a project has been saved it will show in the recent projects window which can be accessed via the Welcome screen or by going to the File menu and clicking Open Recent.
The Recent Projects window will display the last 25 projects by their last updated time.
Tip: Team projects will display the Team icon () next to them.
Users can open a Recent project by selecting the project and clicking the Open Project button or by double clicking a project record.
Note: Because media is never stored with the project, projects that reference local storage media will automatically open the Media Import window so that users can import their media file again.
Some users may choose to store project files locally instead of using cloud storage. In order to export a project file locally, users can click the File menu and select the export option.
Users can then select the Project File option and click the Export button in the bottom right of the window.
Note: When using the desktop version of Closed Caption Creator, a dialogue box will appear asking the user where to save the project file.
Exporting project files can also be helpful when working with support. The support team may ask you to export your project for troubleshooting.
In order to import a project file from local storage simply go to the File menu and select the Import option. The File Import window will show.
Select Project File and click the next option to open the Project Import window.
The Project Importer provides some added functionality. Users can simply import the project as a standalone project or they may choose to merge the import into their existing project. In order to perform a merge import you will need to open the More Options menu and select the Merge Import checkbox.
The merge options will then appear. Users can merge event groups, speakers, or even metadata into the existing project. This is great when combining multiple projects together or reusing events from another project.
Click the Import Project button when ready.
In the previous section we introduced the File Import and File Export windows when explaining how to save a Project file to local storage and then re-import the same project. In this section we will look at each of the file types that are supported by Closed Caption Creator including audio, video, subtitles, plaintext, and audio description.
All imports are performed using the File Import window available by going to the File Menu and clicking the Import option.
Closed Caption Creator supports multiple types of media including audio and video. Media can exist locally (including external hard drive) or remote via URL (e.g. AWS S3 Storage, Google Cloud Storage, Azure Storage, etc.). Media can even be referenced from another platform player including YouTube and Vimeo.
In order to import media open the File Import window and select the Media File option. Click the Next button to continue.
The Media Import window will appear with options to select the Media Source, Media Location, and Aspect Ratio.
The Media Source is the source where the user would like to import the media from. Options include Local Storage (e.g. a user’s hard drive, or USB stick attached to the computer), YouTube, Vimeo, and Cloud Storage (e.g. AWS S3).
The Media Location is a link or reference to where the media actually exists. This can be a file path (ie. local storage), or URL address (YouTube, Vimeo, or public URL).
In order to import a file from Local Storage simply select Local Storage from the Media Source dropdown.
Click the “Choose File” button in order to open the file explorer dialog.
Select the media file you wish to import and click Open.
The selected file must be compatible with the media player. Closed Caption Creator supports the following file formats:
Containers: mp3, wav, mp4, mov, webM.
Codecs: h.264, vp8, vp9, AV1, Theora.
Finally select the Aspect Ratio of the media. This option can be modified later using the Options window.
Finally, click the Import Media button in the bottom right corner.
Once imported, users are encouraged to test playback using the play control under the media player.
Import media from YouTube by selecting YouTube from the Media Source dropdown.
Copy and paste the url for the video in the YouTube Page URL input including the https:// prefix.
Select the appropriate Aspect Ratio and click the Import Media button to continue.
It may take a second for the media to load in the player. The thumbnail for the video will appear once the video is ready for playback.
Import media from Vimeo by opening the Media Import window and selecting Vimeo from the Media Source dropdown.
Copy and paste the url for the Vimeo video you wish to import into the Vimeo Page URL text input.
Note: videos hosted on Vimeo must first be made embeddable before they can be imported into Closed Caption Creator. For more information please visit the Vimeo help documents.
Set the aspect ratio for the video and click the Import Media button when ready.
The player may take a few seconds to load the video. A thumbnail will appear in the video player when it is ready for playback.
Users may import media using a cloud storage url. Simply select Cloud Storage from the Media Source dropdown.
Copy and paste the URL for the source media you wish to import. The URL must be accessible via the client’s computer. Meaning the user must have permission to stream the file.
Note: Files must also be supported by the media player. Closed Caption Creator supports the following file formats:
Containers: mp3, wav, mp4, mov, webM.
Codecs: h.264, vp8, vp9, AV1, Theora.
Set the aspect ratio for the video and click the Import Media button when ready.
Closed Caption Creator supports a wide variety of subtitle files including SRT, WebVTT, SCC, MCC, etc. Users can import existing subtitles by opening the File Import window and selecting Subtitle File from the options and clicking Next.
The Subtitle Import window will appear:
The Subtitle Importer allows users to select a file and choose to import the subtitle events into either an existing event group or create a new event group.
The subtitle file input
Users can choose to either import subtitle events into an existing event group or create a new event group.
When importing into an existing event group, the user will also be given the option to either merge or replace the existing events within the group. This is great when combining the work of multiple editors or to re-use work from a previous project.
Once a source file has been selected, a preview of the file contents will be created in the Source Preview to the right of the import form.
Users will also want to explore the additional options when performing an import.
Clicking the More Options button will cause the additional options to appear. From here, the user can choose to specify the frame rate of the source file, as well as the file encoding. Additional options may be available depending on the source file format.
To import the selected file, simply click the Import Subtitles button in the bottom right corner of the window.
Closed Caption Creator supports plain text transcript files in the format of .txt. Users can open the Plain Text importer from the File Import window.
Select a transcript file using the file input option at the top of the window.
Once a file is selected a preview will be created of the file contents.
The user will have the option to either import the transcript into an existing event group or create a new event group. If an existing event group is selected, then the user can either merge or replace the events within the group.
Clicking the More Options button will open the advanced options visible where additional import settings can be selected.
File Encoding - Set the file encoding of the source file.
Max Lines Per Event - The maximum number of text lines per event before creating a new event.
Max Characters Per Line - The maximum number of text characters per line before creating a new line in the event.
End Event On Character - Specify a custom character used to complete events.
Start Event On Character - Specify a custom character used to start events.
End Event On Punctuation - End an event if the file contains one of the matching characters.
End Event On Comma - End an event if a comma is found.
Auto Format Events - Auto format events post import.
Clicking the Import Transcript button will import the transcript.
Note: When importing into a new event group, the group type will automatically be set to transcription. It is recommended that the user creates a new event group prior to performing the import if they require a different event group type.
Project file import is covered in the Project Management section above.
Team Projects can be imported by choosing the Team Project option from the File Import window.
Team projects require a project code in order to open them. A project code can be created via the Teams menu by the project owner. For more information on Team Projects and collaboration using Closed Caption Creator please see the Team Projects section below.
All exports are performed using the File Export window available by going to the File Menu and clicking the Export option.
Note: Video Exports are only available on desktop. Audio Description exports are only available with a subscription to the Audio Description plugin on desktop.
To export a subtitle file please select the Subtitle File option from the File Export window.
The Subtitle Exporter allows the user to select an event group using the event group dropdown. This menu is filtered to only show event groups with the type of translation or subtitle. Transcription and Audio Description event groups will not appear in this dropdown.
The next step is to select a file extension and profile. The file extension will cause the profile menu to update automatically to show only the supported profiles for that extension.
Clicking the Export button will save the file to the user's local disk.
There are more options available to users by clicking the More Options button.
Here users can choose to set an offset for the export, along with a file encoding. Certain profiles will also have Encoding Options showing custom settings for that profile. For example, in the screenshot above there is the option to encode the formatting tags in the subrip file.
Users can choose to export a transcript of their work by selecting the Transcript File option from the File Export window.
Users will have the option to select an event group, template, and file format.
Closed Caption Creator currently supports plain text (.txt) file, and Microsoft Word (.dox) file formats.
The templates are designed to provide some customization when exporting transcripts. The paragraph template will attempt to group events together to create paragraphs based on their start and end times. The subtitle template will export a transcript as it appears in Closed Caption Creator. Each event will be separated by a new line.
Under the More Options menu there are settings for what information to include in the export including the start/end times, and metadata.
Click the Export button when ready to save the transcript.
Project file export is covered in the Project Management section above.
Video Export is only available on desktop. The exporter will burn-in the subtitles from an event group into the current source media. This means that a video from local storage must be already imported into the project. The look of the subtitles is based on the current settings of the styles panel in the Quick Tools drawer.
Tip: Custom fonts can be added via the Fonts menu in the options window.
Users can open the Video Export window by selecting Video Export from the File Export window.
Select a target folder where the video will be saved, along with the event group to be burned into the video. The file format selection is simply the container format used when exporting the video. The codec will match whatever the source video codec is.
Click the Export button when ready to begin the export. The window will close automatically once the export completes and the export folder will be opened.
Closed Caption Creator offers an Audio Description plugin that can be used to quickly craft audio description scripts. It also offers the ability to generate audio descriptions using virtualized voice (text-to-speech). For more information on the Audio Description workflow please see the section below.
To export a mixdown of the audio description select Audio Description from the File Export window.
Select a location for the export using the Export Folder input.
Select the audio description event group you wish to export.
Select an export preset for the audio depending on your requirements.
Click the Export button to begin the export.
Closed Caption Creator will export a single audio file for each event, a VO file of all events, and a stereo mixdown including program audio used for broadcast.
The CSV file can be used in excel or other spreadsheet applications by an audio engineer recording real voice overs. The FCP XML file can be used to create a sequence in Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro in order to save editing time.
The Caption and Video lock toggles are located in the controls panel under the media player. Both locks make navigating large projects a little easier.
Caption lock is used to lock the selected event to the current time of the media player. As the media plays a new event will be selected based on its start and end time. Essentially locking the media player and event editor together.
In the screenshot above we have a project with five events in the selected event group. As we begin playback with the Caption Lock toggle enabled, the event editor will automatically select the event being displayed at the current time.
We can see the second event is now selected as the playhead reaches that point in the media.
With Caption Lock toggle disabled the selected event would remain on the first event.
Video lock can be used to lock the media player to the event editor. When an event is selected by the user it will automatically update the current time of the media player. This can be useful when navigating the event editor and wanting the media player to be in sync.
In the screenshot above we show the media player time updating to the start of the selected event.
Users can jump to the end of an event by clicking the second timecode input (displaying the endtime) of an event.
When the Video Lock toggle is disabled the media time will not change when selecting events.
The Preview Play toggle is enabled by default for every project but in some situations it may be more useful to have it disabled. When Preview Play is enabled it will cause the media player to display the event text as it would show on export during playback.
Note: When the media player is stopped/paused it will always show the selected event.
When transcribing media there may not be a timecode associated with events - meaning no event text will be displayed. In these cases it may be more useful to have the Preview Play toggle disabled.
In the screenshot above it shows the third event on screen during playback with preview play disabled. Pay close attention to the playhead in the timeline. The playhead is passed the event but still displays the text on screen.
In the screenshot above we have Preview Play enabled and no event text being shown because of the current time in the media.
Preview Play is enabled and shows the event text based on the current time of the media.
The Pause While Typing toggle was added for users transcribing media manually. When typing in an event textarea it will cause the media player to pause momentarily until the user stops typing.
Timing events to your media is one of the final steps in the subtitling process. There are multiple ways to sync events. We will start by looking at some of the different options for updating the start, and end time of an event and then look at other tools for correcting timing issues caused by mismatched frame rates, and offsets.
All events will have a start and end time shown using the timecode inputs in SMPTE timecode (hh:mm:ss:ff). When an event is first created, the start and end time will be undefined and read as 00:00:00:00.
In order to assign a start or end time to an event a user can enter a timecode manually into the input.
Timecodes can be entered in frames (e.g. 315315), SMPTE timecode (e.g. 00:00:03:03), or shorthand (e.g. 3m = 00:03:00:00, 25s = 00:00:25:00).
will format itself as .
Timecodes can also be updated using the up/down arrow keys to adjust by frame.
Tip: When Video Lock is enabled it will also cause the video to update by frame for more accurate results.
The Clock icon () to the left of the timecode input can be used for quick time stamping by copying the current media time. For example, a user can jump to a time in the video using the transport control:
And then copy that timecode into an input using the Clock icon:
Once an event is assigned a start and end time, metadata can be calculated for the event including the words per minute, characters per minute, and a total duration (visible in the metadata column of the event view.
A timeline event will also appear on the timeline for the corresponding event.
The start and end time of an event can also be updated using the timeline event handles. Users can click-and-drag the event handles to update the start and end times of an event.
To update the start and end time of an event at once, a user can click-and-drag the event text in the timeline event () or the top of the event. The cursor will change to a move icon when positioned correctly.
Events can also be automatically timed using Event Snapping. Event’s can be snapped to scene changes and to other events using the snap options in the Format menu. Snapping only occurs when the scene change or event time is within 0.2 seconds of the event start or end.
Users can snap to the start or end of another event also using the snap controls in the editor control list. .
The first option will snap the start of the selected event to the end of the previous event (regardless of timing gap). The second option will snap the end of the selected event to the start of the next event.
In order to remove the gap between two events simply click the Snap to End () option in the editor controls.
Sometimes mistakes are made and events will overlap each other on the timeline.
This can be easily corrected using the Fix Event Overlap option in the Format menu:
When you wish to shift events over by a fixed amount of time you may wish to use the TC Offset tool found in the Timecode menu.
A positive or negative offset can be applied by specifying a SMPTE timecode for the offset, and an offset type (add or subtract).
There are also options for applying offsets to a starting and ending event within the selected event group. By default the starting event and ending event id will be the first and last event in the event group.
When converting frame rates timecodes may drift. In order to correct for drift it may be helpful to use the Stretch/Shrink tool available in the Timecode menu.
Simply specify the new end time of the last event and Closed Caption Creator will calculate the exact multiplier to apply to all events.
Other options include a custom amount (%).
Click the apply button when finished to apply the offset.
The frame rate of the project is usually set when being first created. The frame rate can later be changed using the project frame rate tool in the Timecode menu.
Select a frame rate from the available options and click update.
In the previous examples we looked at methods of updating the timing of events, however these options can be slow and tedious (especially when working in large projects).
In the Quick Tools drawer users will find the Timing/Sync panel used for quickly syncing their events with their media.
To start, let’s disable all lock toggles so as not mistakenly select a wrong event.
Next, enable the Timing/Sync panel using the toggle () in the top left of the panel.
Select the first event in your event group and go to the very beginning of your media using the Go To Start () button in the media player controls.
Press the play button () to begin playback.
When the first event is supposed to be displayed simply click the Show Event button ().
This will make the first event the Active or Current Event. You will notice that the second event is now selected and the end time if the first event is being updated as the video plays. This creates a neat animation in the timeline at the bottom of the screen as it shows the event being “painted” on the timeline.
Continue to toggle events on using the Show Event button. If you wish to hide an event or clear it from the screen without showing the next event simply click the Hide Event button (). This will update the end time of the active/current event and remove it from the active/current event placement.
If a mistake is made during playback simply click the Redo Last Event button. This will undo the timing of the current event and update the media player to the previous time.
Once you’ve completed the sync process you may notice there are slight gaps between your events.
In order to correct for these gaps you may wish to use the Snap To Event Ends option in the Format menu.
Events within 0.2 seconds of each other will updated:
Closed Caption Creator supports subtitle positioning and offsets at the event level. This means subtitles can be positioned independently of each other.
The first option for positioning subtitles is using the position control found in the editor control ribbon.
Select one or more events from the event list and open the position control by clicking the icon. A nine quadrant grid will be displayed:
Select a position in the grid in order to update the position of all selected events.
Each event in the event list will have controls for setting the horizontal, and vertical positions. As well, there are X and Y offsets for additional control.
The X offset will adjust the position horizontally, and the Y offset will adjust the position vertically.
Subtitle position should be adjusted to avoid hiding important information including on screen graphics (ie. lower thirds), and the faces of speakers.
Sometimes there are multiple events that require the same offset. Users can select these events and open the Offset Position tool from the Format menu. Note: Offsets are applied at the pixel level.
The tool provides a preview of the offset being applied. Offsets can also be applied independently (vertical vs. horizontal).
Click the Update Offset button to apply the offset to all selected events.
Styling subtitles can be done using the Styles Panel in the Quick Tools drawer.
There are two display profiles including Text Outline (no background) and Solid Background. These style settings are used in the subtitle preview (visible in the media player) and video export on desktop.
Additional fonts can be added via the Fonts panel in the Options window (Edit -> Options).
In order to add additional fonts, simply install them on your local machine and reference them via their name in the fonts menu.
For example, on Windows we can open the font settings to view all installed fonts:
I can then copy the name of a font and insert it into Closed Caption Creator.
Click the Insert Font button before closing the window.
A preview of the font will be displayed in the fonts window. Close the options window when done. Fonts are saved to local storage, meaning you won’t have to add them for each project.
New fonts will now show in the font family menu in the Styles panel.
In this section we’ll look at customizing Closed Caption Creator including keyboard shortcuts, and advanced options.
Closed Caption Creator allows users to customize keyboard shortcuts using the Shortcut Keys window by going to Edit -> Shortcut Keys.
The Keyboard Shortcuts window displays a list of possible functions on the left of the window. To set a shortcut simply select a function from the left menu and enter a key combination in the input on the right.
Above the Key Command input there is a description of what each shortcut function will do. Finally, shortcuts are organized into groups (e.g. System, Media Player, and Editor) in the Shortcut list.
TIP: We recommend using multi-key commands when assigning keyboard shortcuts. This means that instead of using the left/right arrow keys to reverse or skip forward in the media player - try using ctrl+left or ctrl+right.
The Options window can be opened by going to Edit -> Options.
The Options menu is organized into multiple sections with a navigation menu on the left hand side displaying each section.
The General options section will display the general project information including the project type, and Id. From this section users can update the project name/title and provide a short description of the project. The aspect ratio of the media player can also be updated from this screen.
The Metadata section allows users to assign metadata to the project which can then be used when exporting certain caption file formats (e.g. EBU-STL, and WebVTT).
In order to insert metadata info, simply add a metadata type (e.g. Author Name) and a metadata value (e.g. John Smith) and click Insert.
Note: Metadata can be removed by clicking the red X icon to the left of the metadata row.
Style Guides are addressed in detail in the Review and QC section below.
Fonts are covered in the Fonts and Styles section above.
Speakers can be added to a project and used in transcription event groups.
In order to insert a new speaker simply insert a speaker name and select a colour preference. The speaker colour will appear on any event where that speaker is assigned.
Create a new transcription event group by going to File -> New -> Event Group and selecting Transcription from the group type dropdown.
Speakers can be assigned to events using the speaker dropdown to the left of the text input.
The speaker colour appears in the tally to the left of the event Id.
One of the most powerful features available in Closed Caption Creator is the ability to automatically transcribe local media. Closed Caption Creator also provides a dashboard and import tool for importing transcriptions as either subtitles or transcripts with timecode.
To begin, we’ll create a new project using a media file stored locally. It is important to use a file that is available on a local hard drive and not a video from YouTube, Vimeo, or cloud storage. The file must be directly accessible to Closed Caption Creator in order for the transcription to work.
Once we’ve created our project we can go to Ai Tools -> Automatic Transcription to open the Automatic Transcription job submission window.
From this window we’ll submit a transcription job for our project. When running the automatic transcription from the desktop version of Closed Caption Creator this requires us to upload an audio copy of our media file. When running the automatic transcription from the web version of Closed Caption Creator it requires uploading the entire video file.
Note: Video and audio files uploaded to our servers are stored temporarily and deleted immediately following the completion of the transcription job.
Uploading of video and audio will happen automatically by Closed Caption Creator. Simply select the language of the audio from the source media.
Select the number of speakers (optional):
And finally, select a media profile for the content being transcribed. In most cases the Broadcast/TV/Podcast default will be fine.
Click the Submit Job button when ready. It may take a few seconds for the job to begin. The progress bar will appear to report status. When running the desktop version, the audio will first be extracted and then uploaded to our servers.
Once the job is submitted, the Ai Transcript Import window will open showing the status of the transcription job.
Select the job by clicking on the table row. In order to check the status of the simply click the refresh button at the top beside the timing filters.
Successfully completed jobs will appear with a status in green.
Jobs in progress will appear with the status of In Progress or Awaiting Media.
When a job is in progress an additional option will appear in the bottom right corner (when selecting the job) as a button that reads Check Status. This allows you to check the real time status of the transcription job.
The real time status will be returned as a notification in the top right of the window and give a more accurate progress of the job.
Note: If the Job Status is never checked it will still complete successfully. The Check Status gives a manual way of refreshing status yourself.
Once a job completes successfully, the user can select the job and import the transcription content as either a transcription event group or a subtitle event group.
The Transcript Importer and Dashboard can be accessed anytime by going to Ai Tools -> Ai Transcription Import.
It is important to understand that transcripts are stored on secure cloud storage. For most users and organizations this may be fine. For some organizations they may wish to delete transcripts from storage after the job is completed and the transcript is no longer required.
The option to delete transcripts is provided in the bottom right of the window. Simply select a transcript job from the dashboard and click the red Delete Transcript button ().
Transcripts are stored as long as they are not deleted by the user. Past transcripts can be found using the data filters in the top left of the window.
Simply select a date range (or custom date) and click the refresh button. Additionally, jobs can be filtered by their status using the status menu.
Transcriptions are charged at a per minute rate depending on the subscription plan of the user. Subscribers of our Pro plan receive a number of free minutes each month along with a reduced rate once they exceed the number of free minutes.
In order to provide better reporting to users we’ve introduced the option to export the dashboard results as a CSV report that can be opened in Excel or other spreadsheet software.
Simply click the Export as CSV () button to save a copy of the report to your local disk. The report includes additional details not displayed in the dashboard including the total cost of each job to the user.
Closed Caption Creator allows for users to automatically translate text using machine learning.
Note: Automatic translation is only available to users with a subscription to our Pro plan.
Automatic Translation requires an original event group (or link group) to exist prior to running the translation. For this example I have a subtitle event group:
To translate the event group to another language we’ll open the translation tool by going to Ai Tools -> Automatic Translation.
Select the source group using the source group selection and a target language. The translation tool will create a new event group. The event group name can be customized here by updating the Display Name.
Click the translate button when ready. A status bar will appear showing the translation is taking place:
Once the translation completes a new event group will be created.
Each event will include the original text from the linked event group and a translation to the right of it.
Timing, and positional information is copied from the original event group as well.
Search and Replace (aka. Find and Replace) is available as part of the Quick Tools drawer under the Search tab.
The tool only works for the selected event group and does not search across event groups. Sometimes it may require the users to run the tool multiple times for each event group.
Users can enter a search term into the search input and click the search button.
The number of results and the selected result will display at the end of the button group. When cycling through results, they should highlight in the text area of an event.
To replace a word, simply add a replacement value to the replace input.
Click the replace () button when ready.
There are checkbox options as well for making the search more specific. For example, the search parameter can be case sensitive, and be set to match the entire word (instead of just a suffix/prefix matching).
There is also an option for replacing all matches at once by selecting the Replace All checkbox ().
QC and Review is available in the Quick Tools drawer under the QC tab.
The QC panel works in conjunction with a configured style guide. Therefore, before reviewing a project it is important to create at least one style guide.
Style Guides are collections of rules that an event must meet in order to pass QC. Closed Caption Creator allows users to create as many style guides as they like depending on the requirements of the project. These style guides can be created by going to Edit -> Options and selecting the Style Guides option from the navigation list on the left.
In order to create a style guide simply click the new () button. This will create a new Untitled style guide with the default style guide settings.
Start by renaming the style guide to something more descriptive.
Users are encouraged to name their style guides based on the client, or distribution format. For example, you may choose to name your style guide “Netflix TTML Guide” based on the Netflix style guide published here.
Next set the number of event lines and the maximum number of characters per line.
Note: If you don’t wish to limit the number of event lines or characters in line simply set the limit to 9999 for each.
The event duration section allows users to test an event for it’s duration (both maximum and minimum).
Style guides also allow users to test events against metrics such as the characters per minute, words per minute, and the gap between events. Some distributors (e.g. Amazon Prime) require subtitles at least every 6 seconds.
When you’re ready simply click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the form. The window will remain open though you should receive a notification in the top right. Close the options menu using the x icon in the top right of the window.
The next step is to use the style guide to QC a project. Open the QC panel in the Quick Tools drawer and select the style guide from the dropdown menu.
Note: If a style guide was recently created and does not appear in the Style Guide dropdown, try selecting a different panel in the Quick Tools drawer (e.g. Search) and clicking back into the QC panel. This will cause the style guide options to reload.
Now that we’ve created our first style guide, we can select the style guide in the QC panel of the Quick Tools drawer.
In order to start the review process simply select the event group you would like to review and click the Run Review button.
Note: The QC panel will only review the selected event group. If the project has multiple event groups, each event group will need to be reviewed individually.
The review may take a few seconds to complete. A notification will appear in the top right of the window when finished indicating how many issues were found.
The QC panel will also update to list all of the events that failed QC.
Start by selecting the first error in the list. This will automatically select the event in the event editor and display the error message in the errors menu.
Here we can see that our event contains too many characters on a single line. We can update the event by breaking the long line into multiple lines.
We can do this for the remaining events. Some events may have multiple errors depending on the number tests they fail. The following example shows multiple errors for a single event.
Once a user has gone through and reviewed an entire project they may choose to re-run the review process again in order to verify all issues have been resolved.
Users may even choose to run multiple style guides against the same event group depending on the requirements for the project.
There are a few important notes we wanted to add to this section. The QC and Review process currently only tests individual events. It will miss issues such as overlapping events, duplicate events, missing events, or spelling/grammar issues. It is important to look for these issues as well. Many subtitle formats will be rejected if events are overlapping.
In this section we will be reviewing the collaboration workflows supported by Closed Caption Creator.
Closed Caption Creator allows users to create a team project from the new project window. Team projects are identical to default projects, with one difference, they receive a team id and project code for inviting other users to sync their work.
This may sound complicated but is meant to be as seamless as possible. It’s based on shared edit workflows used in traditional broadcast environments so it may be as familiar as possible to advanced users.
In order to create a new team project, go to File -> New -> Project. This will open the new project window. Create a new project the same as you would normally, except for changing the project type to Team.
Click the Create Project button when ready.
There may be a slight delay when creating the new project. This is caused by a new snapshot record being created for the project.
In order to know if the project was created successfully, you will see a new menu item in the top toolbar named Teams.
The Teams menu will provide two options to users: Sync and Share.
Syncing a project will commit all changes to the remote project record and sync changes from other users to the local project.
The Share option will open the share window where the project code can be copied for team members.
Let’s start by inviting another user to help finish a project. Go to the Teams menu in the top toolbar and click the share option. This will open the Share Project window.
The Share Project window will display the project code for the project. Click the Copy () button to copy the project code to your clipboard. This project code can be shared with another team member to help complete the project.
When a project owner shares their project code with you they are inviting you to be an editor on that project. To import the team project open the File Import window by going to File -> Import.
Select Team Project from the list of options and click Next. The Import Team Project window will open with a field accepting a project code.
Enter the project code you received from the project owner and click import project.
The Team Project importer will pull the latest copy of the project and open in Closed Caption Creator.
Note: This will overwrite any existing project currently in progress. Please remember to save and close any existing projects before importing a new team project.
If the project requires a media file stored locally it will open the media import window asking you to import the missing media.
You will know the project imported successfully if the Teams menu option appears in the top toolbar.
When working on a team project we recommend syncing changes as often as possible. In order to sync changes go to Teams -> Sync.
The Project Sync window will appear and sync any changes with the remote project.
We wanted to include a list of important notes for users working on team projects. This list will be expanded as new tips or questions are submitted by users.
Closed Caption Creator also supports the creation of audio description (AD), also known as described video (dv), using virtual voice (text-to-speech) technologies. Our main value proposition is the ability to quickly generate time accurate scripts that can then be recorded by a voiceover artist. Feedback from end-users is that a real voice is still preferred to a virtual voice. Though there may be a slight cost savings to using the virtual voice track, we recommend using a real human voice whenever possible.
Access to the audio description features require a subscription to the Audio Description plugin for Closed Caption Creator. This audio description plugin is available for purchase using the self-serve portal or by contacting support.
Audio description groups work on both the desktop and web client, however, in order to export audio description you must use the desktop version due to the audio tools used to generate the final mixdown.
In order to get started on your first AD project, create a new project by going to File -> New -> Project.
Next, create a new event group by clicking the new event group tab () at the top of the event editor.
Select Audio Description from the Group Type dropdown. This will cause the form to show the Virtual Voice Options. The virtual voice options allow you to select a language, gender, and virtual voice. There is also a link to view all supported languages and voices along with audio demos for each.
Click Create Group when you’re ready.
Audio Description events have three input options for the start time, playback rate, and text. The start time is when the audio playback will begin. The playback rate slider will allow you to select the speed you want the audio to playback (there are cases when you may need to increase the speed of playback in order to fit a description). The text input is used for the text used in the text-to-speech conversion.
Note: Above the start time input you’ll see the duration reading which is undefined until the audio is rendered. In order to cause the audio to render simply select an event and then select another event. This should happen automatically as you craft your script.
Now that we’ve created our first audio description event group, we’ll want to review the recommended workflow.
Note: This is a recommendation for getting started, once you’re more familiar with creating audio description, please feel free to create your own workflow.
For each audio description event we recommend the following steps:
Tip: The green spinner in the bottom left corner of the event shows the event audio is still rendering.
In the screenshot above we can see the first event on the timeline with a duration based on the rendered audio. We can playback the video and listen to the audio description in real time.
Tip: In order to adjust the audio levels of the AD track versus the master audio you can use the volume controls under the player. There will be a second control for the audio description preview:
The timeline track can still be used to reposition the start of AD events, however only the start can be positioned. In order to shorten the duration of an AD event you’ll need to shorten the description (text), or increase the playback rate.
The virtual voice audio is set at the event group level - meaning that the same voice is used for all events in the same group.
If you decide you want to change the voice used for an event group simply open the event group settings by clicking the menu icon next to the event group tab and click the settings option
The Edit Event Group window will appear and allow you to change the virtual voice settings of the event group.
Click the Update Group button when you are ready. This will close the edit group window and open the audio rendering window in order to re-render all of the event audio to the new voice selection.
Audio can be re-rendered at any time if there are issues using the Force Render Audio option from the Ai tools menu.
As mentioned in the prerequisites section above, audio description export is only available on desktop.
If users only require the script/text files we recommend exporting a transcript file. Audio description export will include a csv, individual audio tracks, VO track, and audio mixdown.
To export the audio description simply open the File Export window by going to File -> Export and selecting Audio Description.
Click Next to open the Audio Description exporter.
Select a target folder, along with the event group and audio preset. We recommend exporting WAV files at 48KHz for the best quality.
There are checkboxes depending on what you wish to export. In some cases you may only wish to export the script file as a csv.
Click the Export button when ready.
The csv file can be imported into Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet application. It provides the timecodes, text, and metadata for each event. This makes it easy to hand off to an audio/mix engineer and have them run the session to quickly track and place the VO audio from a VO artist.
The individual audio tracks are simply the audio for each event exported in the user selected format.
The VO track is a mixdown of all the individual audio tracks without program audio. This file can then be handed to an audio/mix engineer to mix with the program audio and create the final audio description/described video audio track in whatever channel format that is required.
The audio mixdown track is a mixdown of the program audio along with the vo track. This is an automated mix of the audio description file that can be used for fast turnaround.
Note: We recommend using the VO track and having an audio engineer perform the final mix. Again, this may be an added cost but it allows for the engineer to add their own volume automation and compression to ensure the VO stands out from the program audio.
Please feel free to contact support at any time:
Users can manage their subscription settings and download invoices via the self-serve portal here: