If you are in the need to create your own caption and setting the caption yourself, there are online solutions that you do not need to install on your computer. With two websites that do the same thing, which is better?

There are currently two web sites that will let you caption your Youtube videos. The websites are CaptionTube (http://captiontube.appspot.com/) and YoutubeSubtitler (http://yt-subs.appspot.com/). Both sites require you to have a Google account (I expect you to already have one if you have a Youtube account) . Although both websites do the same thing, each websites does it differently. CaptionTube wants you at add in the text and the timing all at once. Unlike CaptionTube, YoutubeSubtitler wants you to type out the script first, then apply the timing.

With Captiontube, the site lets you select either your own Youtube videos, or a specific Youtube video (via a URL). One advantage for CaptionTube is that it let you create many different tracks of captions. For example, if you want to create a track for English and a track for another language, CaptionTube allows you to do that. CaptionTube has two different views, timeline and list view. The site lets you set an in point and a out point for the caption to show, kind of  like a video editor. Also, the site has a option to show you an estimate on how many words will be shows in one minute for the single caption line. It shows it in three colors: Blue (less than 125 words per minute), Yellow (125-165 words per minute), and Red (more than 165 words per minute). One thing I don’t like that it only shows you the caption start time and the caption duration, but no caption end time. After typing the caption, the site lets you preview the captions in the video in either 4:3 (standard screen) aspect ratio or 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio to see if the caption will fit on either aspect ratio before publishing it. The site lets you pull the caption down to upload to your Youtube videos in three ways: downloading it to your computer, emailing it, or copying it to a text editor. The download and email will let you save it in either SubRip format (.srt), or SubViewer format (.sub). If copying to the text editor, the site tells how to save it in either format (although I had never have any problem just saving it in a text (.txt) file and uploading it into Youtube with the correct caption style).

YoutubeSubtitler does the same thing as CaptionTube but a little bit differently. At first, the site ask you to search for the video. I had found it a little bit more harder to find the specific video until I found out that you can add the video code (the characters after http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=) into the search box and find the specific video. The site lets you add in the type of caption , or information), the language of the video, either public or private to edit the caption, either visible or private for viewing, and either to add it to your favorites or not. After adding the information, you are greeted with an asking to add in the script of the video. The site has a crease marks on the script input to warn you if you are getting close to not being able to add in the single caption in one line. The site lets you have  a maximum of two lines per caption per single caption.  The site’s input area is set to make you to add in a paragraph of nothing to break the captions. After typing the script out, click on the clock icon to set timing on the video. Upon clicking on the clock icon to set timing on the captions, the site will show you what the captions will be broken apart and how it will look like. After confirming on how it will look like, you are greeted with a page that lets you set timing for the caption. Even though you are on the timing page, you can still add/edit/delete captions. If you look on the Youtube embed, you will discover there is a little lightning icon between the fast forward and rewind icon. That icon is to set the caption into the video. You click and hold for that one caption to last till that single caption is over. After letting go of the caption icon on the embed, the timing will be set and go on to the next caption. Although there is a caption button on the Youtube embed, you can fine-tune the ins and outs of the caption under the Youtube embed. After typing the captions and setting the timing for the captions, you can preview the video with the captions and save the captions by clicking on the film card icon. In the preview page, you are allow to share the video with the caption, watch it on Youtube (without the caption), go back and edit the captions, or, the most important thing, download the caption. The site lets you download the caption in two different ways, Youtube compatible format or subrip format (.srt) [best to download the Youtube compatible format]. Unlike CatptionTube, YoutubeSubtitler puts the caption file as a plain text (.txt) with the Youtube compatible caption format.

If I had to pick either service do captioning, I will pick CaptionTube, since it has a nice and easy timeline view or dialog view and to click an in-point and out-point. Although I Like how YoutubeSubtitler lets you type out the whole script, I could do it on something like google docs. Although this option is nice and easy, it is not completely detail than software solution. See the next post for making captions and setting timecode with software solution for the Mac and Windows.

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