Although it’s still in beta, Universal Subtitles looks really promising as it’s designed to work with videos already on the web. This means you can pull a video from Youtube or Blip.tv and add your own subtitle track. Once the first set of subtitles is complete you can add translations or ask others to submit a translation.
Universal Subtitles has one of the slicker interfaces I’ve seen for transcribing audio. It’s a three step process in which you 1) type in the transcription, 2) set the timing using a “guitar hero” style interface, and 3) review and share the subtitled video via embedding or social networks.
The tool is well laid out and easy to use, each step has a video tutorial which walks you through the process, not that it’s needed since everything is pretty intuitive. I tested it out on the first 25 seconds of one our videos, and it took about 5 minutes to go through the three stages.
- Ability to link multiple URLs to a video
- Discussion spaces on every video and translation (‘talk’ pages)
- Support on all modern web browsers
- Caption -> subtitle conversion / options
- Support for non-latin character sets
- Machine translation option once subtitles have been transcribed
- Keyboard accessbility for site and widget
- Support for translating the interface of the subtitling tool and website
- Subtitle ratings and flagging
- Messaging among Universal Subtitles users
- HTML5 embedding code that includes flash fallback options
- Compliance with emerging timed text standards
- Additional import / export subtitle formats
I spoke to Dean Jansen from Open Subtitles and learned that they’re working on a WordPress plugin which will hopefully fix the embed situation with their player. I also just got an email asking me to review some revisions made to my original subtitles.
To learn more about Universal Subtitles, check out their demo at http://universalsubtitles.org/demo/