Universal Subtitles: Open Source Subtitling for Web Video
Posted on August 20, 2010 by Witness Administrator
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/