Adding Captions: Captioning Resources

Below is just a small sample of some of the most popular captioning services.

DIY Resources

Amara is a free cloud-based tool built by a nonprofit organization to reduce barriers in communication and foster a more democratic media ecosystem. The application is for external online medial only. The company offers three options:

  • Search for a video at Amara.org to see if the video has already been captioned and is available for your use
  • Use Amara’s subtitle editor to caption the video yourself. Once published you can embed into your classroom content and you’ll also be helping anyone else who comes along and wants to use an accessible form of the video.
  • Invite help from social media, your friends, fans, and students to help caption the videos by inviting them to collaborate and contribute

Agisub is a free open source software tool for both Mac and PC for creating and modifying subtitles. It is particularly popular since it supports a variety of subtitle formats

Jubler is a free java-based tool for editing text-based subtitles for both platforms. It can be used as an authoring software for new subtitles or as a tool to convert, transform, correct and refine existing subtitles. It's best choice for users that look for something small and lightweight, that can be used on all platforms.

Camtasia is a dedicated video creation and editing software tool that allows you to manually add and sync captions to your videos.

YouTube’s automatic captioning is fraught with errors, sometimes quite funny but confusing and frustrating for people who cannot hear. However, YouTube does provide tools to add captions manually to videos that you have created. There are four different ways to do that:

  1. Upload a caption file with dialog and time codes
  2. Create a transcription and have YouTube sync it for you
  3. Create new subtitles frame by frame, or
  4. Pay YouTube to caption the video for you.

Although time consuming, inputting your captions frame by frame is by far the most accurate. Unfortunately, YouTube does not allow you to add a caption file if you are not the video owner.

Low Cost Services

A recent start-up, Trint automatically transcribes video content and then, through a simple interface, allows you to edit, share, and upload the captions. Since it starts with automatically generated content it is a relatively cheaper option.

SyncWords automates captioning with precision when you provide the media and a transcript. Your captions are ready in minutes and available in all major formats.

Full Captioning Services

AST has been in business for more than 10 years and has over 5000 customers, mostly in education. Professional transcribers create the captions and then AST’s CaptionSync software syncs the captions with the audio.

3playmedia was founded by a group of MIT graduates in 2007. Transcription and synchronization is done by professional transcriptionists who can handle difficult and technical content with discipline-specific expertise.

Founded in 2012, Cielo24 promises searchable captions and media data solutions at competitive prices.