Captioning your videos #2: Jumpcut
May 15, 2007
Yesterday, I wrote about captioning videos on a PC computer using Windows Movie Maker. I’ve gotten a number of very helpful comments — thanks, all!
Today, I’d like to share some thoughts on Jumpcut, an on-line video hosting / editing service that also has a very useful captioning / subtitles function. And yes, there’s yet another bonus video at the end of this review!
All editing and captioning on Jumpcut is done online — you only need to upload your video there and then edit through your favorite Internet browser. No need to download and install any programs. Nice. So nice, in fact, that Yahoo! acquired Jumpcut a short while ago.
It was surprisingly easy to add captions to videos using Jumpcut. After uploading a video and then clicking on “Edit,” you’d then see several tabs next to the video — one is for “Titles.” (Others are for Clip, Audio, Effects, and Actions.) Click on “Titles,” and then on “New title.” I then chose the title style, typed a few words, moved the left and right arrows on the scale below the video to show where the captions would begin and end, and then clicked “Add title.” Even better, after adding the caption, I was still looking at the Titles tab — no need for me to go through the whole process again.
(Click on the picture to see a larger version)
The title styles are fun to pick from — animated words, dream balloons, silent-movie titles, old-typewriter letters, and much more. Interestingly enough, the title style entitled “Captions” actually put a somewhat transparent (and ugly) white area on top of the entire lower third of the video, while the “Subtitles” style looked more like the thick white open-captions that we all know and love. I’d recommend using the “Subtitles” style to caption your video if you use Jumpcut.
Other Jumpcut features look fun and easy to use — transitions, effects, splicing, and much more. It became a true pleasure to just play around with my video, adding effects and transition.
Some gripes, though. I couldn’t modify the colors and fonts of the “Subtitles” style (or any other style). Each time I added a new caption, it’d run the entire length of the video clip — and I’d have to use the right / left arrows on the scale to shorten it to the exact time and length where I wanted it to run. (I wanted to be able to “pre-select” the time clip where I wanted those particular captions to appear, or at least have it appear after the last caption I had created.) I had to remember what title style I had been using — it doesn’t become the default for the next title I wanted to create. And, most glaringly in my opinion, it doesn’t look as if I can download or save the video to YouTube or other popular hosting sites (especially since WordPress, which this blog runs on, is pretty strict about embedding non-YouTube videos).
But overall, I was really impressed by Jumpcut, the relative ease (and fun factor) of adding subtitles, and its other (and easy to use) features. I give it a double thumbs up!
I’d use Jumpcut more, but I can’t insert a video into my blog (because of WordPress) — instead, I’ll have to use thumbnails like the one below. I’m gonna keep looking …