Captioning your videos #4: Overstream
May 18, 2007
(EDIT on 10/5/2007: Overstream has added the ability to export .srt files which can easily be uploaded to video hosting sites to subtitle / caption those videos. See my related blog post.)
Have you ever wanted to customize an online video by adding your own comments or subtitles in any language, or wanted to send a custom video postcard?
All of this is possible with Overstream: using our online Overstream Editor, you can easily create and synchronize your subtitles to any online video*, store them on the Overstream server, and send the link to the subtitled video overstream to your friends.
* From a list of video providers supported by Overstream.
At the moment, YouTube, Google Video, MySpace Video and Dailymotion are supported. This list will continue to grow.
I checked it out by captioning a YouTube video of my younger daughter enjoying her first birthday cake a bit too enthusiastically. It was relatively easy to add subtitles once I got the hang of controlling the time-lines (remember, I rarely read user manuals!), and it actually became fun to add one series of subtitles after another. It was easy to manipulate the strings of subtitles — I was able to move them, time-wise, by dragging on their colored boxes along the time-line, or lengthening / shortening them by using special buttons. And before I knew it, I was finished. I was kinda disappointed — I wanted my 33-seconds video to be longer so I could add even more subtitles!
(Click on the image to see a larger size)
But then I ran into a problem. Just like for videos made through JumpCut, I was unable to post the Overstream video directly onto my blog. See, my blog runs on WordPress, and WordPress is pretty strict about embedding multi-media content. (Now, if I were using Blogger, it’d be fine. Hmm, maybe it’d soon be time to switch …) I’ve been in touch with the administrator of Overstream, Max, who seems to be a very cool person. We’re working on this problem right now, but WordPress is being stubborn. (EDIT 9/17/07: Overstream has been updated, and the ability to export SRT files has been added! See my later blog post discussing this.)
In addition, Overstream does not store the video on its own server. Instead, the video of my daughter eating cake is still on YouTube. Rather, Overstream just, well, overstreams a series of subtitles onto the YouTube video. That means I cannot download the subtitled video onto my computer or even elsewhere. I can only embed it (which doesn’t work for my blog) or link to it.
I give Overstream a two-thumbs up because of the ease of adding subtitles / captioning and the array of tools available to do this task. Way to go, Max (and it’s not just because he put my daughter’s video on Overstream’s front page)!
And so, link I shall, to my video of my daughter. Here’s a clickable thumbnail as well. Enjoy.