Captioning your videos #6: dotSUB.com
June 19, 2007
When I first heard of dotSUB.com, a web service dedicated solely to subtitling videos, I was prepared to be skeptical. But to my surprise, I found it easy to use — and I had captioned a 29-second video (of my two daughters, of course!) in record time. Definitely two thumbs up for its speed and ease of use.
While dotSUB.com‘s main function is to subtitle videos, it also has an important additional function: the video can be set to allow others to add subtitles in other languages. The viewer can then select the language s/he wants to see the video in — if English, then only English subtitles would be shown. If Russian, then only the Russian subtitles would be shown, and so on. This is very handy for more professional-quality yet low-budget videos which need assistance into being translated into other languages.
Compared to all the other video editing software or web services, with the possible exception of Overstream (see my recent review), dobSUB proved the easiest to upload videos and then add subtitles to them. I created my account in seconds, and easily uploaded a video of my two daughters. The hard part was finding where to click to actually add subtitles — I figured out I had to click “Transcribe Film.” I then got a screen with a mini-version of my video along with some simple controls and a list of surprisingly sophisticated keyboard commands. Next to the video were rows upon rows of text boxes in which I can add subtitles and easily set the seconds each subtitle would appear and then disappear.
Within minutes, I had fully subtitled my 29-second-long video. I found it easy and fun to use, and playback was quick and easy. It was easy to set the seconds, and to set it so that there were “pauses” (no subtitles) in between each line. Once I finished, I clicked “Done.” Once I knew I was really finished, I then clicked on “Mark Transcript as Complete.” But by doing so, dotSUB would consider this video final and would not allow any more changes to subtitles in that language. And I only wish I could download this video and then move it over to YouTube — but I couldn’t. Once completed, the subtitles (and the video) stays on dotSUB.
Again, WordPress.com doesn’t allow me to embed videos from companies other than the usual suspects (like YouTube and a few others). So, click on the picture below to view the video of my older daughter pulling my younger daughter around.