Easiest way to subtitle and show your videos: Overstream + Google Video
September 17, 2007
(EDIT 8/28/2008: YouTube now supports the ability to import .srt and .sub files as well.)
Heads up: a new subtitled bonus video at the end of this blog post — this time, of my younger daughter walking for the first time!
Four months ago, I told you about Overstream, a website where you can easily add subtitles / captions to your videos. Several of you (including myself) mentioned that while this website was wonderful, there wasn’t a way to move your captioned videos from one site to another.
I’m happy to tell you that Overstream now has made it easy to export your captions / subtitles to other video-hosting websites.
Max, the creator of Overstream, recently added a feature where you can save your subtitles as a “.srt” file. An SRT file pretty much just contains your subtitles and the times in hundreds of seconds that they are to appear (and then disappear) in your video. I believe SRT files are similar to what is being used by major television and movie producers, but I could be wrong. And I also believe this is similar to what rather complex subtitling computer programs create — like Subtitle Workshop and MAGpie.
Anyhow, on Overstream, after you’re finished creating your subtitles, you can then click on “Tools” to see an option for exporting current subtitles as SRT. Click on that option, and then you’ll get an option to save the subtitles as a file on your computer or copy all the subtitles (and time codes) to your clipboard. (Hey Max, yet another suggestion: can you add buttons to allow the user to move the current video frame back or fro a half second, a second, and five seconds? I found myself constantly re-positioning the arrow showing the current video frame.)
Last July, I told you how Google had added a feature where you can upload “.srt” files which is used to add captions / subtitles to videos. This is where you can import the SRT file you created with Overstream, or even paste the subtitles into a special text box.
And thus, I was able to easily subtitle my 21-second Google video of my younger daughter walking for the first time! Here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how I did this:
- Upload my video to Google Video
- Go to Overstream.net and create a new Overstream (series of subtitles) using my new Google Video as the base video
- Export the subtitles (via the Tools button on the Overstream Subtitles editing screen) to a SRT file on my computer
- Go back to Google Video, and view my “Uploaded Videos“
- Click on the “Add” button next to “Captions / Subtitles” for that video
- Upload my SRT file to Google Video
- … and hey presto, the video is now subtitled!
A huge benefit of using Google Video and an uploaded SRT file is that the subtitles can be turned on or off (!!!) using the “CC” button at the bottom of the video screen. The subtitles appear just below the video itself. Doubling the size of the video or making it full-screen still makes the subtitles look sharp — the subtitles aren’t stretched and distorted, but rather the font size is increased by Google Video. Very nice. When the video is embedded on another website, like what I’m doing below, the captions seem a bit small — but that seems to be a Google Video issue and not Overstream’s.
The SRT export functionality brings the Overstream – Google Video duo to the top of my list of recommended sites to use to caption your video. Thanks, Max, for listening to us and adding this super-duper-terrific functionality! Makes me think — it’s not easy for a sitemaster like Max to allow users who create media on his site to take this media elsewhere, so I really appreciate the new Export SRT file feature that Max added.
What’s that? You want me to shut up now and show you the video? Ok, ok! Without further ado, here’s the video of my younger daughter walking for the first time!