I’ve been obsessed with video subtitles lately.
I’ve been playing around with making videos for LinkedIn.
Like this one, which showcases my visual communication skills while sharing a message:
Notice the subtitles in that video? If you’ve ever recorded a video, you’ll know that subtitles don’t magically appear on their own.
If you want to share videos on social media, however, subtitles are a really good idea.
Well, not only are non-subtitled videos leaving out the deaf population, but hearing folks are dramatically more likely to watch, like, share, and click your videos if they don’t have to turn on sound in order to understand them!
Check out this infographic from Kapwing:
The challenge is, how do you get subtitles onto your videos?
A Google search will reveal tons of services and software packages out there that can help, but finding one that is:
- Fast, and
…is another story!
My criteria for a service for adding video subtitles are:
- Automatic speech-to-text (so I don’t have to type in the audio by hand, OR upload a script, since my videos won’t always have a script!)
- Once the subtitles are added, I can download a .MP4 file, not a .SRT file or other subtitle file
- Editability (I want to be able to edit where the text “lands” on my video, font size, font backgrounds, etc.)
I tried one service for adding video subtitles, which was easy to use, but only generated a caption file. That meant I would have to edit the video on my desktop to add the subtitles in my desktop editing software, then export again, in order to make it ready to upload to social media.
Too many steps!!!!
I want my subtitle-adding service to streamline my workflow, not create unnecessary steps to it!
Next I tried Camtasia, which my husband uses in his job as a technical writer. Unfortunately, the Mac version of the software doesn’t have speech-to-text (boo!), so although it made it easy to add subtitles to my video, I had to type them in by hand. Fail!
Next I tried uploading my video to YouTube, which does have an automatic speech-to-text function for adding closed captions (yay!), which you can edit (yay!), and allows you to download your video as .MP4 afterwards (yay!).
Unfortunately, YouTube’s captions are closed, meaning they only appear if the viewer clicks on the cc button. My downloaded video has no lovely subtitles, so all that work was in vain (fail!)
Thankfully, I found another solution.
Kapwing calls themselves a modern editor for images, GIFs, and videos.
Indeed, they make all kinds of tools, from a video resizer, to a meme generator, to a video looper, and more…
We’re going to concern ourselves today with their Subtitler, which is a simple subtitle maker for captioning your videos:
It’s super-simple to use. I’ll walk you through the steps of making a new version of the video at the top of this post.
1) Upload Your Video
Click the “Auto-generate” button to have your subtitles added automatically!
Note that at this time the Auto-generate subtitles feature is still in BETA, and the process is not 100% accurate. But don’t worry, you’ll be able to edit your video subtitles in the editor.
The process of adding subtitles could take several minutes, so go grab a cup of coffee while the AI is processing…
4) Edit Your Video Subtitles!
Click on the video subtitle text you want to edit to correct the wording, change the font size or style, change the background, etc.
When you’re done, click the red “CREATE!” button in the bottom left corner.
5) Wait for Your Video Subtitles to Be Processed!
Kapwing sends your video and subtitles to the “Kapwing kittens for processing, which can take several minutes.
If you like watching data scroll across your screen, enjoy. Otherwise, go grab another coffee or a snack, and come back later, to…
6) Download Your Subtitled Video!
At this point you can also pay to remove the Kapwing watermark (currently $6 per video, or $20/month, or $200/year, OR write an article for your blog or website to be upgraded for free!), or click the “Edit” button to edit some more.
For more nifty options, click “Open in Studio” to add text and shapes, resize, adjust timing, and more!
Here’s what the new version of the video subtitles look like—the new version on top, old version below—I changed the font size and background, so the text takes up less space (an improvement, I think):
Pretty nifty, huh? And the whole thing took all of 5 minutes!
Thanks, Kapwing, for making adding subtitles to my videos such a snap!
Do you have a video subtitle service that you recommend?