Websites for adding captions/subtitles to videos

I’ve been messing around with JavaScript during lunchtimes at work this week and have started to put together a web application to allow people to add Closed Captions to videos. Currently it can add text to your own videos (mp4, flv, etc) as well as videos from Youtube. I have a few ideas of how the thing could work in terms of workflow including:

  • Playing/pausing the video to be able to write the transcript.
  • Breaking the transcript into each caption.
  • Selecting the points in the video at which each caption should appear.
  • Saving the created captions in WebVTT or SRT formats.
  • Using the created caption file to display captions to viewers on your blog/website.

It’s an interesting little project for me but I’m not really sure whether this is worth pursuing? Is there good captioning services available online for free already? What works well? What doesn’t work well? Does anyone have any comments or suggestions to throw in? Would you like to see a captioning service added to Hearing Aid Know? Are you frustrated with current captioning options?

Also, questions for any US-based readers: Do you differentiate between the terms captions and subtitles? Here in the UK they mean the same thing but I’m not sure that’s the case everywhere?

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