Closed captioning and subtitling share similarities in that, they are both the text versions of audio in video. However, there exist some major differences between the two concepts. For that reason, closed captioning software and subtitling software both serve distinct objectives and should not be confused as the same. Here, we will look at key differences between the two types of software in detail both in terms of the services they aim to provide and how they function, as well as why you need professional closed captioning solutions. This guide will help you understand why closed captioning software must offer more than subtitling software.
What are Closed Captions
Closed captioning involves adding text that reflects the entire audio track of a video. Closed captions are meant to enable persons with hearing difficulties experience the video, therefore, they also include descriptions of background sounds and notifications for speaker changes. This is unlike subtitles which assume the viewer can hear, hence do not include information about speaker changes or background sounds. Closed captioning have grown in popularity with the increase of mobile video consumption, as many viewers watch videos in public spaces with the sound off.
What are Subtitles
Subtitles are common in foreign movies; they are meant to help viewers who might not understand a video’s original language be able to experience it. Therefore, they involve translating dialogue from the original language to another. The rise of global video platforms has prompted creators to include subtitles in multiple languages to reach a wider audience. Conversely, closed captions are in the original language of the video and translation is unnecessary in closed captioning.
Differences between closed captions and subtitles
Both closed captioning and subtitling services involve displaying text on different kinds of visual display. This notwithstanding, they are two very different services, some key differences between them include:
- Subtitles mainly target persons who cannot understand the dialogue in the original language whence, closed captions are meant for viewers who cannot hear the entire audio content of a video.
- The depth of information required from the two services differs, subtitling only translated the dialogue whereas closed captions include music, sound effects and dialogue.
- Subtitles are developed before the movie or film is released, while closed captions are created after the release of a project.
- Subtitles assume viewers can hear hence only translate the dialogue to a language they can understand, whereas closed captions assume that the viewer cannot totally hear and put all audio elements of a video in text.
These differences between subtitling and closed captioning services mean that the software that excuse these services must have distinct capabilities for them to efficiently deliver the required level of data in the quickest way possible. The following are some reasons why closed captioning software have to offer more than subtitling software:
- Closed captioning incorporates more than just dialogue in the text. It has to include emotion, reactions and other factors that contribute to the drama or comedy in a given scene. This helps people who cannot hear fully experience the video.
- Closed captioning software has to present the different details in a particular way for easy understanding; it must distinguish between dialogue and non-dialogue information. Non-dialogue details are often presented in brackets or italics to make them stand out from dialogue.
- Closed captioning software must time-code each text to merge with the audio track of the video. Subtitling software on the other hand only need to merge text with the related dialogue.
Why you need professional closed captioning
Apart from helping persons with hearing disabilities, closed captions can be useful to autistic individuals by helping them process elements of dialogue such as sarcasm and metaphors better. Closed captions also enable viewers to watch videos even when they are in situations that prevent them from using sound, such as public spaces. Also, closed captions can help boost the search engine optimization of video content by availing all its content in form of text, which enhances the keyword depth of your content. Additionally, closed captioning services are affordable and make the captioning process quick and easy by providing seamless channels of uploading and receiving files.