Google Video has captions now!!!

There is a welcome surprise from Google!  They are now supporting subtitles for your videos!  Once again Google takes the lead over other companies!  It’s wonderful to know that the smart people over there are listening and are capable of doing something like this on a massive scale! Ken Harrenstien who was the Google engineer on this project is also Deaf.

A starter list of captioned Google videos can be found here!

If you want to add captions to your own video, read this page and here are some software you can use to create the captions!

I will be creating a Subtitle Workshop tutorial that you can follow.  No promise on when it’ll be ready but hopefully I’ll have it for you all next week.  This is the same software that I’ve used to create captions for one of my video here.

Basically, you use the software to create a file containing the text along with the timecodes for each line.  You then upload this text to Google Video with your uncaptioned video and they will process it for you and merge both into a final version that has the subtitles built-in.

A BIG THANKS to Todd Elliott who pointed this out to me tonight.

Here’s a sample subtitled Google Video that I created today:

(if you don’t see the subtitles, click on the "CC" button which will show up a few seconds after video is started)


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  • Three cheers for Google!

    Give me a “G”!
    Give me a “o”!
    Give me a “o”!
    Give me a “g”!
    Give me a “l”!
    Give me a “e”!

    Ywoohooooooo yaya Google!

    A question. I am computer illiterate to the extreme but isn’t there technology that can auto-subtitle the media videos like the TV studios do with the shows and news? I also noticed some weird numbers or characters in the subtitles, is it normal or was it a lie on my end?

  • Noelle

    Now just ’til we get portable captioning PDAs that won’t need a third-party CART person!

  • Noelle

    That is an excellent test video of the Google captions. I’m going to be trying it myself when I make a video. I look forward to your Subtitle Workshop as well!

  • Jean:

    If you record TV shows properly, the resulting file will have line 21 captioning included. It’s possible to extract them from the file and process them for whatever reasons including auto-subtitles.

    The weird characters you see on Google Video likely has to do the character encoding. It could be possibly an ASCII-ANSI or UTF-8 encoding problem. If Google wants to fix this, they can hire me! :-)

  • MikeS

    Cool, a step in the right direction. I see CC button bar on player. I watched a “T-Rex” show for an hour, finally learned something (fossil collecting politics ha) from an online video.

    Am looking for freeware of wmv to avi/mpg video converter. VirtualDubMod wouldn’t process my wmv file for final encoding after Subtitle Workshop.

  • ToddE


    As for a ‘freeware of wmv to avi/mpg video converter’ for the [b]VirtualDubMod[/b] program, this is why the Google Video captioning announcement is signficant. With captioning enabled, you do not need the [b]VirtualDubMod[/b] program to ‘dub’ in the captions created by [b]Subtitle Workshop[/b].

    Just go ahead and use the [b]Subtitle Workshop[/b] program to create a subtitle file, and upload it to Google Video along with your video submission.

    There’s other numerous benefits to the Google Video captioning support, other than making [b]VirtualDubMod[/b] superflous, and I’ll try to make a vlog about it in the near future! ;)

  • MikeS

    Yes Todd, I see that Subtitle Workshop has the SubViewer option (.sub). I’m using SUPER freeware to convert my .wmv into .avi or .mpg. My webcam can produce .avi files, no problem there. I’ll make a test clip soon. It sounds that all I needed to do is upload a video with .sub script encoded within the video, that’s all. Good going Google!

  • MikeS

    Disregard my previous post, I uploaded the video while back tonight, but I am struggling to upload either .sub or .srt file and goggle server’s apparently busy, “The server encountered an error. Please try again shortly.” Shucks. Is Timecode within .sub or .srt file?

  • MikeS

    Pah, able to upload .sub file, it works now. Neat.

  • ToddE

    And just where is this captioned video masterpiece of yours? ;)

    One thing I’ve noticed; The captions are a wee bit too small for my liking. Hopefully Google will allow captioners to individually set their font preferences. (Or the end-user having their own font preferences.)

  • MikeS

    Exp. CC clip #1 (6 secs) from last night

    Still pending for CC to show up for second video I uploaded today. Am waiting more than half an hour for Google to process my .srt file, I hope it’ll show up. Will see. Thanks.

  • ToddE


    Thanks for the link. I just posted a third vlog today, a brief intro of sorts. So far, a couple of hours already, Google has not put on the captions (.sub) yet. :( I wonder why there’s a delay in getting the captions to finally display on a video submission?

    My 9/11 Recollection is now captioned at Google Video, though!

  • MikeS

    Todd, glad to know I’m not alone in “waiting.” Oh yea, I recall your 9/11 video, now I know who you are. Nice to meet ya.

  • MikeS

    After an hour and half or so wait, pah, CC pops up on 2nd video. Old video – CC testing with Grant L some months back.

    Thanks to Jared, Todd, Grant, and GOOGLE!

  • ToddE

    Memo to self; Post a blog entry after Google Video has the captions enabled in your vlog! :)

    The captions finally showed up on my ‘introductory’ vlog, some 8-odd hours later! :( Hopefully, the people who have viewed this video were already fluent in ASL and really didn’t miss out too much.

    That’s some creepy Webcam you’ve got there! Haha. Nice to know captions are working out for you. I do look forward to viewing ASL vlog’s, especially those that are captioned/subtitled.

  • Wow! That’s exciting news. I am glad I pick Google Video as my primary solution.

    Now, I gotta try it out with CC soon!

    Thanks for letting us know :)

  • It’s great news that Google Video is finally supporting subtitle formats that we all can make at no cost.

    I’ve already made my very first vlog entry using Subtitle Workshop. I’m pleased with the results.

    The CC showed up around 10 to 15 minutes after I uploaded it.

  • I’m VERY happy to see that Google has finally taken initiative and added captioning to their ONLINE video. However, if you download the video and use the offline video player, the captioning button is not available. I guess one step down and a few more left to go! Good job, Google!

  • Sah

    I have tried to embed google video on my forum and it works like a cake, and enjoyable to many users. Check it out how it works. See the demo:

  • But here’s my question – on youtube, there are are a number of videos found when searching for closed captioned, but the captions don’t show up. Is there something that I’m missing, something that can decode the line 21 on a youtube broadcast, or can a TV only do that right now?

  • Bill Blass

    I tried uploading a .srt file that I thought looked like it was properly made, however, after uploading I got some error message saying it was in a format that Google was not familiar with. Not sure what is going on. Also tried pasting the text into the form instead of uploading and got the same results. Does it just take time for the .srt file to be recognized by Google?