Adding iTunes Store Captioning

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by pisces03x, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. pisces03x macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2008
    #1
    Is there any way in which one can add closed captioning files to purchased TV shows from the iTunes store? I've downloaded several episodes of TV shows, however none of them have closed captioning.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. pisces03x thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2008
  3. james77 macrumors member

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    Nov 29, 2005
    #3
    I refuse to purchase or rent any TV shows from the store as they do not have captions and there does not appear to be anyway to get captions for them. I would gladly dump my cable and get the tv shows from the store and buy an apple TV but being hard of hearing I have to have captions. I hope this changes in the future. We know it can be done as they do have more then a few movies with captions.

    (ended up dumping cable tv anyway. Now get most of my stuff via dvds at the library or netflix. I can't believe how much more money I now have and can put away towards a new macbook pro)
     
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #4
    Sadly it's almost impossible to add closed-captions to existing media. Even if you had the text, how would you sync it with the video?
     
  5. pisces03x thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #5
    I understand what you're saying, james77. They really have to do something about this completely idiotic thing.

    Old-wiz, I just read that QuickTime Pro can sync a text file with any regular video (which, I admit, is functionality I did not know about). But does anybody know if this would work with protected files downloaded from the iTunes store?

    And how would I go about doing this, adding captions?
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    In order to add the captions to, for example, a TV show, you need the text of the dialog. This is not trivial - there are companies that exist solely to caption movies and TV programs. You have to deal with lots of issues - placement of the captions (top vs bottom of screen), language (if people are talking rapidly you don't want the captions to get behind), even spelling. The biggest issue is synchronizing - you want the captions on the screen when the person starts talking. A simple text file is NOT easy to sync to video even if you have both text and video. Getting the text of a program is not trivial either - they don't post the text on the web. I have been inside the caption centers and they get text from the producers but still have to spend a lot of time watching and synchronizing it.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    ^^ It would take you many hours to sync a single hour's television feed with its text transcript by yourself, even if QT Pro allows you to do it with the protected files.

    What I would encourage is this. Write a letter to Apple, asking them to recognize the needs of those with hearing impairments (as well as many others who benefit from captions... I use them when I'm on the airplane sometimes, for instance). All of these movies and shows you watch -- they already have CC that was generated by the TV studios or by the movie companies, as evidenced by the fact that they always air on TV with them, and DVDs always have them. Apple needs to work with their content providers to make it happen on iTunes as well.

    The next step is to get organized. Get everyone you know who has need for CC to write in to sjobs@apple.com or use the Contact Us link on their web page. Get people to write letters to the editors of Mac magazines and other journals that do tech. Write to people like David Pogue and try to convince them to write a column on your behalf.
     
  8. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #8
    Even if it were reasonably possible to add the text to the video (which is not trivial as others have explained), I think that to make it useable in iTunes or on the :apple:TV the text would have to be embedded in the video, rather than a selectable option, as there's no way in iTunes or on the :apple:TV to turn on/off Closed Captioning or subtitles, right? If this is true, in order for the ITMS to offer CC or subtitles with either movies or TV shows there would have to be a significant change to the software to allow the option to overlay the text on the video or not.
     
  9. pisces03x thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2008
    #9
    I've always thought that there is an option on whether or not to display captions on captioned material (in iTunes you can change whether or not to display them through the 'Controls' menu, and on Apple TV through the general menu).

    There is a great program, Subtitle Workshop (fairy certain Windows-only but easily the best free software available) which I've used a few times to edit captions which I've received, but for the life of me I cannot remember the original site where I downloaded the captions from.

    Does anybody know of any website which offers captions to the public?
     
  10. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Location:
    Seattle
    #10
    Oh, uh, there is! Just checked iTunes and my :apple:TV and confirmed. Don't know how I never noticed those before. My apologies for any confusion.

    Now that I see that, I'm much more sympathetic to this argument. If Apple went to the trouble to build those into the system, why don't they use them with iTunes rentals/purchases?!? Without them it's all the more reason for people to stick to their DVD's.
     
  11. Digitrix6 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #11
    Subtitles files are easily accessible on the internet, in English and in many other languages. TVSubtitles.net and AllSubs.org are two examples.

    While I know there is a difference between captions for the hearing impaired and subtitles for foreign languages, as a hard of hearing TV viewer I don't really care about this fine distinction -- I just need to see the words on my TV screen.

    Much like everything on the internet these days, these subtitles files are user generated content. People transcribe the videos and add the timestamps to sync them. I am amazed and appreciative that people spend time making these files and sharing them.

    Unfortunately these do not work with Apple iTunes or Apple TV. You need to use a player that supports them, like VLC. So in other words they don't work with shows you buy from Apple.
     
  12. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #12
    On a similar concern, it would be nice if labels could embed lyrics with iTunes music purchases. Yes, it's pretty easy to add lyrics through a bazillion plug-ins, but how hard would it be to put the official lyrics in the actual file? Unless I'm mistaken, it would just need to be done on the master and then it would replicate to wherever the files are sent.
     

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