Many people don’t know the difference between closed captions and subtitles. What is the difference between closed captions and subtitles? Both of these features are used to make media more accessible for those who have difficulty hearing or seeing. This article will give a brief overview of what each type of feature entails, the difference between the two, and when you should use them.
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What is Closed Captioning?
Closed captioning is by far the most common way to make media accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions provide a transcription of all audio information, including dialogue, music, and sound effects. The captions are usually positioned at the bottom of the screen, just above the timeline in your video editing software.
What are Subtitles?
Subtitles are very similar to captions, but they only provide a transcription of spoken dialogue. The text is placed at the bottom of the screen, but it is typically positioned between the timeline and the video’s playback controls.
Difference Between the Closed Captions and Subtitles
1. Closed captions include dialogue, music, and sound effects, while subtitles do not.
2. Closed captions are positioned at the bottom of the screen just above the timeline, while subtitles are placed between the timeline and the video’s playback controls.
3. Closed captions are typically a white font on a black background, while subtitles are usually black on a white background.
4. Subtitles are most often used for watching television and movies. Closed captions are usually preferred by those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
5. Subtitles can be turned on and off after they have been published, but closed captions must be implemented before publishing the video to your channel.
When to Use Subtitles
1. When You Want to Provide a Transcript of Only the Spoken Dialogue in Your Video.
You might want to use subtitles when playing back a recorded speech or lecture where all audio information is spoken dialogue.
2. When You Want to Make Your Video Accessible For Those Who Speak Different Languages.
If you are uploading a video created by multiple people, each of them may be speaking in a different language.
3. When You Want Each Language to Be Treated As its Own Separate Track.
If you have many languages and want to provide a separate caption track for each one.
4. When You Have a Video With Multiple Speakers, and You Want to Capture All Dialogue.
You might want to use subtitles when playing back a recorded speech or lecture where all audio information is spoken dialogue. You can turn on subtitles if you are watching videos in your first language, but the speakers are speaking in another language.
5. When You Want to Provide Subtitles For Your Video in Different Languages.
Place the subtitles between your video’s playback controls and timeline, so they are always visible while watching it. You can also place them below or above your video or at certain points in the video.
When to Use Closed Captions?
1. Closed Captions Should be Used When There is Spoken Dialogue in a Video.
You should always include the spoken dialogue in the transcript of your video. This way, if your video does not have captions or subtitles, you can send a text file to someone who needs accessibility assistance.
2. Closed Captions Should be Used When You Want to Include People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Your Target Audience.
Including people who are deaf or hard of hearing in your target audience can help to increase your video’s reach. Many individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing use closed captions as a way to access media. Closed captioning is the most common way to make media more accessible for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
3. Closed Captions Should Also be Used When Your Video Has Poor Audio Quality.
If the audio in your video is difficult to hear, you should include closed captions. This way, if someone is watching your video with the volume turned down, they will still be able to read the transcript of what is being said in the video.
4. Closed Captions are Also Beneficial for Individuals Who Have Difficulty Understanding Fast Speech or Accents.
When someone speaks quickly or has a strong accent, it can be difficult to understand what they are saying. Closed captions will help to clarify all of the dialogue in your video.
5. Closed Captions Should be Used as an Interpretation Tool For Videos that Have Been Created in a Foreign Language.
If you have a video that was produced in a foreign language, you should include a written transcript in the comment section. Using closed captions as an interpretation tool is helpful when someone wants to read the video in their native language.
If you want to make your video accessible for those who speak different languages, this can be accomplished through subtitles or captions through video captioning companies that offer those services. You can turn on subtitles if you are watching videos in your first language, but the speakers are speaking in another language. Closed captioning is beneficial for individuals who have difficulty understanding fast speech or accents.