Caption Format Conversion

We have been captioning videos for many years here at CEOEL. As time passes technology changes and the formats that are used for captions change too. Currently we are creating videos and hosting them on Kaltura, and the default format to import captions into Kaltura is .srt, known as SubRip. We also host captions for our players in a format with the file extension web.vtt

In the past we have used captions in our videos in .cpt.xml and adb.xml.

Converting with 3PlayMedia

Some of our 3Playmedia accounts have a caption conversion tool turned on. It costs $5 per file to covert the captions. Contact Bryan to get captions converted. This tool only imports srt, sbv, web.vtt and cpt.xml. But it can export to all formats that 3Playmedia can create.

Creatively Converting

There is an alternate set of steps and tools you can use to convert captions. These steps are definitely more of a workaround and a weird hack than they are a straightforward tool. But it does work, and it costs us nothing to do. These steps require that you log into a YouTube account, and that you have a video without captions available to utilize during the steps. Nothing has to be saved/changed permanently about the video, but it’s best to use something you would not mind accidentally leaving some incorrect captions on.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Download or obtain a copy of the original captions file that you want to convert.
  2. Log into YouTube and navigate to the video you will be using as a host for conversion. This can be done by clicking the edit button on a video in the Creators Studio or the edit button on the video’s page.
  3. On the video properties page navigate to the Subtitles/CC tab.
  4. Click the Add new subtitles or CC dropdown and select English.
  5. On the next screen click Upload a file
  6. In the next dialog select Subtitles file and choose the subtitles file you will be converting. Click Upload.
  7. You will now see the subtitles on the left of the screen. If they look like they are broken up properly into segments with times on the left everything went good. Click the Actions menu above the subtitles list on the left.
  8. From that menu click Download. You will either be presented with the raw text of the converted subtitle file or it will download to your downloads folder.
  9. If it appears as raw text in your browser, Select it all and copy it to your clipboard. Otherwise open the downloaded .sbv file in TextWrangler and select all of it and copy it to your clipboard.
  10. Navigate to the free captions format converter that 3Playmedia provides.
  11. Select SRT as the Output Format and paste the captions you copied from YouTube into the text box.
  12. Click Convert my File and the converted SRT file will be downloaded to your downloads folder.
  13. Rename this file to match your project (Example: and place it in the transcription folder of your project as a backup.
  14. Navigate to Kaltura and upload the SRT file like you normally would.
  15. Clean Up: When you are all done you will have an in-progress captions upload on YouTube that you don’t need to keep. Click the Delete Draft button in the right of the page to remove the captions you uploaded.

Published on April 26, 2017 at 11:49:54 am CDT. Last modified on May 04, 2018 at 1:27:12 pm CDT.