Freemake 3.0: Easy Video HTML5 Video for Windows

I found a video converter that I’m pretty impressed with.John Candy as Del Griffith from Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I have been using Handbrake, VLC, and odd assortments of command line ffmpeg to convert videos.

In the process of binging other methods, I found Freemake a (free) video converter which just hit 3.0, and added the ability to create HTML5 video. And HTML5 video with burned in subtitles that almost works!
(I can view the video on DroidX, iPhone, Chrome, and IE. For some reason Firefox is having trouble. VLC can read the ogv file.)


Screenshot of showing html5 and other output
Simple User Interface

Summary: It did what I needed. Soft subtitles* would be nicer – but the fact that it handles them at all is cool.

* “Soft” subtitles, or soft subs, are subtitles applied at playback time from a subtitle datafile, either muxed directly into the video file (.mkv, .ogm, etc.), or in a separate file (.ssa, .srt, etc.).

(citation from


Tommy Edison Experience

Tommy Edison Head Shot

Tommy Edison has been blind since birth and now producing videos online that reveal a glimpse into his life and the funny challenges that he faces daily. Tommy has showed us what it’s like for someone who is blind to use an ATM for the time and how some people who are visually impaired may organize their money.
In the video below, Tommy Edison inverviews Nate Ebrahimoon and Ted Drake of Yahoo! Accessibilty about how they help people with disabilities by making websites, applications, and video content more accessible.

Video Captioning Essentials Web Course

Maybe something like this could be required for film and media coursework: (Let me know if you need to hire a guest instructor).

Free online Course on Captioning Essentials

Module 1: Getting Started

Module 2: Introduction to Web Video Captioning
Why Caption Online Video
It’s the Law!
Accessbility’s Value
What Are Video Captions?
Closed vs. Open Captions
Recorded and Live Captioning
How It’s Done: Recorded Captions
How Long Does It Take to Caption a Video?
Recorded Captions: YouTube
Style Guidelines
Creating a Caption File
Caption File Formats
Activating a Caption File
Embedding Captions
How It’s Done: Live Captions
Exercise: Justifying Captioning

Module 3: How to Caption Web Videos In-House
What You’ll Learn
Why Captions Videos In-House?
Overview of Options
Web-Based Captioning Tools
Advantages of Web-Based Captioning
Disadvantages of Web-Based Captioning
Types of Web-Based Captioning Tools
Computer-Based Captioning Programs
Advantages of Captioning Software
Disadvantages of Captioning Software
Offline Captioning Software
YouTube Captioning

Module 4: How to Caption Live Web Videos
What You’ll Learn
Live Event Setup
Real-Time Web Captioning Process
Contracting a Real-Time Captioner
Using Voicewriting Technology
Operating Your Own Streaming Video
Assignment: Real-Time Captioning

Module 5: How to Contract for Captioning Services
What You’ll Learn
Vendor Acquistion Process
Vendor Acquistion Process: Needs Assessment
Vendor Acquistion Process: Delivering Your Product
Vendor Acquistion Process: Defining Your Requesgt
Vendor Acquistion Process: Researching Potential Vendors
Producing the Captions
Assignment: Identifying Caption Service Providers

Copyright © 2010. Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans.

How to Start Adding Captions/Subtitles to Online Videos

[this piece will probably undergo refinements before become a real page:]

I was talking to someone today who wanted to start captioning their videos.
This seemed like a good use of a volunteer, so I gave them some starting out info.

The Two Easiest Ways to start CC online:
Both subtitling sites are able to add subtitles to common video formats, and are both able to export the caption files for import into youtube. Neither one, however, embeds nicely into the hosted version of WordPress. (work on that, Matt?) [edit] The dotSUB version is embeddable through VodPod video collection.

Universal Subtitles

Embedded sample:
Tutorials: They have training videos that are shown as you along step by step.

Easy/Fun – once you have the words in, the timing is like playing Rock Band.
Allows importing of a written transcript -then you are just setting the timing, not typing. *
Cons: Harder to fine tune.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Embedded Sample:

Hosts a copy of the videos (good for stability)
Adjust Accuracy within 1000ths of a second

No way to import a transcript

Important Reading:
The DCMP article contains the best overview of online captioning, and includes captioning guidelines, good to read if you are just captioning “talking head” videos, and a more detailed Captioning Key with information on how to convey more complex information.

* Bonus Article: Importing transcripts into universal subs:
You can create a transcript with Dragon Naturally Speaking (Windows also provides free voice recognition, XP and later), by “echoing” the words that are spoken on the video into your chat headset microphone.
Then format your lines and upload it into universal subtitles.

How you format the transcript determines how they display on the screen.
1) Hit enter twice to separate each subtitle;
2) You cannot submit subtitles longer than 3 lines (2 is best).

The import method is not obvious either: Click upload subtitles, then click “Paste in Transcript”

CART / Voice Recognition on Live Events – Random Thoughts

This may be edited someday to have a point.

There has been some talk on one of the threads in a group for CCACaptioning (for captioning advocacy) about voice
recognition and CART, and whether voice recognition technology can become more applicable for daily situations, such as restaurants or meetings.

My experience:

User, Sennheiser headset, CaptionMic Software
Voice Recognition CART - Live Captioning, Shadow Speaking

I did voice recognition CART for Calvary Church for a year and a half  before we got a budget for a *real* CART pro (aka Karyn, Tennessee Captioning).

Voice Recognition captioning is generally done by one speaker who has trained the voice recognition software to his voice and style. Using a headset, he will repeat verbatim what is being spoken, into the mic.

I was using CaptionMic software (see videos of Captionmic in action:, sold by Mark Hall, who I believe is also a member of that list. CaptionMic is based on an embedded version of IBM’s ViaVoice technology. It’s a special application, because it delivers the text in a different way, decidedly more pleasant than normal dictation software, like Dragon, and it enables creating line 21 captioning.

I have also used Dragon Naturally Speaking, version 10, for the PC.  I use it for creating transcripts of longer videos. Even without training, I can get a pretty good transcript.

There are a couple of points that are important to note about voice recognition.
Quality factors:
1. Voice recognition is more accurate with a high quality headset and noise cancelling microphone.
2. Voice recognition accuracy is better with a trained speaker, someone who is conscious about not slurring.
3. Voice recognition accuracy is  better with a trained speaker who has trained the software to his/her voice.


From a recent interview I heard on This American Life, I’m guessing that voice recognition technology faces the some of same
drawbacks that CI technology does. It can’t perform well in any situation that anyone with electronic hearing devices would have trouble. It really can’t do well with multiple voices, and has no way to filter out ambient noise, outside of what the microphone noise filtering can do.

With those caveats….


-Windows has built in Voice Recognition ->Setup Speech Recognition in Windows 7.
-Web based Chat Room with moderator capabilities. (I’m thinking of creating one setup for this)

Pro/Cons: +Cheap, +Better than lipreading, -Timing of the captions, strange delays

-Use Dragon for Speech Recognition
-Use for broadcast

Pro/Cons: +better recognition/accuracy, =still inexpensive, -still has strange delays

-Use pro software like CaptionMic. I know there are others.

-Use a CART professional. Read Voice CART versus Steno CART here:

One the things I like to say about the voice CART: It was a “gateway drug” to having professional CART.
It’s better than not having something, but it’s nowhere near the quality we are getting now with an excellent steno CART.

Captioning Standards: Captioning Music

I was watching the live captioning done by the completely amazing CART by Karyn of Tennessee Captioning on Sunday, when I noticed that she uses the double-eighth note (♬) in front and back of each line. This was more noticeable to me, since the Android Browser displays the eighth note (♪) and NOT the double-eighth.

So I watched CMT this morning, sound muted, cc on. I’m guessing that CMT doesn’t require particular standards.
CMT Sample of Music Captioning Showing Speaker Id, Case, and denotation
I found:

1 Mixed Case, 2 UPPERCASE

1 (eighth) notes at the end of each newline, 2 had notes at the end of a full caption

Occasionally described
denoted by 2 eighth notes (1 without spaces, 2 with)
None kept the notes up for the duration of the instrumental only.

I use the DCMP Captioning Key as my standard, knowing of no other.

From DCMP Captioning Key Special Considerations:

Caption lyrics with music icons (♪). Use one music icon at the beginning and end of each caption within a song, but use two music icons at the end of the last line of a song.

For background music that is not important to the content of the program, place a music icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

A description (in brackets) should be used for instrumental/background music or when verbatim captioning would exceed the presentation rate. If known, the description should include the performer/composer and the title.

What say ye?

I use:
-Mixed Case
-Single Eighth note at the beginning and end of each line
-Double Eight note for instrumental (with artist/title), although 2 eighth notes with a blank seems more semantically correct.

Best Overall Captioning “How To” Guide!

Basic Guidelines for Busy Teachers, Families, and Others Who Shoot Their Own Video” by Bill Stark, Described and Captioned Media Program

What are Captions?
What’s In a caption (Narration, Dialogue, Sound Effects, Other)
How To Caption
Guidelines for Captions
Benefits of Captions
Web Based Captioning Tools
Desktop Captioning/Subtitling Software
Caption-Ready Video Hosting Providers

It could use some updating (Overstream is dying, doesn’t include Universal Subtitles), and it could include some reference to including those in files and DVD’s, but over all, he does a great job, much nicer than my list of captioning tools and references.