Contribute Subtitles and Closed Captions to YouTube Vidoes

Contribute subtitles and closed captions to YouTube Channels


Some channels let you contribute subtitles and closed captions to their videos. They’re viewable on the video by clicking on the [CC] icon in the player. Approved content is owned by the video owner.
Read more on YT Support

Video Owners:

  • Go to Video Manager
  • Click Edit Video
  • Subtitles And CC Tab
  • Turn ‘Allow Community Contributions’ on

I’m told you get to review them. If anyone allows this on a video, let me know and we’ll try it out.


No more excuses – subtitle your YouTube videos | Christian Heilmann

From the Personal Blog of Christian Heilman

He mentions using YouTube’s own editor to edit the autocaptions, and mentions

Using Streamtext along with your video stream

I’ve been asked about integrating caption feed with a video feed.

My solution is to use an iframe for the video, and an iframe for the text .

Marvin Williams Preaching, displayed on a laptop with captions underneath the video

Since hosted wordpress doesn’t allow a good display of code, here’s the commented code

And the live version is here: (captioned only during the 9:40 est service)

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

Downloading YouTube Subtitles

I received a question about downloaded youtube videos with the captions included.

I’ve never downloaded them together, but here’s what I do:
1. Download the video, either through youtube links or I use “Video Download Helper” add on for Firefox.
2. Get the subtitles using the video id: ex. Tommy Interviews Yahoo
3. Play them with VLC and choose the subtitle file