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.

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

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.