Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Closed Captioning for the iPad

Closed captioning for the iPad is really very easy. First we will use MovieCaptioner to create our captions and then we will export them as a Sonic Scenarist (SCC) caption file. These are the same type of captions you might see on TV and are often called Line 21 captions. We will use Apple's Compressor software to create the captioned video for the iPad. First, after opening Compressor, if you see a Templates Chooser window, just hit the Cancel button. We won't need this. template chooser window Drag your movie to the window with the downward facing arrow... drag your movie to the window Next, go to the Window menu and select Show Inspector if the Inspector window is not already open... choose the Inspector window from the Window menu Once the Inpector window is open, if it appears blank, click on your movie in the main window and the info for the movie should appear in the Inspector window... Inspector window Now click the Additional Information tab in the Inspector window and choose your SCC file from your hard drive... choose your SCC file You can close the Inspector window, then go to the Window menu and choose Settings... template chooser window In the Settings window, click the triangle next to Apple Devices and select one of the four choices under it depending on your movie and target device... choose an Apple Devices setting Drag your choice to the main window where your movie is. It should appear like this... template chooser window Now just click the Submit button and give your project a name and click the Submit button for that window... template chooser window It will begin to compress the movie... movie is compressing When it's done, it will create a movie that has the name of the setting you used tacked onto the name of your movie with a ".m4v" file extension...

finished movie

Now all you need to do is drag your movie into iBooks Author and it will create a widget for the movie. You can test your movie on your iPad if you have it connected to your computer. Open iBooks on the iPad, then click the Preview button in the top panel of the iBooks Author interface... template chooser window If you have closed captioning turned on in your iPad's Video settings, you should see the captions play along with the movie. Here is how to enable closed captioning on your iPad... iPad video settings with closed captioning enabled So, creating captions for videos on the iPad is really a pretty simple process. MovieCaptioner makes it a lot easier by creating the SCC file that you need to import into Compressor. Give MovieCaptioner a try. You can download a free, fully-functional demo that is good for 14 days from http://www.synchrimedia.com. Please view the tutorial videos there to see how easy it is to be up and running with MovieCaptioner in a few minutes. Good luck with your captioning projects!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Captioning Recorded Adobe Connect Meetings

If you need to caption Adobe Connect meetings that have already been recorded, there is an easy way. First, download these template files. The files contain an instructional PDF with screenshots showing you how to download your recorded meeting, how to caption it using MovieCaptioner, and how to make the captions work. The process is simply this:

  1. Download your Adobe Connect recording and name it "main.flv" (case sensitive).
  2. Load the movie into MovieCaptioner and create the captions.
  3. Export the captions as Flash (DFXP) caption file naming it "captions.xml" (the default name from MovieCaptioner for Flash captions).
  4. Copy the template folder and name it what you want.
  5. Drop the "main.flv" and "captions.xml" files in the folder, replacing the 2 files with the same name in the template folder.
  6. Launch the "index.html" file in the folder to check your work.
  7. Upload the whole folder to your Web space and link to the "index.html" file

image of Adobe Connect recording with captions below it

The big thing is to keep the naming convention of "main.flv" for the movie and "captions.xml" for the caption file as that is how it's hard-coded in the Flash file that plays the movie. The original Flash FLA file is also included in case you know Flash and want to change any aspects of the player.

Also note that this method does not use the files that are on the Adobe Connect server to deliver the video. You upload your template folder to your Web space and link to the "index.html" file inside this folder. The file sizes are not too bad to download for the user. For example, a 50 minute meeting recording is only 180MB in size for a 1920x1072 video that scales in size as you scale your browser window.

It is recommended that you use the Mac version of MovieCaptioner to do the captioning as it will eliminate the need to create a .MOV movie file from the .FLV file that you download from the Adobe Connect server. This is because there is a free plugin for QuickTime on the Mac called Perian http://www.perian.org that allows you to play FLV movies in the QuickTime Player. This plugin is not made for Windows. Perian will discontinue developing/supporting this plugin at some point as it says on their Web site, but you can still download it.

You can certainly use the Windows version, but you will need to convert the FLV to either a .MOV or MPEG-4 movie that can play in QuickTime prior to loading into MovieCaptioner for Windows. Sorry that I cannot recommend a particular video conversion app for this on Windows. Please beware of downloading software that may contain viruses or trojans on Windows. You would only need the MOV file for use with MovieCaptioner. You will still use the FLV file in the template folder.

If you've never tried MovieCaptioner, give it a whirl. You can download the demo which is fully functional for 14 days. There are also tutorial videos to get you up to speed with it in minutes here: MovieCaptioner Tutorial Videos.

Good luck with your captioning projects!