[Athen] Captioning Web Videos - and some feedback from you all please

Brian Richwine blrichwine at gmail.com
Wed Oct 8 14:06:01 PDT 2008

To handle all the international character sets, the proper character
encoding must be supported. The QTtext format used by QuickTime supports
various formats of the Unicode character encoding standards which allows for
most every languages characters to be encoded. QuickTime will make font
substitutions as needed to display the requested characters as many fonts
don't cover the entirety of characters. From what I've read, the trick comes
in generating the QTtext with the proper character encoding in the first

On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 4:36 PM, John Foliot <jfoliot at stanford.edu> wrote:

> Hello All!


> Apologies if you get this multiple times, as I am sending it out to a

> number of web accessibility lists.


> Creating captioned web media is something that is not easy to do right now

> - this we already know. Getting captioned iTunes media is even harder,

> although it is possible, as the following link(s) will illustrate:


> http://acomp.stanford.edu/atl/atr/podcast/atr13.mov

> http://acomp.stanford.edu/atl/atr/podcast/atr12.mov


> (these are both also available via the iTunes store:

> http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=272900846

> )


> The exciting thing is however, that it can be done, although it remains a

> bit of a manual challenge to produce these files - a simple "turn-key"

> solution really doesn't exist right now (but there *is* work being done in

> this area).


> Along with the challenge of the technical part of this process however is

> some other, less technical aspects, and the purpose of this note: In the

> first referenced video above (atr13.mov) the video stream features some

> rap lyrics in foreign languages. For the purpose of the

> caption/transcription, my associate Kim simply noted "Japanese Rap",

> "German Rap", etc. Given that she's already adding to her work flow by

> ensuring her podcasts are now captioned, I congratulated her on a job well

> done and started telling everyone about the files above.


> But the question of multi-lingual content within a caption file remains

> one that I am unsure of, exactly. Is this as much a "policy" kind of

> question as it is one of technical discussion:


> 1) should we provide the foreign transcript in the caption file? (this

> raises questions of i11n as well, especially with the Japanese rap and

> foreign character sets)


> 2) should we provide, instead, a translation of the rap? (even if it is

> somewhat out of context; plus then we are providing information that

> non-caption choice users are not getting, so is this right?)


> 3) is Kim's choice of simply noting "Japanese Rap" or "German Rap"

> sufficient?


> 4) What kind of support do the various media players have for i11n

> switching on the fly? (If in fact this is what needs to happen, or will

> all the foreign text/character sets simply follow through from the initial

> transcript/caption file? - I am thinking of alternative output as well -

> Braille for example). Can we (should we) be thinking about the lang

> attribute here (DFXP can accept it) - and if yes, how, and will, Adaptive

> Technology be able to take advantage of it?


> 5) are there any other aspects of multi-language multi-media that I've

> overlooked that we should be thinking about?


> Now I suppose that these questions are also ones posed within the

> caption/transcription community already (TV and Movie for example), but I

> have not found any definitive information about this so far (in my limited

> Google quest), and the delivery via the web of multi-media has its own

> unique abilities and constraints that other forms of media delivery may or

> may not share.


> So... thoughts? Comments? Ideas?


> Realizing that you might not subscribe to all of the lists I'm sending

> this out to, I will recap the discussions on Friday, Oct. 10th.


> Thanks in advance for your participation


> JF




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> Athen at athenpro.org

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