[Athen] captioning commercial dvds

John Foliot jfoliot at stanford.edu
Fri Oct 30 11:25:42 PDT 2009

James Bailey wrote:


> I may need to caption a commercial DVD. Assuming all the legal and

> copyright stuff is taken care of, what are the steps involved? Please

> forgive any cross postings and I look forward to input.



What is/will be your final delivery format? This matters because of the
final time-stamp format you will require.

Essentially the workflow process is this:

- transcribe audio content to text
- synchronize text to audio (time-stamp) and save/export
time-stamped file to the appropriate format
- integrate the captioning with the media asset

(LOL, I see my colleague Sean Keegan has jumped in as well with a much
larger response.)

One final thing to note is that now many commercial DVD's are
'copy-protected', which can add an additional wrinkle to the process,
especially if you intend to re-burn a DVD as the delivery format. There
are a few pirate-ware tools out there that "crack" DVDs [not that I
advocate or use them, but, hey, I know about them <grin> - ask Google, she
knows too ;)] and sometimes you also need to "shrink" the overall file
bundle (or eliminate extraneous data) to fit on a blank DVD (again, there
is pirate-ware out there that can do this), however it isn't as simple as

Unless you have a large pile, Sean's suggestion of outsourcing is one you
should consider strongly...

* www.automaticsync.com
* http://3playmedia.com/ (former MIT Grads)


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