[Athen] Offline Captions for Downloaded YouTube Videos

Hunziker, Dawn A - (hunziker) hunziker at email.arizona.edu
Thu Sep 29 14:36:33 PDT 2016

Hi all,

The other thing you can do is create an open-caption version of the video. We’ve been using AnyVideo Converter to create these files. Then, it doesn’t matter what platform is used to play the video, captions are shown – one caveat, text color is white so if you have a light background, you need to be aware of that. You should also look into VLC as I believe it now has the ability to add SRT too (I have not played with this yet) and Adobe Premier will create this type of file as well.

Our process – download the video, get the captions, use AnyVideo Converter to create an open-caption version and provide the video via Box, Dropbox, Panopto, USB, etc. We’ve had to use this process in the past since our lecture capture software wouldn’t display captions with full-screen viewing, happily that issue has been fixed.

RE: copyright – keep the file for use for only that student/class (we typically post ours behind an authentication procedure tied to the University) and don’t republish back out on Vimeo/YouTube. And, as Amy stated in an earlier message, accessibility is our goal – copyright/fair use belongs to the faculty/department.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like more information.


Dawn Hunziker
IT Accessibility Consultant

Disability Resource Center
hunziker at email.arizona.edu<mailto:hunziker at email.arizona.edu>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Paul Linh Nguyen
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:00 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Offline Captions for Downloaded YouTube Videos

It is possible to play YouTube videos + captions without Internet access...but it does require a few steps.
As others have said, there are tools available to assist in downloading of YouTube videos so you can play them offline. I won't delve into the legalities vs fair use vs accommodations.
For the captions there are also tools available to nab the captions from videos that have them as soft captions/subtitles (generally ones you can toggle on and off versus hard subs that are permanently on the video). I would recommend using a tool to grab them as a .SRT file.
There are free video players such as VideoLAN's VLC Player that can support playing a video with its accompanying .SRT file...though will require some setting up</> ( http://www.tomsguide.com/faq/id-1892893/srt-file-vlc-player.html ).
My particular use case when I had to do a one-off request was as follows (please be mindful this was a one off thing back in 2013)
- Firefox addon "YouTube Caption Downloader<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-caption-downloader/>" ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-caption-downloader/ ) [It should be noted that I'm seeing reviews indicating potential Win 10 + Firefox issues]
- Firefox addon "Video DownloadHelper<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/>" ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/ )
So to recap...very much possible to do. Just have to find the tools to do it and will require some work to get it working.

Best of luck!


On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 9:35 AM, Kidd,Allison <Allison.Kidd at colostate.edu<mailto:Allison.Kidd at colostate.edu>> wrote:
Does anyone have any pointers on how to play YouTube videos + captions without internet access?


Allison Kidd
AT IT Coordinator & Accessibility Specialist

Assistive Technology Resource Center
Colorado State University
229 Occupational Therapy Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1573

allison.kidd at colostate.edu<mailto:allison.kidd at colostate.edu>

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