You’ve already seen these complex elements. Timecodes are the time sequences that allow you to sync your subtitles with your video.
Whether in an SRT or VTT file, they encode your transcription based on time position. But if you don’t have them yet, how can you extract them from your video easily? And if you already have them, how can you optimize or remove them?
Here is a comprehensive guide to get you through the process of subtitle synchronization.
Why optimize the timecode of your subtitles?
They often go unnoticed, but the timecodes of your subtitles are crucial to sync the text and your video together. If they are misaligned, they create a mismatch between the audio, the image of your content and the subtitles. By not optimizing them, you risk causing intense discomfort for your viewers.
In general, you try to optimize by hand. But there is always room for improvement. Knowing that the human ear and eye can detect audio/video offsets as early as 22 milliseconds (the exact interval is +45/-125 milliseconds), every millisecond counts and can improve the user experience. This is even more serious for a hearing impaired audience who reads with their lips, as they feel the lag more strongly.
By learning the right techniques for optimizing your timecode, you will reap many benefits for your video :
- Your audience will have no trouble understanding and appreciating the words and content of your video.
- With good timecode, you allow your viewers to easily report and remember what is being said.
- You offer an optimal audio and video experience for foreigners or people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Are you in? We give you our best tips to optimize all this.
Video timecode: how to generate and adjust them
To begin with, what to do when you don’t have the timecode of your video yet?
You may have already experienced it, but creating timecode manually by extracting it from your video can be long and tiring. You need to note the time position of each text sequence you transcribe.
Still want to try it out for a fairly short video? Then you need to respect the subtitle file format like SRT. Using a text editor such as Notepad, here’s how to encode your subtitles in SRT :
The important thing is to be precise in the timing and counting of your sequences. Make sure you set your timecodes at the same time speakers are speaking.
Otherwise, if you don’t want to break your head, there have long been solutions to make your job easier. There are several types of time code editors and generators to help you:
- Subtitling software like Aegisub, Jubler or SubtitleEdit. They provide you with a spectrograph to set and correct your timecode manually. With their user-friendly interface, you gain productivity in the synchronization process. But be careful with long videos, the work can be tedious.
- Automatic subtitle generators such as Checksub. These tools automatically create and synchronize your timecode with your transcription. All you have to do is upload your video, and they’ll do the time adjustment of your subtitles thanks to voice-to-speech technology. However, the result is not perfect, and often requires a correction afterward. But by using them you save a lot of time.
We let you make your choice, according to your time and means available.
How to remove the timecode from your SRT file ?
Another question that often comes up : can you convert your subtitle file like SRT into a transcription file? Yes and to do so, you just have to remove all the timelines from your code. But how to do this quickly?
Here is a step-by-step method to get the job done right with SRT :
- Open your SRT file with a text editor.
- Put your cursor at the very beginning of your file
- Select the “replace” option (CTRL + H)
- Put in “Find what” ^\R?(\d+)\R\d:\d.+\R
- Type in “Replace with” $1 – (or nothing if you don’t want to keep the numbering)
- Click on “Regular Expression” and “Match case”
- You will then come across the numbered (or unnumbered) transcript.
That’s it, you can then copy/paste or save your transcription as a TXT file!
Professional subtitle solution: quality timecodes
Frustrated by the time spent transcribing videos by hand? We at Checksub have created a very convenient tool for doing subtitles. It can synch subtitles together, thanks to machine learning and optimized sentence-cuts. It allows you to :
- Automatically and accurately transcribe your videos (advanced speech recognition API)
- Collaborate with professional subtitlers and translators to manage your video project.
- Translate your video into more than 128 languages (translation based on in-depth learning)
- Easily check and customize the appearance of your subtitles
But that’s not all. If you don’t want to optimize the result by yourself, you can request the services of subtitling professionals directly from the platform. That way, you are sure to get a reliable and quality service!
We let you try this (you got one hour for free). Otherwise, we hope we’ve helped you keep the right timing in your projects 😉