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Subtitle timecodes: how to create, optimize or remove them ?

Do you have a hard time creating or syncing the timecode of your subtitles ? Here's a comprehensive guide to help you with that

Jean-Marc
March 9, 2021

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 :

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:

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 :

  1. Open your SRT file with a text editor.
  2. Put your cursor at the very beginning of your file
  3. Select the “replace” option (CTRL + H)
  4. Put in “Find what” ^\R?(\d+)\R\d:\d.+\R
  5. Type in “Replace with” $1 – (or nothing if you don’t want to keep the numbering)
  6. Click on “Regular Expression” and “Match case”
  7. 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

subtitles company checksub

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 :

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 😉

Subtitle 8 times faster with powerful technology. ⚡

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