As far as subtitles are concerned, the SRT (Subrip) file is the most famous format.
Supported by many video players and platforms, it easily converts and sync your transcript into a readable encoding for your video.
But how can you create SRT files without having a hard time or wasting too much time? Here we tell you everything you need to know about them, and how to generate them efficiently.
Why use an SRT file?
The SRT file is very popular among subtitling professionals. While there are many subtitle formats out there (SSA, VTT, SBV or even TXT), this format has become the reference for many software and video platforms (VLC, Premiere Pro, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo…). Why? Because it is very simple to code, and it is extremely versatile!
Obviously, if you want to do subtitles, there are many reasons to use this format :
- You are sure you can use it in all the video platforms that exist
- You can easily adjust transcription or time code issues by yourself, since the format is easy-to-use.
- Being a universal format, you can convert it to any other format, and easily retrieve the transcript from it.
You’re hooked? We give you all the keys to use it.
SRT format: how to create it manually
Unlike other code languages, the SRT format is one of the simplest available. You just need to put the essential information for displaying subtitles: sequence number, time code, text. When you have typed the good structure, your subtitles will automatically display on your player. It’s as simple as that!
Here is a sample SRT file to understand how to build it :
Just repeat this process for the entire length of your video and audio.
However, you may have already noticed it, it is a rather long and complex job to do manually (especially the audio/text synchronization). Fortunately, there are other tools or software to help you with this task.
Which SRT file editor to use?
Since people have started to make subtitles, many subtitling software have been invented to reduce the difficulty of this work (yes, even professional subtitlers admit it, it’s a tedious job).
These SRT file editors have a graphical interface to manage the transcription, but provide also a spectrograph to sync your subtitles accurately. Here is a list of the must-have and free software that can save you time:
A classic of open-source subtitling, Jubler provides a comprehensive interface to sync subtitles. You can also transcribe your text at the same time as you run your video, and it includes good customization possibilities. On the other hand, it has an old design, and it is not really updated anymore.
For sure Aegisub is the subtitle software with the most advanced features. It displays the sound spectrum of your video for perfect synchronization, generates a format customizable in detail, and is supported by all operating systems. However, it may seem a bit complex for beginners.
Subtitle-Edit has a user-friendly and intuitive interface and supports a very large number of different video and transcription formats. It provides also an error correction system, and display audio spectrum. But the interface can sometimes seem complex, and it doesn’t have any customization features.
We let you try them out, and find the tool of your choice according to your needs and skills. But we have even more powerful and faster tools to get the job done. Let us introduce them to you.
How to automatically generate an SRT file?
Since speech recognition technologies have emerged, automatic captioning solutions have appeared on the market. By taking care of transcription, audio/video synchronization and even foreign language translation, they provide fast, high-quality results.
Among them, Checksub solution is particularly a fast SRT file generator. 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 modify and customize the appearance of your subtitles
Here is the step-by-step method to use it :
1# Upload your video on the interface
To get started, login to the Checksub platform. By logging in, you will have direct access to the platform to upload your video. Select your content and indicate its original language. You can also choose between several languages to make a translation if necessary.
To try the platform, you have one hour free. If this is not enough, you can buy credits at a low price.
The API will then perform the speech recognition and provide you with the result in a few minutes.
2# Check and optimize the transcription
When the result is ready, you can click on the language of your video and access the dedicated subtitle editor to check and optimize the synchronization.
3# Export your SRT file
When you are satisfied with the result, you can then directly retrieve the subtitles of your video. Just press “Export” and then “SRT” to download the file. You can also upload your video with built-in subtitles to export it everywhere effortlessly with the “Export Video” option.
Professional subtitle service: how to choose one
As you can see, creating subtitles is still quite complex. This is even more true if you have a large volume of podcasts that are difficult to transcribe (ambient noise).
Fortunately, there are also professional services that can take care of your video podcast projects. With the help of proven human expertise, they will deliver your projects in a short period of time and with high quality.
Here are two types of subtitling services you may encounter :
- Subtitle matchmaking service. These platforms connect you with subtitlers, translators and agencies competent for your video project. This is quite interesting if you want to make sure you have a relevant collaborator for your needs.
- Automatic and professional platform. By combining human expertise and automatic technology, it provides you with both quality and high speed service. Checksub is one of them.
That’s it, our guide ends here. We hope we’ve helped you create an SRT file in no time!