By Jeffrey Bakker
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With iCaption, creating video subtitles or captions from scratch is made easier, even without prior experience in subtitle or transcript creation. Its interface utilizes timeline-based editing with audio visualization. The subtitle formats currently supported are SubRip .srt (the most widely used soft subtitle format over the past decade) and YouTube .sbv.
What are soft subtitles? Soft subs are files stored separately from the video file. They are called soft, because they are not hard-encoded into each video frame; they are rendered in real-time as you play the video. This means that you can have multiple languages per video file, which you can switch or turn on and off during playback. The downside to soft subs is that you need a video player which supports them, but most modern video players support soft subs, including YouTube.
If you are expecting subtitles to be mixed down into the video file, or to have control over font formatting (soft subs cannot do this but video players which support them typically have global font options), then hard-subbing is your safe bet and iCaption probably isn't for you.
Features and Capabilities:
- A user interface designed to visualize audio and subtitles throughout time.
- Powerful timeline editing capabilities, with or without a reference video loaded.
- Dynamic multi-resolution waveform visualization in real-time; no audio processing/load times.
- Scrub through the reference video using the subtitle timeline markers.
- Shortcuts for adding subtitles to the timeline in real-time while the movie is playing.
- Automatically determine the subtitle duration.
- Real-time checking and visualization for overlapping subtitle times.
- Easily adjust all subtitle times by one offset value.
- Search subtitles allows you to filter the subtitle list.
- Previewing allows you to test subtitles without an external viewer.
- Create, edit, open and save YouTube (.sbv) files.
- Create, edit, open and save SubRip (.srt) files.
- Convert SubRip to YouTube format and vice versa.
- Complete abstraction from the subtitle file formats.
- Support for opening subtitle files with various types of text encoding.
- Search an online database for known translations.
- Preferences for user customization.
- Up-to-date documentation.
Note: the developer isn't notified whenever a review is written, so if you are unsatisfied, run into any issues, or just have ideas to make the app work better for you, contact the developer directly with your concern (using the Support link, or the Support menu item in the application's Help menu).
Providing your feedback directly can be more helpful in getting you what you need out of the application. The developer is always looking for constructive criticism and back-and-forth discussion in order to improve on, what he believes, an already quality product.
Of course not every feature suggestion can be met, but there are already several features in the application which were made by request from the customers.
Another reason to contact the developer directly before reviewing, is that Apple does not allow developers to respond to these reviews, so we can't help ease your frustration, which might have an easy solution.
What's New in Version 2.4.2
The audio and video core of iCaption has been re-written to take advantage of OSX 10.9 Mavericks' AVFoundation (the QuickTime API is deprecated in 10.9). Warning: All OSX versions prior to 10.9 are now unsupported. Support for non-Apple-friendly media formats will be affected as a consequence. For Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion support please continue to use iCaption 2.3.0.
- Fixed a bug from iCaption 2.4.0 where loading subtitles previously made would result in bad times on systems with region settings using '.' as a number separator and ',' as a decimal separator.
- Fixed a bug from iCaption 2.4.0 where the video playback and seeking started from the markers with a timing tolerance (in some cases a few seconds).
- Fixed a crash from iCaption 2.4.0 where the playback to the very end of the video crashed the application.
- Fixed a crash when loading another video while still playing a first video would crash the application.
- Fixed a rendering artifact in the waveform visualization when jumping between sections in the video and playing them out of sequence.
- Added the ability to instantly edit the subtitle's start and end times in the timeline by dragging them (without pressing the Apply to Subtitle button afterwards). Apply is still used to move the entire subtitle.
- Added the ability "Add Next Subtitle", which starts at the end of the currently selected subtitle, with the same duration.
- Added drag and drop for opening supported media formats.
- Added drag and drop for opening supported subtitle formats.
- Fixed search for subtitle translations to use the new search API by AllSubs.