Caption timing for FLVs

5 11 2007

If you’ve ever tried to sync captions to an FLV then you know that it can be time consuming, and sometimes a little boring (depending on the video =P). We had to do this at work and there was no way I was going to sit there, and type out the start & end times, line by line, for every couple of words i had to show in the captions.

There was only one solution, and no, it’s not to sit there and just do it. I was feeling extra lazy, so I built a tool to make my life easier. It’s not the most elegant tool in the world, but it did get the job done. I’m hoping to improve on it, just give it a little time.

Here’s a little step by step on how to use it:

1. Click on the “Open Video” button in order to show the prompt.


2. Type in the full path to your FLV and click “Open”.

3. Create the format you want your captions in. At work we had an XML file that used a node repeatedly, which we loaded into a closed captioning component for the FLV. Use the following keywords to format your captions:
_START_TIME_ : This is where the tool will insert the start time for the caption
_END_TIME_ : This is where the tool will insert the end time for the caption.
_CAPTION_ : This is where your text will be placed for the caption.

4. Paste the text in this area for the caption you want to create.

5. Scrub or watch the video and press the buttons to select your start & end times for the caption.

6. When you’re done take a look at the “FORMAT PREVIEW” text box to see what your caption will look like with the format you specified. If you’re happy with it, just hit the “Record Caption” button.

7. As you play the video or scrub through it, you can preview your timing on the bottom left text area. The captions you have recorded will show here.

8. When you’re done setting the start & end times, you should have something you can use in order to display captions with your FLVs. The output area will have all the captions you recorded formatted the way you wanted.

You can use the FLVPlaybackCaptioning component that Brandon Flowers mentioned in his blog post to do the rest if you prefer.

Click here to download the tool!