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How to Convert Caption File Formats

  • There are many different types of caption file formats and sometimes you need to convert from one type to another. For example, let’s say you download a captions file from YouTube (SBV format) and want to use it to encode to video for iPhone, iPad, iPod, or iTunes. To do that you’ll need to convert it to the SCC format. If you want to use it with a Flash player you’ll probably need the DFXP format. And with a Windows Media Player you’ll need the SMI format. It seems that every application requires a different format, but it’s surprisingly difficult to convert between them. To address this problem, we created a free web tool that converts between all the major caption formats, including SRT, SBV, Flash DFXP, SCC, SMI or SAMI, CPT.XML, QT, and STL.

    Did you know you can use our caption encoding service to create a self-contained video with encoded closed captions that works with an iPhone and most other devices?
    Learn more about our caption encoding service

    The Caption Format Converter works instantly. Just paste your SRT or SBV file, and seconds later your selected output format will be emailed to you in an attachment that preserves the correct formatting. You can use this free service as much as you want. Let us know if you have any feedback or if there is anything else we can do to be helpful.

    caption format converter

    Below is a description of the major caption file formats:

    Caption and Subtitle Formats Explained

    • CAP – This is a common subtitle/caption file format for broadcast media. It was developed by Cheetah International.
    • CPT.XML – XML format used for encoding captions into Flash video. It originated in the caption-embedding software Captionate.
    • DFXP – This is a common format used for captioning Flash video. It’s a timed-text format that was developed by W3C and stands for “Distribution Format Exchange Profile”.
    • EBU.STL – This is a common subtitle/caption file format for PAL broadcast media. It was developed by the European Broadcast Union.
    • QT – Caption format used for QuickTime video or audio. It was developed by Apple.
    • RT – RealText captions for RealMedia video or audio.
    • SAMI (SMI) – Used for Windows Media video or audio. It was developed by Microsoft and stands for “Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange.”
    • SBV – This is a YouTube caption file format that stands for “SubViewer.” It’s what you get when you download captions from YouTube. It’s a text format that is very similar to SRT.
    • SCC – Popular standard used for Line 21 broadcast closed captions, web media, DVD, as well as iTunes, iPods, iPads, and iPhones. It was originally developed by Sonic and stands for “Scenarist Closed Caption.”
    • SRT – This is the most common subtitle/caption file format. It is a text format that originated in the DVD-ripping software SubRip and stands for “SubRip Subtitle” file.
    • STL – Used for DVD Studio Pro. It was developed by Spruce Technologies and known as “Spruce Subtitle File.”

    Additional Caption / Subtitle Formats (Available with 3Play Media Account)

    • ADBE – Adobe
    • Apple XML – Apple XML Interchange Format
    • AAF – Avid
    • Avid DS – Avid
    • CCA – MacCaption
    • ASC – Cheetah International
    • ONL – CPC 715
    • Crackle TT – Crackle Timed Text (variant of SMPTE-TT)
    • DECE CFF – Variant of SMPTE-TT with auxiliary PNG files
    • Evertz ProCAP
    • ITT – iTunes Timed Text
    • Matrox4VANC – Matrox for MX02
    • MCC – MacCaption
    • MCC V2 – MacCaption
    • Multiplexed SCC – Multiple CC
    • Rhozet – XML file
    • RT – RealText captions for RealMedia
    • SonyPictures TT – Sony Pictures Timed Text XML
    • TIDLP Cinema – Texas Instruments DLP Cinema XML
    • WMP.TXT – Windows Media

4 Responses to How to Convert Caption File Formats

  1. Chris Wilkinson says:

    I am interested in converting scc files into srt files. Can this be done with the free online Caption converter?

  2. Tole Khesin says:

    Hi Chris,

    You can’t convert SCC to SRT with the free caption converter, but you can easily do it through our caption import tool: http://www.3playmedia.com/services-features/tools/caption-import/

  3. Charles says:

    Is it possible to convert .cap closed caption files files into txt or excel documents with the online caption converter?

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