Captions and subtitles for Windows Media or Silverlight
This how-to guide provides step-by-step instructions on three different ways to add closed captions or subtitles to a Windows Media Video (WMV) file. The first way, which is the most robust, is to embed the captions by encoding the media file using the free software Microsoft Expression Encoder. The second way is to embed the captions by encoding the media file using Windows Media File Editor, which is a utility that comes with the free software Windows Media Encoder 9. The third and simplest way is to associate the media file with the captions file, which may require a pointer file (ASX).
Step 1 – Submit Your Windows Media (WMV) File for Captioning
1. Log into your 3Play Media account.
2. Select Upload and specify the turnaround requirements.
3. You will receive an email alert when the captions file is ready for use.
Step 2 – Download Your Captions File
1. From your 3Play Media account, navigate to My Files. Click the download link beside the appropriate file. Depending on which method you use to add captions, you may need the SRT, SMI, or WMP.TXT captions format. If you’re not sure, download all three formats.
2. Unzip the file after it downloads.
Step 3 – Embed Closed Captions or Subtitles by Encoding the Video
This step shows you how to embed the captions file that you downloaded in Step 2 into your Windows Media file. This is the most robust way to add captions, although it is a bit more complicated. It is also possible to add captions to a WMV file without encoding. To do this, proceed to the instructions after Step 3.
2. If you just need to add captions to your Windows Media video then start a new Transcoding Project. Alternately, if you want to encode a video that is compatible with Silverlight and can be embedded in a rich, interactive Silverlight template, then start a Silverlight Project.
3. Select File > Import to load your Windows Media file.
4. Under the Metadata tab, go to the Script Commands panel, click the gear icon, select Import and choose the SRT or SMI captions file that you downloaded in Step 2. If you can’t see the Script Commands panel, select Window > Metadata and click the arrow in the top left corner of the Script Commands panel to expand the options.
5. Each caption frame shows up as a row in the Script Commands panel and as a circle in the captions timeline. You can edit the text in the captions, adjust the timing, or insert/delete caption frames.
6. Before you begin encoding, select the Window dropdown menu and make sure that Metadata, Encode, and Output are all checked.
7. From the Encode panel select the output format, and video/audio codecs. You can find more information about encoding output formats here.
8. From the Output panel select a destination folder where your encoded outputs will be saved.
9. Select File > Encode to begin encoding. This process will embed the captions into the video.
How To Add Closed Captions or Subtitles Using Windows Media File Editor
1. Log into your 3Play Media account and download the WMP.TXT captions file (see Steps 2 and 3 above).
2. Download and install the free software Windows Media Encoder 9, which includes the Windows Media File Editor utility.
3. Locate where Windows Media Encoder 9 is installed on your computer. It’s usually in this location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Media Components\Encoder
4. Find the file wmeditor.exe and double-click it to launch the utility.
5. Select File > Open and select your Windows Media File (WMV).
6. Select File > Import header file and select the WMP.TXT captions file.
7. Select File > Save As and Index. Captions should now show up when you play the video. Note that you may need to adjust the player settings to display captions (see the section below on Windows Media Player Settings).
How To Add Closed Captions or Subtitles Without Encoding (when the media and captions files are in the same directory)
1. You can add closed captions to your Windows Media Video (WMV) without encoding. The simplest way is to download a SMI captions file (see Step 2) and place it in the same directory as the media file. Make sure that the names match exactly and that the extension of the captions file is “.smi”.
Tip: To make sure that the extension is correct, open the Windows directory that contains the two files and select Tools > Folder Options > View. Then uncheck the box “hide extensions for known file types”.
2. Captions should now show up when you play the video. Note that you may need to adjust the player settings to display captions (see the section “Windows Media Player Settings”).
How To Add Closed Captions or Subtitles Without Encoding (when the media and captions files are in different directories)
1. If the media file and captions file are located in different directories or have different names, you need to create a pointer file that references both the media file and captions file.
2. Paste the code below into a text editor. Edit the name and location of the media file and captions file. Save it as an ASX file (e.g. “My-Video.asx”) and make sure that Windows does not rename it (e.g. “My-Video.asx.txt”). The ASX file will look and function just like a media file. It will associate with the Windows Media icon and playing it will launch the media file and captions file.
<asx version="3.0"> <entry> <ref href="c:mediaMy-Video.wmv?SAMI=c:captionsMy-Video.smi"/> </entry> </asx>
Windows Media Player Settings
1. In order for captions to show up on Windows Media Player, you need to make sure they are enabled. Under Organize navigate to Options > Security and check the box “Show local captions when present”.
2. You also need to right-click over the video window and enable Lyrics, captions, and subtitles.