Ultimate Guide to Caption and Description Formats for Popular Video Players

May 20, 2019 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: July 18, 2019

Ever wondered what caption and audio description formats you’ll need for your video player? Below we breakdown the most popular video players and their accessibility.

On Caption Formats

There are a lot of caption formats out there.
play button

Caption formats can be categorized in three ways: simple, intermediate, and advanced.

The most popular (and widely accepted) caption formats are SRT and WebVTT. These are also simple closed caption formats because they are easy to create.

Intermediate caption formats are mainly used in broadcast television and include SCC and SMPTE-TT file formats.

Advanced caption formats include more advanced captioning needs likes caption placement or stylistic preferences.

The caption format you use will depend largely on which format the video player accepts.

 Ready to get started with captioning? Learn more about how 3Play Media can help! 

On Audio Description Formats

There are two types of audio description formats: text-based and media-based.
music symbol
Text-based formats are just as they sound – text versions of the description that look like transcripts with the audio description inserted in between the text of the audio. Text-based formats can be downloaded as WebVTT, TXT, DOC, Merged TXT, Merged DOC, Stamped Doc, and Merger Doc (stamped).

Media-based formats only include the audio description without the original source audio. These formats include MP3, OGG, and WAV. You can also download a track that includes both the description and the original source audio. These formats include MP4, MP3, OGG and WAV.

Although more and more video players are accepting audio description tracks, we still have a long way to go. If you use 3Play Media, you can always utilize the 3Play Plugin to add description to video players that don’t accept it.

Video Players + Caption and Description Formats

 

Video Player 📹Caption Format 📺Audio Description Format 🎧Accessibility ⌨️
BrightcoveWebVTT
SRT
DFXP
Accepts multiple audio tracksKeyboard & screen reader accessible
Echo360WebVTT
SRT
DFXP
Ensemble VideoDFXPMP3 or M4A audio fileKeyboard & screen reader accessible
FacebookSRTScreen reader accessible
JW PlayerWebVTT
SRT
DFXP
M3U8 filesScreen reader & keyboard accessible
KalturaSRTScreen reader & keyboard accessible, WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
KnowledgeVisionJSON Transcript
LimelightDFXP
MediaAMPDFXP
SAMI
SMPTE-TT
SRT
MediaPlatformWebVTT
TXT
PDF
MediasiteSAMI
SRT
DFXP
You can add description of slides through Mediasite’s Slides EditorKeyboard & screen reader accessible
OoyalaDFXP
SCC
WebVTT
TTML
Allows multiple audio tracksWCAG 2.0 compliant
TechSmith RelaySRT
WebVTT
SBV
SAMI
TTML
MP3Keyboard & screen reader accessible
PanoptoDFXP
SRT
WebVTT
ASHX
Keyboard & screen reader accessible
TegrityQT (custom)
TXT
thePlatformSRT
TwitterSRT
VidyardWebVTT
SRT
TXT
Mix Audio Description + Source Media AssetWCAG 2.0 Level A compliant
ViostreamSRT
VTT
Transcripts: PDF, HTML, TXT, Word, RTF
MP3
Support multiple audio tracks
WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
VoiceThreadDFXP
SRT
SAMI
SBV
SCC
Screen reader & Keyboard accessible
WarpwireWebVTT
WistiaSRTScreen reader & Keyboard accessible
YouTubeSRT
.sbv or .sub
.mpsub
.lrc
.cap
SAMI
RealText
WebVTT
TTML
DFXP
SCC
Screen reader & Keyboard accessible
YuJaSRTMP3Screen reader & keyboard accessible

What to Do When Your Video Player Doesn’t Accept Captions or Audio Description

Sometimes the video player you are using doesn’t accept captions or audio description. Here are a couple of workarounds you can try:

📺 When closed captions are not accepted:

  • You can encode your captions into the video.
  • Include a link to a transcript or paste the transcript in the description box. (Note: a transcript alone is not complaint for video content).
  • Use the 3Play plugin!

🎧 When audio description is not accepted:

  • Plublish a secondary video with the description included within the audio
  • Include a text alternative which includes the audio description.
  • Use the 3Play plugin!

discover the 3play plugin

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