Ultimate Guide to Caption and Description Formats for Popular Video Players

May 20, 2019 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: April 27, 2020

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 like 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 ⌨️
Brightcove WebVTT
SRT
DFXP
Accepts multiple audio tracks Keyboard & screen reader accessible
Echo360 WebVTT
SRT
DFXP
Ensemble Video DFXP MP3 or M4A audio file Keyboard & screen reader accessible
Facebook SRT Screen reader accessible
JW Player WebVTT
SRT
DFXP
M3U8 files Screen reader & keyboard accessible
Kaltura SRT Screen reader & keyboard accessible, WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
KnowledgeVision JSON Transcript
Limelight DFXP
MediaAMP DFXP
SAMI
SMPTE-TT
SRT
MediaPlatform WebVTT
TXT
PDF
Mediasite SAMI
SRT
DFXP
You can add description of slides through Mediasite’s Slides Editor Keyboard & screen reader accessible
Ooyala DFXP
SCC
WebVTT
TTML
Allows multiple audio tracks WCAG 2.0 compliant
TechSmith Relay SRT
WebVTT
SBV
SAMI
TTML
MP3 Keyboard & screen reader accessible
Panopto DFXP
SRT
WebVTT
ASHX
Keyboard & screen reader accessible
Tegrity QT (custom)
TXT
thePlatform SRT
Twitter SRT
Vidyard WebVTT
SRT
TXT
Mix Audio Description + Source Media Asset WCAG 2.0 Level A compliant
Viostream SRT
VTT
Transcripts: PDF, HTML, TXT, Word, RTF
MP3
Support multiple audio tracks
WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant
VoiceThread DFXP
SRT
SAMI
SBV
SCC
Screen reader & Keyboard accessible
Warpwire WebVTT
Wistia SRT MP3, OGG, and WAV files Screen reader & Keyboard accessible
YouTube SRT
.sbv or .sub
.mpsub
.lrc
.cap
SAMI
RealText
WebVTT
TTML
DFXP
SCC
Screen reader & Keyboard accessible
YuJa SRT MP3 Screen 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 compliant for video content).
  • Use the 3Play plugin!

🎧 When audio description is not accepted:

  • Publish 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

3play media logo in blue

Subscribe to the Blog Digest

Sign up to receive our blog digest and other information on this topic. You can unsubscribe anytime.


By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.