How to Publish Captions via Integration, Manual Upload, and Encoding

June 21, 2019 BY ELISA LEWIS
Updated: August 22, 2023


Imagine that you created a video you want to publish on your video player. You go through your usual process: film, edit, and add captions. After all your hard work, now it’s time to publish your video.

You wonder how you’re going to get the captions to show in your video player, or if they’re even supported. Better yet, you don’t even know the right file format to use.

You already have enough on your plate. The last thing you want to worry about is making sure your captioned video is correctly published.

With 3Play, there are a number of ways to publish your captioned files back to your video player. We help you simplify the captioning process so that you can focus on more important things, like creating awesome content, while we handle your file.

There are three main ways you can publish your files: with an integration, by manual upload, or with caption encoding. Below, you’ll learn about each publishing option and which one works best for your workflow.

Publishing via an Integration

An integration links different systems or platforms in order to share information and build workflows.

At 3Play, we’ve engineered our integrations to automate the captioning process. Simply select which files you want to be captioned directly from your video platform or cloud storage.

We integrate with 20+ leading video platforms, major cloud storage solutions, and LMS systems such as Brightcove, Dropbox, and Blackboard.

Your time is precious. Integrating your video platform with 3Play can cut down the amount of time spent captioning and publishing videos – especially when you have a lot of files.

Although our account system is intuitive and robust, if you publish a lot of videos, an integration makes captioning and publishing files super easy. It basically streamlines the process for you.

After setting up the integration, you don’t even have to log in to the Account System. When you want a file captioned, just tag 3Play in your video platform and we’ll do the work from there.

Once we’re tagged, we’ll go into the video platform and process the file that needs to be captioned. We’ll create the captions and automatically post them back to your video.

With an integration, login to your video platform or 3play account, upload your video or search for your video on your 3play account, tag 3play media to submit for captioning, we'll create the captions and automatically post them back to your account, we will then notify you when the process is complete, but you don't have to do anything else. you're video is ready to be viewed!

Yep…it’s really that easy.

Manual Upload

As the name implies, a manual upload is when a user uploads the file they wish to be captioned manually from their computer.

Here are step-by-step directions on how to publish your file via a manual upload:

  1. First, log in to the Account System by entering your email address and password. account system login
  2. Select Upload Media in the navigation bar at the top. account system upload
  3. Choose the file you want to be captioned.choose files in account system
  4. Select which service you would like for your file. upload option in account system
  5. Choose your desired turnaround time. You can choose to have it ready in the same business day or in 10 business days.turnaround options in account system
  6. Choose a folder where you want your file to be stored. file storage option in account system
  7. Finally, review your order summary before you submit it for processing.

Voilà, you’re done!

Once your file is complete, you can choose which format you want for your file. We have a number of file formats like WebVTTT, SRT, and SMPTE-TT. We also have formats that are accepted by major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

With the manual upload option, you can either manually post the file back to your video platform or keep it on your computer hard drive.


icon for the play button

Caption encoding is the process in which captions are embedded in the video. Typically, it’s added into the video as a separate sidecar file.

Caption encoding is particularly useful when you want to ensure your captions will be viewable if you don’t have a video platform, or if you want to play your video offline.

Encoding is even great for social video, since many platforms like Twitter and Instagram, don’t support uploading a separate caption file.

Closed Caption Encoding vs. Open Caption Encoding

When you encode a video file, you can either choose between closed caption encoding or open caption encoding.

Closed caption encoding allows your video to be viewed offline and it allows your viewers to toggle the captions on or off using the “CC” button. If you want to download a Netflix show to watch offline, for example, closed caption encoding works best.

On the other hand, with open caption encoding, the captions are “burned” onto the video. Users aren’t allowed to toggle the captions on or off. Instead, the captions are always on. This option works best for social media video or for media players like Windows Media Player.

How to Order Caption Encoding

Once your file has been transcribed by a transcriptionist at 3Play Media, you have the option to order caption encoding for any file with a video track.

Note: it’s best to proofread your transcripts before ordering caption encoding since edits will not show once encoding is complete.

  1. Select the file you want to encode.
  2. Under Order, selection Caption Encoding

Your file should be ready in 8 hours or less. The time can vary depending on the duration of the file and the number of files requested.

Use Cases When Caption Encoding is Necessary

self service kiosk, offline viewing, social media video, and when there's no "cc" button

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