Closed Caption Conversion. Need Yesterday.

heldmyw
heldmyw Community Member Posts: 3
With the enforcement of Section 508, any educational (actually, "any", entity) receiving Federal Funds, and providing electronically delivered media is REQUIRED under the law to provide 'accessibility' to Americans with Disabilities. (See:ADA-Section 508).

We regularly provide closed captioning for our video products but have serious issues with Lectora Inspire-built, online, interactive (SCORM) packages.

SBV, SRT, even WebVVT are relatively easy to convert to make them work in the various players available, but Lectora Inspire's one-of-a-kind .xml file is not compatible with... anything.

3Play, Subtitle Edit... Nothing.  Yours might just as well require Latin, etched on a jug.

How is it that there is NO converter for your requirements? Why have you failed to adopt a common, simple, format already in existence to make this possible?

I just finished a massive Section 504 tutorial for the State of Michigan, and felt like a monk with a quill pen manually converting all .sbv CC files to your arcane .xml requirements.

We have a young programmer working on this, and, when he succeeds, we will offer it to the EDU community. Appropriately protected, of course.

Have I missed something?  Do you really not have a converter?

Best Wishes!

Bill

Comments

  • jvalley4735
    jvalley4735 Community Member Posts: 1,357
    Thank you for  posting @heldmyw.  I just want to make sure I'm helping you to my fullest, when you say converter what exactly do mean?

    You can add closed captioning to any mp3, .m4a, and .flv audio objects and .flv, .mp4, and
    .f4v video objects within a course.  To add a 508 compliant video you:'
    1. Add a .flv, .mp4, and .f4v video object to your title.
    2. Access the video’s properties.
    3. Clear the Auto Start checkbox.
    4. Within the properties of the video, import a caption file. This file must be of the
    XML file format.
    The video player’s controls can be accessed with use of a keyboard only, and as the specified
    captions are displayed within the video, a screen reader will announce what is displayed.
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,466 ☆ Roadie ☆
    I opened Lectora help file and searched for "captions". I immediately found an article (attached) that showed a sample XML. As all well-formed XML, it included a link to its spec document in the header. I followed the link and found out that Lectora uses Timed Text Markup Language format for closed captions (TTML also known as DFXP, more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timed_text), which is essentially a W3C standard (http://www.w3.org/TR/ttml-imsc1/), so it is as standard to World Wide Web as HTML or CSS. Apparently it has been around since the dawn of time in web development, e.g. Adobe widely used it in Flash times.

    So saying that Lectora "failed to adopt a common, simple, format" and calling TTML a "Lectora Inspire’s one-of-a-kind .xml file" is a bit of overstatement.

    So I was pretty sure it shouldn't be hard to convert SRT (a popular format) to TTML (a standardised format). So I googled on.

    Googling for "convert to TTML" got me quite a few results:
    1. The very first website I found offers to convert SRT, STL, SCC, **** and TTML files in any combination (http://subtitleconverter.net/). It also offers the source code in Java.
    2. The second result is an open source script for Node.js to convert SRT to TTML.
    3. The third result converts DFXP/TTML, SAMI, Transcript, SRT, WebVTT using Python.

    But you probably want to create your captions already in the target format, right? So I googled "create TTML captions". Apparently, both Microsoft and Adobe supply tools for this (Windows Caption Maker and Adobe Premiere).

    And then it occurred to me...

    You mentioned at least two softwares (that you use I presume) - 3Play and Subtitle Edit. So I checked them out. 3Play Captioner supports DFXP (aka "the Lectora format", as it says on their website and their FAQ page even lists DFXP under Most Common Formats).

    Best news so far: 3Play offers FREE converter from SRT to DXFP online right on their website - http://www.3playmedia.com/services-features/free-tools/captions-format-converter/

    I went on to check Subtitle Edit. So now even better news: Turns out, both its desktop and online versions support TTML (in two flavors - the 2006 spec, which I think Lectora uses, and the more recent 1.0 spec, see attached screenshot). I tried uploading a few SRT files from the TV shows I watch and Subtitle Edit Online had no problem converting it to "Lectora format".

    Hope this helps!
  • heldmyw
    heldmyw Community Member Posts: 3
    Thank you for your interest, Jennifer!

     

    The nuts-and-bolts of adding the CC file are well-known to us.

     

    This was a difficulty arising from the syntax of the xml file required.  Converting with Subtitle Editor, NONE of the formats labeled .xml worked.

     

    Under immense pressure (lawsuits) from US Dept. of Education, to make all video assets and training programs compliant or take them down, desperation ensues.

     

    That these formats had other names (TTML, DFXP) was unknown to me.  Thanks to another commenter I have found a workable automatic converter that Lectora finds acceptable.

     

    Imagine my relief!

     

    Thank you for your interest and support.
    Sincerely!

     
  • heldmyw
    heldmyw Community Member Posts: 3
    Sergey, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your vast knowledge!

     

    I was completely unaware that the .xml files required went by other names, as we are all self-taught (within the last 2 months) and struggling with a workload that is larger than a kinder God would allow.

     

    I have successfully tested the 3Play converter and am in the process of working up CC for about 16,000 hours of educational material.

     

    Your assistance is gratefully received!  Thank you!

     

    Sincerely!

     
  • ssneg
    ssneg Community Member Posts: 1,466 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Glad I could help! 16'000 hours of CC surely is A LOT of work.