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Subtitling Videos

Posted: May 12th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Internet Life | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Earlier tonight I was watching some hilarious sketches from ‘Smack the Pony‘, an overlooked British comedy show from the late 90s with classic sketches such as this:

Once I’d stopped laughing I realised there was something interesting going on here – the subtitles. This sketch had been recorded off a French channel so the video stream had subtitles in it, but what if I wanted Spanish subtitles? Then it struck me, that if you could put an overlay onto any video from a service like youTube that embedded subtitles you could extend the reach of any video. Maybe you could even help world peace… Maybe.

I filed this idea away for later, then about an hour later I was looking at metafilter and came across someone trying to do just this – dotSub. D’oh, beaten to the punch again. But then having reviewed the dotSub offering I still feel like there’s potential here for someone else to do a lot better. For example it doesn’t look like dotSub overlays videos from other sources, they stream them directly and embed their own pre-structured English subtitles to work from. They also don’t seem to offer a rating system for thei subtitles, which given they’re done by free from their audience seems a bit risky.

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