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Reply to Bug 12848 on HTML5 video subtitles

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 10:04:20 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTimHH+1EhBF2S-fYC8Am2uVU-4OoTA@mail.gmail.com>
To: orangeearths@yahoo.com
Cc: HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Dear AJ,

Thank you for registering a bug on the HTML5 specification to express
the need for closed captions and subtitles on HTML5 video.
http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=12848

I have closed this bug, because there alreay is a specification in
HTML5 that explains how closed captions and subtitles are included in
HTML5. If you would like to read up on it, you can find the details
here:
http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/the-iframe-element.html#the-track-element

The <track> element was introduced to allow Web publishers to provide
captions and subtitles in a simple manner for videos. It supports
both, captions that are available from within a video file and
captions that are provided in a separate file. For the latter, this is
a markup example:

<video src="video.webm" controls>
  <track src="video_captions.vtt" kind="captions" srclang="en"
label="English captions">
</video>

Right now, unfortunately no browser has implemented and rolled out
support for the <track> element yet. I am aware that there is an
initial implementation in Webkit, but it hasn't been finalized yet.

While browsers do not support the feature yet, it is still possible to
use the feature already with some JavaScript polyfill libraries.

You may for example want to make use of one of the following JS libraries:
Captionator: https://github.com/cgiffard/Captionator/wiki
JS_Videosub: http://www.storiesinflight.com/js_videosub/
jscaptions: https://bitbucket.org/tagawa/jscaptions

Also, the video players listed here support captions through the track element:
https://github.com/Modernizr/Modernizr/wiki/HTML5-Cross-browser-Polyfills

I know there are some other libraries in development, so you may want
to do a search to find out how they compare and pick the one that
suits you best.

May I also encourage you to file bugs with the browser vendors so they
are aware that this is a feature that you deeply care about and would
like to see implemented. Such user requests do help browser vendors
change their priorities on development, so will be very helpful to
make the specified standard a reality.

Best Regards,
Silvia Pfeiffer.
(part of the media subgroup of the HTML accessibility task force at the W3C)
Received on Friday, 3 June 2011 00:05:21 GMT

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