UPDATE: 13 November 2016 – read this tutorial that shows you how to create SRT captions for your Facebook videos and Facebook Live replays with a new feature on FacebookPages. This feature seems to be being tested so it may not be possible to use consistently and therefore SRT Made Easy is a good alternative option to continue to use.
I have previously written about how to get started creating captions for your live stream replays and your videos that you post on Facebook, YouTube and other video hosting sites.
In the article I provided resources and gave you the solutions for creating captions that I am using in my business – both free and paid solutions.
However I have just discovered a very easy tool that you can use – the tool is in beta at the moment and is free to use. You can download SRT Made Easy from the UK marketing agency The Digiterati here.
Once you download the free software (you just need to provide your name and email address to access it) you will need to save the files to your hard drive. At the moment the first version of the software has a separate files that you need to extract from the Zip folder.
As I usually save my downloads to a download folder, I copied the SRTMadeEasy file to the folder for my desktop so that I could easily access it when I need to use it. The team plan to have an installer in the future once they have finished beta testing.
In the example I share in this article I chose to test SRT Made Easy with a video that I had already published on Facebook. When you go to your videos on your Facebook Page you can choose to edit them. I selected a video and then started to play it to decide where I wanted captions to appear and how long I wanted them on screen.
The SRT Made Easy app makes it easy for you to add the duration in seconds, add a title and then move through and add additional captions.
In the image below you will see the five steps to follow:
1 – Select the point you want to add the caption in your video
2 – The next caption number will automatically appear
3 – Add the start and end time in seconds for the caption to appear
4 – Type in your caption
5 – Click to add the caption.
One thing I realised when using SRT Made Easy is that you are restricted with the number of characters in your captions – this does not happen in the way that I usually create captions. You will be able to check the captions before you create the SRT file so all you need to do is type in the caption number and then amend the caption.
Once you have checked your captions are as you want them to be you can then add a file name and check the language code – this is especially important for Facebook and you can find the naming conventions here.
Once you save your file it automatically saves to your computer in the folder that the SRT Made Easy file is in – for me this was the desktop folder so I immediately moved the caption to a folder where I hold my captions for my videos.
When you are on Facebook and in the area editing a video you can click on the tab for captions. Then upload the SRT caption file.
If you were to upload captions to YouTube you will be able to see and edit them directly in YouTube – unfortunately you can not currently do this on Facebook.
But on both platforms you can decide what is the default language for the captions as you can see in the image below on Facebook.
Once the file has been uploaded you can then review your video and see the captions on your video.
In this article I show you how to upload your captions to a published video on Facebook – you can however upload your SRT captions at the time of uploading the video to Facebook if you have them ready.
In summary, this is a great new free tool to help you easily create SRT captions for your videos.
I am not suggesting that you will want to create captions yourself for your live video replays on Facebook or YouTube if you have long shows – the resources I provide in my previous article are of assistance if you want to outsource. However, this is a great tool for short videos where you may not want to transcribe word for word, but you can give the essence of the story.
You will then be able to review your video analytics to see if adding captions helps in terms of watch time of your video content.
Enhancements That I Recommend For SRT Made Easy
SRT Made Easy has only been made available today and it is in beta. The team are actively looking for feedback on the tool. Here are the suggestions I have given them:
– Make it possible to add the SRT captions in minutes and seconds rather than just seconds so that it makes it easy to choose the start and end time of captions
– Enable users to save the SRT cpation file to a folder of their choice rather than it directly downloading to the folder on the computer where the SRT file is held
– Include a character count for captions and perhaps extend captions to two lines if possible so that creators know when they need to adjust the wording of the captions
– Enable the tool to be used to edit further once the file has been created – once the file is saved you can not continue to edit. My work around is to create the captions in a text file initially and then convert them in the SRT Made Easy tool in case anything happens as you would not want to start the process again should your PC crash or you need to make amendments.
Troubleshoot If Your SRT Made Easy File Does Not Save Your Caption File
I noticed an issue when working with the tool – working with it saved to my desk top. When I looked to create the SRT file it did not save to the folder where it was installed.
A quick work around is to delete the SRT Made Easy file from the desktop and then reinstall it -that seemed to work for me and my caption file could then be saved.
The tool is free at the moment – I am not sure what the team will do in the future. But even as it stands, it is definitely a really simple and helpful way to create captions for your videos and live video replay. I do encourage you to check it out.
And if you have questions about your video marketing plan to support your strategic goals you can schedule a private conversation with me here.