BlogBusinessWhat are SRT Files and How Can They Optimize Your Content?

What are SRT Files and How Can They Optimize Your Content?

If you’ve ever worked on video content or been part of a video production team, then you might have come across an SRT file before.

woman in black long sleeve shirt using black laptop computer

As video content is becoming more popular, specifically video content with subtitles, SRT files, or SubRip Subtitle files, will be used more frequently in the field of content creation. Dive in as we explore the world of SRT files, their format, creation, integration, and all the benefits they bring to video content.

Key Takeaways:

  • An SRT file, otherwise known as a SubRip Subtitle file, is a plain text file that contains the text and timing of subtitles for videos.
  • SRT files are used as closed captions to accompany video content and can be opened in a text editor like Notepad or Word.
  • SRT files consist of a sequential number of subtitles with a time code indicating the start and end times of each subtitle text.
  • Incorporating SRT subtitles in video content makes them more accessible to a wider audience, including those with hearing impairments or non-native language speakers.
  • SRT Subtitles can improve search engine optimization as search engines can index the text within an SRT subtitle file, making videos more discoverable.
  • Manually creating your own SRT file requires precise timing of each line. Alternatively, you can use online tools or a professional captioning service.
  • Your SRT subtitle file can be uploaded to video platforms, like YouTube, or used with video players, like VLC media player, to enable viewers to enable or disable subtitles.
  • Proper timing and synchronization are crucial to ensure that the subtitles or closed captions accurately match the audio and video content.
  • The SRT file format is widely recognized as the industry-standard caption file format and allows for the localisation of video content through translated subtitles to reach a wider audience.
  • Embracing SRT subtitles helps video content creators reach the widest possible audience, improve accessibility, and enhance inclusivity.

What is an SRT file?

An SRT file is a plain text file that contains the text of what is being said in a video, along with the timing for those words and the order in which they appear. It is a raw caption file that doesn’t contain any video or audio content. Rather, it is a text file that accompanies video content, to be used as closed captions when required.

The SubRip file format was created in Europe. Its name and format stem from the software SubRip used for ‘ripping’ or extracting subtitles from films and exporting that information as a SubRip file format. Documents with an SRT file extension can be opened in Notepad, Word or any other text editor that can read Unicode.

A typical SRT subtitle file consists of sequential numbered entries, each containing a timecode indicating the start and end time code, and the corresponding subtitle text. The sequence number in the SRT subtitle file tells media players which subtitle it is in the series and the timestamp duration tells it when to start and stop.

SRT file with sequence number and time code with subtitle text

Many video players allow you to load your own SRT file, synchronizing it with the video file. This ensures that viewers can enable or disable subtitles according to their preferences. The closed captions on Youtube videos, or TV, are generated by these caption files.

Subtitle text files with the SRT file extension, are widely supported by video players, media players, and online platforms, making SRT subtitles one of the top choices for video content.

Why use an SRT file for your subtitles and captions?

Incorporating SRT subtitles can help make your video content more accessible to a wider audience. Closed captions provide an inclusive experience for individuals with hearing impairments or those watching videos in a non-native language.

On top of that, today’s youth prefer to watch videos with subtitles. Adding SRT subtitles to your video content might make it more appealing for the younger generation to consume your content.

Subtitles can also improve search engine optimization, as search engines can index the text within the SRT files, making the video more discoverable. Search engines can’t watch your video but they can process the written text file and can index your video content through your SRT subtitle file. All the more reason to add subtitles to your videos.

Adding subtitles or closed captions to your video content is a great way to ensure that your video reaches the widest possible audience.

How do you create an SRT file?

You can create your own SRT file manually or through a professional captioning service.

Creating an SRT file manually is hard work and quite time-consuming as you’ll need to precisely time every line of your text to appear and disappear at the right time code. Start by opening up a blank document in your preferred word processing software, then type the sequence number, beginning and ending time code, and the subtitle text. You can use a simple text editor or a dedicated subtitle editing software like Subtitle Workshop to write subtitles in the SRT file format.

If you prefer for someone else, or something else, to do the work instead, you can use online tools to transcribe your video and create an SRT file for you, such as SCRIBE. SCRIBE makes the process quick and easy. All you need to do is upload your video to the platform and it will auto-generate subtitles in the SRT file format using artificial intelligence. SCRIBE can also translate your content into 171 different languages to make your video more accessible to viewers across the globe.

Alternatively, if you prefer a human for more accurate captions, you can commission a transcription service provider, like LEXIGO, that can create the SRT subtitle file for you. Online tools and professional captioning services are a hassle-free way to generate closed captions for your content.

If you’re working with a video production company to create your video content, they will usually create and deliver a closed caption file along with the final video file. Make sure you clarify this with them at the beginning of the production process.

How do you use an SRT file?

There are multiple ways to use an SRT file. You can add it to your Youtube videos when you upload your video content onto the platform. You can upload your SRT subtitles at the same time as your video. Just look for an option to Upload captions or Upload an SRT file.

The SubRip file format is almost universal so most video platforms will accept it. They are widely recognized as the industry-standard subtitle format. Some platforms, such as Youtube, even allow you to upload multiple caption files for different languages making your content accessible to a wider audience.

You can also use SRT subtitles while watching videos on your computer. Many video players, such as the VLC media player, allow you to load your own SRT file, synchronizing it with the video file. If you add the subtitles to your video file in this way, you give viewers the option to enable or disable subtitles according to their preferences. SRT files in different languages can also be added to a video file, providing an opportunity for localisation for global audiences.

That being said, it is essential to ensure proper timing and synchronization in your SRT subtitle file to make sure it matches your video. Be sure to review and adjust the time code of each subtitle entry to guarantee that the subtitles match the audio and video accurately. This critical step ensures a seamless viewing experience for all users, especially those who rely on closed captions or subtitles to understand the content.

Embrace the power of subtitles

In today’s video-centric world, SRT files have emerged as the go-to format for adding subtitles and closed captions. With their simple text file structure and compatibility across various platforms, SRT files enable video content creators to reach the widest possible audience while ensuring accessibility and inclusivity.

By leveraging online tools and professional captioning or a transcription service, such as SCRIBE or LEXIGO, you can create accurate and synchronized captions, opening up new opportunities for video marketing and engaging a diverse audience.

Embrace the power of SRT files to make your video content resonate across the globe.

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