Video Captions

Part of my workflow for each episode of STEAM Powered is to create one-minute-long video clips for promotion on social-media.1

Due to time constraints, I only did this on Facebook Creator Studio because it offered the caption auto-generation feature. However, the UI for this is buggy and fills my rage bar, but now that I've started doing captions, I don't want to stop.

The main objective is to get an SRT file for your video which you can upload alongside your video to Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Or use a tool like ffmpeg to bake the captions into the video for use elsewhere.

SRT from Descript

I now use Descript to edit the finals of my episodes.

Descript allows me to bake in captions into the video itself, and also supports export to SRT and as a transcript.

SRT from Google Cloud Speech

I previously used the Google Cloud Speech To Text API to generate the subtitles. The API offers 60 minutes of audio processing per month for free before billing kicks in, which is well within my requirements at this time. This is still great for small things and I use it from time to time as I already have the command line script to handle it.

SRT from YouTube videos

If your videos are up on YouTube and have closed captions enabled, you can find an online or downloadable tool that will fetch the SRTs. You'll still need to edit it for typos if you want accuracy. YMMV.

I won't recommend the one I used because it had questionable popups, but there are several free options available.

External Links


  1. One-minute long because that's the maximum length video you can upload to Instagram.2

  2. While writing the previous annotation, I found a thing suggesting that you split the videos into 60-second segments and share it to Instagram as a slide-show. This is actually quite helpful to know, and isn't that much extra work to create the extra segmented videos just for Instagram, but still annoying to have to do.3

  3. As it is I have to create separate assets of different dimensions because each platform has different preferences.

Published December 03, 2020, updated December 24, 2023