Subtitle types and their classification

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Date published
23/09/2021

Subtitle types and their classification

A subtitle is a textual display of information and translation of foreign content into another language. Not every user speaks a foreign language, so you can watch the premiere or show with the original voice acting with the help of subtitles. Let's talk in more detail about their types and classification.

Types of subtitles

Text content can be divided into 2 large categories: open and closed. If the user cannot turn off subtitles, then they are open, if there is such an opportunity, then they’re closed. According to the distributed content, subtitles are divided into:

  • Built-in – you don’t need special software and equipment to enable the subtitles, since they’re built into the video. For example, in karaoke.
  • Pre-processed - such subtitles are used for DVD and Blu-ray, they’re automatically overlaid on top of the footage. They can be disabled and there are language and appearance settings.
  • Soft - the text appears at the desired time intervals, and the content itself is subdivided. Such subtitles are easy to create and edit. Difficulties arise with some players during video playback and clip decoding.

Alternative subtitle classification:

  • Internal - when a video sequence and an audio track are played, the text is placed in a single spot.
  • External - subtitles are easier to edit when presented as separate files.

Let's talk more about popular subtitle formats. Top 5 formats

  • Sub Rip – the simplest format presented as files with the .srt extension. It stores numbered information about lines of text and their activation.
  • SubStation Alpha – intended for animated fan subs, and is considered more advanced in terms of functionality and subtitle settings.
  • Sub Viewer – for each event, you can create your own text file with the .sub extension. It will store information about the time periods and markings.
  • Timed text – a specialized format for people with disabilities and users without an audio device. The text is activated in real time when watching foreign films or videos.
  • Micro DVD – fully compatible with digital video subtitles and are stored in files with the .sub extension. If everything’s clear so far, a few words about subtitle functionality.

What they’re for

There are several ways to use text information in a video:

  • Improving SEO response - Subtitled commercials are better received by the audience;
  • helping people with disabilities - text on videos helps deaf and hard of hearing people;
  • expanding user capabilities - this is the ability to watch foreign films and TV shows with the "native" voice acting while understanding what is being said on the screen; assistance in international marketing campaigns - translating text content is useful when bringing goods and services to foreign markets.

Subtitles are a tool to make viewing and studying video content convenient. There are multiple formats used for different purposes. Videos with text make consuming content easier for ordinary users and people with disabilities.

There’s an abundance of subtitle services available online, but Subtitles.love is the best! Sure, sounds a bit immodest, but the features it provides let us be just that. We let you create all types of subtitles, have a user-friendly interface and a low learning curve. Basically, everything you need to improve the users’ video-watching experience.