Enabling Closed Captioning on iOS and iTunes | iLounge Tips

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Enabling Closed Captioning on iOS and iTunes


Most folks are familiar with Closed Captioning (CC)—the system for displaying text during a TV or video to help those with hearing disabilities follow along. But the system isn’t useful solely to them—if you’d like to watch a movie or TV show silently, for instance. Luckily, there’s lots of CC-enabled content available from the iTunes Store, and enabling the service on Apple’s devices is fairly simple. In iTunes on a Mac or PC, open up the Preferences, select Playback, and turn on the “Show closed captioning when available” option. On an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, open the Settings app, tap on Video, and turn Closed Captioning on. Last but not least, you can access the same option on the Apple TV by visiting the Settings menu, selecting Audio & Video, and then turning Closed Captioning on. Now you can enjoy your content—and some peace and quiet. [via OS X Daily]

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Great tip.  Also keep in mind that there is a fair amount of video that uses subtitles in lieu of captions (SDH or subtitles for deaf and hard-of-hearing is an equivalent accommodation).  Subtitles have a much more flexibility in terms of font choices, line lengths, caption placement etc. than the SD broadcast era line-21 “closed captions”.

Subtitles can be turned on/off very easily in iOS by selecting the subtitle language from the subtitle bubble just below the airplay control.  Plus you can have more than one subtitle track (think translations for all sorts of languages).

Subtitles can be injected into M4V pretty easily using a service such CaptionSync.

Posted by Brent on June 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM (CDT)


I just heard that iOS can’t display caption in YouTube videos - is that true?  I wouldn’t want to have to get ALL my content from iTunes.

Posted by Phill Jenkins on June 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM (CDT)

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