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Thread: Transparent back subtitles player (For deaf people like me)

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Transparent back subtitles player (For deaf people like me)

    Hello everyone. I started a discussion about this in another forum and it was suggested by someone there that maybe this forum would be more helpful.

    I realize that what I'm about to go over is a little different but I want to tell why I'm working on this project. Please bare with me while I explain why I feel this project would be helpful to many people. I'll put the reason for this in a quote. If you don't feel like reading it all maybe you can skip down below the quote and get right to the question I'm hoping I can find some help or suggestions on.

    First of all I'm deaf. I'm one of an estimated 1,000,000 deaf people in the United States. That's not including the estimated 10,000,000 who have hearing loss.

    This project would also be helpful in translating online video into different languages.

    As some of you may know many of the national TV stations are now broadcasting their TV shows and movies on the internet (Legally). Site such as NBC.com, Fox.com, ABC.com and Hulu.com all broadcast TV episodes.

    There are laws in effect regarding closed captioning and subtitles when it comes ot TV and DVD's. For example all TV sets with a screen of at least 13" now has to, by law, have the ability to display closed captions (Not long ago we had to purchase a separate box to hook up to our TV's to view them. Well these laws are now in the process of including internet video as well.
    Click here for more information on that.

    Some sites such as NBC.com, Hulu.com and Fox.com are making efforts to close caption their shows. But it's a very small percentage of their programming that currently have closed captioning.

    So this is what my project will help with.
    So here the project.

    Imagine you are deaf and you wanted to watch a TV show that is on the internet but it isn't closed captioned. For example let's say you wanted to watch this one. Heroe's Dying of the light.

    This one does not have closed captions or subtitles. But you could download the subtitles from sites such as this one. This will be a .srt file.

    How would you use it? Well, some will say to download the video. The problem is that for one thing that's illegal. And even if there are ways to bootleg the video most people won't be that knowledgeable in that sort of thing. So that's not an option to help the most people.

    Here's what I wish to create. A program that will play subtitles files but only subtitles files. The player will not play video files. Only the text from the subtitles file will show up and display in the time it's set to play.

    I did find one subtitle player and it's a start but it's not really all the good for practical use. Here's a screen shot of it.

    What you see in this image is a video that is streaming from Hulu.com (See above link to the Heroe's TV show). While watching the video on that site I clicked the "Pop out" link which basically floats the streaming video.

    Then I opened my subtitles player program (Black box in image) and dragged it below the streaming video. This is an external player and is not running on the browser. Think of it as a video player that only plays the text from .srt files

    The program is a very small and simple one called (Ironically) Subtitles Player. Feel free to test it out.

    It's not a bad start but it would need a lot of tweaking to really be useful.

    Let me outline what I wish this program to accomplish. Think of this as a sort of guideline and the reason for it's functions.

    Pause Feature
    The above subtitles player doesn't can't be paused. This causes many problems. or example many of those sites that play TV shows and movies also contain commercials. So the subtitles player would need to be able to be paused during those commercials. The pause would also be helpful in timing the subtitles with the video.

    The starting point
    Another problem with the above subtitle player is that it doesn't start how it should. Let me explain. Here are a few lines of a subtitles (srt) file.

    00:00:04,350 --> 00:00:07,430
    In every journey, the traveler must ask,

    00:00:07,650 --> 00:00:09,770
    "was the right path taken?"

    00:00:11,610 --> 00:00:14,370
    Many roads are long and winding...
    As you can see it's a pretty simple text file. It simply displays what words you want to appear, when you want it to appear and for how long. The problem with the above subtitles player is that when you push play to start the subtitles it'll instantly display the first line when it should wait until 00:00:04,350 in to display the first line.

    Transparent Background
    This is feel will likely be the hardest hurdle to jump but at the same time a very important feature. Look at the above image. Now imagine if the black part of the player was actually transparent. If this is possible the text on the subtitles could be positioned over the actual video and show up in the same position they would on a TV show with subtitles. It would look more like this image:

    If any of you have any suggestions or could help out in any way on this project it would be a great help to many people.

    Thanks for taking the time to read.

    Ron Jaxon

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Anyone have any suggestions on this? Many people would benefit from this program if it could come to be. Not only deaf people like me but also in interpreting to other languages.

    I was referred to this forum by a member of another forum. They said that people here are very helpful so I was hoping someone might be able to shed some light on this project for me or at least point me in a right direction.

    The three most important features of this project to make it beneficial to deaf people are:

    - To play subtitles files in a small player that can be positioned under or over a streaming internet video.

    - The player has to have a pause/play function to make it possible to match the timing of the subtitles with the streaming video.

    - It would be desirable for the subtitles player to have a transparent back so it could be positioned over the streaming video. This will allow the text of the subtitles to be positioned over the video like normal subtitles or closed captioning is positioned.

    Thanks for any help or suggestions you might be able to provide. This could help a lot of people. Do a google search for "closed captioned internet video" you'll discover that there's a very big need for a program like this.

    Ron Jaxon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Check out my video player with xml subtitles (with .srt to xml converter)
    AS-Flash Media Player

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