Huh. TIL: closed captions can be turned on and off. Open captions are burned into the video and always display.

Also, in the US and Canada, "subtitles" means just transcribed dialogue (typically aimed at viewers who don't understand the language being spoken); "captions" means all significant sound is transcribed (typically aimed at viewers with hearing impairment).

@noelle Meanwhile I prefer Captions because it helps me be sure of what I'm hearing, despite not being (conciously) hearing impaired. Neat.

@noelle there’s this really good video by Technology Connections all about closed captioning.
All of Alec’s videos are good but this one especially is.

@noelle I've never heard of the phrase 'open captions', but definitely the concept of 'burnt-in' subtitles or captions.

But yeah, the 'subtitles' vs. 'captions' distinction sounds about right. I'd only expect to see dialogue and extremely important sounds transcribed in the former (translations, or just convenience for busy/loud areas, background watching), but as full a description as possible of the entire soundscape in the latter (for the hearing impaired).


Funny story sometimes the two tracks accidentally get reversed in production leading to things like the original release of the "ghost in the Shell 2" DVD in America that had the hearing impaired captions on the subtitle track.

@noelle Also, I have a suspicion that closed captions are often based off of the script, not the video.

We habitually have closed captions on whatever we watch and I've often noticed that the captions don't match the dialog. The meaning is roughly the same, but the actual line differs.

@darth_mall @noelle I suspect that sometimes they're deliberately abridged to fit readably on the display du jour, which can be quite short if that was PAL 4:3 via VHS.


Is there some kind of convention for when to put ♫ or EERIE MUSIC?

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