[whatwg] Subtitles, captions, and other tracks augmenting video or audio

Adam Shannon ashannon1000 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 17 15:21:05 PDT 2010

If I understand correctly you're just looking for real life cases of
text overlays on video/audio?

If so then:
 - Localized text alongside a tutorial video.
 - Song lyrics for audio/music videos
 - Localized information boxes for live streaming media elements
    - During live stream (news channels, podcasts, sport events) the
(interviewee, host, player)'s information could be localized in real
time (the page can receive updated information which is customized to

 - Large range of acceptable characters (multiple language support, symbols,...)
 - Simple tags like <caption time="00:01:42" text="Turn the widget
three turns clockwise" />
 - Ability to add more audio/video files at times
     - <caption time="00:02:52" src="sounds/clapping.mp3" />
 - Caption/Text would appear as an element (div/span/p) that can be
assigned an id or class, that way the same CSS/js properties could be
    - <caption time="00:10:52" text="Now turn the widget back two
rotations anti-clockwise" class="notification-important" />
    - If captions are elements then children elements could be added
for further customization.
 - Optionally image/svg/canvas could be allowed as content if the
overlays are html elements, this allows for further customization on
    - Allowing a site owner to apply user defined themes (for normal
page layout) on captions.
    - Change how captions are displayed based on steps/progress in the media.

On Fri, Apr 16, 2010 at 16:08, Ian Hickson <ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> I'm starting to look at the feedback sent over the past few years for
> augmenting audio and video with additional timed tracks such as subtitles,
> captions, audio descriptions, karaoke, slides, lyrics, ads, etc. One thing
> that would be really helpful is if we could get together a representative
> sample of typical uses of these features, as well as examples of some of
> the more extreme uses.
> For example, some fansubbed Anime videos have translation subtitles,
> karaoke in the original language and as a phonetic translation, and joke
> explanations all going on on the same screen. It would be good to have an
> example of this, even though it is so extreme that we might not want to
> support it initially.
> If anyone has any examples, please add them here:
>   http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/Timed_tracks
> Links to either videos or stills showing subtitles (e.g. on TVs, DVDs,
> etc) are both good. I'd like to get a representative sample so that we can
> determine what features are critical, and what features can be punted for
> now. This will let us evaluate the proposals relative to real needs.
> Cheers,
> --
> Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
> http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
> Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

Adam Shannon
 Web Developer

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