Captionist: Easy, Versatile Video Subtitling for the iPhone and iPad

One of many tradeoffs I see so much within the apps we cowl is between simplicity and suppleness. Simplicity has its virtues, however usually apps designed to make issues as straightforward as attainable for customers find yourself being rigid, leading to cookie-cutter output. The flip aspect is that most flexibility can get out of hand quick, resulting in a steep studying curve. Putting the precise stability is tough, however the apps that do are all the time amongst my favorites as a result of they work so effectively for a large viewers. That is precisely how I really feel about Captionist, an iPhone and iPad app for including textual content to video. It is easy to know however contains the type of depth that epitomizes what it means to do one factor effectively.

I do not work with video so much, and after I do, my wants are fairly easy. Usually, I wish to exhibit one thing with a display screen recording, which is not all the time straightforward to comply with with out some type of clarification. That is the place Captionist is available in.

I have been testing Captionist virtually solely on my iPad Professional, nevertheless it’s obtainable for the iPhone too. The app makes use of the native iOS and iPadOS file picker to allow you to select a video from any system file supplier. Alternatively, you possibly can create a brand new video utilizing the plus button within the toolbar, which offers entry to the movies in your iCloud photograph library.

As soon as you’ve got picked a video, it seems on the left half of the iPad’s display screen. The proper aspect is reserved for including your textual content and syncing it to your video timeline. The playback controls are easy. You’ll be able to toggle between play and pause by tapping the video or the play/pause button within the backside toolbar. That is one place I might like just a little extra management as a result of the scrubber would not advance whenever you swipe on it, though there are controls to skip again to the start of your video or skip ahead and again by 5 seconds at a time.

Within the prime left-hand nook of the video pane is an info button that’s extraordinarily helpful in case you’re making your video for social media, however you are not an professional with regards to the period, side ratio, or format necessities of every. Choose the button, and Captionista shows a chart that reveals you whether or not your video is appropriate with a number of kinds of posts on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. It is an important characteristic that may prevent time looking for this info elsewhere.

So as to add your textual content, simply kind it into the Script tab on the precise aspect of the display screen. Subsequent, swap to the Timeline tab and press play to start out the video looping. Should you’ve received points together with your subtitle, like textual content that is too lengthy to suit, you will see a warning right here, so you possibly can return and edit your script. As your video performs, you possibly can faucet on a phrase, which is able to break up your script into two components, syncing the transition from the primary half to the second with the timestamp the place you tapped. You may also add gaps between subtitles, however tapping on the time indicator of a subtitle phase within the editor. If a phase of your video is deemed too brief to learn earlier than it reaches the tip, you will get a warning. You’ll be able to proceed to faucet to separate your script into as many segments as you want after which redo any of the components you do not like by tapping the Merge button between segments and beginning over.

The opposite essential part of Captionista is the UI for styling the textual content you add to your video, which you activate with the formatting button within the prime toolbar. The formatting UI is break up into Theme, Colours, Textual content, Structure, and Background sections. That is the spot the place there’s loads of room to customise your textual content so it would not look canned.

The theme part is subdivided into Subtitles and Artistic themes, with playback controls, so you possibly can see your video operating behind thumbnails of every theme’s placeholder textual content. The Colours part contains over 20 presets, which will probably be lively or disabled relying on different formatting decisions you make. The Textual content part helps you to choose a typeface and alter parameters like colour, measurement, centering, drop shadow, and extra. Structure is for adjusting textual content width and the utmost variety of strains, in addition to the Textual content Space, which handles alignment within the textual content space and gives inserts for widespread social media codecs. Lastly, Background controls the format of the house behind your textual content. It is a number of choices, however all are previewed in your video, which offers instant suggestions, making experimentation straightforward.

The final step is to export your video, which incorporates choices to incorporate a Captionist watermark, which may solely be turned off in case you subscribe to the app, and switch audio and HDR on or off.

That is all there may be to it, which I like. The complete course of provides so little time to making a video that I can think about a number of customers turning to Captionists repeatedly for social media posts, demos, and extra. One factor that I wish to see added, although, is an choice to save lots of a set of formatting changes as a separate preset that may be utilized time and again for a constant look. Nonetheless, that is a small factor. Total, Captionista is a implausible device for anybody who has ever needed so as to add a little bit of explanatory textual content to their movies.

Captionist is free to obtain on the App Retailer. Some formatting options and the flexibility to take away the Captionist watermark require a $4.49/month or $21.99/12 months subscription.

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