Transcription vs. Captioning: Everything You Need To Know
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Transcription vs. Captioning: Everything You Need To Know

Transcription vs. Captioning: Everything You Need To Know
February 22, 2023

Are you curious about the difference between transcription and captioning and how they compare to one another? Transcripts and captions have their own uses, benefits, and legal requirements, but they can also work together for greater accessibility and user-friendliness. So, let's review what captions, subtitles, and transcripts are, as well as when and where to use them.

  1. Subtitles/Captions: Definitions
  2. Why Use Subtitles?
  3. Add Subtitles/Captions to Video: Step-by-step Guide
  4. Transcription/Speech to Text: Definitions
  5. Why Transcribe?
  6. How Do You Transcribe an Audio File? Detailed Guide
  7. How Do You Transcribe a Video File? Detailed Guide
  8. ioMoVo Transcription Software

What is a Subtitle/Caption?

Subtitles are the translation of the text displayed in a video's dialogue into another language. This type of subtitle is also superimposed during playback and allows people to consume the video content in their native language. For example, English audiences can watch films in Spanish using subtitles and vice versa. A caption is an audio content in a video that is turned into visual text for the target audience to be able to read. During video playback, this text is overlaid onto the image. This can also include speaker identification, a description of the action or background noise in the video, or a conversation in the video. Instead of being translated into another language, captions are written in the language of the original video. The audience/viewer typically has the option to enable or disable captions. If you are watching a video in a foreign language and need help understanding what is being said, subtitles are helpful. Captions are more useful when audio capability is limited. They can also be useful for people who cannot hear and want to read what is being said in the same language as the video. These subtitles are sometimes called SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and hard of hearing). The captions (in the same language) can also contain background noises, like #Telephone rings, whereas subtitles (in a different language) usually do not. The captions can be closed (which means that you can turn them on or off) or open (where they are always visible).

Why Use Subtitles?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Using subtitles improves the searchability of your video. If you add text to your video, search engines can "crawl" your content. It will consequently appear in more searches and at a higher ranking in the search results and feeds if you use subtitles.


Indeed, accessibility is a key justification for providing subtitles. Your video becomes accessible to:

  • Global audiences
  • People with disabilities
  • People who watch videos without sound

What are the Subtitle/Captioning File Types?

The subtitle or captioning files come in a wide variety of formats. Here are some examples:

  • SRT or SubRip Subtitle File (best for videos on Facebook)
  • Web Video Text Track, or VTT (best for videos on YouTube & Vimeo)
  • Transcript in untimed text (TXT) (can be opened by any word processor)
  • SubStation Alpha, or SSA (allows for more advanced subtitles)
  • Advanced SubStation Alpha, is considerably more sophisticated!

The majority of media players and web services accept and support SRT files.

What is an Auto Subtitle?

Speech-recognition software today makes it possible to automatically burn captions to your video. ioMoVo's AI Engine tool is a prime example of this technology. Over 100 languages and even distinct accents and dialects can be recognized by it! Additionally, it supports multilingual translation. Furthermore, these captions and subtitles can be manually edited for improved accuracy or context.

How Do You Add Subtitles/Captions to Video?

If you are using ioMoVo, adding subtitles to your video is easy:

  • Select a video file you want to add subtitles to.  
  • Click the Burn Caption button below your video.  
  • Select any of the languages in which you want captioning. 
  • Click Send. There you go. The file is sent for captioning the video. 

What are the Different Video Formats for Adding Subtitles?  

In addition to MP4, AVI, MOV, and WEBM, there are several other video file formats accessible. Sometimes this can be confusing, but we built ioMoVo to make this process easy and intuitive. With ioMoVo, we make this advanced technology available to all users.

What is Transcription/Speech to Text?

Transcription is a representation of audio (like an mp3) or video (like an mp4)in text or print. It is simply the conversion of the spoken dialogue in your audio or video clip to text. That’s it.There are several different file kinds for transcripts, including text (.txt), word (.doc), and pdf (.pdf).

Transcription Practices

There are several transcribing practices. The terms "Verbatim" and "Clean Read Transcription" refer to the two basic techniques. Word-for-word transcriptions are verbatim. They convert everything into text, even speech sounds like "uh" and "er."Clean Read transcripts have been edited for clarity. They eliminate pronouns like "um" and "er," and they also fix grammatical errors. As a result, they are simpler to read. Hopefully, that makes sense.

Interactive Transcripts

You may also acquire transcripts that are interactive, meaning that each word functions as a link that takes you to the exact place in the video where it is uttered when you click on it. The process of studying a subject and selecting keywords is significantly simplified.

Why Transcribe?

SEO Benefits

Creating Transcripts of your audio and video files makes them more searchable. Let's examine two instances:

  • Podcasts: By generating a transcript of your show, you enable listeners to search for and find all the themes and keywords.
  • Videos for Marketing Purposes - You may write a transcript for your advertisement, social media post, YouTube video, etc., and put it in the description. You can also put the transcript on your website with a link to the video's original content.
Training & Education

For anyone producing training videos, educational videos, or online training courses, transcription is a very helpful tool. You may make interactive transcripts that will direct your students to a specific point in the video when they click on a word. How handy is that! Your transcripts can also make useful teaching resources, such as worksheets with blanks for language instructors or sample interviews for job trainers.

Zoom Meetings 

Using our free transcribing software to record your Zoom meetings can be a great method to benefit your company. Transcripts are necessary if some attendees were unable to attend, remain for the duration of the event, or hear/understand due to accessibility concerns or a bad connection. Here’s the best part: No one needs to take meeting minutes anymore! Meeting transcripts may serve as a good paper trail for record-keeping and be helpful for creating Action Plans, attendance records, and other things.

Legal Records 

Everybody has seen the courtroom scene when the stenographer glances up from the stenograph while there is a long, tense pause. And as soon as the drama continues, they are back to typing away with incredible skill and speed. Transcription technology can play a crucial supplement in transcribing what is going on in court and can aid in the preservation of legal records, many of which are now created using video. With the help of the ioMoVo transcribe tool, you can easily convert video files into text for use in preserving a record of a language lesson, business meeting, interview, or thrilling court case. With Audio to Text, you can even convert audio files.


Transcripts might be beneficial from an accessibility perspective as well. For persons who are hard of hearing or deaf, they can offer access to content as an alternative to subtitles.

How Do You Transcribe an Audio File?

To find out exactly how to transcribe an audio file using ioMoVo, follow the steps below:

  • Select the audio file you want to transcribe 
  • Click on the transcribe button below your audio file 
  • Select any of the languages in which you want the transcription 
  • Send for transcription  

Not bad, right?

What are the Different Audio File Formats?

Audio files come in lots of different formats, and it seems like every day a new “better” format appears – keeping up with all this can be a little much. The good news is with ioMoVo, whatever audio file type you are starting with you should be ok to generate and edit your transcription. ioMoVo helps you with different file format conversions such as:

  • MP3 to Text 
  • WAV to Text 
  • M4A to Text 

What are the Different Transcript File Formats?

Your Transcript file can be saved in a few different ways. For example, you could save it as a text file, a Word document, or a PDF. The simplest and most popular format is a text file (.txt). It doesn't require any additional software to be installed on any computer, whether it runs Windows or Mac. Installing Microsoft Word (a piece of word processing software) is necessary to open a word document (.doc,.docx). Microsoft Word may not be installed on every computer. Similar to a word document, a PDF (.pdf) requires the installation of certain software in order to be viewed (such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit PDF) and edited.

How Do You Transcribe a Video File?

Transcribing video files was once a laborious and time-consuming process. But now it’s easy! Watch this below detailed video and learn how to transcribe your video files.

Our handy guide includes everything you need to know about our free transcription software, different file formats, etc.

What are the Video File Formats?

A wide variety of formats are available for video files. Nevertheless, you can convert voice into text regardless of the file format in which your original video movie was stored. You may convert MP4 to Text. If you have any other types of video, such as AVI, MOV, WEBM, or WMV, you also have an option to automatically convert video to text with ioMoVo.

Looking for more information on how to transcribe a video?
Here’s the complete guide: Automatically Transcribe Video to Text.

Do You Need Reliable Transcription Services and Auto Captioning? ioMoVo Auto Transcription Software Is Here!

Accurate transcription is important, and ioMoVo is aware of this. We utilize trustworthy, reputable and proven AI algorithms to ensure that every translation and transcription we manage adheres to the highest standards. The effective AI technique used by ioMoVo allows it to deliver accurate document translations in a timely manner. In addition, ioMoVo provides a wide range of other language services. ioMoVo is an excellent choice if you want trustworthy, qualified transcription, interpretation, or other language services. Try for free. Contact us if you want a free demo.

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