Quick and Easy Video Captions with Sonix

By Catherine Pope

January 22, 2021


If you're making videos, you need to start creating captions, too. They're vital for accessibility and also some of your audience will watch videos with the sound off. In this short tutorial, I'll show you how you can create captions quickly and easily using Sonix.

Once you've logged in, click Upload. It will tell you how many minutes you have left for transcription and then you choose the type of file that you're uploading.

Screenshot of Sonix

You can synchronise an existing transcript with a video. But in this case, we want to create a whole new transcript. Click Normal single track here.

Screenshot of Sonix

Then you can drag and drop your audio or video file or you can select it from Dropbox, Google Drive, etc, wherever you've hosted it. Once it's uploaded, you can scroll down to the details. You can choose where you want to store that video. Is it going to go in the main home directory or in a subfolder? If you've got lots of different projects, it's a good idea to organise them by folder so you can easily find them later. Choose the language that was spoken and once you're ready, click: Yes, Start Transcribing Now.

Screenshot of Sonix

You'll get a message to say that Sonix is busily transcribing your file and you'll receive an email when it finishes. If it's a short file like this one, which is only 48 seconds, it will be very quick. You can see the status here. It turns green to indicate that the file has been transcribed.

Sonix screenshot

Click the file name and you'll see the transcript alongside your original video. If you click around the transcript, you can see that the video frame is changing on the left, so they're completely synchronised. Now, you can go in and start correcting the transcript. If you can't remember what you said, you can press the tab key or play up here and you'll hear the recording at the point where your cursor is placed.

Screenshot of Sonix

 If you start typing or correcting, playback is automatically paused and then it resumes as soon as you stop typing. Once you get used to Sonix, you'll get very quick making those corrections and playing it back. And also you can increase the playback speed here.

Screenshot of Sonix

If it's your own voice that you're transcribing, then you can probably do it at least one and a half or maybe double speed. Once you finish correcting, click Export up the top here.

Screenshot of Sonix

And choose your file format. In this case, we want something called SubRip subtitle file, an .srt file, that's the standard format for captions.

Screenshot of Sonix

You then get a few more options that I don't think are that important right now, while you're getting started. Click Download SRT. It should only take a few seconds for that to generate. Click on your file and you can see all those timestamps along with the text that's going to be displayed at that point of your video.

Screenshot of Sonix

This file is in a format that sites like YouTube or Vimeo will understand and they will sync it to your video when you upload it.

If your video is going on a social media platform like Twitter, you might want to burn in your subtitles. That means that they are embedded in the video itself rather than being an option.

Screenshot of Sonix

Another great feature in Sonix is that you can translate your subtitles or transcripts into other language. Click on Translations, translate to a new language, and then you can choose from about 12 different languages here.

Screenshot of Sonix

And the final feature I'll show you is the custom dictionary. If you use a lot of technical language in your videos or there's something that Sonix routinely mistranscribes, add those words to your custom dictionary. You can have up to 400 entries. This will improve their accuracy dramatically. As you can see, I've got quite an odd collection of words here.

Screenshot of Sonix

Once you've used Sonix a few times, it will become incredibly quick and also you'll be able to improve the accuracy significantly. I've tried lots of different transcription tools and I definitely think this is the best at the moment and also the easiest to use. Give it a try and see for yourself.

If you sign up for Sonix using my link, we both get 100 minutes' transcription for free. It's a win-win!

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