News and Notes related to Digital Media Transcription, Analysis, and Captioning.
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  • Windows QuickTime Vulnerabilities

    Posted on April 21st, 2016 Alex No comments

    By now, you may have heard about the security vulnerabilities posed by QuickTime for Windows.  Given the security vulnerabilities, if you’re a Windows user, we highly recommend uninstalling QuickTime.

    What does this mean for Windows InqScribe users?

    1. You will still be able to play and transcribe most media that Windows Media Player supports.  For more about the types of files supported by Windows Media Player, head over to our media format guide here.
    2. Unfortunately, you will not be able to export a subtitled QuickTime movie using the QuickTime 7-exclusive “Save Subtitled QuickTime Movie” feature.

    Currently, InqScribe requires either QuickTime or Windows Media Player to play back audio and video files. You do not need QuickTime to run InqScribe on Windows–you can still use Windows Media Player for most files.  If you choose to uninstall QuickTime, InqScribe will automatically switch over to Windows Media Player. As long as your media files are supported by Windows Media Player, InqScribe will be able to play them as it normally does, and you may not notice any difference.

    How Do I Make Subtitled Videos Without QuickTime?

    Since you won’t be able to use InqScribe’s built-in subtitled QuickTime movie feature without QuickTime, you may need to find a new method of creating movies from your transcript. Luckily, there are a number of different subtitling options available to InqScribe users via Windows Media Player, VLC Player, YouTube, Final Cut Pro, etc. For more about these options, check out our “What are the different ways to create a subtitled video?” article.

    Why Does InqScribe Still Use QuickTime?

    When InqScribe debuted 10 years ago, QuickTime was arguably in its prime. QuickTime supports a range of media files, and through subtitle track support, giving our users a straightforward way to produce standalone subtitled movies. We’ve been very happy with the relationship between InqScribe and QuickTime, but the writing is on the wall: QuickTime is now over 20 years old, an eternity in software terms. With these vulnerabilities public, and Apple no longer supporting the software, it’s clear that QuickTime is no longer the way moving forward.

    Taking all of this into account, we’ve decided that future versions of InqScribe will no longer use QuickTime.

    What’s Next for InqScribe?

    We are currently working on a major overhaul of InqScribe.

    For OS X, InqScribe will use AV Foundation for media playback. AV Foundation is Apple’s official replacement for QuickTime and offers decent subtitle support. AV Foundation has the additional feature that it is also used for media playback on iPhones and iPads, so moving to AVFoundation should simplify the process of producing subtitled content for Apple’s mobile devices.

    For Windows, InqScribe could probably get by continuing to rely on Windows Media Player, but we want to look closely at moving to either DirectShow or its modern successor, Media Foundation. Of these options we’d prefer to use DirectShow, because Media Foundation doesn’t yet have strong support for subtitles. (Unlike Apple and QuickTime, Microsoft continues to support DirectShow).

    Beyond the native media engines for OS X and Windows, we are also looking at whether InqScribe can support alternative media engines that would enable playback of additional media formats or provide additional functionality that the native engines lack. Examples of engines in this class include VLC, GStreamer, and web-based solutions to play back online content like YouTube or Vimeo.

    InqScribe will continue to export a wide range of subtitling formats, and we will make sure that it will continue to be easy to generate subtitled content that can be viewed with standard apps on OS X and Windows. It’s worth noting that moving to more modern media playback engines will mean that future versions of InqScribe will not run on some older systems. You can read more about future system requirements here.

    We hope this helps to clarify our direction moving forward. In the meantime, InqScribe will continue to rely on QuickTime and Windows Media Player. If you have any questions InqScribe, feel free to contact us at support@inqscribe.com.

  • Play a Subtitled Movie with Windows Media Player

    Posted on September 22nd, 2014 Alex No comments

    You can easily create Subtitled QuickTime Movies directly in InqScribe, and in general we recommend using QuickTime with InqScribe. However, there is another method to play a subtitled movie by combining your video with an exported subtitle track in Windows Media Player. How you ask? Windows Media Player doesn’t natively support subtitle importation, so we’ll be using the DirectVobSub add-on.

    Before proceeding, note that you’ll need to download and install the freeware DirectVobSub media codec, hosted by free-codecs here: http://www.free-codecs.com/DirectVobSub_download.htm. DirectVobSub is an unofficial add-on that allows Windows Media Player to read external subtitles files such as subrip .srt, which you can create through InqScribe. Be aware that, depending on your version of Windows, adding subtitles with DirectVobSub is limited to .avi files (see below for more info).

    This option isn’t for everyone, and we’d like to point out that DirectVobSub is a third-party, unofficial add-on. We don’t support it, and your mileage may vary. That said, it is a quick and easy way to display subtitles without installing an additional media player.

    Here’s what to do:

    1. Prepare your transcript in InqScribe
    2. Export your transcript as a Subrip .srt file by selecting “File > Export > Subrip Format…”
    3. You’ll see the Export Settings menu. In the Target section, you’ll have the option to name your .srt file. It is important to give this .srt file the same title as the video you’re subtitling. For example, if your video is titled “My Subtitled Movie_123.avi” you should name your exported .srt file “My Subtitled Movie_123.srt” It is also important to save your .srt file in the same folder as the video you’re subtitling. You can specify the file’s location with the “Choose…” button in the same Export Settings menu. So, if your video file is located in a folder called “My Favorite Videos” make sure to save the .srt file in the same place.
    4. Download the DirectVobSub media codec, hosted for free by free-codecs here: http://www.free-codecs.com/DirectVobSub_download.htm
    5. Install DirectVobSub by double clicking on the .exe file you downloaded. It should be called something like: “VSFilter_2.41.322.exe”
    6. Once it’s finished installing, open up the video file you wish to subtitle in Windows Media Player. Bring up the menu by pressing the “Alt” key, and select “Play > Lyrics, captions, and subtitles > On if available”
    7. Your video will now display the subtitles you created in InqScribe!

    Note that there are a few restrictions to using DirectVobSub and Windows Media Player for subtitle display:

    • Although this method will work with .avi video files, it won’t work with the common mp4 file type on Windows 7 and up. This is because DirectVobSub relies on DirectShow to display subtitles, but later versions of Windows use Media Foundation, rather than DirectShow, to decode mp4 files. On Windows Vista and lower, however, mp4 files are decoded with DirectShow. So, on earlier versions of Windows you should be able to use DirectVobSub to add in your subtitle track to mp4 files.
    • Be aware that you won’t have any control over the appearance of your subtitles. They will appear “flush with bottom” (near the bottom of the screen), centered, and white with black outlines and drop shadow. In other words, they will look close to how it would look in a film.

    Do you have experience using DirectVobSub with other file types? Do you use an entirely different method to add subtitles to video with Windows Media Player? Let us know! Contact us at support@inqscribe.com.