What's the difference between timestamps, subtitles, and captions?

Timestamps, if ordered, appear within your normal transcript file: a time code is inserted at each paragraph break and speaker change in the Word, text, or RTF versions of your transcript, so that the reader can find the corresponding spot in the audio or video recording. See our Sample Transcript for an example.

Subtitles and Captions are specially encoded versions of your transcript that you can sync with your video to create onscreen subtitles or captions. When you add the Subtitles/Captions upgrade, your Word, text, or RTF files will contain timestamps, as described above. Your transcript will also be encoded into a range of subtitle and caption formats that you can download separately.

What's the difference between Subtitles and Captions?

Generally people say subtitles are for reading while listening to the audio. They contain normal punctuation, and just consist of the words that are spoken.

Captions impart more information, such as speaker labels, laughter, applause, and other non-verbals. The idea is that captions can be used effectively with the volume turned off. Captions contain minimal punctuation. If your primary goal is captioning, we suggest a verbatim transcript.

Our blog post titled Timestamps and Subtitles and Captions, Oh My! provides a more in-depth look at the difference between the Timestamps upgrade and the Subtitles/Captions upgrade products at CastingWords, while our Subtitles and Captions: Apples & Oranges or Tomato/Tomahto? blog post goes into the difference between subtitles and captions in the wild.