Add Subtitles to MP4 Offline and Online

Knowing how to add subtitles to your MP4 files is a straightforward yet powerful way to enhance your videos. Subtitles not only make your content more accessible to a wider audience, including those with hearing impairments or language barriers, but they also improve comprehension and engagement for all viewers.

In this article, we'll explore the importance of captions, the benefits they offer, and various methods available for adding subtitles to MP4 videos.

What is subtitling?

Subtitles are textual representations of dialogue and sometimes other audio elements in a video or film, displayed at the bottom of the screen.

They provide viewers with a written version of the spoken content, typically in the same language as the audio, although they can also be translated into other languages for international audiences.

How to add subtitles to MP4 offline?

Icecream Video Editor

Icecream Video Editor is a user-friendly free video editing software designed to provide intuitive tools for creating and video editing. With this straightforward video editor, you can quickly and effortlessly insert captions onto your MP4 files.

Here's how to create subtitles for the video:

  1. Download and install the free Windows video editor from the official website, then launch the application.
  2. Click "Add files" or drag and drop your MP4 into the program interface to import the video.
  3. Once your video is uploaded, press "Subtitles" in the upper menu bar. To put captions on a video, you have two options:
    • Hit the "Add subtitle" button to manually create a new track for your video. Specify the start and end times for each entry and type in the text.
    • Tap "SRT file" to load a subtitle file.
  4. Go to the "Style" tab to adjust the font, color, opacity, and position of your text.
  5. Ensure the subtitles are enabled. Click "Play" to preview your video with the titles, then press "Done".
  6. Tap the "Export" button to save your video.

Pros:

  • Video editing software supports importing SRT files, making it easy to add pre-written subtitles.
  • Offers extensive customization options for video captions.
  • Includes the ability to check your video with subtitles before saving.
  • Allows you to export your video in various formats and resolutions.

VLC Media Player

VLC is a versatile open-source multimedia player developed by the VideoLAN project. Known for its compatibility with a vast array of audio and video formats, the app is available for multiple operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

Here is how to put subtitles on a video:

  1. Download, install, and open the player. Select "Media" from the menu at the top of the screen.
  2. Opt for "Open File" and search for the MP4 that requires video subtitling.
  3. Once the video is playing, hit "Subtitle" in the top menu bar and then press "Add Subtitle File".
  4. Navigate to the SRT file and click "Open".
  5. The caption will now be added to your MP4 video and will automatically sync with the audio.

Pros:

  • Supports more than 17 subtitle formats: IDX, USF, SVDC, SRT and others.

Cons:

  • Provides functionality solely for loading external subtitle files; manual addition is not supported.
  • Lacks built-in export options for permanently embedding subtitles into saved videos.

How to add subtitles to MP4 video online?

VEED.io

VEED.io is a powerful and user-friendly platform designed to cater to both novice and professional content creators. It offers a range of tools and features that simplify the video editing process.

Here’s how to embed subtitles into MP4:

  1. Open your web browser and go to the website.
  2. Click the "Upload a file" button. When the video is uploaded, go to the "Subtitles" tab.
  3. You have three options to add captions to MP4:
    • Auto Subtitles. Hit it to use an automatic speech recognition tool, which will generate subtitles for you. Choose the language and press "Start".
    • Manual Transcribe. Tap it to manually type in your subtitles.
    • Upload Subtitle File. Click it to import a pre-written caption file (SRT or VTT format).
  4. Customize the appearance of your text by adjusting the font, size, color, and position.
  5. Once you’re satisfied with the subtitles, press the "Done" button in the upper right corner.

Pros:

  • The automatic speech recognition tool can quickly generate and add subtitles to the video.
  • Online video editor supports importing SRT and VTT subtitle files.

Cons:

  • The AI tool, while convenient, may not always provide accurate transcriptions.

Reasons to add subtitles to video

  • Accessibility. Subtitles make video accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, ensuring everyone can engage with the material.
  • Language Inclusivity. Captions enable viewers who speak different languages to understand the plot, broadening the audience reach globally.
  • Improved Comprehension. Video subtitling aids in better understanding and retention of information presented in the movie.
  • Compliance. Adding subtitles to MP4 may be necessary to comply with accessibility regulations and standards.
  • Mobile Viewing. Subtitles cater to the growing trend of mobile video consumption, where viewers prefer muted or silent viewing with captions enabled.
  • Cultural Sensitivity. Subtitles allow for the translation of colloquial expressions, cultural references, and nuances, ensuring content remains culturally relevant.

FAQ

What subtitle formats are supported for inserting into MP4?
Caption extensions that are commonly supported by MP4 videos include SRT, VTT, ASS, SSA, MPSUB, TTML, and SUB.
Can I embed multiple subtitle tracks into the same MP4 video?
Yes, many MP4 editing tools support adding multiple tracks to a single video. This allows you to provide subtitles in different languages or formats simultaneously.
Do captions affect the video's file size or quality?
Subtitles themselves typically have a negligible impact on the file. However, adding titles to a video may require re-encoding the clip during the export process.
Is there a difference between "closed captions" and "subtitles"?
Yes, closed captions typically include not only the dialogue but also descriptions of non-verbal audio elements (such as music or sound effects) and speaker identification. Subtitles, on the other hand, usually only contain the speech converted into text.
Are there any limitations on the length of subtitles I can add?
While most tools don't impose restrictions on subtitle complexity, it's essential to consider readability and viewer experience. Avoid overcrowding the screen with text and ensure subtitles remain legible and easy to follow.

Add caption to MP4: conclusion

The review of both offline and online video editing applications highlights the accessibility and ease with which subtitles can be added to MP4 videos. Whether through automated captioning platforms or manual video editing software, creators have various options to make their content more inclusive and engaging.

Overall, subtitles are a big win for making MP4 videos better for everyone. By embracing this practice and using the methods out there, you can reach a wider audience and make your films more meaningful.

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
4 min read
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