River Linguistics expertly provides English (US) captioning and broadcast-quality subtitling services in over 40 languages. From project conception all the way to a finished product, our experienced team will support you throughout the process. Whether captioning for services such as YouTube or Vimeo, or embedding subtitles into your video for distribution, we have the tools needed to get the job done.

Our quality guarantee

We want to make you happy. If we fall short of our quality promise, we’ll redo the captions, free of charge.

In the format you need

Get whatever format you need, including SubRip (.srt), Timed Text (.ttml), and Scenarist (.scc). See a full list here.

We respect your privacy

We serve many clients with sensitive content. All orders enjoy the same protections.

How it works

First, upload a file or paste a link to the video you would like captioned using our integrated quote form. You can view a list of formats we accept here, and supported languages here.

Our English (US) captioning services are $5.00 per minute of video with a $15 minimum order. With our affordable pricing also comes 99% or better accuracy for text and timing.

If your video file is under 30 minutes, you will receive your file in less than 48 hours. Often we are able to deliver it much faster. If your recording is longer, or the audio quality is poor, allow an extra day or two for your delivery.

Once complete, you will receive an accurate English caption file of what was said in the video, and time codes for when captions should display (on-screen text will not be included in the caption file). Our standard deliverable is SubRip (.srt) format, but we can provide other file formats as well.

We guarantee that our English caption files meet FCC requirements, and are ADA compliant. Find out more here.


Supported Languages & Pricing

LanguageUSD per Minute
Chinese Simplified (Mandarin)$9.75
Chinese Traditional$10.00
French (France)$10.50
French (Canada)$10.75
Persian / Farsi$10.00
Portuguese (Brazil) $9.75
Portuguese (Portugal)$10.00
Spanish (Spain)$10.00
Spanish (Latin America)$9.75

Still have some questions?

We completely understand. The captioning process can be daunting at first. That’s why we have provided you a comprehensive FAQ list with all the resources you need to to make an educated decision, and start your project.

Captioning FAQ’s

What You Receive

What do I get back from River Linguistics?

We produce a text-based caption file. We transcribe the audio of your video and time it. You can download examples below, under the section about what file formats we can provide.

The caption file is a separate sidecar file from your video. What you do next depends on how you intend to publish your video:

  • If you are publishing your video online (e.g. through Youtube or Kaltura) or submitting to a VoD service (e.g. iTunes or Hulu), then you can simply submit the caption files as-is.
  • If you want to add the captions as a caption track in your video, you’ll need to take our caption file and encode it into the video. This is most common for DVD, Broadcast, or other distribution. We recommend using Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

What caption and subtitle file formats can you provide?

  • SubRip (.srt)
  • Scenarist (.scc)
  • MacCaption (.mcc)
  • Timed Text (.ttml)
  • Quicktime Timed Text (.qt.txt)
  • Transcript (.txt)
  • WebVTT (.vtt)
  • DFXP (.dfxp)
  • Cheetah .CAP (.cap)
  • Spruce subtitle file (.stl)
  • XML (.xml) is interchangeable with Timed Text => please order .ttml

Want something else? Email us.

What caption file format do I need?

The Scenarist (.scc) format is used for submitting to VoD stores like iTunes and Hulu. It’s also used commonly in Broadcast TV and for editing in software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.

The SubRip (.srt) format is a common choice for Youtube and Vimeo videos. It’s also extremely easy to edit captions in this format – you can open a .srt file in Notepad or TextEdit.

The MacCaption (.mcc) format is used for high-definition Broadcast TV. MacCaption is the only file format that can encode both 608 and 708 closed captioning. River Linguistics supports the 29.97 fps frame rate.

The TTML format (also known as XML or DFXP) is gaining in popularity. The FCC has declared TTML is the official caption file format for broadcasters publishing video online:

How do I get my finished caption files?

We will e-mail them to you as soon as they are ready.

How can I view and edit the caption file?

If you simply want to view the captions, you can upload your video to Youtube as a private video and upload the caption file.

We recommend the following software for editing captions:

How do I add the captions to my video?

  1. All major browser-based online video platforms can directly ingest our caption files as a sidecar file. Simply upload the caption file for each of your videos. For more info, check out:
  1. All major VoD stores accept captions as a separate sidecar file. You can submit our caption file to them directly, after you do a quick quality check of your own.

There are many workflows and use cases for how to embed captions as a track within a video file. We can’t provide instructions on all of them, but here are some helpful starting points for you to do some research:

Other 3rd party programs exist that help you manage captioning workflows. They can ingest our caption file and help you encode it to the video. MacCaptions is the most popular program, whether you are working with Final Cut or authoring DVD and BluRay.

Here is a good overview about adding captions for distribution to many internet-enabled devices

How to Order

What video file formats can you accept?

We can accept all common digital video formats, such as MOV, AVI, MP4, VOB, and Ogg.

How can we get our videos to you?

Most customers use our online quote form.

  • Upload a video file directly from your computer. Each file must be less than 5 GB in size.
  • Paste in a link to an online video, such as Youtube or Vimeo.

Do you need full-resolution, master video files?

No! In fact, we prefer lower-resolution proxies of your video for our work and the smaller files will make it much faster and easier for you to get them to us. We recommend reducing the video resolution to 320 × 240 and using the MP4 format with H.264 encoding. A 30 minute video should be less than 150 MB.

Can I give you a transcript or vocabulary list for my video?

Yes. Providing a transcript is helpful – simply upload it into our order form, under the Order Details section. It does not change the price of our service, because we still spend significant effort to give you quality captions.

Our Service

What kinds of captioning do you do?

We produce “pop on” captions for pre-recorded video files.

We do not at this time offer “roll up” captions. We also do not offer live / real-time captioning.

How long will captions take?

Video files under 30 minutes long are typically delivered within 48 hours, often much faster. For longer recordings or recordings with poor audio quality, it may take an extra day or two.

The turnaround estimate is based on individual video length, not total order size. Large orders with short videos will still be done quickly. For example, an order with 10 20-minute videos will only take us 48 hours total.

Generally, you can assume individual files between 1-3 hours will be returned within 6 days and files over 3 hours will take up to 8 days.

Want a turnaround estimate? Contact us.

How do you define caption quality?

Quality captioning is:

  • Accurate – Errorless transcription is the goal.
  • Consistent – Uniformity in style and presentation of all captioning features is crucial for viewer understanding.
  • Clear – A complete textual representation of the audio, including speaker identification and “atmospherics” (non-speech information), provide clarity.
  • Readable – captions are displayed with enough time to be read completely and are in synchronization with the audio.
  • Equal – equal access requires that the meaning and intention of the material is completely preserved.

Do your captions meet the FCC requirements?

Yes, we guarantee our caption files meet FCC requirements for open and closed captioning of web and tv video. Our caption files meet Section 508 requirements for video captioning.

Do your captions meet the ADA requirements?

Yes, our captions are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990 ruling regarding captioning.

Do your captions meet requirements set by Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and other online stores?

Yes, we strive to have our caption files meet the requirements of all major online media platforms and distributors. We always recommend you double-check the content quality and caption technical requirements before you submit to a third party platform.

What is the difference between closed captions and subtitles?

Closed captions are intended for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers. They communicate the video’s spoken content and “atmospherics”, which are sound effects that are part of the story.

Subtitles are intended for viewers who can hear the audio, but can’t understand the language spoken. They usually translate the video’s spoken and written language into the viewer’s language.

Both captions and subtitles use the same file formats, such as .srt and .scc. Read more about file formats.

What languages can be spoken in the video?

At this time, videos must be spoken in English. If you have videos in other languages, please e-mail us.

What languages can you create subtitles in?

We subtitle in more than 80 languages. Click here to see a full list of supported languages.

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