How to add a caption track to a video in Google Drive

Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to add caption tracks to videos saved in Google Drive.


Image: Google

Did you know that your Google cloud drive makes it possible for you to add caption tracks for videos? This makes it easy for you to add text to a video when sound might not be an option (say, for instance, when a video is set to autoplay on your company website, but browsers most often default to muting audio).

Believe it or not, Google Drive makes this incredibly easy. Let me show you how.

SEE: Hybrid cloud: A guide for IT pros (TechRepublic download)

What you'll need

In order to add a caption track to a video, what you'll need is:

  • A video uploaded to Google Drive
  • A caption track script in either the SubRip (*.SRT) and SubViewer (*.SUB) formats

I will also show you how to write your own .SRT files, so you don't have to worry about using a third-party converter.

How to create SRT files

The first thing you must do is create your SRT files. This is the time consuming aspect of the process, as you have to create a text file that is displayed during a specific time on the video. Say you have the line:

"I'm going to show you how to deploy a container using an Ansible playbook."

That line, which will be the first caption in the video, is spoken in the video between the 11 and 16 second mark (from the beginning). In the SRT file, that will be noted by:

00:00:11,000 --> 00:00:16,000

Now, before you add that, you must notate this is the first caption for the video by adding a 0 to the top of the file. Under that line, add the time code. So now we have:

00:00:11,000 --> 00:00:16,000

Finally, add the text to be spoken during this time period. So the file now looks like:

00:00:11,000 --> 00:00:16,000
I'm going to show you how to deploy a container using an Ansible playbook.

Now we go through and add the remaining captions, until the file looks like this:

00:00:10,000 --> 00:00:16,000
I'm going to show you how to deploy a container using an Ansible playbook.

00:00:17,000 --> 00:00:21,000
I'll be demonstrating with only two servers, both of which will run Ubuntu Server 18.04.

00:00:22,000 --> 00:00:28,000
You can test this with as many servers as you like, but I prefer to keep it simple at this level.

Save and close the file (naming it

How to upload your caption file

Now it's time to upload the caption file. Locate and right-click the video in Google Drive. From the resulting menu (Figure A), click Manage Caption Tracks.

Figure A


Caption tracks are but a menu away.

The resulting window will display the video and a caption sidebar (Figure B).

Figure B


The caption track sidebar.

Click Add New Caption Tracks. Locate the file and upload it. You can then optionally select a specific language and give the track an optional name. Click Upload and the caption track is now added to the video. Click the play button on the video to make sure the captions line up with the proper time (Figure C).

Figure C


Our captions line up with the correct time.

You can now download the video from Google Drive and upload it or use it as needed. 

Congratulations, you've added your first caption track to a video, thanks to Google Drive.

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