uBlock Origin author’s latest extension CCaptioner is now available

CCaptioner is a new extension by Raymond Hill (gorhill), creator of uBlock Origin, that may be used to add text tracks to HTML5 video elements. The extension is available for Firefox and Chrome officially, and it should work in most other browsers based on Firefox or Chromium code as well.

The main idea behind the extension is to add close captions or subtitles to videos on the Internet; this may be useful to add subtitles to a video that comes without any, use different language subtitles, or closed captions.

The extension supports the two formats .srt and .vtt at the time of writing, and HTML5 video elements on webpages.

The content scripts of CCaptioner are injected in the active webpage if its icon is activated by the user. It displays a “assign text track to” link to select the video on the webpage that you want to add the text track to (it may be detected without a click when you hover over it). A file browser opens automatically once you have done that which you use to select a .srt or .vtt file. It gets loaded, and you should see the captions or subtitles that you selected. The menu of the extension displays options to set a time offset once the text file has been assigned to the video successfully.

The extension replaces all existing text files with the loaded one to ensure that it can be displayed properly. You can reload the page to go back to the original state at any time.

CCaptioner works on sites that use the <video> element to load videos; it does not work on sites that use other means to play videos. A test on YouTube and Vimeo failed for example.

Users of the extension need to have access to subtitle files to use them. Current versions have no “search” functionality to find subtitles to make things easier.

Closing Words

CCaptioner is a specialized extension for Google Chrome and Firefox to add a text track to HTML5 videos on webpages. It can be useful to add subtitles or captions to a video that has none or one that is in a different language than the one that you would like to see supported.

Downside currently is that you need to locate subtitle files manually as you cannot use the extension without such a file.

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