TV Studios quietly adding closed-captioned episodes to iTunes Store

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Television studios have quietly begun adding closed captioning to a small selection of the TV shows on offer in Apple's iTunes Store.



Fox, FX, CW and ABC are among the studios that have added closed captions to TV shows on iTunes. Specific shows include "Sons of Anarchy," "New Girl," "Switched at Birth" and "The Secret Circle," though, in general, only the current season of these shows carries support for captions.



It's not exactly clear when the first captioned TV shows arrived on the iTunes Store, but as late as last month, reports claimed that no TV shows on Apple's digital storefront offered the feature. Most of the shows providing the closed-captioning are from the fall 2011 TV lineup and have only been added recently.



Apple has for several years now offered closed captioning for movies, even providing a way to search exclusively for movies that support the feature. The company has yet to add the search criteria to the corresponding Power Search for TV shows in iTunes.



Last month, Apple removed the option of renting TV shows for 99-cents from iTunes and the Apple TV, after iTunes customers showed they "overwhelmingly preferred buying TV shows."







The company does, however, appear poised to make further inroads into the living room. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple is developing a "new technology" to deliver video to televisions. Also, rumors of an Apple-branded smart television have picked up steam in recent months, with a few reports speculating that an Apple TV set could arrive as early as next year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Ironically the only series I've purchased from iTunes is Sons of Anarchy and I did miss the closed captioning after watching the other seasons on Netflix. That's a show with a lot of fast talking, slang, and mumbling, so I like to rematch it with the CC on. Obviously I'm not alone.
  • Reply 2 of 30
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Eehhh.
  • Reply 3 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Television studios have quietly begun adding closed captioning to a small selection of the TV shows on offer in Apple's iTunes Store.



    Is that a pun?



    -kpluck
  • Reply 4 of 30
    Geez, it's about time. Don't tell me the technology didn't exist. Now maybe I can understand those British shows. On second thought...maybe not
  • Reply 5 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,686member
    The most overused story title word on AI is: quietly.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    The most overused story title word on AI is: quietly.



    Quite. (see what I did there...)



    I hate the way they make it sound so sinister as if these SOBs were trying to get away with adding closed captioning right under our noses! Don't let them get away with it!! lol
  • Reply 7 of 30
    Glad to see Apple and the studios doing this for those who have hearing difficulties. It should have been done a long time ago.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jr_b View Post


    Glad to see Apple and the studios doing this for those who have hearing difficulties. It should have been done a long time ago.



    Sadly, I don't think that the ADA covers individuals with sensory impairments, only those with physical or motor impairments. I have been an advocate for closed captioning systems to be used in movie theaters (provided of course, that their use or implementation does not interfere with those in the theater that do not want the equipment to interfere with their viewing in the theater). It seems unfair that CC equipment is required in all TV sets, but those that are HOH or deaf can not go to a theater and enjoy movies because they cannot hear. Maybe sensory impairments are not recognized as being severe enough that they require attention from the ADA. It just seems to me that HOH or deaf individuals should have as much accommodation in public places as do people with physical impairments (ramps, elevators, etc). Actually, to go maybe a step further, I think that all commercially produced content that is made available electronically (online or by other means) should be required to have CC. Sadly, I don't think these people have a voice. I guess I expect that the "ADA" should cover all disabilities. Maybe it's really only meant to cover those with physical or motor impairments, and not those with sensory impairments? Thinking about it now, I guess having a physical impairment is probably much worse to deal with than having a sensory impairment.
  • Reply 9 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    The most overused story title word on AI is: quietly.



    Agreed. You'd think companies need to announce their every move with a press conference and a marching band to avoid it.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,470member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Geez, it's about time. Don't tell me the technology didn't exist. Now maybe I can understand those British shows. On second thought...maybe not



    What is your first language, Spanish maybe?
  • Reply 11 of 30
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,597member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jr_b View Post


    Glad to see Apple and the studios doing this for those who have hearing difficulties. It should have been done a long time ago.



    Also ESL people appreciate it and myself which I can't ever get a volume set correctly because a BOOM is megaloud and a conversation is mega quite.



    It is about time they add this. They need to add them to the movies as well. That is the biggest problem for me.
  • Reply 12 of 30
    diddydiddy Posts: 282member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jr_b View Post


    Glad to see Apple and the studios doing this for those who have hearing difficulties. It should have been done a long time ago.



    While this is a nice thing, I don't think Apple has much to do with this. My understanding is that all the work of encoding this stuff is done by the studios - Apple just hosts the items, advertises, and sells them. I doubt that any contract that was negotiated would have had terms that required subtitles, there would be no reason for Apple to have required them. My guess is that Apple was more interested in the uniform pricing.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Geez, it's about time.



    Damn right! I would have thought this would have been a day 1 priority for their TV and movies.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by diddy View Post


    While this is a nice thing, I don't think Apple has much to do with this. My understanding is that all the work of encoding this stuff is done by the studios - Apple just hosts the items, advertises, and sells them. I doubt that any contract that was negotiated would have had terms that required subtitles, there would be no reason for Apple to have required them. My guess is that Apple was more interested in the uniform pricing.



    Based on the fact they haven't existed for most videos I think you are right, but I would have thought Apple would have made use by those with disabilities a priority. Have you seen what they did to make sure their iPhone can be used by the blind?
  • Reply 15 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Digital_Guy View Post


    I have been an advocate for closed captioning systems to be used in movie theaters (provided of course, that their use or implementation does not interfere with those in the theater that do not want the equipment to interfere with their viewing in the theater). It seems unfair that CC equipment is required in all TV sets, but those that are HOH or deaf can not go to a theater and enjoy movies because they cannot hear.



    Push for MoPix in your theaters.



    http://ncam.wgbh.org/mopix/



    Maybe some nearby theaters already have it: check availability at http://www.captionfish.com/
  • Reply 16 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sir Lurksalot View Post


    Push for MoPix in your theaters.



    http://ncam.wgbh.org/mopix/



    Maybe some nearby theaters already have it: check availability at http://www.captionfish.com/



    Thank you, but I have already been on the mailing list for WGBH for

    a few years now. I still think that the larger problem is that the ADA

    should also cover people with sensory impairments, not only those

    with physical or motor disabilities.
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Television studios have quietly begun adding closed captioning to a small selection of the TV shows on offer in Apple's iTunes Store.



    NIce gesture but the implementation is IMO, wrong. CC is an ancient technology originally invented for broadcast analog TV. The binary SSC file format requires expensive software and highly skilled personnel. Those costs have slowed and will continue to slow implementation.



    Soft subtitles, OTOH, are easily and cheaply implemented. Take a look at the "fan rubber" community and how they provide movie and TV show subtitles in many languages shortly after they become available.



    Of course, DRM makes adding subtitles that you or someone else has created quite difficult or impossible.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowney View Post


    NIce gesture but the implementation is IMO, wrong. CC is an ancient technology originally invented for broadcast analog TV. The binary SSC file format requires expensive software and highly skilled personnel. Those costs have slowed and will continue to slow implementation.



    Soft subtitles, OTOH, are easily and cheaply implemented. Take a look at the "fan rubber" community and how they provide movie and TV show subtitles in many languages shortly after they become available.



    Of course, DRM makes adding subtitles that you or someone else has created quite difficult or impossible.



    Thanks for the informative post. This is an interesting subject. Awhile back I downloaded a subtitles app that you manually sync with the movie after downloading an xml file. That puts the subtitles on your iPhone while watching a movie on TV. Our company has been producing video with subtitles for a long time but we do not know how to embed them into a mp4 file where they can be turned on and off like a DVD. We make two different versions of the movie. Do you have any additional info about what format these iTunes movies are in?
  • Reply 19 of 30
    I was able to see the captions on one of the new TV shows (New Girl) on the iPad. However, it won't work on Apple TV for me. I turned on captions in "audio/video" setup but nothing is displayed on the screen. Is there another setting to adjust or does the ATV2 need an update?
  • Reply 20 of 30
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowney View Post


    NIce gesture but the implementation is IMO, wrong. CC is an ancient technology originally invented for broadcast analog TV. The binary SSC file format requires expensive software and highly skilled personnel. Those costs have slowed and will continue to slow implementation.



    Soft subtitles, OTOH, are easily and cheaply implemented. Take a look at the "fan rubber" community and how they provide movie and TV show subtitles in many languages shortly after they become available.



    Of course, DRM makes adding subtitles that you or someone else has created quite difficult or impossible.



    I didn't read this article too carefully so maybe I missed this, but I don't think they're literally adding CC's signals to the videos. Surely they're adding SRT files?

    Quicktime supports them directly IIRC.



    If they are indeed ussing CCs as you say that seems pretty boneheaded
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