Creating an Efficient Subtitle Processing Workflow


Our client needed a quick, efficient and cost-effective way to convert their subtitle back catalog. Their upcoming projects would be utilizing their entire catalog and there would be thousands of subtitle files to convert, align, fix and test. The goal of the project was to create, run and optimize a workflow that could deliver thousands of subtitle files.


The project would entail processing tens of thousands of subtitle files in three different input formats. Apple iTunes Timed Text files (.itt), Videotron Lambda files (.cap and .txt) andScenarist Closed Caption files (.scc). Files would be delivered to an S3 bucket en masse and would need to be processed and ingested into the streaming serivce quickly. Output formats were SubRip (.srt) and Video Text Tracks (.vtt) files. Allfiles would need to be tested for alignment against their respective master video files. Any errors would need to be tracked and processed by dedicated video operations specialists. 

Who is Sony Pictures Entertainment?

Our client is a major motion picture studio with a deep back catalog of movies stretching back for decades. They were looking to support multiple streaming projects and needed a partner that was both technically capable as well as financially affordable. The client, unfortunately, found that many of the back catalog titles had misaligned audio or video master files that were of varying quality and different source formats. Previous vendors had been too expensive and slow to meet the needs of these projects. 



The client needed their entire catalog converted, ingested and potentially fixed. The first step was to assess the amount of files we expected to receive, analyze the different file input types and create a process that was flexible enough to handle any possible future changes.



In order to facilitate rapid file fixes for most of the files, Arcadian built custom software that allows our video operations technicians to quickly alter time codes in newly output subtitle files. When Quality Assurance identifies an issue with a misalignment this software allows the team to immediately redownload the original source, apply the correct fixes and resubmit the new file in a matter of minutes.

175 HRS


One of the primary goals of the project was to keep manual file alignment to an absolute minimum. This was for two reasons. First, keeping the number of hours low kept the project under budget. The more we could automate the process the cheaper we could process the files. Two, manual processes tend to me much more error prone than automated processes. By keeping the time spent by our video operations specialist to a minimum we kept quality high and prevented issues downstream with end users.

How can we help?

We are true partners, helping you see your project through from start to finish.

Get in touch

Reach out to see how we can best support you and your streaming needs.