Closed Caption Research: File Naming Protocols

As I return to researching #ClosedCaptions, I’m rediscovering a challenge in #CaptionStudies: file naming protocols. This is not a new problem, and any researcher working with volumes of content faces this challenge.

Given my current focus on closed captions from #streaming platforms, some of my naming protocols seem easier than if I was comparing streamed captions to DVD and BluRay captions–to discover captioning differences for the same movie or show, for example. I suspect that would be a headache. That said, here’s what I’ve found so far as vital:

  • Media title: PB or PeakyBlinders for Peaky Blinders
  • Season & Episode: S1E1 for Season 1, Episode 1
  • Source: NF, Ama, H for Netflix; Amazon; Hulu
  • Capture Date: 27Apr22 for 27 April 2022
  • Scene key words: Vomit for Grace’s vomiting & coughing scene in Peaky Blinders
  • Time stamp: 2202 for 22:02 minutes into the scene

So, a file name would read: PeakyBlindersS1E1Netflix27Apr22Vomit2202. That’s a pretty long file name, and there is plenty of room for errors.

I have shortened items where possible:

  • PB or Peaky for Peaky Blinders
  • NF for Netflix; Ama for Amazon; H for Hulu

There is another problem, though, and that has to do with time stamps–at least on Netflix. When I hover over the red dot on the timeline, I get a 10-20 second variation on the timestamp. A better indicator is going to the far right of the timeline, which shows time remaining, and deduct that from the show’s overall playtime. Another option is to simply identify the caption’s timestamp on the caption file. It’s just frustrating not having an exact clip time on Netflix’s video player.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome!