NOTE (2017): The method described in this article no longer works in some recent releases of Windows 10 + Windows Media Player 12. We recommend using VLC, along with a .srt file, to watch captions.
The most typical method to caption Windows Media content is to use an external caption file known as a SAMI file (.smi). Whether your media file is on a web server, or you want to play it on your local machine, you just need to place the media and the .smi file on the same folder, with the same basename. The .SMI file is then picked up by Windows Media Player at play time and allows the player to display captions. The viewer can turn the captions on or off using menu controls in the player.
Submitting your Media for Captioning:
- In your CaptionSync account, go to Caption/Transcribe -> Advanced Settings. Under the Output Types tab, ensure the .smi format is selected.
- Make your Captioning request, using your media file.
- Once results are available, download the .smi file from the Results Email or the Submission Details Page.
Naming and Associating the Files:
- Place the .smi file in the same directory as your media, and with the exact same basename:
When checking the file name, make sure you can see the extension in Windows Explorer; if you cannot see the extension...
Go to Folder and Search Options in your Explorer. Under the View tab, uncheck Hide Extensions for Known File Types and check Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives. Click Apply and then OK.
Playing the captions:
1. Open the Windows Media Player, and configure the following options (if you can't see the following menus, you'll need to expose them by clicking Ctrl-M):
- Open the Play menu, then the Lyrics, captions and subtitles option, and make sure On if Available is selected.
- In Windows Media Version 10 and greater, you'll also need to open the Tools/Options menu, select the Security tab, and then:
- Check Show local captions when present. Click Apply.
- Exit the Player and relaunch for the changes to take effect.
2. Right-click the media file, and choose Open with... Windows Media Player:
3. Now you should be able to see captions when you play your media file:
- CaptionSync generates an associated pointer file (.asx), along with the .smi format, that can be used to specify full URLs to streaming media servers and web servers, if the caption file is not on the same machine or directory as the media file. Typically however this file is not used.
- Ensure the user is on the Now Playing mode, as opposed to the Library mode: