Opened Captions: Real Time Caption API // Dan Schultz, Internet Archive


  • OpenedCaptions, a personal project made as a Knight-Mozilla fellow at Boston Globe.
  • There's no API for closed captioning?!
  • Line21 Decoding device called TextGrabber, very rare Node.js server grabs it and distributed to any listening clients
  • Dan made this thing that makes text get super drunk and is claiming that there are useful applications for this
  • Like maybe a language translation layer to get things into another language quickly
  • The value of having a standard (but this isn't a standard yet, FYI), is that things can grow out into more than one source, redistribution through a hub, making it push-based (easy to scale!)
  • Watch live CNN captions: (at the time, it was showing captions for a pharmaceutical commercial)
  • you can set up your own – source and documentation on GitHub:
  • Dan is now doing a live demo and it's important for the record to state that his terminal typeface of choice is Comic Sans
  • Get things from television (usually CSPAN) and write code against it
  • Question: What are the copyright considerations? Hope is that content creators see this and like it, and want to provide their own service about it. A lot of CSPAN is public domain.
  • Question: How do we know what channel it is on?
    • Code has been in stasis but now it needs to be more robust, more than one channel may be running, and provide more info.
    • Not there yet but anyone who wants to develop on it there's a lot of "low hanging fruit things" to make it more useful.
  • (PLEASE REACH OUT -- @slifty on twitter, or directly at [email protected])

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