Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Its sounds like a subtitle

I just saw a news blurb on BBC that announced that YouTube would shortly be introducing subtitles for its videos. It made me start to think, subtitles are such addictive things. Even though we watch English DVDs we often turn the subtitles on. This may seem odd considering the strides that we have taken in the field of audio development.

This is the age of surround sound, and THX yet we revert back to something that probably has its origins in the first black and white movies that didn’t have sound but used cue screens with text inserted between the video to convey a message.

This is a case of technology reducing the use of a sense instead of augmenting it. We no longer bother to listen properly but just read the subtitles. True they are definitely an aid if you can’t understand the accent of the actors or if the sound effects seem to drown out the audio. At the end, YouTube’s invention is likely to be a great hit for the Karoke crowd who can now sing along to their favourite music video.