Getting Started with MovieCaptioner: The SCC Caption Format

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Today we're going to talk a little about the SCC caption format. It's sort of a different animal from some of the other formats, so it bears a bit more explanation. SCC stands for Sonic Scenarist, and are often referred to as Line 21 captions. It's a format used in TV broadcasting, Apple devices, DVDs, and a few other places. SCC files are just text files, but they're not really human-readable. Let's take a look. I've opened this SCC file in Text Wrangler on my Mac. You can see there is a Sonic Scenarist title at the top, then each caption has a start time and the caption itself is converted to a hexidecimal string of letters and numbers. Some of these numbers have to do with formatting, like where on the screen the caption will appear and others are the captions themselves. Each caption can start on one of 15 vertical rows on the video, with Row 1 being at the top and Row 15 at the bottom of the screen. Each caption can have up to 4 lines but you're limited to 32 characters per line and that includes spaces and punctuation.