Closed captioning is a technology that’s been around for a few decades, but it’s changed very little since then. The techniques and processes behind the scenes are even still roughly the same as they were in the beginning. Some Canadians have been complaining that the quality of their captions are even worse than those in the United States.
But no matter how you look at it: Captioning Sucks. Yep, and it needs to be improved; especially with new media. It’s still embarrassing on DVD, too! And HDTV captions aren’t much better. The technology is slow, clunky, limited in the number of fonts, accuracy is sometimes lacking – if they even bother at all (some media companies and broadcasters just don’t care).
There is one company that I think is trying to help and make a difference – Apple, of course! They do have a long way to go, but they’re doing their best to encourage movie companies to put captions on their iTunes-hosted movies (not that the movie companies care enough to actually do so).
When I downloaded the WWDC session videos from 2007, I noticed that they’ve added captions (the transcription is bad, but it’s a start). Horray!
Anyway, I wanted to give a shout out to Apple, and encourage them to keep improving in this area… and to point everyone to the Captioning Sucks website, so that we can pressure those companies to improve captioning for the hearing impaired.