Monday, October 18, 2010

Turn off the open captioning

Closed captioning is a good thing. It helps not only those who have hearing issues, but also those who speak other languages.

Open captioning, unlike the closed captioning which can be turned off when you don't need it, is burnt to the video and cannot be turned off. It is sometimes annoying when you want to enjoy the pictures but the subtitle keeps distracting you. It is even more annoying when the subtitle is not faithfully typing or translating what the actors are saying, but the imagination or the invention of the subtitler.

We don't want to see those bad open captioning but there is no way to turn them off because they are part of the pictures. But, we can cover it. In those old days, I have to cut a piece of paper and stick it to bottom of the TV screen. Now when I play videos from the computer, I can just run this little Java program NoCaption.class.

NoCaption.class generates a slim black square covering part of the screen. You can drag it to the lower area of the video where the subtitles are usually shown. That would cover the annoying open captioning.

The source code of NoCaption.class is here. You are encouraged to built it yourself with JDK which you can download from Sun's website. If you are too lazy to do that, you can download NoCaption.class here.

To run it, open a terminal, go to where your NoCaption.class locates and run command "java NoCaption". Or you can create a shortcut on the Desktop for the convenience.

To exit the program, double-right-click on the black square.

When the program exits, it writes its location and size to a configuration file nocaption.config. The file does not exist if you haven't run the program before. If you found it, you could open it with WritePad and manually edit the parameters to change the size of the black square. You should do it when the program is not running, because when it exits, it would override what you have changed. If you have messed up with the configuration file, don't worry, just delete the file. The program will use the default configuration and generate the file again.

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