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Improving Video Accessibility with WebVTT

Accessibility is important in web development & with the ever-growing prevalence of video content, the necessity for captioned content is growing as well.

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Accessibility is an important element of web development, and with the ever-growing prevalence of video content, the necessity for captioned content is growing as well. WebVTT is a technology that solves helps with captioned content as a subtitle format that integrates easily with already-existing web APIs.

What is WebVTT?

Web Video Text Tracks Format (WebVTT) is a format for displaying timed text tracks (such as subtitles or captions) using the <track> element. The primary purpose of WebVTT files is to add text overlays to a <video>. WebVTT is a text based format, which must be encoded using UTF-8. Where you can use spaces you can also use tabs. There is also a small API available to represent and manage these tracks and the data needed to perform the playback of the text at the correct times.

A WebVTT file (.vtt) contains cues, which can be either a single line or multiple lines, as shown below:

WEBVTT

00:01.000 --> 00:04.000
Never drink liquid nitrogen.

00:05.000 --> 00:09.000
- It will perforate your stomach.
- You could die.

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