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Live captions

Published Date: 14 December 2022

What are Live captions?

Live captions are speech and non-speech audio content that appears in text form on your TV screens and mobile devices to improve the viewing experience with additional interpretive information.

The computer listens to what is said in a video, intelligently avoids mispronunciations and errors, and generates the caption on the screen for viewers to read as they stream a video.

Live caption features on devices and platforms can automatically include captions under any video or podcast when enabled. Since the computer generates them in real time, they are not time-coded for accuracy.

Uses of Live Captions

Live captions provide a useful aid for viewers who may be hard of hearing or have listening disabilities.

They also translate audio to your desired language to help you understand speech in a different language.

Live vs. Closed Captioning

  • Live captions are spoken words generated for real-time video content, while closed captions are for pre-recorded videos and may include spoken words along with other relevant audio for context (e.g. [silence], [laughter], lyrics to a song, and so on.
  • Closed captions are highly detailed, accurate, and well-timed, so they appear with the right text when streaming a video at the right time. On the other hand, live captions are computer-generated in real-time and aren't always accurate.
  • While both live and closed captions aid in better understanding speech and non-speech audio content, closed captions are also designed to provide a better viewing experience for people with disabilities, autism, ADD, etc.

Related Terms

Video Quality

In simple terms, video quality is the characteristic of a video that determines how clear, crisp, and detailed the video transmitted to the viewer is.

Video Watermark

A video watermark is a digital copyright tool used to identify the video's copyright owner or prevent illegal distribution.


1:1 is a commonly used aspect ratio in videography. It produces videos that are a perfect square; the width and height of the video image are the same.

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