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7 Top Auto Subtitle Generators: Effortlessly Caption Your Videos


7 Top Auto Subtitle Generators: Effortlessly Caption Your Videos

Americans love subtitles. New data from a 2022 study shows that 70% of Gen Z and 53% of Millennials usually watch TV with subtitles. Not only do they make content more accessible, but they come in handy in public places where it wouldn’t be appropriate to unmute your phone.

In other words: if you want people to watch your content, it’s better to use subtitles.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add subtitles to videos automatically—with minimal work for you. We’ll walk you through the top auto subtitle generators on the market, then leave you with a few tips for making sure your subtitles are accurate.

What are Automatic Generated Subtitles?

If we’re being technical, subtitles and captions aren’t the same thing. Captions are real-time text transcriptions of a video’s audio (both dialogue and other sounds). They assist those who have impaired hearing or those who want to watch the video without sound. Subtitles, on the other hand, are text transcriptions of a video in another language.

But since most people use the terms interchangeably, in this article we’ll use “subtitles” to refer to a video text transcription in the video’s original language.

There are several ways to generate subtitles: 

1. You can create them manually by re-watching your footage and transcribing dialogue and sounds. This approach is predictably tedious and time-consuming.

2.  You can hire a professional transcription service. While it’s convenient to have someone who knows what they’re doing handle the work for you, it’s also expensive. This is especially the case if you want same-day delivery.

3. You can use software that automatically generates subtitles. This software uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology trained to recognize and interpret human speech in a given language or set of languages.

Read more: How to Add Captions & Subtitles to a Video: 5 Easy Methods

Some software can auto generate subtitles while you’re watching a video, while others create them before you watch the video. Either way, your subtitles are available instantly—no need for you or a professional to manually transcribe them. After a little proofreading on your end, they’re ready for use. 

How Can You Make Subtitles Automatically?

Apps like YouTube and Netflix can auto-generate subtitles while watching a video—it’s just a setting you can toggle on.

Step 1: Upload your video to subtitle generator software, like one of the options we’ll describe later in this article.

Step 2: The software will transcribe the video’s dialogue and create an SRT (SubRip Subtitle) file this file contains both dialogue and timestamps (when each piece of dialogue appeared in the video), like this example: 

As you can see, an SRT file is just a plain text file. It formats timestamps as hours:minutes:seconds,milliseconds and transcribes dialogue in several-second chunks.

Step 3: Export the SRT file and add it to your video.

When it comes to adding captions or subtitles to your videos, there are two ways you can go about this. 

You can either upload your srt. File with yoru video to your viewing platform. This should give viewers the option to toggle captions or subtitles on and off. 

Alternatively, you can use closed captions and use an editor to burn your subtitles permanently into your video. 

For more about this process, check out our article on adding captions to videos.

How to Choose Video Subtitle Generator Software 

Before giving you a few software options to consider, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best one for your unique needs.

Here are the most important factors for you to consider.

Personal vs. Company Projects

If you need to subtitle business videos often and subtitle accuracy is essential, consider choosing a professional transcription service instead of an auto subtitle generator. These services use subtitle software combined with human transcriptionists instead of automatic generator software.

Human transcriptionists produce more accurate subtitles because they can navigate accents and other nuances in recordings. They’re also better at detecting speaker transitions. 

For offline videos, you’ll need to send the video to the company and wait a few days while they transcribe it. Many companies also offer same-day services at a higher price.

Some companies provide real-time subtitling and troubleshooting for live videos. This can be a good option for big events.

But for most people and most projects, auto subtitle generators are enough. They’re much faster—and for most content creators’ needs, they’re sufficiently accurate. 

Live vs. Offline Video

Some software can auto-generate subtitles in real-time, while others do so offline before you watch a video. Still, others can do both.

You may want software capable of live subtitle generation if you’re an e-learning instructor or in charge of streaming video at company events. An offline auto subtitle generator will be sufficient if you just want to upload subtitled videos to your website.


The most common problem with auto subtitle generator software is inaccuracy. Factors like regional accents, talking speed, and word enunciation can trip up the AI tech. The recording quality and background noise can also lead to mistakes in the transcription.

Although it’s not always the case, free software may produce a transcription with mistakes that you’ll need to correct manually. You should decide what your priority is—speed and accuracy or cutting costs. 

Project Frequency

How regularly do you edit videos? If you’re just looking for software to help with a single project, you may be able to generate a high-quality transcription for free. Many software options have a free trial, while others let you subtitle one short video each month without paying for a subscription. 

You can also subscribe to most automatic subtitle generators on a month-by-month basis. That flexibility may be helpful if you edit videos sporadically.

Expect to pay for a higher-tier subscription if you need to subtitle long videos frequently.

7 Best Auto Subtitle Generators for Accuracy

Now that you know what to look for when choosing an auto subtitle generator, here are a few of 2023’s top-rated options.

Most companies provide a small discount for users who purchase annual (as opposed to monthly) subscriptions. All of the prices listed below refer to annual subscriptions.

1. Riverside

Riverside auto subtitle generator

Price: Free tool, or built-in transcriptions at $24.00/mo

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

Riverside is a recording and editing software that can capture smooth 4K video and lossless, uncompressed 48 kHz audio. It can also accurately and instantly generate subtitles once you finish recording.

One advantage of using recording software with built-in transcription is that it’s easier to capture crystal-clear audio. That’s important because higher-quality recordings lead to more accurate subtitles. Riverside also uses your computer rather than your internet to record (known as local recording). This means your recording will be smooth and lag-free even if you have a weak internet connection. 

You can generate transcriptions in TXT. or SRT. files in over 100 languages instantly after recording. Our transcriptions use Ai speech-to-text technology to ensure unmatched accuracy. You can even use these transcriptions to edit your actual video or audio recordings with our text-based editor

Additionally, Riverside can:

  • Automatically generate subtitles and timestamps for up to 8 participants
  • Navigate easily through your transcript and recording with speaker detection
  • Generate extremely accurate transcriptions in 100+ languages
  • Produce SRT and TXT files for quick captions or subtitles and easy content repurposing
  • Generate subtitles immediately after recording ends
  • Edit videos using Ai transcriptions so creating content is as easy as editing text

If you haven't recorded on Riverside, or you're on a budget, you can also try our free online subtitle generator.

Best for: Anyone looking for highly accurate transcriptions, fast and useful for editing videos

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2. YouTube

YouTube auto subtitle generator

Price: Free

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android

The go-to free method of generating subtitles is to upload your video to YouTube, turn on automatic subtitles, and download the SRT file YouTube creates.

The problem is that YouTube’s subtitles are not the most accurate, so you’ll have to do a lot of manual correction if you choose this method. 

Best for: New content creators or those on a tight budget

3. Adobe Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro, a auto subtitle generator tool

Price: $35.99/mo/license

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most popular advanced video editing software today, making it a convenient auto subtitle generator. You can toggle on closed captioning directly in your project timeline, finish any other edits, then export both the video and SRT file for uploading to any platform.

We recommend pairing Premiere Pro with Riverside, high-quality remote video recording software for the most efficient workflow.

Best for: Anyone needing efficient, advanced video editing

4. Checksub

Checksub automatic subtitle generator

Price: $8.00/mo

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

Checksub is a simple, powerful auto subtitle generator that can transcribe videos in over 140 languages using AI technology for each language. 

You can edit the file it produces directly in the Checksub platform and export your video with burned-in subtitles

Burned-in subtitles are captions that are permanently part of the video. That’s convenient because you won’t need to turn on subtitles or attach an SRT file when watching your video or uploading your footage to a video-sharing platform.

Checksub is free if you only create one 5-minute video each month. With an $8/mo annual subscription, you can add subtitles to 360 minutes of footage per year.

Best for: Creators with audiences across the world

5. SyncWords

SyncWords automated subtitle generator

Price: $0.50/minute of video

Compatibility: Mac and Windows

SyncWords optimizes its services for both live and offline subtitle generation. Their automatic text recognition technology can create captions offline in over 100 languages. Their trained personnel can also produce real-time captions during live events.

The company’s mission is to provide high-quality subtitle-generation services to anyone who needs them at an affordable price. In addition to their $0.50/minute price for subtitling pre-recorded videos, they only charge $1.45/minute for professional transcription services or $2.95/minute for same-day delivery.

Best for: Event organizers on a budget

6. subtitle generator

Price: $3.95/mo

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android claims to produce subtitles so accurately you won’t need to make any corrections. 

The company uses advanced machine learning technology and can subtitle videos in 90 languages. And unlike many auto subtitle generators, it’s mobile-friendly and lets you export videos without a watermark.

You can add subtitles to 10 minutes of video footage each month with a free account. $3.95/month gets you 2 hours of footage and $6.66/month gets you 6 hours.

Best for: Those who need to edit few or short videos accurately or those who prefer to edit on a phone

7. automatic subtitle generator

Price: $8.33/mo

Compatibility: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android caters its auto subtitle generation services to students and educators looking for a way to transcribe lectures. Not only does its AI technology distinguish voices, but it also separates out unwanted background noise when generating subtitles. 

This software integrates with common lecture-streaming apps like Google Meet and Zoom. The company also organizes its pricing by app. While live caption generation in Google Meet meetings is free, you’ll need a $20/mo Business account to generate captions in live Zoom meetings.

To export an SRT file, you’ll just need a $8.33/mo Pro account. Note that while all of the companies in this article charge more for month-to-month accounts than for annual accounts, charges significantly more—if billed monthly, a Pro account is $16.99 and a Business account is $30.00.

Best for: Students and e-learning providers

How to Auto Generate Subtitles Accurately with Riverside

To auto-generate subtitles accurately using Riverside, simply go to, create an account, and follow these steps. Note that you’ll need a Pro account to create subtitles.

Step 1: Using Chrome or Edge, log in to your account and create a new studio to start a recording. Alternatively, you can select a previous recording. (Learn more on how to record, here)

Step 2: If you’re recording new content, finish capturing everything then select View recordings and click on the take you’d like to transcribe.

Step 3: You’ll see a transcription preview next to your recording. Underneath, click on the Download transcript button. 

Downloading automatic subtitles on Riverside

Step 4: You can download your time stamped subtitles as a TXT or SRT file straight from your video project.

We recommend Riverside for podcasters, instructors, students, journalists, businesses, and anyone who wants to watch high-quality videos with accurate subtitles.

Tips for Automatically Generating Subtitles for Video Captions

We’ll leave you with a few last insider tips for auto-generating accurate video subtitles.

  • Record videos with a high-quality external microphone. Seriously—your phone or computer’s internal microphone won’t cut it. Remember, the clearer your audio, the more accurate your subtitles will be.
  • Wear headphones with mic monitoring or sidetone when recording videos so you can hear how your voice will sound in the recording. 
  • If there are multiple speakers in your video, you’ll want robust subtitle generation software that can distinguish between speakers. Be sure to read the product description and reviews before purchasing.

FAQs on Automated Subtitle Generators

Can VLC auto-generate subtitles?

While you can upload existing subtitle files to VLC or download existing online subtitle files using an add-on called VLSub, VLC cannot auto-generate new subtitles

If you want to watch a video you created using VLC, you’ll need to manually transcribe it with timestamps or use a third-party subtitle generator to create an SRT file. Then you can upload it to VLC.

How do I auto-generate SRT files?

Video transcription software like Riverside can auto-generate SRT files. Simply select the video you'd like to transcribe and select 'Generate transcription for all tracks' from the three-dotted menu. From there, Riverside automatically transcribes the video and generates an SRT file (SubRip Subtitle File) containing all subtitle or caption data. Easily download the file and add it to your video from there.

What does auto-generated caption mean?

A caption is simply text that captures audio dialogue and background sounds and appears in real time at the bottom of a video. Video transcription software uses AI technology to automatically generate captions before or during video viewing—no need to hire a human transcriptionist. Though you’ll likely need to do some proofreading and add background noises or additional sounds before final publishing.

How accurate is YouTube auto-generated subtitles?

While YouTube can auto-generate subtitles, they are not very accurate. Most creators who use YouTube’s subtitles do so because it’s free. If you choose this method, expect to spend time correcting mistakes in both the content of your subtitles and the timestamps in your SRT file.

But why put yourself through that frustration? If you’re looking for a user-friendly platform that produces studio-quality subtitled videos, just check out Riverside.

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