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Radio Subtitles


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

Radio today often has people from all over the world being interviewed. Often their accents are very hard to decipher. It would be nice if radio had subtitles in English. For Internet radio, subtitles, or a more general case, transcripts could be embedded in the files, synchronised to the sound. This would also allow Google to index radio broadcasts. Evenually the scheme could be extended to broadcast radio and radios could gave a small display for the subtitles.

To do this you need to extend various audio formats to include a header with the subtitles in it, easy to access for indexing.

The problem is primarily political, persuading people to use the new formats and get authors of editing tools to add subtitling.

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