I have two linked suggestions for improving the subtitling process. I'm editing a video of Shakespeare's _Twelfth Night_, and I'd hoped that I could convert the script to subtitles. This was far from easy, but this can be fixed with two steps.
1. Enable import of subtitle TXT files that do _not_ have timecodes. Let us use TXT files where each subtitle is separated by a linefeed or CR. When we import them, let Encore create subtitles at a default duration of two to three seconds. We can then manually align those subtitles to the project timeline.
Currently, Encore requires that subtitle text files have formatted timecodes. Well, I can't imagine how one would have the timecodes for each line of dialogue _before_ bringing them into Encore. We don't sit and type those timecodes into our text files. Your own tutorials tell us that this job's frequently shopped out because it's tedious: well, if Encore could import simple text files, and we could move the titles around like video clips, it'd be a lot less tedious.
Another reason to allow us to avoid entering timecodes is that there's really no easy way to type them in. I attempted to create a timecode-delimited file of the _Twelfth Night_ script; I imported the text into Excel, and tried to use Excel to create the timecodes for two-second-line subtitles. Sadly, Excel does NOT format for video timecode. It formats time as hh:dd:ss, but a) it dosn't inclde frames and b) it uses colons instead of semicolons. I _was_ able to get around this limit, with a bit of work. But frankly, if Encore could simply import a simple TXT file, I would have saved a lot of work.
2. Enable the user to see the project's audio files _as a waveform_ in the timeline, as in Premiere Pro.
As I said, we could take the subtitles, and stretch them to match the soundtracks. It's a lot easier to match them _visually_, against the waveforms of the audio. If there's a way to see audio timelines as waveforms in Encore, I've been unable to find it.
With my two suggestions above, users would be able to a) import a simple text file, and have Encore create subtitles, and b) align the subtitles to the audio files easily and efficiently.
I applaud your thoughtful suggestions. I suspect we might end up at different places in what we would pick (if we were the decision makers at Adobe).
Part of my reaction is the practical belief that Encore is what it is because adobe had and has a deal with sonic to use their authorcore, and that this is both a benefit and a problem for Adobe to tailor encore as it might like. And Premiere is the more likely application to have such functions added. I can imagine somethikng like hitting the asterisk key in time to music (which adds markers), but where we're adding a special subtitle marker. Then this can be exported with the timecodes, and added to the text file.
I wonder if this is part of what the transcription function is intended to be.
I also believe that After Effects with its scripting support is the better option. I believe there are already scripts that can import a text file into separate layers, and I suspect this could be set with the starting time code you want. But the goal is not a subtitle video/ it is an importable subtitle file for Encore.