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Post Reply Disabling subtitles
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31 / M / Dallas, TX
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Posted 11/26/13

garrixon wrote:

Small maybe, but not marginal.


Interesting statistics, but frankly, I think it's up to CR to decide whether that audience is marginal or not. And while it isn't perfect, the browser option does still work this way.
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25 / M / Boston, MA
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Posted 11/26/13
Obviously if crunchyroll decides is not financially viable than they shouldn't implement it. I'm just trying to state my case is all. And yes the browser has it but I'm not willing to pay the membership free simply to remove ads.
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17 / M / Long Island, New...
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Posted 2/9/14
Right Click the Video Playback
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56 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 2/9/14 , edited 2/9/14

Kyroxus wrote:

Right Click the Video Playback

I'm guessing you didn't notice this is posted under the "iOS and Apple TV: section.

I've made a similar mistake before; responding with a browser-only answer for a device.

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Posted 5/4/14 , edited 1/2/15
I'm chiming in to say I want this feature too. I really would like to be able to disable subtitles on the iOS and Xbox 360 apps. I get you guys aren't a language service, but this feature actually used to be on the iOS app back when you use closed captioning which admittedly looked awful. I get that it's a lot of work or a lot of storage, but this is something many of your customers seem to want. The lack of this feature has cost you guys a few customers. I get it's not a big demographic for you guys, but it would be really nice to offer this.

Btw, Netflix offers the ability to turn off subtitles on their soft-subbed anime on Xbox 360 and iOS. I assume this functionality is on their other apps too.
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Posted 1/2/15
In addition to disabling subs on non-windows devices, I wish we could just get the native language subs. I'm willing to admit I'm in a tiny minority, however.
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40 / M / Tucson, AZ
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Posted 1/2/15
Native subs probably is t going to ever happen since I don't think the anime comes from Tokyo with it. But disabling the subs downt seem like such a big deal. It would mean I could get rid of my windows tablet which I only use so I can turn off subs on this site.
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Posted 2/20/15
I would also love to have the ability to disable subs on the Roku Box, as they can be really distracting when trying to focus on the audio. I love how the web interface allows you to choose any available language, or disable the subs entirely. Why is this feature not available within Roku, iOS, etc? Aren't those the platforms most people are watching from these days? It may be wishful thinking, but I hope CR adds this functionality soon!

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56 / M / U.S.A. (mid-south)
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Posted 2/20/15

brennanhm wrote:

I would also love to have the ability to disable subs on the Roku Box, as they can be really distracting when trying to focus on the audio. I love how the web interface allows you to choose any available language, or disable the subs entirely. Why is this feature not available within Roku, iOS, etc? Aren't those the platforms most people are watching from these days? It may be wishful thinking, but I hope CR adds this functionality soon!

Most if not all of the devices use hard coded subs, which means for CR to offer a version with no subs, they would need yet another video encode to be create and stored.

While the more recent Roku units support soft subs, the earlier units did not. CR switching to soft subs would eliminate users of older units. Netflix did this, which was one of the reasons I was prompted to upgrade from my Roku XD|S to a Roku 3.

As I recall, one or both of the initial mobile apps (e.g., iOS, Android) used soft subs, but there were issues with it that were resolved by switching to hard subs.

errob 
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Posted 3/4/17

Bjaker wrote:

You can only watch without subtitles on the PC.

We are not a language learning service, we are an entertainment service.

It would take longer than a day. Android code does not equal Microsoft code does not equal iOS code, etc.

Best,
-Baker


Wow. What a bad attitude. It's not unreasonable to ask for this feature and there are good reasons why customers would want to do so besides desiring a "language learning service". What about customers whose native language IS Japanese, or those who are already fluent, or fluent enough so that subtitles are unnecessary and distracting? Maybe those customers just want entertainment too, and the fact that your product doesn't have this seemingly simple feature detracts from their enjoyment.

As a developer, I can certainly understand that seemingly simple features can be onerous to implement. As Dino Esposito notes in his book on enterprise architecture, a good software architecture is one where all the decisions that are difficult to change were made correctly.

Since it is the case that Crunchyroll does support subtitles for several different languages, do you actually have several different copies of each video with the subtitles of each language post-processed into the video? I understand the technical challenge previously stated on iOS, but doing this would necessitate re-encoding your entire catalog to add support for a language. What if Crunchyroll wants to expand into different markets?

If language support is not implemented in this way, why not add Japanese as a language option? For Japanese, either no subtitles could be encoded/included, or Japanese subtitles could be implemented, or better yet, optional.

So what if it would take longer than a day. Since you didn't say longer than a week or month, I hardly think that this feature isn't worth a week or so of development time to implement. I know my enjoyment of the service would be increased.

Hell, I'd be willing to pay more than I do for crunchyroll, especially with some nice user experience improvements like this.

もしかして、日本語学習のためにではない。
もしかして、理由重要ない。
その理由だすれば、お客さんは字幕を消して欲しい、これは足りるね。お客さんに喜んで欲しいね?お金いっぱいある欲しいね?誰でもこんな動画サイト作り出来るね。まあ、誰でもじゃなくて、でも傲慢な態度成れない。お客さん聞きないすれば、絶対に罰来ますよ。
気を手ける。
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Posted 3/4/17

errob wrote:
do you actually have several different copies of each video with the subtitles of each language post-processed into the video?

If language support is not implemented in this way, why not add Japanese as a language option?


It is implemented that way for all devices, the subs are hard-coded/embedded in them. One file for each resolution, times each language, times each format/extension type required for the different players. Adding an option for "no subs" requires another set for each episode for each of 4 resolutions multiplied by the number of filetypes (MP4, MOV, AVI, etc), and adding one for Japanese requires another. Only the web player has soft subtitles, and is the only player where you can turn them off.

As for Japanese subs, they would have to have gotten approval from the production company stated in the licenses for every language they present, and the Japanese companies haven't allowed them to have that, not for Manga, either.

I have personally demonstrated that having a second stream for soft subs is contributing to the (browser-only) flash player stalling/ragged play issues that occur here. Turn them off so that the raw file plays, and it goes smoothly. A couple other users I have asked previously have verified that they play much smoother that way, too. My opinion of that is because CR isn't allowed to buffer more than a couple minutes of a stream, so the player has to keep making repeated requests quite often to keep the stream going. That's bad enough with one video stream, but to coordinate two different sets/sizes of data files, with adding in the soft subs, all it takes is a little burp and one or the other gets stalled waiting for the other. Just conjecture, of course, but empirically, albeit anecdotally, it does make a difference, so there is something going on there. Having hard subs simplifies the stream and the programming required to support it across many different device types.
errob 
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Posted 3/4/17
I think I already addressed the issue of hard-coding subtitles. Multimedia isn't an area of expertise or interest for me, but I strongly suspect that there is a better way to implement this streaming design than to create (# of languages) * (# of resolutions) for each and every episode. If that's really what's being done, that's nuts. Crunchyroll appears to use flash, so I'm not sure whether or not the type of annotations and so forth that are possible in HTML 5 apps are possible in flash or not, but youtube has been downscaling content for available bandwidth for years, so what you are suggesting makes no sense.

Even if that were the technical reality, at some point Crunchyroll may want to expand their territory to support additional languages and regions, and it would be absurd to have to re-encode every single video to support a new language.

The licensing is the hard part of what crunchyroll is doing. It's not the video technology. Even if this absurd scheme of hard-encoding subtitles int o each file is actually what happens, what work is really being added by having an option without subtitles?

Streaming video is a problem that has been solved over and over, and while things like video compression and playback algorithms are hard, streaming isn't. It's not trivial, but if the architecture at crunchyroll really is something stupid like what you describe, well it probably won't be long until they're surpassed by other services. Technology continues to move and develop and pigeonholing yourself into an architecture that started to lose relevance 5 years ago isn't a great way to remain competitive.

I don't think that's what was done, and I don't think a professional technical lead has any excuse for that kind of sloppy work anyway. So that brings me back to my original point: Listen to the customers, especially if it's as easy as the post I quoted implied. I'd like this feature, and it sure as hell isn't because I'm trying to use crunchyroll to learn Japanese, it's because I'd like to enjoy the service with what I already know. It's jarring and distracting when you see a subtitle that you know is not reflective of what is said, maybe a language idiom that doesn't have an easy parallel was used, or maybe the meaning is simplified, or maybe the publishing company wanted it to be a different way, I don't know.

But as an example, in the first episode of konosuba, aqua calls kazuma ヒキニート (hikineet) and finally he turns around and calls her クソビッチ. While it's funny enough that he called her a bitch, kusobicchi is even more intense than that and the meaning is lost in the subtitles. Again I'm sure there are great reasons for this, but I see him call her a bitch, and I hear him call her something more like a shitty bitch. It's a trivial example, sure. Like I said in my last post, the customers asking for this feature is enough to say it should be added if it really isn't a significant effort. (as was implied) Who cares if someone wants to use crunchyroll as a learning tool? There are still great use cases for this as just entertainment as I mentioned previously.
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Posted 3/4/17 , edited 3/4/17

errob wrote:

I think I already addressed the issue of hard-coding subtitles. Multimedia isn't an area of expertise or interest for me, but I strongly suspect that there is a better way to implement this streaming design than to create (# of languages) * (# of resolutions) for each and every episode. If that's really what's being done, that's nuts. Crunchyroll appears to use flash, so I'm not sure whether or not the type of annotations and so forth that are possible in HTML 5 apps are possible in flash or not, but youtube has been downscaling content for available bandwidth for years, so what you are suggesting makes no sense.


Support for subtitles is varied across the different platforms CR supports. I believe some of the old Roku devices had no support at all for soft subs. It's also not a good comparison to look at what other streaming services are doing in relation to CR: Netflix has ~80m paid subscribers, Amazon Prime ~66m members, Hulu has ~12m subscribers, YouTube has over 1 billion users, and CR just crossed the million paid subscriber mark; it's a little fish in a huge pond.


Who cares if someone wants to use crunchyroll as a learning tool? There are still great use cases for this as just entertainment as I mentioned previously.


There are likely different regulations that CR would have to follow if they offered a feature that specifically tailored to learning, rather than allowing a loophole in Flash that allows users to disable subtitles on their own.
errob 
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Posted 3/4/17

eyeofpain wrote:

Support for subtitles is varied across the different platforms CR supports. I believe some of the old Roku devices had no support at all for soft subs. It's also not a good comparison to look at what other streaming services are doing in relation to CR: Netflix has ~80m paid subscribers, Amazon Prime ~66m members, Hulu has ~12m subscribers, YouTube has over 1 billion users, and CR just crossed the million paid subscriber mark; it's a little fish in a huge pond.


I didn't make any comparison between crunchyroll and other streaming services. My discussion was on the technology. Netflix was using silverlight for a while, for instance. There's a definite migration to HTML 5 that is happening, and for good reason. I wasn't even talking about other streaming services though.

Crunchyroll offers a tremendous value and I'd easily pay double (or triple) what I do for features like this one, OVAs, better responsiveness from the website, etc.


There are likely different regulations that CR would have to follow if they offered a feature that specifically tailored to learning, rather than allowing a loophole in Flash that allows users to disable subtitles on their own.


I'm not asking for such a thing. I specifically illustrated several different reasons why this is a feature that would be valuable outside of "language learning". Anime is a shitty way to try to learn anyway. In most shows they talk in ways that would get your ass kicked for emulating, and passively picking up the language just isn't going to happen out of maybe a few words.

I think the main value in anime for language learning is to serve as a motivator, you can use your hard-earned skills to enjoy content in its original form and context.

Again, if you're a native speaker, or have sufficient fluency in Japanese to not need subtitles, they can be a big distraction. I don't know how I can be any clearer about this. Crunchyroll absolutely should not be in the business of teaching Japanese, but they should be in the business of making their customers happy, and this is something that is being asked for by paying customers other than myself.
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Posted 3/4/17 , edited 3/4/17

errob wrote:

I didn't make any comparison between crunchyroll and other streaming services. My discussion was on the technology. Netflix was using silverlight for a while, for instance. There's a definite migration to HTML 5 that is happening, and for good reason. I wasn't even talking about other streaming services though.


You mentioned annotations by YouTube, and as far as I know, that's not a prebuilt part of the HTML5 spec. So yes, that sounded like a comparison to me.
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