Video Training Material VTT Translations - Encoding Tips for UTF-8

  • 25 August 2023
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Hey Community :)

I wanted to make a guide / small knowledge share based on a ticket I recently had in regards to the .vtt files that are added as translations to video training material. If you’re looking to learn more about Video training material or adding such to a course, I’m here for any questions but I’d also direct you to this Knowledge Base here.

Something that came up earlier today was that we encountered a VTT file that wasn’t uploading properly to the learner view on the video. You could select the language by pressing “CC” in the video player, but the translations wouldn’t come up. To fix this, we did the below on a Macbook Pro in Terminal:

  • Taking a VTT file with a utf-16le charset and verifying the charset / encoding with file -I thefile.vtt in Terminal (it’s a capital i as the option in that command)

  • We then tried to use it as a translation for the video training material but it failed to load when playing the video

  • We then ran the following command to change the encoding to utf-8: iconv -f utf-16le -t utf-8 <thefile.vtt> thenewfile.vtt (your existing filename goes into the < >’s and the newfile.vtt is the destination file for the fixed encoding. The command will create this)

  • We then took thenewfile.vtt and attempted to use it as the translation file and it worked without issue

This entirely fixed the issue and I wanted to share this guide incase anyone else runs into this with translation files in .vtt format. I also learned a lot of the above from this third-party guide here on SuperUser. If anyone would like to share similar commands for Windows or Linux, etc, feel free :)

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