Convert a Text Transcript to Captions for a Kaltura Video


Kaltura users have the ability to upload a text-only transcript to an entry and have the system generate a time-based caption file that will display while the video plays. 

While Kaltura users can edit their captions either by using Kaltura's web-based editor or by downloading the captions and editing them on their computer, they can also choose to work with a text-only version (without any timecodes) use Kaltura's "machine alignment" feature to have it generate timings for a new caption file, which will display the words on screen at the appropriate time while the video is being played. 

This feature is available to all Kaltura users at UC San Diego (faculty, students, staff, etc.). A transcript can be uploaded in either Canvas or MediaSpace. 

Critical Concepts

What's the Difference between Captions and Transcripts?

A visual comparison of a caption file and a transcript file.

Sometimes the terms "captions" and "transcripts" are used interchangeably, but there are meaningful differences, particularly within the context of media management. While both contain a textual representation of words spoken during a video, here's where they diverge:

Kaltura generates its transcripts based on the captions. So if you edit the captions, the changes will be reflected in the transcript. The transcript can be found in a widget below the player when viewing a video in My Media, a Media Gallery, or a MediaSpace channel. Most embedded videos use the transcript widget as well. The nice thing about Kaltura's transcript widget is that it will highlight the text that's currently being spoken, and you can click on parts of it to jump to that part in the video.

Things to Keep in Mind

Known Issues

Steps to Take

Uploading a transcript can be done in either Canvas or MediaSpace. Follow steps 1 and 2 depending on where you want to perform the action.

In CanvasIn MediaSpace
  1. Log into Canvas.
    1. Go to
    2. Enter your active directory credentials.
  2. Within Canvas, click My Media in the left navigation.
  1. Log into MediaSpace.
    1. Go to
    2. Click the profile icon at the top right of the page and select Login.
    3. Enter your active directory credentials.
  2. Click the profile icon again and select My Media.
  1. Find the entry in question and click on its thumbnail.
  2. Under the media player, click Actions and select + Caption & Enrich from the menu that appears.
  3. In the "Order Captions & Enrichment Services" section that populates below, ensure that the following options are selected:
    1. Service: Machine
    2. Source Media Language: English
    3. Feature: Alignment
  4. Click Upload txt.
  5. Click + Select File.
  6. Locate and select the transcript on your computer and click Open.
  7. Enter a title and description for the transcript if desired. (These are optional.) They'll be visible if you or viewers click on the "attachments" tab under the media player.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Select the radio button for the text file you just uploaded.
  10. Click Submit.

 screenshot of the "caption and enrich" options.

The confirmation message "Your request has been received. Your video will automatically be updated upon completion."

You should see a message appear indicating that your request has been received.

You'll receive an email notification once the machine alignment process is complete. The process will create a new set of captions that will become the default captions for the entry. It will also hide any machine captions from viewers that were previously visible in the player.

If you still have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact us at