Subtitle or caption editing on OS X

This is one of those things that you just wouldn’t expect to be so damn difficult: create SubRip .srt files for videos. My main use for this isn’t to subtitle foreign speech, or create subtitles for the hard of hearing. Rather, I just need to caption screencasts and I’d rather make it more accessible than printing text onto the video in ScreenFlow. I have use cases where it’d be very helpful to be able to do both Spanish and English captions and the user to get the one they need automatically. A lot of these screencasts are shared via Google Drive, so the YouTube-style captioning works well – if you can create the SubRip files.

There are tons of pretty awful apps out there for this, but I couldn’t find a single one that I would actually want to use – and that worked crash-free, with the video format I’m using, etc and so on.

For some reason, I hadn’t noticed that ScreenFlow can handle all this in situ. (Yes, doh.) It isn’t the smoothest implementation ever, but it’s usable. I don’t know why they don’t just allow the start/end times to be dragged, but there is a keyboard shortcut for it. Also, the caption track doesn’t work if there’s no audio in the project, which is annoying. Anyway, at the end of it, the SRT can be exported and on the one small test I did, works perfectly.

MacBook DVD swap-out

When I got my SSD installed in my MacBook, I swapped out the (defective) DVD for a caddy from Mac:Upgrades to house the original boot drive. This was completely unrecognised, but I didn’t have time to worry about it, so put the old boot disk in an external FW400 case and used the data from there. I assumed there must be something wrong with the ATA interface on my MacBook’s motherboard, which could explain the DVD not working.

Long story short, I popped open the MacBook and another almost identical one with working DVD and tried all the combinations of disks I could. The odd result of this is that the original boot disk was the only one that didn’t work in the caddy – every other drive I tried worked. Very odd. Anyway, I just put a different drive in the caddy and used its external case for my rebellious original boot disk. I can’t think of an explanation for that set of circumstances…

App Store not updating apps?

Mac App Store not updating your apps with “Please login to the account you purchased with” type errors? The simplest fix seems to be to just delete the app from your Applications folder. Refresh the Purchased page on the Mac App Store and now instead of Update, its button says “Install” (well, on mine it says “Instalar”, so whatever language you’re in.)

Seems to work consistently for me…

[Update: title changed to reflect how a human speaks…]