This page is outdated. After Poodll filter 3.1.1 (October 2018) there is an updated way of making interactive subtitles. See here:

Poodll can do interactive transcripts using special templates.

Interactive Video

Interactive video player

Interactive Audio

Interactive transcript audio

The subtitle/captions/text are encoded in a specially formatted text file (.vtt). Modern HTML5 media players are able to work with VTT files to produce subtitles. In the interactive transcript the VTT file is used to create a sort of super subtitle feature. 

The method of making video transcripts is very similar to making audio interactive transcripts. You will need:

  • An mp3 audio or mp4 video file (webm will probably work too)
  • A VTT subtitle file
  • The Video JS Audio transcript template (for audio)
  • The Video JS Video transcript template (for video)
  • The Remove Link template

Did you say "template?"

Poodll has a special template system for working with players and widgets in Moodle. Templates are predefined packages of HTML, CSS and javascript that produce things like tab sets, audio players and lightboxes. Read more about them here. Anyway we have some special ones to make these interactive transcripts.

By default they won't be visible on your Moodle/Poodll installation. But its easy to create them from presets.

Create from "presets?"

From the templates menu at : Site admin -> Plugins -> Filters -> Poodll -> Templates

Choose an empty template and choose a preset from the dropdown at the top of the page.

Once you have done that, the fields in the page will be filled in for you. Just scroll to the bottom and save. You will want to make 3 different templates from presets:

  • Interactive transcript video
  • Interactive transcript audio
  • Remove link

If you run out of blank settings pages see here.

Start handling file extensions

Poodll templates can act on  links in the html area if they are set up to handle that file extension. So if Poodll is handling mp4 or mp3 links, then it will apply a template to the link. These templates are called player templates.  In this exercise it makes sense to upload an mp4(or mp3) file, and a vtt file. So we will use player templates. 

We will tell Moodle to :

- send mp3 links to the Interactive transcript audio template

- send mp4 links to the Interactive transcript video template

- send vtt links to the Remove link template

Since most audio and video on your site won't have interactive transcripts, in this case we will apply the templates activity by activity.  But it is possible to do the same thing course or site wide.

Add the VTT file extension

By default Poodll doesn't know about vtt files. It knows about mp4 and mp3 and pdf, but vtt is not really mainstream. So we need to add that file extension. In this page we explain how to tell Poodll about new file extensions.

The only reason we do this is so that the VTT file link on the page is not seen by the user. The remove link template can do that. Users only want to see the subtitles not the link. The subtitles will be handled by the interactive transcript template. The remove link template just tidies it all up by removing the vtt file link. We add the vtt file extension to Poodll, so that it can "handle" it and apply the "Remove link" template.

Apply templates to extensions

Each activity in Moodle has its own filters page. Its a really cool feature that almost no plugins use. But believe us, its useful. Poodll has a special "per-activity" settings page for file extension to template matching. From the activity's settings menu choose Filters.

And then the Poodll filter settings

Here match:

  • mp4 --> Interactive transcript video
  • mp3 --> Interactive transcript audio

  • vtt --> Remove link

Finally we are ready

Upload a video and a vtt file to the html area of the activity we  have been using,. Be sure that the video and subtitle files have the same filename but a different file extension, eg bigvideo.mp4 and bigvideo.vtt

When you upload be sure to simply embed the link to the files, not to embed the player itself. 


Press save and tada .... you should have interactive transcripts.