YouTube Annotations And Subtitles: What’s The Difference?

YouTube Annotations And Subtitles: What’s The Difference?

Annotations are a great way to use text in addition to the audio of the video. Subtitles are a great way to transcribe the audio from the video to a textual format so that it can be read. But how can you tell the difference annotations and subtitles? In this article, we will describe annotations and subtitles, and describe the differences between them.


Annotations are textual effects that are added to a video. This text may be simply define what is being said or sung in the video, or it may be something totally different. Song lyrics are sometimes added as annotations. VH1 Pop Up Videos is a great example of how annotations can be used. Little balloons pop up frequently during the video, with text that has informative, and sometimes humorous, facts and tidbits of information.

Subtitles (Captions)

Subtitles, or captions, are very useful for many people. Sometimes people want to watch video with the volume down or off. Some videos have audio which is not easily discernible, and subtitles allow the user to know what us being said. Subtitles are especially useful for hearing-disabled people, as this may be the only way they can effective watch a video and know what is being spoken.

The differences between annotations and subtitles

The difference between annotations and subtitles can be confusing, as they both can simply be described as text added to videos, and sometimes they can actually be the same thing. Subtitles are the easiest to understand, as they are simply captions of the text from the video being transcribed. Once you understand this, you can simply reason that everything else is considered to be annotations.

For instance, if you create little popup balloons with the words that are being spoken or sung in the video, this would actually be considered annotations rather than subtitles, even though it's basically conveying the same information in both cases. However, if you are going to go this route, I would suggest that you also create a subtitles file in case you decide to change certain aspects of the video later. Annotations can be removed, but then there will be no captioning at all unless you create subtitles.

How to download subtitles and annotations

The 4K Video Downloader makes it simple to download subtitles, and annotations as well. For example, you can download annotations and subtitles as a .srt file, which can then be used for videos which are uploaded to YouTube, burned to DVD or viewed digitally. If you prefer embedded subtitles, the 4K Video Downloader allows users to embed the subtitles or annotations into the video.

The 4K Video Downloader is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The best part is that it is FREE, and is guaranteed to be 100% safe and free of viruses, spyware, malware, etc.