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Guidelines: Embedded Metadata in WebVTT Files

This document defines guidelines for embedding metadata in headers of WebVTT files, also known as the Web Video Text Tracks Format, for the carriage of caption and timecode data. The WebVTT format is standardized by W3C and is a time-indexed, text-based file format that is intended for marking up external text track resources in connection with the HTML track element, specifically HTML 5.

While discussing considerations of audiovisual accessibility in the federal context, FADGI members recognized that provenance, administrative history, and contextual information was often lacking from WebVTT captions, subtitles, and descriptive audio files. Inspired by past recommendations for DPX and BWF metadata, FADGI established this simple set of metadata for WebVTT files. The fields and values help patrons and collection administrators understand what kind of data a WebVTT contains, from where it came, and when, where, and how it was made.

Current Version

Guidelines for Embedding Metadata in WebVTT Files, (PDF 153 KB). Version 1.0. June 7, 2024.

Please send comments to [email protected]. Comments and resolutions are documented in the FADGI WebVTT Comments table.

Previous Versions

Guidelines for Embedding Metadata in WebVTT Files, (PDF 232 KB). Version 0.1. April 15, 2024. Draft released for public comment through June 1, 2024.

Subgroup Members (in alphabetical order)

Architect of the Capitol:
Farnsworth, Claralyn Burt

Library of Congress:
Davis, Laura
Hosale, Charlie
Kim, Julia
Morel, Morgan
Murray, Kate

National Archives and Records Administration:
Holmstrom, Heidi

National Library of Medicine:
Calle, Danielle

Smithsonian Institution:
Hockstein, Dan
McDowell, Blake
Sanchez, Crystal
Sobers, Kira
Trizna, Mike

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Working Groups

Still Image Working Group
This group is involved in a cooperative effort to develop common digitization guidelines for still image materials.

Audio-Visual Working Group
This group works collaboratively on common and sustainable technical guidelines, methods, and practices for digitized and born digital sound recordings and moving images.

Last Updated: 06/07/2024