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Why are my captions showing an error when uploaded? What does "Invalid byte sequence in UTF-8" mean?

Overview

With Vidyard's Closed Captioning services, you are able to add your content in a number of ways. One of these is the ability to upload your own SRT or VTT files.

Symptom

When you upload a file, an error appears stating that there is an invalid byte sequence in UTF-8. The only option from here is to delete the file.

Highlighting the Error shows a message saying invalid byte sequence in UTF-8

Cause

Although the file may have the correct extension (SRT / VTT), the type of file encoding could still be incompatible. UTF-8 is the dominant character encoding for the World Wide Web, and is a requirement for caption files loaded into Vidyard. Some text editing programs being used to save the caption content do not make it clear what type of encoding a file will end up with.

Solution

To correct the issue, it is recommended to use a text editor that has encoding options, such as Sublime for Mac OS, or Notepad++ for Windows. When the SRT/VTT is open, ensure that the following is checked before saving:

Sublime will offer to set the encoding to UTF-8 as part of the save process. Use the 'Save with Encoding' option:

Sublime for Mac has a menu option under 'File' for 'Save with Encoding' and then 'UTF-8'

Notepad++ has an option to set the encoding before the save process via the Encoding menu:

In Notepad++, select 'Encoding' and the 'Encode in UTF-8'. Correct encoding can be seen in the bottom panel

Once the file has been resaved with UTF-8 encoding, uploading the file again will resolve the error.

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