In an attempt to solve the language and accent problems associated with online videos, BufferInfinite provides a free software product which when installed, would add the subtitles to the videos currently being watched. One of the greatest things about the project is that they bring this subtitling service right on the Youtube/DailyMotion site. There is no extra effort required to be put in by the user. By using the latest language translators they also make it possible for users to see the subtitles in their native languages.Today, the company provides subtitles to more than 30,000 videos which include English songs, TV series, lecture videos of top institutes like MIT and Harvard and Bollywood songs. Head-quartered in Gurgaon, the company has centers in Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
A B.Tech. from Indian Institute of Technology (Roorkee), Shivank Agarwal tells YourStory.in more about his project.
Shivank, what exactly is the vision of BufferInfinite?
At BufferInfinite, we try to make videos as accessible to users as possible. We do this by making it:
- Platform Independent: Most of the websites you look at today are developed according to the needs of PCs. Websites become even more PC specific when they have videos embedded in them. The heavy flash interface accompanied with bulky video files is highly unsuited for mobile environments. We work closely with enterprises to make their web pages more adaptable to the environment. So whether the user is on Android, IOS, WP7 mobiles, or Apple and Google TV, he would see the website customized according to the hardware.
- Language Independent: By embedding subtitles in the native language of the users.
- Highly customizable. Using our APIs, our users and clients can customize the video player according to their needs.
How does the entire process work?
We maintain the database of the subtitle files on our BufferInfinite server. We have developed software which makes the process of creating the subtitle files and uploading to our server very easy. We provide this software to a third party and outsource the subtitling job to them.
What triggered this idea and when did you start working on it?
During my stay in IIT Roorkee, I found it difficult to understand the lecture videos of Harvard especially when the accent was British or Chinese. So the obvious question that came to my mind is why not subtitle the videos? One of the obvious solutions was to download the videos, subtitle them and then re-upload them. Now this approach has 2 downsides. First, is that the law does not permit us to upload a video unless we own the rights of that video. Secondly, even if we somehow upload the subtitled version of the video, users will keep watching the original video which already has a larger number of views and hence a better rank in Google search. So another solution was to subtitle the already uploaded video. This prompted us to write a software which could add subtitles dynamically to the video currently being watched on websites like Youtube and DailyMotion.
I started working on the project and came up with the first prototype a year ago, when I was in the final semester of my B.Tech. degree.
How has the response been so far?
The product got equally good responses from users and the corporate world. We are already in talks with organizations and content providers to make our service reach out to as many people as possible. For this, we have to make sure that our service is available on multiple platforms and in multiple languages.
Who are the various stakeholders involved in the process and how does your revenue model work?
The stakeholders are content providers (of video and audio files), third party subtitling companies and investors.
At present, we monetize by selling our products and services to our clients. We provide easily customizable video solutions to our clients. Our video solutions ensure that the websites of our users with the video content work well on all platforms and are not restricted to PCs. We also provide on demand subtitling services to our clients. Our on demand subtitling service lets our clients integrate our inbuilt custom player to their website to play the videos with subtitles. Our player automatically displays the subtitles in the local language of the requesting user.
We are working towards making our subtitling service subscription based. The subscription periods will be 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and 24 months.
Finally, how does it feel to be an NSIH Winner?
There are occasions when you cannot express your feelings in words. Being an NSIH winner is one of those occasions. Getting recognized is always the greatest return of your hard work and a source of constant motivation.
How do you think NSIH will make a difference in your growth?
We knew that we have a great product in our hands. NSIH has provided us a much-needed platform where we can showcase our product to the corporate world. We are thankful to NSIH for giving us an opportunity to work hand in hand with some big players in the industry.