Funny how sometimes things come in waves. I had been reading recently about Google doing automated transcriptions of YouTube files... Then I got an email from a subscriber asking me for info on captioning a video for hearing impaired... then just this week Brad Andersohn mentioned captioning in YouTube in his most excellent video webinar on Zillow Academy, highly recommended - be sure and go check out his schedule. (but only after you first finish reading my post, of course!)
So that was enough,
I had to figure it out now! So I did.
I recently did a screencast where I was demonstrating working with photos in your blog posts. I thought that since it had been online a little while, "I wonder if Google has transcribed it yet?" When you go into YouTube and then into My Videos and the Edit a specific video, you will see tabs across the top of the video page. One tab is labeled "Captions & Subtitles." On that page, you will be able to download a text file that is a .sbv type.
In this file, you will see blocks of text and each block will be headed by a pair of time codes. The pair of times is the h:m:s (hours, minutes, seconds) marker for start and stop. And it is such a good thing Google does all this time calculation for us! It would be time prohibitive task to tackle closed captioning on our own if we had to scrub though our videos and mark all these time codes out!! Now looking at the file again, notice that under the in/out time header the caption text to display is there. you can see below what this looks like.
To edit the .sbv file, simply drop it into a basic text editor (e.g. notepad for windows). What I did is then set up two windows stacked top and bottom - text editor window and video playback window. As I played back the video, I corrected a word here or there that Google bots transcribed wrong. In my case, they did a very good job probably at about 80% accurate. Accuracy will vary greatly on the audio quality and enunciation and pace of the speaker. In my corrections, I wasn't overly precise to make sure the transcript had every proper capitalization or punctuation. For minimalizing time on the task, I concentrated on the obvious corrections that affected meaning ("act of rain" to activerain, etc, some of the google bot guesses can be humorous)
Once you have corrected the text file, you go back to the YouTube page where you downloaded and you can upload it as a validated captions file that you wish to make available to your viewers.
Captioning accomplishes two important things and is thus worth your consideration for taking this extra step. (1) it helps the hearing impaired to be able to benefit from your content (2) it allows google to index the content of your video and is going to help you in video searches on a keyword topic that you are aiming to get ranked for (so it is thus important to consider target keywords when you are formulating your script for keyword density as you would a blog post)
There you have it. Captioning is easy enough to do and worth considering.
If you want to watch a sample of my captioning work, you can see my Screencast #1 now with captions. (tip: the red CC icon on the bottom of the video toggles captioning on/off)
This article is in my Video Series. You can use that link to catch up on the other articles in the series.