How can we get closed captioning for short videos or previews?

jo May 18, 2011
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How do you secure closed captioning for YouTube or other previews, such as Oprah’s interview of Ralph Lauren? We need captioning for millions of people, but short videos on CNN or otherwise leave us out. Please advise. Jo

  1. Smayonak
    May 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    This is actually a fairly complex topic - streaming media uses a different technology for displaying captioning than for analog or digital television. A lot of users assume that, since the captioning was available on TV, it should automatically be available on streaming video.

    Unfortunately, because teletext (AKA embedded television closed captioning) is embedded within the video signal, it can't easily be extracted. Thus, all that text needs to be retyped, or recovered from the original source (the closed captioning company), before it can be inserted into the streaming media.Only a few online services offer closed captioning for streaming videos - in particular, Hulu and Netflix, but only on select titles, not for previews. Last I checked, Netflix claimed it was on track to have 80% of its streaming library captioned by the end of 2011/early 2012 which is currently the leading company in providing such a service. On the other hand, Hulu, (according to what I've read) converts its television captioning into the format used in streaming media through through a third party.OK, so finally getting to your question, can preview videos get captioning? Kinda.YouTube might be the service you're looking for, since it offers a feature that transcribes audio into text and then displays it as captioning. However, this service is in beta, which means it's far from perfect. The audio recognition software that YouTube uses, however, gets better all the time. In a few years from now, it will probably be far more usable. Right now, it recognizes between 80% and 50% (depending on the speaker, even less) of the words that someone uses. To turn it on, look at the tool bar at the bottom of the YouTube video - there's a "CC" option. Click on it. Then choose "Transcribe Audio".

  2. William Falls Jr
    May 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Unfortunately, the videos will have to be embedded with the code for the closed captioning decoder to work and display what is be said in the videos/clipps.  Most videos, especially on YouTube, are not embedded with the required coding.  Hopefully, someone will fix this problem so that everyone can enjoy what is being posted.