With 20 hours of video uploaded every minute it would be an understatement to say YouTube has a challenge captioning all the content that is shown on the site. On top of that studies predict over 700 million people will suffer from a hearing impairment bu 2015. This is why YouTube has now opened auto-captioning to all users (for English video’s that is). The functionality has been in beta since November 2008 for a selected group of users and the technology is based on that of YouTube’s owner, Google (Voice search).
There are a number of things users can do. First of all you can auto-caption new video’s they upload. You can also press a button that requests processing for previously uploaded video’s that are uncaptioned. It’s then possible to download the automatically generated text, and correct and adjust it to suit your needs. While the auto captioning is in English only the downloaded text can be auto-translated into 50 languages and re-uploaded onto YouTube.
YouTube warns that auto captions are not perfect and will reqquire a clear soundtrack with limited background noise. The company also says it will take some time before all video’s are captioned.
This implementation of technology brings the full experience of video’s to a whole new audience. With speech recognition improving steadily here’s a great opportunity for producers and users of video content to reach this new audience at reduced costs.
Picture: Stock Exchange | Typewriter | Kriss-Szkurlatowski