Whether they're used for the benefit of the hard of hearing, people who speak a different language, or just folks who want to watch videos while at work or in a library, captions can be helpful in all sorts of circumstances. And now, captions should become much more common, as all YouTube users will be able to take advantage of an auto-caption tool.
This tool is designed to work on all English-language clips that have relatively decent audio. A "request processing" button will be available for content creators who want to minimize a processing delay, and after the English caption has been created, they'll have the option to translate it into any of about 50 languages.
Interesting, right? Popular, too, if YouTube's predictions prove correct (see the graph below).
The one slight catch (aside from the English-only and audio quality restrictions touched on earlier) relates to accuracy; YouTube's making no guarantees that its captions will be perfect. But content creators will have the option of editing the captions, so this is hardly a dealbreaker.
A YouTube representative assured WebProNews in an email, "This is an exciting moment for us and represents a culmination of 3 years of work at Google and YouTube. Auto-Captions for everyone represents one of the largest projects of its kind and will open up millions of YouTube videos to deaf and hard-of-hearing."