YouTube Now Allowing For Captions

    August 28, 2008

Here are a few quick observations: not everyone speaks the same language.  Not everyone has perfect hearing.  And some people like to goof off at work without alerting the rest of the office.  To address all these issues, YouTube has introduced a new captioning feature.

Like so many of Google’s products, the feature works pretty intuitively.  Users can click on a button at the bottom right of a video to pull up the letters "CC."  Clicking on them lets folks turn captions on and off, and an arrow to the left leads to the different language options available.

John Lilly
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Assuming the video’s creator has followed a straightforward step, anyway.  The YouTube Blog explains, "You can add captions to one of your videos by uploading a closed caption file using the ‘Captions and Subtitles’ menu on the editing page.  To add several captions to a video, simply upload multiple files."

The brief walkthrough then continues, "If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language.  There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption."

Partners such as BBC Worldwide, CNET, UC Berkeley, and MIT are already participating.  We expect that the captions will be used to make YouTube’s search results more accurate, and they may also play a part in ad targeting or the development of speech-to-text software.