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Access and Inclusion through Technology

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Putting YouTube AutoCaption Feature through its paces

March 6, 2010
I saw the announcement from YouTube that the initial trials of the machine genrated captions had been well received so they were making the service available to all users. Great timing, I was just working on completing my first videocasts for YouTube using xtranormal state to create a virtual animated AT show.

The AT show used a range of voices, some synthesised, a recording of me and the audio from embedded videos, So to be honest I wasnt expecting much. But I hate captioning so was willing to give it a go. The actual download of the machine generated caption file is really easy - just click on the option when you look at editting your video. 

The file that downloaded has a combination of timings and machine generated text. The timings are extremely useful and seemed about 90% accurate for matching to the on screen speech. The actual text is a mish mash of very accurate transcription and complete nonsense. But editting the existing file is a huge timesaver for me as opposed to creating the file from scratch.

I loaded the YouTube file into Magpie 2 the open source caption editor - all the timings loaded and I then editted each line as I played back my original video. The whole thing took me aboout 90 minutes to do the best part of 20 minutes of video - for me that is a huge time saving. 

Really importantly all the tools I needed were free and were really easy to use - which for a man of little brain like myself is a major asset. 

Have a look at the final productions below 






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