June 21, 2010

Why Web Video Captioning Is So Important

Greetings. The New York Times has published a good article about Web video captioning, which provides me with a convenient hook to briefly discuss this very important topic.

I can't emphasize enough why captioning is so vital for the entire Web. It provides the critical link between text and the audio layer of video presentations, not just for the crucial purpose of serving the hearing-impaired community, but also to enable video content search for all users (e.g., to find videos in the main Google index based on narration or dialogue), and to enable associated automated language translations for everyone.

Google's work in the area of YouTube videos "auto-captioning" is particularly fascinating, in far more ways than I can discuss here right now.

If you have videos on YouTube, I urge you to explore the various captioning control and enhancement options that are now present in your YouTube account video controls. In particular, the Google-provided auto-captioned transcripts can be used as the basis to manually "clean up" errors in the automated captions for videos, much more rapidly than videos could normally be captioned manually from scratch.

As I understand the current situation, the caption texts from purely auto-captioned videos are not currently included in YouTube/Google search results due to the perceived auto-captioning error rate (though in many, even most cases, that rate seems to be quite low). So it's important at this stage to "clean up" the auto-captions on your videos yourself whenever possible, so that your video captions can be integrated into the search databases.

Please let me know if you're interested in more information regarding this area.


Posted by Lauren at June 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Permalink
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