Captioning for the hearing impaired, the French and bots.

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On Nov 19, 2009, YouTube announced the Auto-caption and Auto Timing solutions. Captioning a video opens up your audience to the hearing impaired and can be used to translate your videos to other languages”“thus opening up your videos to much larger audiences. Simply find the “cc” button on the bottom right corner of your uploaded video and choose the “transcribe audio” button and let YouTube do the rest. The machine-generated translations aren’t perfect and work best when there’s a single speaker annunciating clearly. If you want total control of your captioning, YouTube offers Automatic Timing. This is where you supply a text version transcript and YouTube will use speech-to-text technology to place the captions in your video so that they sync up with your audio. My guess is that this technology will also be used to help index videos so that Google bots (and other search engine web crawlers) can read the videos in text format and index them like they do with other forms of content. All-in-all, a pretty powerful tool that opens up the possibility of videos to a whole new world. To get a more step-by-step guide on captioning and timing, visit google.com/accessibility or just click on the video below.

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