Google Video and YouTube were first equipped with captions and subtitles back in September of 2006. Although this was a big leap toward accessibility, there were still many flaws to be sorted out. On November 19, Google’s official blog revealed that they now offer automatic captions, or auto-caps. Google implements a technology called automatic speech recognition that machine-generates captions for videos. For those who still wish to add captions manually, there is a feature called automatic caption timing that uses that same recognition technology to attach captions at the right time.
Google admits that auto-caps still aren’t perfect. They provide an example of a mistake in this video:
The blog also highlights the improvements that have been made since the release of auto-caps. For example, when captions first became available for Google Video and YouTube, they could only run with a Flash player. Only a handful of videos contained captions, and a lot of bugs still existed, reducing the overall quality of the video. Now, auto-caps provide real-time captions, automatic translation to other languages, and automatic timing for ease of editing videos.
Check out The New York Times
‘ for an in depth article featuring deaf engineer Ken Harrenstien, who helped develop the auto-caps. Head over to Last Click News
to see what this may mean for search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.