Now You Can Read Along With That YouTube Video


The auto-captioning is the culmination of several years of work by Google: In 2008, it introduced captioning and in November of last year, it introduced auto-captioning.

According to a YouTube blog, written by Hiroto Tokusei, product manager, the auto-captions will be available to everyone who's interested in using them. A "request processing" button will allow video owners of uncaptioned videos to speed up the availability of auto-captions. YouTube is also working to provide auto-captions for all past user uploads, but with 20 hours of video uploaded every minute, it may take a bit of time to accomplish that task, the blog noted.

Not every video is a good candidate for auto-captioning, however. A clearly spoken audio track is ideal, while videos with background noise or muffled voices are not. Even with a "perfect" candidate, Tokusei noted that, "Auto-captions aren't perfect and just like any other transcription, the owner of the video needs to check to make sure they're accurate. In other cases, the audio file may not be good enough to generate auto-captions."

Tokusei added that the speech-recognition technology would continue to improve over time and urged users to be "patient."

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