According to sources, one of these buttons has been on YouTube videos for maybe 18 months, and I never clicked it, can you guess?

That one on the right, looks like a menu?

Quick quiz, what does it do?

I’ve seen it for a while and shamefully never clicked.

Woah Neo, woah.

It’s “Interactive Transcripts”- for a while YouTube has been automatically adding machine transcription to videos, meaning it is guessing at a transcript. Often, it is horrible, but as we see below, you can correct it. Why do it? For one thing, it allows your videos to be captioned, meaning you improve accessibility for the hearing impaired.

But, wait, there is more. It provides navigation within videos!

I tried it on a video I had done for ds106:

(click image for full size version)

(1) When I click the magic button…
(2) The transcript opens.
(3) If I click any line in the transcript, the video jumps to that location

Maybe it is just me, but that seems pretty damned useful!

Yes, look at the line I selected in the screen capture:

World vegetable day make a footer that celebrates the holiday so how people do

I cannot recall the video exactly, but a lot of the transcription is pretty crappy (or humorous).

But you can easily fix the bad transcripts, when you edit your video, click Annotations then Captions. On the right side, you will see a link for “Machine Transcription”. Open this, and you have access to edit the wrong words right in place:

For example, the very first one should not be:

love missus allen conduct and i’ll give
you a little walk-through on how to use

So I can edit it ro be

Hello, this is Alan (Cogdog) and i’ll give
you a little walk-through on how to use

Or you can download the entire transcript file (*.sbv), edit it as plain text, and upload it as a new caption. That’s what I did to clean up the transcript on this video showing how to use SoundCloud for the ds106 Daily Creates:

(click image above for full size version)

So you get the interactive transcript for navigating anywhere in the video AND closed captioning.

It’s a thing we need to do more often with our videos, and YouTube’s editor makes it pretty easy to get both gains.

Oh, and I am already brewing a new ds106 assignment that would involving telling a different story via the captioning.

If this kind of stuff has any value, please support me monthly on Patreon or a one time PayPal kibble toss
Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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