Monday, January 26, 2015

Uploading a Transcript File to Create Accurate Captions on YouTube

If you have a video transcribed (meaning the audio has been typed out by a person), YouTube does a great job time syncing the text to create captions. This saves the tedious step of having to click whenever new text should come up (aka, add the time stamps). There are a few odd parts of this process, so I thought I'd write up instructions that are more helpful than what I could find online

1. If your transcript is in a Word file (.docx), save it as a .txt (go to "Save As" and it will be an option in the list). When you do this, an important step is to check the box for "allow character substitution" so that your apostrophes, ellipses, dashes, etc. upload properly and don't show up as question marks within black diamonds. I'm using Word 2013. Took me a while to figure that out.

2. When your video is up on YouTube, click the CC button below the video player (highlighted in yellow below).

This video is about D2L - hope that's not confusing
3. It will prompt you to choose your language. Then click "Add new subtitles or CC" on the top right.

4. You'll be prompted to choose your language again, then choose Upload a File if you do have a file. 

5. On the next screen, choose Transcript if you have a text file without any time stamps in it (just a big paragraph of text). Make sure it is saved as a .txt file with the box checked to allow character substitution as shown above. 

6. Navigate to the correct .txt file and upload it. 

7. On the next screen, scroll through the text that was uploaded to make sure it uploaded correctly and then click the blue button for Set Timings in the bottom right. 

If you see something like the screenshot below, you'll need to save the file as a .txt and/or check the box to allow character substitutions. 

8. This is where it gets weird. You'll click Set timings and think "ok, so I guess that's done?" because it just goes to what looks like a previous screen. Actually, there is a slight change - it now says "setting timings" in the bottom box. 

9. Click on "setting timings" to continue through this process. You can then hit play on the video to preview what the captions will be like and you can adjust them if you want. However, you will probably marvel at what a great job it did. 

10. Make sure to hit Publish in the bottom right. If it's all good, you'll see the blue "Subtitles published" notification as in the screenshot below. 

11. Go to the video's page and check it again.  If you see the three lines on each side, that means your captions didn't work and YouTube is taking a stab at creating captions with their voice recognition software, which is usually not good (I highlighted them in the screenshot below). 

Another option: 
If you don't have a file with your text all typed up, it may sometimes be handy to let YouTube take a stab at transcribing the video and edit what it comes up with. You can do this by clicking on "English - Automatic" up in step #3. If you click Edit you can go through and modify what YouTube has done. If you speak clearly, this may work well. I usually can't have my student transcriptionist do it this way because we don't have access to the YouTube accounts of the videos being transcribed.