YouTube adds video captions
English-language video clips will be captioned automatically, in a move designed to make the site more accessible for the deaf or hearing-impaired.
YouTube has announced that every English-language video uploaded to the site will be captioned automatically.
The move means that Britain’s nine million deaf or hearing-impaired people will be able to access YouTube’s ever-increasing range of films and videos.
Google stressed that the roll-out of the service is only just beginning, and that the automatic software is imperfect.
Video owners will be allowed to download the transcript for their content and then improve them where necessary.
Based on the technology that powers Google Voice Search, the captions will be most accurate if the video provides a clear audio track, but will, the company promises, be improved “every day”.
A button will allow users to request that existing videos be auto-captioned as soon as possible, and once they have been processed the captions will be available at the click of a button at the bottom right of the video player.
Emma Harrison, the Royal National Institute for the Deaf’s director of external affairs, welcomed the feature.
“Captioning will significantly help people with a hearing loss understand video content and increase their ability to share experiences of watching those in which speech plays a prominent part,” she said.
"We believe that all on-demand content should be accessible and RNID will continue lobbying hard to ensure that people with a hearing loss have better opportunities to enjoy subtitled videos, movies and television programmes.”