Sunday, 31 August 2008

YouTube: Edinburgh's Virtual Venue

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has a deserved reputation for featuring the best the comedy circuit has to offer. From first-timers to established names, every August the talent heads to Scotland to improvise, present new material and brave late-night variety shows in pursuit of laughs, ticket sales and critical acclaim.

This year some of the key festival venues, including The Underbelly, The Gilded Balloon and The Pleasance enabled performers to film their sets and upload them to YouTube. These have been pulled together at the Edinburgh Comedy channel (introduced by the inimitable Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre:

The page includes excerpts from Funny Women Fringe Award winner Bridget Christie, 2008 Malcolm Hardee Award recipient Edward Aczel and finalist in the hard-fought Best Newcomer category Pippa Evans. So what are you waiting for? Get clicking for some of the best stand-up on offer at Edinburgh this year.

Have fun,

The YouTube Team

Saturday, 30 August 2008

New Captions Feature For Videos

Here at YouTube, we're always trying to find new ways to enrich your viewing experience and to help video creators reach a wider audience. As part of this goal, we've added a new captioning feature which allows you to give viewers a deeper understanding of your video. Captions can help people who would not otherwise understand the audio track to follow along, especially those who speak other languages or who are deaf and hard of hearing.

You can add captions to one of your videos by uploading a closed caption file using the "Captions and Subtitles" menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, simply upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language. There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption. If a video includes captions, you can activate them by clicking the menu button located on the bottom right of the video player. Clicking this button will also allow viewers to choose which captions they want to see.

Some of our partners have already started using captions to offer you a better understanding of their videos (even with the audio turned off):

- BBC Worldwide: captions are provided in five different languages on this clip from Top Gear.

- CNET: tech product reviews from CNET's Crave blog.

- UC Berkeley: footage from the Opencast Project Open House.

- MIT: full lectures on subjects like Physics.

- Gonzodoga: English subtitles on this awesome Japanese animation.

We hope captions will serve to tighten the YouTube community by bringing together international users from different cultures.

We're excited to see what kinds of fun and creative uses for captions you'll be coming up with for your videos!

For more information about how to use captions, visit this page.

The YouTube Team

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Video Annotations Now Display On Embeds

Just so you know, the same annotations feature shown on YouTube videos is now visible on our embedded player. We're excited to finally release annotations on embeds, especially since this feature has been requested frequently in your feedback since our initial launch. Annotations bring an interactive element to your videos, and now you can reach an even larger audience when you embed your annotated videos on other sites. You can give your viewers more background and add commentary with speech bubbles, notes and spotlights, and by adding links to any YouTube video, channel, or search results page.

'Hug the world' is a stellar example of the many different ways you can use annotations to optimize your videos:

We've already seen an extraordinary amount of creative uses of this feature and we encourage video creators across all YouTube sites to continue using annotations.

For more information about how to use annotations on YouTube, visit this page.

The YouTube Team

Friday, 8 August 2008

Beijing From All Angles

For the next 16 days, the eyes of the world will be on Beijing and the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. Several of our premier news providers will be there, too, on the ground in China creating feature pieces, photo montage videos, human interest stories and cultural tours of the city. If the athletic competition isn't necessarily your thing but you're still curious about what's going on over there, we've created a central hub of Summer Games content from these providers here.

On the Summer Games channel, you'll find the latest news from Associated Press, daily round-ups and a photographer's journal from Getty Images, in-depth feature pieces from Reuters, Euronews, France 24 and The New York Times, and unique, up-close-and-personal views of life in Beijing from Travel Channel, GroundReport and, of course, SexyBeijingTV.

Here's a preview from Getty Images:

When the Olympics end on August 24, check back to our Summer Games channel in early September for video from the Beijing Paralympic Games, where the magnificent Oscar Pistorius will be running in a hotly contested 100-metres and other athletes will be competing for gold on the world stage.


Andrew B.

YouTube Sports

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The YouTube Screening Room: New Features, New Films

With over five million views and counting, the films featured in The YouTube Screening Room since its launch a little over a month ago seem to be holding your attention as much as they've held ours. This program, designed to connect those of you looking for original, compelling film content with talented filmmakers seeking out new audiences, continues to grow and we thank you for your many comments, ratings and messages.

Today, we're pleased to announce two new features, based on your feedback, and four new films. First up: we've launched an easier way to leave comments on films. You'll now find that you can directly link to a film's comments from The YouTube Screening Room landing page by clicking on the blue hypertext Comments number. Second: those of you who wanted a reminder to check out new films every two weeks can now subscribe to The YouTube Screening Room and get updates in your Subscriptions box when new films are featured. To subscribe, just click on the button on the top right side of the "Featured Films" box.

On to the new round of films! This diverse selection of shorts tackles wide-ranging subjects, including how mannequins contribute to female body image, the journey of Polish émigrés, avian interstellar conquest, and the interconnectedness of urban life. They include an Academy Award winner, a Palme d'Or winner, and a Tribeca Film Festival Honourable Mention…

And if you missed a previously featured film, no need to fret! Visit The YouTube Screening Room archives, located at the bottom of the page, to catch up.

Don't forget the popcorn,

Sara P.

YouTube Film