Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Captions for all: more options for your viewing and reading pleasure

Crossposted from the YouTube Official Blog.

Since we first announced caption support in 2006, YouTube creators have uploaded more than 1.6 million videos with captions, growing steadily each year. We’ve also enabled automatic captions for 135 million videos, more than tripling the number of captioned videos available since July 2011. YouTube and Google’s video accessibility team have been hard at work, and we wanted to let you know about some of our progress over the past few months:

For YouTube viewers

More languages: We now support automatic captions and transcript synchronization in Japanese, Korean, and English. Speech recognition for those languages makes it easier for video owners to create captions from a plain transcript. Video owners can also add captions and subtitles in 155 supported languages and dialects, from Afar to Zulu. In Movies and Shows, you can even find out which subtitle languages are available before deciding to rent.

Search for videos with captions: Looking for that great quote from a video on YouTube? Add ", cc" to any search, or after searching, click Filter > CC to only see results with closed captions.

Caption settings: While watching a video, you can change the way the captions look by clicking on the “CC” icon and then the “Settings...” menu item. This includes changing the font size or colors used, and we’re planning to make this available on other platforms and add more options soon. 

Broadcast caption support: If the channel owner provides a video caption file in a broadcast format, we now support its position and style information, just like you’d see on TV. This means the text can appear near the character who is speaking, italicized to indicate an off-camera narrator, or even scrolling if the original captions were generated in a real-time mode. Check out this little demo from CPC to see how it looks, or even watch a rental movie with captions like those available from The Walt Disney Studios.

For YouTube creators

More supported formats: YouTube now supports many of the common caption formats used by broadcasters, such as .SCC, .CAP, EBU-STL, and others. If you have closed captions that you created for TV or DVDs, we'll handle the conversion for you.

MPEG-2 caption import: If you upload an MPEG-2 video file that contains closed captions with CEA-608 encoding, we'll import the captions along with the video and create YouTube captions. For example, the nonprofit organization Public.Resource.Org recently added thousands of public domain videos with closed captions to YouTube, coming from government agencies like the National Archives. Here’s some insight from Carl Malamud, President, Public.Resource.Org:
Many of the DVDs and VHS tapes lying around in our vaults and attics--particularly those that were produced by governments and others that care about accessibility of their videos--already have Closed Captions embedded in them. Pulling that information out automatically and making it visible on YouTube means that these videos will continue to be accessible to new generations of viewers.

Along with the millions of people like myself who rely on captions and subtitles, we were very encouraged when the Federal Communications Commission published rules governing closed captioning requirements for video on the web, whether that’s to your computer, tablet, phone or other device. We hope these new regulations will drive captions closer to becoming ubiquitous for video everywhere, and in the meantime we’ll keep developing more ways for you to enjoy all the great channels on YouTube. 

Ken Harrenstien, software engineer, recently rented “Cars 2” and was ecstatic to see its awesome captions.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Get More Into: Big Day Out and the Australian music scene

Cross-posted from the YouTube Official Blog.

While those in the Northern hemisphere hit the slopes (Shaun White, anyone?) and anxiously await the first signs of spring, the Australian summer is all about the outdoors. Music lovers are flocking to the land down under where summer festival season is alive and rocking, and even more are coming to YouTube to catch all the sights and sounds. 

During the Australian Recording Industry Association awards, we asked a few of your favorite Aussie musicianswhat YouTube videos get them pumped up. We rang in the new year with a live streamed sustainable arts & music festival. And here, in the heart of summer 2012, we asked three of your favourite musicians in town for Big Day Outhow they get into music in YouTube

The Vaccines: all from different backgrounds & tastes and less than a year old as a band, see what live gigshelped inspire the boys from West London to record their first album in just under a month late last year:

The Living End: with six albums, each one a milestone, watch legendary Aussie rockers get into their favorite 80s anthems, from big wigs to big gigs:

Foster The People: From relative obscurity to one of the most talked about bands on the globe (to the tune of more than 63 million views on YouTube!) watch what mischievious musicians have inspired these pumped-up kicks through sold-out shows all across Australia:

So if you’re on a ski lift, by a fire, or just waiting around till the snow thaws...we hope you can enjoy a taste of the Aussie music summer, right here on YouTube. 

Ernesto Soriano III, YouTube Australia, recently watched “The Vaccines: Wetsuit instagram video.”

Friday, 24 February 2012

Game on: YouTube Creator Playbook Version 2 now available

This is a cross-post from The Official YouTube Blog.

When we first released the YouTube Creator Playbook with tips for succeeding on YouTube, things were a little different. You didn’t have all the new channel features, the homepage didn’t yet have a guide to help you find and follow to channels you like, and you were uploading 48 hours a minute. 

As we work on the site, we want to make sure you’re the first to know every tip and trick to succeed on YouTube, so today we’re launching version two of the YouTube Creator Playbook. In addition to these updates, almost every page includes your feedback (thank you!). Here’s a few of the key things to look for in the new version: 

New channel & homepage section
With the launch of our new channel pages and updated homepage, we’ve created a new section on how to organize your videos for different audiences, and how to program your channel to help you make the most of the feed on the YouTube homepage. 

Go global
Your channel reaches a global audience, so we’ve added a new section to help creators create, program, and optimize for audiences around the world. 

Updates to annotations, playlists, publishing and more
Your feedback and new features helped us update much of the playbook on topics like annotations, playlists & video responses and call to actions.

If you’re new to YouTube or the Creator Playbook, we’ve included a glossary to help you quickly learn all the site’s features, and the strategies, terms, and topics used in the playbook.

We hope this update to the YouTube Creator Playbook is a helpful tool if you’re just coming to YouTube for the first time, as well as help YouTube pros quickly learn new features to keep expanding your audience. We’ll be talking more about the new playbook during our Partner Meet-Up Livestream on at 5pm PT today.

Ryan Nugent, audience development strategist, recently watched “Rodrigo y Gabriela and C.U.B.A. - Area 52 Album Trailer.”