Now You Can Closed-Caption Your Google Videos!

Screenshot of my original captioned Google Video
Screenshot of my captioned Google Video.

[Update: Above is a screenshot I saved before my video went away. As of April 29, 2011, videos uploaded to Google Video will no longer play.]

This is my first Google video, and my first video with closed captioning. Click on the little “CC” icon to watch the captions.

I must say I’m a bit frustrated by the fact that there’s no sound in the video even though I uploaded the video with sound. I uploaded it as a QuickTime movie (.MOV). I don’t know if that made the difference or not. If anyone can help me make sure the videos I upload retain their audio track, please leave a comment. It was also a bit frustrating that the captioning did not appear as soon as Google said it was finished “processing” my video. I waited about 15-20 minutes for the captions to appear when I played the video (I kept refreshing), but it was after midnight and I really had to go to bed. In the morning, at about 6:30 AM, I watched my video again, and the captions were there.

Anyway, this was a successful experiment from the standpoint of captioning. The one mistake I made was typing one of my time codes with a period, rather than a colon, between the minutes and seconds. This made the time code show up in the captions. I corrected the captioning text and re-uploaded it.

For those interested in captioning, what I did was open a new file in BBEdit, and typed in my captions using the SubViewer format described in this Google Video Help Center Topic: How do I enter captions or subtitles? This entailed watching the video for a few seconds, pausing it, and then typing the time code showing the beginning time and ending time of that section with a line underneath the time code transcribing what I said during that section. (My QuickTime video shows the hours, minutes, and seconds wherever the playhead is at the moment.)

I saved the file with “Unicode UTF-8, No BOM” encoding. Here are the contents of the captioning text:

Hi! I’m Daniel Greene. I’m a sign language interpreter,

and I’m excited about a new feature on Google Video

that allows you to add closed captioning to your videos.

Now, I can sign, so deaf people can watch my videos and know what I’m saying

— if they know ASL —

but, if you don’t sign, and you want to share with deaf people what you’re saying,

then you’ll have to caption your videos.

Now, if you caption them with open captioning,

then anybody can see the captions, and some people find that distracting.

But if you add closed captions,

then no one will see the captions unless they click on a special icon that says

“CC” for “Closed Captioning.”

That way, deaf people can understand what you’re saying,

they can follow your videos,

and deaf people that don’t know sign language can follow your videos—

let’s say if you’re doing a sign language video or a video in ASL.

So, I made this brief video

so that I could get some practice in closed-captioning my videos

and so that I could join my deaf colleagues in supporting the captioning of videos on the Internet.

You see, there have been closed captions on television programs since…

…the early ’70s,

and that allowed a lot of deaf audience members

to participate in the television viewing audience.

But, now that there’s a lot of video on the Internet,

suddenly deaf people are feeling like they’re back in the old ages

before the ’70s before closed captioning came out,

because now a lot of video’s out there on the Internet with out any captioning at all.

So, I’m creating this video in support of this closed captioning,

and also so that I can, uh, learn how to do it!

Hope you enjoy.

[Update #2: And here is the same video I uploaded to YouTube after they implemented closed-captioning:]





7 responses to “Now You Can Closed-Caption Your Google Videos!”

  1. You can now adjust the closed-captions on my YouTube vlogs « Daniel Greene’s Interpretation Avatar

    […] I’m glad to hear this! I am a longtime supporter of closed-captioning. I posted one of the first closed-captioned videos on Google Video when they implemented closed-captioning in August 2006. Now YouTube has implemented CC settings […]


  2. Google Video Shutting Down | Daniel Greene’s Blog–o–rama Avatar

    […] September 19, 2006. I was one of the first people in the world to use the technology when I publish my closed-captioned Google Video on October 4, 2006. Google then bought YouTube on October 9, 2006. They later introduced YouTube […]


  3. Singin? & Signin? » Blog Archive » Now You Can Closed-Caption Your Google Videos!…



  4. Daniel Greene Avatar

    Ron: I know that many hard-of-hearing people don’t think of themselves as “deaf,” but when I say deaf, I include hard-of-hearing people. My focus as an ASL interpreter is not on people’s audiograms; whoever uses my services is somewhere along the spectrum of deafness, from moderate to severe hearing loss. Since ASL is a language, and the people who use it constitute a culture, my viewpoint is cultural. Lots of people who use ASL interpreters can hear well enough to talk on the phone, but they still see themselves as culturally deaf. If you don’t see yourself as culturally deaf, I understand, and I’m sorry if I left you out. For practical purposes, though, if you need closed captioning, you need closed captioning. It doesn’t matter how much you can hear.


  5. Ron Eakins Avatar
    Ron Eakins

    I know you talked about the deaf needing closed captioning, but you left out those of us that are hard of hearing who cannot understand TV and videos without closed captions. I glad to see CC on Google I just hope it spreads to all the others. It is frustrating to see a report on BBC and the like and know you can’t watch it because it is not closed caption.


  6. Daniel Greene Avatar

    I shouldn’t have said “early ’70s,” but I could have sworn I remembered seeing Roots on television in 1977 with “Closed Captioned for the Hearing Impaired” emblazoned on the opening titles. Edit: I neglected to say thank you for your comment and correction. I do appreciate your participation and information! 😀


  7. Joe Clark Avatar

    Closed captioning started in the U.S. in 1979, though there were very few programs. It didn’t really start in a noticeable way until 1980.


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