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:

0:00:00.000,0:00:04.000
Hi! I’m Daniel Greene. I’m a sign language interpreter,

0:00:04.500,0:00:08.000
and I’m excited about a new feature on Google Video

0:00:08.500,0:00:11.000
that allows you to add closed captioning to your videos.

0:00:11.500,0:00:16.000
Now, I can sign, so deaf people can watch my videos and know what I’m saying

0:00:16.500,0:00:19.000
— if they know ASL —

0:00:19.500,0:00:24.000
but, if you don’t sign, and you want to share with deaf people what you’re saying,

0:00:24.500,0:00:27.000
then you’ll have to caption your videos.

0:00:27.500,0:00:30.000
Now, if you caption them with open captioning,

0:00:30.500,0:00:33.000
then anybody can see the captions, and some people find that distracting.

0:00:33.500,0:00:37.000
But if you add closed captions,

0:00:37.500,0:00:40.000
then no one will see the captions unless they click on a special icon that says

0:00:40.000,0:00:43.00
“CC” for “Closed Captioning.”

0:00:44.000,0:00:47.000
That way, deaf people can understand what you’re saying,

0:00:47.500,0:00:50.000
they can follow your videos,

0:00:50.000,0:00:54.000
and deaf people that don’t know sign language can follow your videos—

0:00:54.500,0:00:58.000
let’s say if you’re doing a sign language video or a video in ASL.

0:00:58.500,0:01:00.000
So, I made this brief video

0:01:00.500,0:01:04.000
so that I could get some practice in closed-captioning my videos

0:01:04.500,0:01:09.000
and so that I could join my deaf colleagues in supporting the captioning of videos on the Internet.

0:01:09.500,0:01:16.000
You see, there have been closed captions on television programs since…

0:01:16.500,0:01:17.000
…the early ’70s,

0:01:17.500,0:01:20.000
and that allowed a lot of deaf audience members

0:01:20.500,0:01:24.000
to participate in the television viewing audience.

0:01:25.000,0:01:28.000
But, now that there’s a lot of video on the Internet,

0:01:28.500,0:01:32.500
suddenly deaf people are feeling like they’re back in the old ages

0:01:33.000,0:01:36.000
before the ’70s before closed captioning came out,

0:01:36.500,0:01:41.000
because now a lot of video’s out there on the Internet with out any captioning at all.

0:01:41.500,0:01:47.000
So, I’m creating this video in support of this closed captioning,

0:01:47.500,0:01:50.000
and also so that I can, uh, learn how to do it!

0:01:51.000,0:01:53.000
Hope you enjoy.

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

Author: Daniel Greene

I facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, and I teach people American Sign Language (ASL) and interpreting. Apart from doing the work I love, my greatest joys are family & friends, entertainment, food, photography, and travel.

7 thoughts on “Now You Can Closed-Caption Your Google Videos!”

  1. Pingback: Web 2.0 Announcer
  2. 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.

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  3. Hi:
    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.

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  4. 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!😀

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