Recently I’ve put up a couple of posts here at the Crossroads about captioning your videos…an issue which – as a Deaf person myself – is near and dear to my heart, as well as an important one for many deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Since many people do use YouTube for downloading their videos, the post right before this one (check at the top for the link to it) focused on YouTube’s caption feature and how you can use the Automatic Timing to download your own simple transcript and allow the program to automatically insert it into your video for you – you do not need to know time codes or frame numbers.
One of the nice things about blogging is the comments that you can receive, dialogue that can be generated, and information that can be shared.
I got some nice comments to the above mentioned post from others which reinforce the need for video captioning, and entered into some good dialogue with a Pagan podcaster about the whole idea of captioning and its pros and cons.
And I’ve gotten some good information which can be passed on to my readership.
I don’t consider myself a geek…my technical know-how leaves something to be desired. I have some basic knowledge, and I’m learning more from my one-on-one lessons with Chris at Computers Plus – who is teaching me the ins and outs of using my new MacBook Pro. But I wouldn’t call myself an expert on software and programs and the like. What I know I’ve either learned from others or picked up from reading stuff on the web.
So I’m indebted to a fellow member of the Deaf Community – Don G – for sharing with me information about another source for captioning your videos.
The program is called VideoCritter, and from what I can see, it appears to be pretty easy to use. Here is a video that explains how to use the program:
The thing that looks nice about this program is that it is not based on voice to text technology – so it can be used by Deaf individuals to add text to their ASL videos.
It seems pretty simple to use – just a matter of clicking ENTER and typing your text.
This program has earned a thumbs up from Dave the podcaster:
VideoCritter makes captioning a painless process thanks to the keyboard shortcuts. In the past 10 minutes, I’ve already captioned a video using VideoCritter…No manual inputs of timestamps (or worse, frame numbers)…Just hit enter after a phrase is said, type what was said, press Enter to save, and Enter again to continue playing. It’s actually pretty darn good at not messing up timing too much when I speak quickly.
The important thing about VideoCritter’s program is – as Dave pointed out – it’s fairly quick and easy to use. This is not to say that it doesn’t take time – it does, and naturally the longer your video, the more time it will take to create the captions. But at least you’re not stuck with trying to manually insert text into each and every frame step by step, using time codes and/or frame numbers. That is definitely more time-consuming.
Since you control the content of the captions, you don’t have to worry about misspelled words or bloopers. And because it’s not based on audio or speech-to-text, it can be used for captioning videos which use sign language without voice, for making “silent movies,” or just adding informative text to slide shows or the like.
If you enjoy creating videos, podcasts, vlogs…whatever you wanna call ‘em – you might want to give VideoCritter a try.
The millions of people with hearing loss will certainly appreciate it.