Youtube to Add Several New Audio and Caption Features

Google recently announced last week that it will be adding a whole new series of features to Youtube’s closed captioning and subtitles, including a more accessible live captioning system for English-language streamed content.

While live captions have been available on Youtube for a while now, they were previously only available for streamers with more than 1,000 subscribers. Google also stated that it plans to make automatic live captioning available in English for all users and will then roll out the automatic captions for 12 more languages over the coming months. 

“Today we are announcing a few updates to captions and audio features on YouTube that will be available in the coming months,” the company wrote in a recent blog post. “Improving accessibility is a top priority for YouTube, and we hope these updates will help creators reach a wider audience.”

The company is also currently testing out a feature that will allow content creators to upload videos with multiple audio tracks — essentially allowing creators on the platform to develop their own dubbed versions of their content. Youtube plans to roll this feature out over the next couple of quarters. This feature could potentially allow global companies or creators with wide audiences to centralize their content on one account (rather than having separate, localized channels for different regions), by adding multiple audio tracks to their videos.

“(This) will help provide multi-language audio for international audiences as well as descriptive audio for people who are  blind or low-vision. ”

In its announcement, Google also noted that many of the caption and audio features currently available for Youtube on desktop will soon be available for the mobile version. For example, currently, Youtube users can only access auto-translated captions on the desktop version of the site; soon, the platform says this feature will be available on its mobile version as well. Users will also soon be able to search through caption transcripts on their mobile device as well.

Andrew Warner
Andrew Warner is a writer from Sacramento. He received his B.A. in linguistics and English from UCLA and is currently working toward an M.A. in applied linguistics at Columbia University. His writing has been published in Language Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Takeout.

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