The video-sharing site YouTube is improving its automatic captions in order to reach out to its many hearing impaired viewers.
Since YouTube started caption support in 2006 more than 1.6 million videos with captions have been uploaded to the site. YouTube said it wants to improve the caption-reading experience so as to support a law introduced by US president Barack Obama in 2011. The law requires captioned TV shows to also have captions online.
YouTube will offer its users automatic subtitles in three languages (English, Japanese and Korean), and YouTube viewers can search specifically for videos with subtitles. Non-automatic captioning can be found in 155 languages and dialects.
Also, the font, colour and size of the captions can be changed so as to fit the individual user's needs. It is also possible for the channel owners to insert a preferred video caption file into the video, so that the captions appear next to the person talking instead of at the bottom of the screen.
YouTube says that these improvements are only the beginning and that they will from now on be working towards having as many videos as possible captioned in as many languages as possible.
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