Accurate Captions: The Ninja YouTube Method

Captioning videos is a really valuable strategy. Not only does it greatly enhance access those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it improves attention to, retention of, and comprehension for the video for everyone (Check out Gernsbacher's wonderful meta analysis from 2015).

When you have a budget to hire third party companies to do the captioning for you, that's really nice. But for many of us, if we want some thing done, we've gotta be ready to do it ourselves. I can just *hear* my grandpa drilling this words of truth into my head from years ago.

But! What Grandpa didn't anticipate was YouTube. YouTube, like other video hosting platforms now can use automatic speech-to-text software to automatically generate captions for me! So, that's that, huh?

Another But! Automatic captions use a technology called "Automatic Speech Recognition" (ASR). ASR, as a form of artificial intelligence, has really been improving dramatically over the past decade, but it still has a ways to go. Starting with ASR captions is a great strategy, but it's important to go back and correct what needs correction.

YouTube provides a caption interface that allows you to do this. I love that interface for really short (<2 min) videos. But using it for longer videos can be tedious.

[ENTER: The Ninja]

I want to share a Ninja way to speed this process up a bit. In this method, editing captions is not much different from editing an essay in a document. In fact... it's exactly the same. Ready? Let's check it out!


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