YouTube’s New Transcript Feature

A few weeks ago, YouTube unveiled a new feature that allows you to upload a transcript of your video and have YouTube automatically analyze it to figure out how to turn it into timed captions. I had the opportunity to test this feature (which is still in beta, and only available in English right now), and I have to say I am extremely impressed with the results. I had a handful of Powerpoint presentations that I converted to videos using Camtasia Studio. I then added the narration tracks and produced the videos as MP4 files.

I uploaded the new videos to YouTube, adjusted my settings accordingly and then went to the “Captions and Subtitles” tab for each video. To my surprise, I noticed that the “transcript” feature was now available, so I decided to test it. I opened the script for each narrated presentation, saved it in txt format (for best results, if you have your transcript saved as a Word document, save it in MS-DOS txt format and enable character substitution so that it automatically replaces the fancy quotes, dashes, etc. with the standard versions) and decided to test the transcript feature.

Gmail Adds New Features

gmail-logoThe Gmail team has been busy working on new features for the Web-based e-mail service. Over the last two days, two major new features have been added.

First of all, a feature to mark part of a conversation unread has been added to the “labs” (the beta test version of Gmail). This new feature will allow you to read a portion of an e-mail thread, then mark all newer messages as unread. I still wish it was possible to mark specific messages within a thread as unread (you can do so when using a desktop e-mail client with Gmail’s IMAP interface, but you can’t do so through the Web interface of Gmail).

The second new feature, which is available to all Gmail users, is the ability to merge duplicate contacts. If you have multiple contacts set up for the same person, you can click a single button and have Gmail attempt to automatically identify all of those duplicates and merge them where appropriate. Maybe you set up a different contact for each e-mail address or phone number the person has; or maybe you set up an e-mail contact through Gmail and a phone contact through Google Voice. With the new feature, you can easily merge them without having to edit each individual contact.

Feedly Kicks Google Reader’s Butt

First of all, I must admit that I’ve never been a big user of Google Reader. However, the other day, I discovered feedly when they released their plugin for Google Chrome. Feedly is a really nice feed reader, but it’s more than that. For one, feedly is actually integrated with Google Reader, so that any new subscriptions you add in Reader are automatically pulled into feedly and vice versa. Therefore, for everyone that’s actively using Reader, you can easily try out feedly without having to migrate anything over.

Give Me Your Ideas, Get Google Wave Invites

Google-Wave-1I currently have a total of almost 50 Google Wave invitations available, and I’d like to give them away to our readers. All I’m asking in return is for you to post a comment telling me what kinds of tutorials and articles you’d like to see on HTMLCenter. It’s as simple as that. I’m always looking for ideas on what articles and tutorials I should be writing. What better place to ask than right here on the blog?

It should be noted that it can take Google anywhere from two to six weeks to actually send out the invitation once you’ve been “nominated,” so please be patient once you post your comment. Also, please be sure to provide your real email address in the “email” field when posting your comment. Otherwise, I won’t be able to send the invitation to you.

Seesmic Desktop Adds Support for Twitter Lists

Seesmic Desktop adds Twitter listsAmong the Twitter clients I occasionally use, Seesmic Desktop is the first to add support for Twitter lists. At this time, the lists feature is only available to those that are subscribed the Seesmic mailing list, but the are available and appear to be working. I suspect it won’t be long before we see the public release of this version of Seesmic.

Hopefully we’ll start seeing some of the other popular Twitter clients for desktops and mobile phones begin to release versions that support Twitter lists. On the other hand, I have to admit that I don’t yet understand all of the hype over Twitter lists.

SQL Buddy Offers an Ajax-y PhpMyAdmin

A new way to connect to your databased launched late last year. Named SQL Buddy, the software was downloaded over 20,000 times when the developer reported on the stats back in January. While PhpMyAdmin works well, it does feel a lot like 1985. SQL Buddy appears to be a more Web 2.0, Ajax-friendly version.

I use Navicat which is super powerful but runs as a local client only. SQL Buddy runs on your server which means it can be accessed from anywhere. SQL Buddy is free and is distributed under an open source MIT-style license.