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.