Week Six: Video with Subtitles

This week, I found a public domain video about cutting hair on Internet Archive’s A/V Geeks collection. You can watch the video here: https://archive.org/details/ModernStyleCuttingTechniques.

I then uploaded it to my YouTube channel, and you can view the embedded version right here.

I was surprised how well the subtitles autogenerated on YouTube. It was also a breeze to edit the subtitles. Since the auto subtitles were just words with no punctuation, the main edits that I made were adding punctuation and sentence structure. The new subtitles make it clear when sentences begin, end, and have pauses. Since the video is a set of directions, the punctuation turned out to be important at several instances, especially for separating steps within a series of directions.

There were a few words that were misspelled or mistaken by the voice recognition; for example, I noticed that it often put “there” when the instructor was saying “the hair.” I also noticed that there were a few times where a long or lesser-known word would be in the subtitles, and I had an urge to add in an explanation or definition for that word. Since this project was just focused on subtitles, I did not do that.

The YouTube interface for editing subtitles makes it very simple, by dividing the video into discrete time intervals. I’m impressed, overall, by the YouTube subtitle experience, and I am satisfied with the results. Granted, I chose a video that has just one person talking and a bit of background music, so it wasn’t super complicated. But it was a great way to learn how the feature works.

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