Universal Subtitles (aka Amara)

We've been using Universal Subtitles on our webinars as it allows volunteers to easily go in and do captioning. It also lets you subtitle YouTube videos that you don't happen to own.

According to blogger and technology accessibility specialist with the University of Washington Terrell Thompson:

Universal Subtitles rocks. It has three modes for typing captions. The coolest of these is called "magical autopause". You just type, and it pauses when it thinks you need it, and resumes playing when it thinks you don't. This takes some getting used to, but once you do you can caption a video lickity split. You don't have to remember any keystrokes - just type! If you prefer controlling the pause and play functionality yourself, you can do that too, by pressing the tab key (or shift+tab to rewind eight seconds). Time syncing is a separate step, performed by watching the video and pressing down arrow whenever the next caption should appear. Then, to adjust timing you can drag the caption text along a timeline. This is all very intuitive, maybe even fun!

Universal Subtitles is an award-winning site that claims to be the largest, most powerful captioning and translation tool in the world and is a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation. They are adding new features all the time.

A great feature is that you can share a url for a video that is in progress and recruit others to work on it. They can go in and "Improve Subtitles". You can see when a video has been fully captioned and synched. You can then pull out the text as a narration file.

A new feature is the ability to have the Universal Subtitles automatically replace those on YouTube for your videos. This again means that you have to own the video but is a great feature. You'll find the option when you log in, under "Account".

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