Closed captioned astronomy videos

Mar 22

Written by:
3/22/2013 9:19 PM  RssIcon

A while back, I got a very nice email from a self-described hearing impaired amateur astronomer.  The email basically stated that due to the way I speak, this person was able to "hear" what I was saying in my videos, as my lips matched well with the words, and comprehension was fairly easy.  I have also gotten lots of nice compliments from people around the globe - whose English is quite good, I might add - who have asked me if I could caption my videos.

Given that I spend 10 to 15 hours per week on each video, I always had to demur, thank them for their interest, and sigh - wishing that I could have done the captioning.

And then, today, I realized that it is quite simple.  YouTube does most of the work FOR me.  Yes, really.

YouTube changed their channel pages, and in making that change and nosing around the various sections of the site, I happened across the captioning info somehow.  As I started reading it, I realized, "Hey, I can EASILY add captions to my videos!"

  • I already write out the full script.
  • I often already have it in a text file (and swapping it to one is pretty easy).
  • Uploading it to YouTube doesn't take very long.

I don't think I can go back and caption every video - I not only don't really have the time, most of them are outdated and it wouldn't make much sense.  But I am going back and captioning the ones to the beginning of this year.  And I hope to get some of my other ones where i have talked about telescope accessories or stargazing basics converted to closed captioning as well.

I think it's important.  We have the technology to make it easier for the deaf, hard of hearing, and those for whom English is a second language.  The least I can do is take a few extra seconds each week and add that onto my videos.  That also makes my videos so that they can be translated via captioning into 58 other languages.  So from now on - as much as possible - I will try to make "Eyes on the Sky" videos with YouTube's closed captioning tool.

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.