Thursday, December 9, 2010

A new version pushed in a bit of a rush

Over the past week, the player within the site doesn't work properly. For example, while transcribing or synchronizing, the play/pause button didn't work, and the timer didn't advance properly, which meant you couldn't easily set in-time and out-time for subtitles.

This happened because of an unknown change to the embedded YouTube player. I know that because the site hasn't changed in quite some time (too long a time).

I found a workaround for this problem, and just updated the site to include this fix. This version was not fully tested because of the urgency of fixing the player problem, so I hope no new bugs were introduced. If you find something strange, please let me know.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Link your YouTube Subtitler account with your YouTube account

Some people don't get it at first, but YouTube Subtitler is not YouTube. It's a site that makes it easy to add subtitles (or captions) to videos that come from YouTube.

The whole captioning process doesn't need to know anything about your YouTube account. You pick a video; create a transcript for it; process the transcript into subtitles and synchronize the subtitles.

But wait. If you allow YouTube Subtitler to access your account on YouTube, we can make the captioning experience a little better - In most cases, you want to caption one of your own videos. When doing that, you need to search for that video, but if YouTube Subtitler is aware of your YouTube account, it could simply present all your YouTube user's videos, and you just need to pick the video you want to caption.

We call that "Linking your YouTube Subtitler account with your YouTube account".

When you go into the YouTube Subtitler Dashboard, you'll see the following icon next to your user name:

This means your YouTube Subtitler account is not currently linked to your YouTube account. To link your accounts, click on your user name. This will take you to the settings page, where you can link the accounts.

Since you might have some privacy concerns about linking your accounts, it's important for us to stress the following:
  • YouTube Subtitler never gets access to your YouTube account password.
  • YouTube Subtitler has access to your videos, but will only use that access to list your videos and (in the future) update video captions.
  • You can always unlink the accounts (using the Settings page). You can also manage your YouTube account and see which external sites have access to your account (and revoke access).
Happy captioning :-)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bug fix - better mouse and keyboard interaction

It turned out the synchronization phase suffered from a known bug.

Say you want to synchronize a few subtitles, you use the flash player controls to seek forward or play - whatever. Now, if you try to hit the 'T' button to time subtitles, nothing happens. Why? Because the flash player has the keyboard focus, so it "hears" the keyboard clicks, and not the synchronization page.

There's a simple workaround, but it's quite annoying to use: After you click anything on the flash player, you have to click back on something outside the flash player. For example, the subtitle you wish to synchronize. Then, the page gets the keyboard focus, and everything works as expected.

So this was the bug, but it has been fixed. Now, whenever you click on the player, some code runs that returns the focus back to the page. Now you can select a subtitle, click play, and hit 'T', and synchronize the subtitle (as you would expect).

Actually, this has also been implemented in the transcribing page, which makes transcribing a little easier as well - you can type, and then click pause or play (with the mouse), and then continue typing without having to click on the transcription area again, since the keyboard focus is automatically returned to it after every click on the player.

Just wanted to say I'm sorry for the frustration this bug caused (as evident from this video), and I'm happy the person who uploaded the video spoke up (through the Contact Us page), and made me become aware of this issue.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to upload subtitles to YouTube

Important note: The easiest way to upload subtitles to YouTube is through the Publish tab (when editing a video). For more information see the Publish help page.

So you've worked hard and created subtitles to your video. How do you add them to YouTube so that everyone who sees the video there can see the subtitles?

Note: Only the video author (the one who uploaded the video to YouTube) can add subtitles to the video. If you're not the author, you can try contacting the author and recommend that he would upload the subtitles by following this tutorial.

For the rest of this tutorial, I assume you've already created the subtitles for your video and just want to upload them to YouTube, if you need help creating the subtitles, go to the YouTube Subtitler Help Center.

Step 1 - Login to YouTube
Go to and login with your user and password. If you don't login, you won't have permission to upload the subtitles in a later step.

Step 2 - Download the subtitles
Go to the view page of your video within YouTube Video Subtitler. The video is shown on the left-hand side. On the right hand side you'd probably see the subtitles. Click on the 'Info & Options" tab as shown below:

This is how the Info & Options tab looks like:

Click on the "down arrow" to download the subtitles. Once you click on the arrow, you'll see the following options:

Click on the 'Download' button to save a copy of the subtitles on your computer.

Step 3 - Upload subtitles to YouTube
Click on the 'here' link within the box titled 'Is this your video?' You should get to a page within YouTube where you can add the subtitles you just downloaded.

Remember the link will only work if you're already logged in to YouTube with your YouTube account. Since YouTube Subtitler is an external site, it has no way of knowing you're actually logged in to YouTube or not (for privacy reasons, which is good).