When I first began recording Peter Pan, I told one of the participants who I did not know that:
“While I won’t do everything right the first time, I promise I will do my best to do it better the second time.”
Well, I didn’t manage to make the Sonnets I recorded last semester accessible when I first made them, but on my second time editing videos, I am doing my best to do it better. Here are my first two tries:
Sonnet 4 by William Shakespeare, video with subtitles. Read by Julia Sheehy
Sonnet 104 by William Shakespeare, video with subtitles. Read by Gabriel Routh
I had tried out some subtitle specific sites, which if I had put some time into them might have paid off. However, using YouTube’s annotations technology is simply easier. Also, because the Annotations are not included in the video file, viewers can turn them off at will.
Here is my method. I will walk you through adding annotations to Gabriel Routh’s recording of Sonnet 138. I am assuming you have admin access to the YouTube video (ie, created it and/or have admin access to the YouTube Channel).
1) Viewing you video, look to the right-hand side of the screen. Click on Annotations (under Edit Video).
2) Get a copy of the text you’ve recorded. For me this is simple, because the texts are public domain. If you are adding subtitles to something where the words are not pre-printed, you won’t need this step.
3) Add the words as Annotations. I like YouTube’s Note version of the annotations. I always input all of the text first:
and then I
4) Format and time the subtitles.
- I like to place all of my subtitles in the bottom left had corner, with the left-side and the top aligned with the little icon’s right side and top. I also like to keep them to 1 line.
- I also like to give each subtitle 3 seconds, with 1 second between each subtitle. This will not be their end duration or location, but it distributes them across the video in such a way that helps me keep them in order. Then, as I am listening, I get individual subtitles as close to their respective vocalizations as possible, while leaving space between them for the next step, which is fine-tuning.
- Now, this is the most time-consuming part. You have to watch the video to time the subtitles to go with the words. Why? Well, it’s out of respect for your audience. If they are deaf, they deserve the same video experience as hearing folk. If they like to read along while someone is speaking, you’ll really confuse them if the words they’re reading and listening to don’t match up. It’s a matter of craftswomanship.
5) Now make sure to add tags to reflect your work. I would suggest: “subtitle, closed captioning”.
Here is my final product:
Now you’ve taken a step to making your video accessible to all audiences!