Edupirate Pete, he dance to de caption beat

Edupirate Pete likes to share clips from motion pictures as examples in his US history class. YouTube doesn’t always have the exact clips he wants, so he rips them off DVDs using MactheRipper or Handbrake, selects the scenes using an old copy of Cinematize then uploads them to YouTube.

He wants to caption them to make them easier for all students to understand (yes, you may call it legal accessibility or Section 508, but Pete calls it universal design). Luckily, YouTube will try to machine caption for you. Sometimes.

And when it does the results are always interesting. Here’s a scene from The Seven Year Itch.

Pete downloads YouTube’s caption file, cleans it up, then uploads it again, and it works great. Then he embeds the clip in his webpage (or in Blackboard to hide it from prying eyes) and there is the clip, with captions.

But sometimes Goo-Tube figures out it’s a copyrighted motion picture. Interestingly, this happens to more obscure films. But recently, their way of dealing with this has to been forbid embedding and add advertising to any clips it decides contain copyrighted content.

This is unacceptable to Edupirate Pete. So he uploads his clip to or Vimeo instead, but they don’t have machine transcription. Since he’s already uploaded to YouTube anyway, he downloads the caption file, and cleans it up. Then he pastes the clean text into this free converter, which converts YouTube’s .sbv captions file to the .srt format everyone else uses. He opens the URL of his or Vimeo movie clip into, then pastes in the .srt format he got from the converter, and it creates a very nice overlay of captions onto the original file, and gives him the embed code.

Here’s a clip from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which Goo-Tube decided was a copyright problem although The Seven Year Itch was not.

Boom chicka boom. Thanks, Edupirate Pete!

3 thoughts on “Edupirate Pete, he dance to de caption beat

  1. Aha! Got it. The machine captions eventually showed up.
    Those overstream captions are much more readable than the built-in youtube closed captioning.


    1. Well, apparently, a number of people have not been seeing them show up, just within the last week. It used to be immediate. Now it’s something like 24 hours. I just uploaded two videos about five hours ago, and am still waiting. Overstream is better in terms of visibility, but it’s a bit trickier and, of course, you’re relying on two different website services to do it.


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