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Friday, March 5, 2010

YouTube Adds Closed-Captioning

YouTube has added closed-captioning to its videos to facilitate the deaf and hard-of-hearing. In November of 2009, the site added this functionality in limited quantities to several partner sites. The success with those videos lead to the decision to roll-out this new feature across the site.

While the team working on the project warned the technology is not perfect, but advances in voice-recognition technology have made it feasible. "It is not a complete solution but it is a step on the way to the real solution," engineer, Ken Harrenstien, explained. Harrenstien, who has worked on this project for the last five years, has been deaf from birth.

Many have heaped praise on the team and the site. A school for the deaf made a video in which they signed their appreciation to YouTube, while one college spokesperson said he thinks this will allow their 500+ online courses to reach even more potential students.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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