Let YouTube Transcribe Your Videos for You!

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, November 12, 2015 1:06 PM

Many institutions have videos in their collections, but searching these videos for specific content can be challenging and time-consuming for staff and users alike. You can catalogue the contents of videos so that they are more searchable, but that can take a lot of staff time.

That’s why YouTube’s automated transcription feature is potentially helpful for institutions to have in their repertoire of tools. With a simple click of a button, a timecode synced transcript can be created for videos that you have uploaded to YouTube. While the transcript will definitely have errors, it gives you a great starting point. After editing the transcript can be added to the video’s database record giving your users a way to search the video’s actual contents.

YouTube Transcript

When videos with speech are uploaded to YouTube, closed captions or subtitles are automatically generated. You can see if they are available by looking for the CC button in the bottom right. If the quality of the audio is reasonable, YouTube will also automatically make a text transcript which is accessible under the More hyperlink. This transcription can be copied and pasted into a field in your DB/TextWorks database and corrected while listening along to the video. This text can then be made fully searchable by your WebPublisher PRO or Andornot Discovery Interface software.

Even if you don’t want the videos to be permanently or publicly available on YouTube, you can still take advantage of YouTube’s transcript option. Videos can be uploaded privately, the transcripts generated and then copied and saved elsewhere, before the videos are then removed.

The accuracy of the transcript will depend on several factors, including the quality of the audio, the clarity of the speech and whether the subject matter contains many proper names. Apparently Scottish accents in particular can be problematic, but you can easily review the text first to check the quality.

As always, contact us for assistance to discuss possibilities for adding video transcriptions to your databases and search engines.

Tags: tips | tools | video

Introducing a brand new service – video tutorials!

by Jonathan Jacobsen Wednesday, October 21, 2015 12:57 PM

We've been thinking about end users a lot lately, and how we can help improve their experiences with the web interfaces that we develop. We've always offered support to our clients, but wanted to also help our clients help theirs.

We are pleased to now offer the production of high quality end user training videos for our products and solutions. Videos can be made to provide help on any of the products that we offer, such as the Andornot Discovery Interface, VuFind, Andornot Starter Kits, Inmagic Genie, DB/TextWorks and Presto.

Our short, focussed videos give your end users a walk through of the major features of your search interface using your data. These allow users to learn much more quickly than reading through help files as they can actually see what the steps are to conduct an effective search.

The videos can also target different levels of searching. If your end users tend to be casual users, we can create a video that introduces them to the basics of searching—navigating the search interface, entering search terms, and using facets, for example – with other videos available for more advanced users conducting in-depth research.


The examples above are just a few of the videos we have produced for some of our own search interfaces. Our video training solutions are not limited to just our own applications. We can develop video tutorials for pretty much anything. We've seen the many ways that different end users try and accomplish tasks, and can help you help them navigate through the information resources they use daily.

Finished videos can be distributed via a YouTube channel, as we've done with the above, embedded in a search application, as we've done with http://archives.ufa.com/help, added to your intranet, or almost any other means you choose.

Recording a video can be challenging! Choosing the software to use, writing a script, recording and editing the final result, and then publishing it online all takes time. We have the tools, expertise and time to do this. We would always work with you to determine the aspects of your site or the records that you wish to showcase.

Why not let us help you make sure your end users can get the most from your online search interfaces! Contact us to discuss the possibilities today.

Tags: Training | video

Embedding Audio and Video Playback In Search Results

by Jonathan Jacobsen Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:20 PM


Over the past year or so, we’ve helped several clients add digitized audio and video to their databases (mostly archival or historical databases). This content exists as both the digitized audio and video files, as well as the metadata to describe them. We've then helped publish the combined information in search results, embedding an audio/video player on the same page as the metadata.

Here are two examples of archival records for audio recordings, with a YouTube video embedded into the page:

The Canadian Jewish Heritage Network

The New Westminster Archives

With both of these records, only an audio recording was available. We recommended hosting the media with YouTube to give it more exposure (users searching through YouTube may come across it and then be led back to the originating website to search and discover more resources they might be interested in). However, YouTube doesn’t permit uploading of purely audio files, so to create a video, we suggested making a slide show. Almost every Windows and Mac computer now includes software for creating a video slideshow from one or more photos and an audio file, so this is easily accomplished. Ideally the photo(s) will be of the people or places in the audio recording.

With the slideshow created and saved as a video file, and uploaded to the organization’s YouTube channel, it was then a simple matter to add a VideoID field to the database and wrap some HTML around it in the web display to embed the YouTube video player right in the page. This method relies on You Tube to do all the work streaming the download which otherwise might incur significant bandwidth to the host site for large files.

Here’s another example, from the Heritage Burnaby website:

In this case, the record is part of an extensive database of digitized oral histories, where an interview is split into multiple audio "tracks" (select the "View all Interview Tracks" on the above page to view all the ones associated with this record). 

Rather than rely on an external service for media hosting (and the need to make  video files, and to avoid the advertising that appears over top of them in playback), Heritage Burnaby opted to use the Andornot Embedded Media Player, a jQuery-based application that plays back audio or video using HTML5 or Flash. This award-winning project was described in detail in an earlier blog post.

This technology works well when there is a large amount of media and more control is desired over its presentation than is available from YouTube and similar services.  An in-house solution may also be required for access to the media from organizations which block social media sites.

The above methods are just a few of those available for connecting researchers and users with your audio and video content, and they apply equally to websites powered by Inmagic software as to other systems.

Please contact us any help we can provide with similar projects for your collections.

Tags: audio | video

Video: Slay Monster PDFs with pdfbox

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, October 21, 2011 3:38 PM

A screencast of the lightning talk presentation I gave at the Access 2011 Conference on October 21, 2011 in Vancouver, BC, entitled "Quick and Dirty's Guide to Slaying Monster PDFs," in which I show how to use pdfbox to slice up large PDFs for indexing to make search more meaningful.


Tags: Solr | video

Month List