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#1 bwelford

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:41 AM

Adding a video transcript to a video clip you have made can help users. As per the Google help on video transcripts, they prefer a video transcript with time coding.

Users will be able to find your video more easily if you add a transcript to each video file you've uploaded via your Video Status page. We prefer it if the format of the transcript is time-coded and saved as a .txt file. A time-coded transcript breaks the script of the video into segments. Each segment includes the time the words in the script are being said in the video followed by the actual words of the script.

The time of each segment should be listed in the following format: HH:MM:SS.mmm

HH: Hours starting at 00
MM: Minutes starting at 00
SS: Seconds starting at 00
mmm: Milliseconds starting at 000

Is anyone else making video transcripts available for their video clips? If so, do you add time coded ones or perhaps even two versions, with and without the time code. Where would you recommend that such transcripts be made available? Should they be available perhaps in a small window added via JavaScript?

#2 iamlost

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:55 PM

Hi, Barry - of course G would like you to make their datamining easy for them. I see absolutely no general user benefit to time coding transcripts.

As a believer in progressive enhancement I build the video enhancement and the transcript simultaneously. The transcript is actually a proper HTML page of text and still images (from the video) with the video offered as an alternative choice. Naturally the videos are captioned.

My research shows transcripts being downloaded for printing and by those who prefer reading, have slow connections, or poor multimedia support. The last three get the default HTML page and the first a CSS printable solution of the HTML page.

I know we 'agree to disagree' on the following but I also refuse crawling or indexing of my images or multimedia with the exception of those made as marketing teasers and uploaded to third-party sites such as Flickr and YouTube.

Another alternative I have found useful, instead of video, is a slideshow with an audio option.

As the videos get increasingly 'long' I am seriously considering slideshows as an intermediary between a very long HMTL page and the video rather than multiple HTML pages.

#3 bwelford

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 08:18 PM

That sounds a good approach, iamlost. My problem is that the video clip is created not from a script but spontaneously from ideas I may have mapped out in a text file. There are services available to create a transcript at a very modest cost. With such a transcript I could then create the type of HTML file with images you have suggested. Is the best way to get the images to do a screen capture of a frame from the video clip, or is there a more effective way?

#4 iamlost

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 10:06 PM

Is the best way to get the images to do a screen capture of a frame from the video clip

I dunno if it's the best way but it is what I do.

You create the improv way - and then get others to transcribe what you have made.

I work the other way - I storyboard and write the copy (script) - and get others to do the video production. Then frame capture the images I need.

bwelford: Star of Flash and Screen :kicking:
iamlost - deliberately not frightening horses and children. :angel:

#5 storyspinner

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:26 PM

I've been doing transcripts with my videos with amazing results. I put the video out on youtube or another service (actually a few) but I put the transcript on SearchMarketingGurus, within the blog post.

I don't submit it in a text format to Google, personally I don't see much value in that (yet), until I do, I'll keep doing it this way. I find more benefit for pages/sites doing it this way. :)

#6 iamlost

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:21 PM

Off Topic offtopic
Hi Li, I was most impressed - perhaps astounded would be the better word - by Risa's detailing all that went on at SearchCampPhilly.

You obviously know how to 'bring it all together'. Congratulations to you and everyone involved.

And the video marketing was pure delight. :applause:


I never bother to submit anything to Google. They seem quite capable of finding things without help. Nosey little bots. I spend my time seeing that certain doors are shut, tight. :)

You mention the vids on Youtube and the transcripts on site.
1. Do you also place the vid on site?
2. Do you create other vids just for onsite as an additional hook to hold traffic?
3. If 1, have you been trying out longer versions?
4. If 2, are the onsite vids about the same or longer duration productions?

Inquiring minds (and nosey me) would like to know...
I am seeing an increasing value in vids and transcripts - and am still trying to define user preferences for vid production scope and boundaries.

One new (to me) thing that is showing promise is incorporating diverse channels within a multimedia production - the ability for the user to go off on tangents of tangents via internal links to view extra detail and then resume where they left off. Some of these multimedia mini-sites' architecture gets very 3d-cats-cradle. And designing sensible transcripts is proving a challenge...

#7 bwelford

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 10:37 AM

Perhaps I can enlarge the discussion a little. I am wondering how precise the transcript needs to be.

For an important video, I will type out a script to help polish my ideas and get an idea of the timing. Knowing the main items I wish to talk about, I then spontaneously talk to the camera without using the script. So the actual video may be fairly close to the content of the script, but the words will be quite different.

If I paid a transcription service they would develop a precise reflection of what I actually said.

How do people feel about this? Is an approximate transcript that reflects the general content acceptable? How do people interpret the word transcript? Would that approximate transcript be satisfactory for the Google video database?

#8 bwelford

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 12:57 PM

I don't submit it in a text format to Google, personally I don't see much value in that (yet), until I do, I'll keep doing it this way. I find more benefit for pages/sites doing it this way. :)

Actually looking at the Google video website again, I cannot find a place to add a transcript. Can anyone else shed some light on the right way to do this?

#9 iamlost

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 01:36 PM

...I cannot find a place to add a transcript.

Video Upload Program FAQ: Uploading Videos: 3

3. Does my video need captions or a transcript?

The more information you provide to us, the better your video can be searched. While we don't require that you add captions or a transcript to your video, we strongly recommend it.

To add a transcript and additional video information, visit your Video Status page, and click “Add” beneath the Transcript column.



#10 bwelford

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 01:57 PM

Thanks, iamlost. It is actually the "Add" button under the Actions column, which I had not understood.

However clicking on that Add button does open up another web page where you can either upload a transcript file or copy and paste the relevant text. They again mention time-coding the transcript so I'm not sure what they do with non-time-coded transcripts.

#11 storyspinner

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:39 PM

Sorry it took me a bit to get back here and reply. Life has bee pretty busy and w/ my main computer lost in the Houston HP repair site .... I'm dealing w/ my old laptop (not fun) :(

Thanks iamlost - we had a great time putting that together ... it'll be back for next year that's for sure.

Now onto more video stuff :)

You mention the vids on Youtube and the transcripts on site.
1. Do you also place the vid on site?
2. Do you create other vids just for onsite as an additional hook to hold traffic?
3. If 1, have you been trying out longer versions?
4. If 2, are the onsite vids about the same or longer duration productions?


1. yep I do, i embed the video into the blog post (or static page)
2. not sure if this answers the question(i'm confused by your term onsite), but the videos tend to be the longer visited pages, as the tips videos run 3-5 minutes. so they are hooking and holding traffic.
3. I try to keep it at 3 minutes, because that seems to be optimal to keeping interest
4. term onsite is confusing to me here.

There's a few reasons why I don't upload the videos to my own server.
1. traffic/bandwidth - you'd get socked with bandwidth charges if the video went hot and/or viral from your own site
2. better distribution through the videos shares - they tend to have a bigger and wider "built in audience" ready and waiting for new content.
3. people can embed the videos elsewhere - EASILY
4. I don't have to provide code for the player to work universally, the webshares have embed code that works on most browsers.

hope that answers some of the q's :)

one tip i got from SearchCamp.. that I found just an awesome tip not just for videos but for podcasts too is putting the transcript (most of it - there is a "cap" but i forget the length), into the "lyrics" area of the id3 tags area. :)

#12 bwelford

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 09:55 PM

an awesome tip not just for videos but for podcasts too is putting the transcript (most of it - there is a "cap" but i forget the length), into the "lyrics" area of the id3 tags area. :)

Hi Li,
You've lost me. Where would I find that?

#13 iamlost

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 11:21 PM

Barry, a lot of reading for your spare time but ID3.org is a good place to start.

Especially: What is Lyrics3 v2.00?

The Lyrics3 block, after the MP3 audio and before the ID3 tag, begins with the word "LYRICSBEGIN" after which a number of field records follows.
...
Lyrics3 v2.00 uses fields to represent information. The data in a field can consist of ASCII characters in the range 01 to 254 according to the standard.
...
Only the size of the tag sets the limit for how many fields may be present. All fields uses a simple structure that includes a three character field ID, six characters describing the size of the information and the actual information. This makes it possible to read unknown fields and write them back when saving the tag. There are no required fields in the tag, but at least one field must exist. Fields can appear in any order in the tag, except the indication (IND) field which must be the first field if used. Fields that include more then one line uses [CR][LF] delimiters between lines.
...
* The indications field size is two bytes. They are two '1', which mean that LYR field is to be found in the tag, and timestamps are used in it.
* The extended Album text size is 41 chars
* The extended Artist name size is 50 chars
* The extended Track name size is 42 chars
* The Additional information size is 90 chars
* The Lyrics Author size is 48 chars
* The Image file link size is 86 chars
* The Lyrics text size is 630 chars [my bold emphasis]

All the fields together (with the 'LYRICSBEGIN') is 001064 chars.



#14 storyspinner

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 11:43 AM

great resource iamlost - perfect to explain it.

easy way to see what your id3 tags are set too - is bring the file into iTunes, and view the properties from there. it can also act as an id3 tag editor, so if you change things to be more optimized through it. I believe itunes will only do videos as .mov files though - but it works great for podcasts!

#15 bwelford

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:32 PM

Thanks, iamlost. I'll have to spend some time with that resource. I'm sure I'll be a better person as a result. :)

Re your comment, Li, on .mov files, I've been making my videos as .wmv files since that was easiest with the software I had on hand. Does anyone have information on the relative merits of using different video file formats, e.g. .wmv, .mov, etc.

#16 storyspinner

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 04:14 PM

I mentioned .mov cuz that's what itunes recognizes .... we all know apple and ms don't play nice together.

I think you can update the id3 tags on wmv's through media player (haven't played with that, so i'm not positive).

the video shares take either, so i personally think its just preference to what you have access to. both mov and wmv make the same type of video that youtube can upload. you loose some quality when you go to video shares because by nature, they have to bring down the quality - film rates go down to 15 frames per second.



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