Google bleated its own horn last week concerning a new “YouTube Ready” captioning initiative. Our sad question is: “What took you so long?”
In October 2006, Google paid $1.65 Billion USD for YouTube and, last week, Google wrote this on their “Official YouTube Blog:”
Captioning is becoming increasingly important to YouTube and videos all across the web. Captions ensure that many more people can understand what’s happening in your video, from deaf and hard of hearing viewers to people who speak a different language from you and choose to auto-translate the captions into their language. Captions also make your video a lot more discoverable. People searching for content on YouTube might encounter your video if your captions contain the words or subjects they’re looking for.
Why hasn’t captioning been important from the start?
We’re not sure how or why this new initiative is any different than — CaptionTube that we wrote about a year ago — and while we celebrate captioning, we are stumped why Google haven’t used their muscle sooner to press forward this necessary, and inclusory, mandate for universal accessibility.
We never understood why the terrible, and incredibly annoying, YouTube annotations were added to YouTube in June 2008 and given so much importance while proper, professional, captioning was left to founder for five years.
We’ve also had a tough time reaching the official Described and Captioned Media Project website Google points to their announcement:
The Google Cache for that website was empty, too. If you can hit the DCMP website, please let us know the details you discover.
Google should be apologizing to us for being so slow on bringing proper captioning to YouTube and not spinning the PR machine by bragging about finally starting to bring YouTube properly into the foundering Human Race.