Category Archives: Uncategorized

amara dev update 2014-14-04

Updates deployed to

  • #489 Respect line breaks in feedback comments for moderated tasks
  • #1387 Typo in Youtube panel on home page
  • #1388 Comments (reviewer’s notes) not saved when sending subtitles back fixed-in-branch
  • #1391 New Editor: change ‘Subtitling Guidelines’ to ‘Transcribing Guidelines’
  • #1393 Weird localized strings in language drop-down on Set Language page
  • #1394 Images won’t build due to recent openssl updates
  • #1395 Fix amara-dev-rabbitmq image after rabbitmq update

amara dev update 2014-02-26

Changes pushed to production:

  • #1138 New editor: ensure a backup copy of subtitles gets saved locally every minute
  • #1171 New editor: support FLV videos
  • #1253 Limit login redirect to only our sites
  • #1254 Protect amara from clickjacking
  • #1244 flowplayer does not show control bar in embedder
  • #1251 Updating flowplayer
  • #1208 Issues displaying video embeds in multiple browser windows (chrome)
  • #1217 Popcorn update

And we’d like to make a special thanks to Salmon Khan Champion founder of for reporting security issues #1253 and #1254 via the security page.

amara dev update 2014-02-08

Changes pushed to Saturday, Feb 8th.

  • #1195 New editor: quotes, apostrophes etc. get escaped
  • #751 Instruct users how to save downloaded backup for their subtitles
  • #1125 Implement brightcove video player

A few notes on these changes.  In issue #751 we are using Filesaver.js to automatically save a downloaded backup file (subtitle_backup.dfxp) for users to easily upload later in the event of a save failure.  This currently does work on Safari, so those users will see the copy / paste dialog and be prompted to save.

Issue #1195 was the result of some fallout after we had implemented some urgent changes to fix a security flaw.  For users whose subtitles were affected by this issue, you can either edit your subtitles and save a new version or let us know.  We’re working on a script to fix affected data.

Most importantly, we’d like to give a huge thank you to @kamilsevi who reported the vulnerability to us.   The issue was related to potential javascript injection via the subtitle editors.   We are grateful that he found and reported the issue to us discretely.

We’d also like to remind all users that we are committed to maintaining and improving security in amara.  The footer of each amara page contains a link to our security page. If you discover a vulnerability, please report it to us via this link.  We will fix it as quickly as possible and publicly recognize your contribution.

amara dev update – 2014-02-04

  • #1189 Complex reviewer notes block opening task in new editor
  • #700 Add the link to Comments page to onsite notification about a new comment.
  • #1161 Add new language, metadata: audio description
  • #1136 Add Romanized Urdu-Hindi
  • #1139 Add Koasati language
  • #1134 Add Muscogee language


GitHub Launches Open Source Volunteer Video Translation Community

Yesterday GitHub partnered with Amara to kick off a volunteer translation community. Within less than 24 hours, 160 people signed up to create over 45 translations across 18 different languages.

“We think it would be cool if people all over the world could enjoy our videos, regardless of what language they speak. So, starting today, we’re inviting anyone who’s interested to help us translate our videos via Amara’s Volunteer Platform.” wrote Daisuke Don Horie of Github GitHub.

19 things we made even better on Amara this year

1. Our Users

Our number of users this year has grown to 150000 and our total page views, for on and off-site videos has increased 71% from 2.1 million views  per month to 3.6 million views per month.


2. Our Volunteer Teams

The absolute standard in crowd-sourced translations, the TED team has grown to over 22,000 members with almost 25,000 videos and nearly 65,000 translations covering 165 different languages.


A team new to amara this year, Girl Rising is global education campaign for girl’s education has 527 members subtitling their 71 videos.

girl rising logo

3. Our Enterprise Customers

enterprise customer logos

4. Our most popular video this month.

IMO the greatest video to grace the web this year is part of a collection on the Epic Rap Battles of History team. Good thing it’s already subtitled into 34 different languages. Captions are required to truly appreciate the subtle phasing and hysterical historical humor.

erb video

5. Our video page

Much improved! We’d like to give a special thanks to Jason Packer, founder of the men’s clothing site MintyDuds for his good advice and support last month which helped drive these changes.


6. Our Performance
Overall our page load times and database query performance has gotten insanely faster this year.  We’ve increased throughput and reduced response times from ~1500ms to ~300ms.

7. Ben 
Is the main reason that everything is soooo speeedy. A long time PCF developer for Miro and Miro Video Converter, Ben joined the Amara team this year and is the cerebral cortex of the operation. From page loads, to database queries, to the teams and videos pages and editor, Ben optimizes.

8. Stability and Reliability
You can’t complain about 100%. That’s what the weekly reports look like almost all the time now. Boring is good.


9. Evan
With his company, Evan has taken our dev-ops to a new level. We’ve been dockerized and containerized and any infrastructure issues have been vaporized.  Using Docker, deployments take minutes (with zero downtime). We’ve reduced infrastructure by 60%! He generates isolated containers for testing, and the uptime speaks for itself.

10. Our processes

We switched our issue tracker over to github, added more than 500 automated tests and can boast of becoming faster, and more reliable when it comes to finding, fixing bugs or implementing new features.  And in a nice turn of events, Github is also now an Amara On Demand customer!

11. Responsive user support, our master is Margarita
Knowing pretty much everything about what Amara can, can’t and should do. Margarita has taken over managing the Amara support site. I can’t imagine a more helpful, knowledgeable person giving quick resolutions or escalating as necessary.

12. User forums
A big shout-out to Claude who has been actively contributing to the user forums, helping out the users, clarifying the how-to’s and alerting us to potential areas of difficulty.

13. The new editor

We are still calling it beta as we continue add features and polish it up, but the new editor adds more flexibility to the subtitle process, and it’s going to be great! It’s already the editor of choice for our most dedicated users.


14. The embedder

Another work-still-in-progress the updated transcript viewer will make everyone want to embed their amara-subtitled videos everywhere.


15. Sylvain

He’s the newest addition to our development team.  He dove into the amara code and has been adding improvements to the editor and transcript viewer. Most recently he’s fixed up the editor interface, correcting the scrolling and alignment, created the tools menu and is really pulling together the embedder.

16. Amara On Demand
The details are a bit sketchy, but I’m pretty sure this was dreamed up over a couple of bottles of wine at a pyjama party in Michigan. The result is that Aleli and Darren started putting together our own team to provide professional transcripts, and translation with fast turnaround.  Luckily for all of us Terri came in from behind to provide the back-office support.

17. Amara Captioning team

The team grew from 0 to more than 500 in just a few months and has been creating super high-quality captions for lots of grateful organizations. It wouldn’t be possible with out the Amara staff who support them, including Fran, Jenny, Stevie, Haley, and Marilia.


Just checkout this post by our Michael Lockrey which shows why it’s not OK to just rely on on machine-generated captions. Especially tricky if you are trying to cook.


You can have your html5 and caption it too.  Amara supports the upload and download of webvtt formatted subtitles. It’s just another one among our long list of supported formats.  And we have to thank Marcus who worked on the implementation for us.

19. Our future
Just like the NRO, we too are seeking global domination, but just in the subtitles and captions space…

for now.

Our new Arabic Language Partnership with Taghreedat

Taghreedat Logoi

Amara is delighted to announce a new partnership with Taghreedat, the largest Arabic-language crowdsourcing project in the MENA region, with more than 9,000 translators, editors and writers (check out their Wikipedia page).

This new collaboration will bring many new Arabic translators to the Amara community, greatly strengthening our ability to bring the most important videos in the world– in education, news, politics, and more– into Arabic. Members of Taghreedat will be joining our volunteer communities and using Amara’s platform to manage their own projects. Many Taghreedat members have already worked with Amara through our shared partners, including TED, Khan Academy, Google, and Twitter.

In addition, Taghreedat will be working right away to fully localize the interface into Arabic, which will greatly expand participation. We are currently only 40% translated but that will be changing fast — you can check out Amara’s localization progress and dive in on any languages you speak.

If you are interested in participating in Taghreedat’s Amara Arabic localization project, you can join by visiting this page. Taghreedat and Amara will also soon be providing online guides for Arab users on how to best use Amara.

Read our joint announcement about the partnership for more info.