We recently released an update to Universal Subtitles that fixes lots of little bugs and adds more polish and functionality to the website. If you’d like to try it out, I suggest subtitling a video (get started now). We’re full steam ahead on development and plan to do a release every few weeks. Technically we’re still in alpha right now, but the tools are already very useful in the real world, as you can see below!
We’re excited to see people and organizations beginning to use Universal Subtitles in their everyday workflow! Mozilla Drumbeat (a big early supporter of ours) is using the subtitle widget (the little tab) to encourage people to get involved and subtitle/translate their videos. Within 24 hours, the video was subtitled into the original language (Spanish) as well as English, which is great real-world progress. I’ll embed that below; it’s fun to see how the subtitles can easily move from site to site with a video.
Example of Mozilla Drumbeat using Universal Subtitles. This is an html5 ogg video, so you’ll need a browser that supports this format.
Another organization that’s trying out Universal Subtitles is WITNESS, who specializes in human rights video. You can see their recent blog post that includes a Universal Subtitles enabled video. Similarly to Mozilla’s experience, in less than 24 hours, a contributor translated the video into Polish (check out the comments—Bryan even got a chance to thank them!). Super inspiring stuff and we’re clearly just at the beginning. I’ll be updating this blog more often with examples of videos that could use some help with subtitles and translations.
This latest release adds more video compatibility, so we now support Theora, WebM, YouTube, and blip.tv. We’ll be adding more support for things like Vimeo, mp4, mp3, and flv in the very near future. We fixed a number of minor annoyances and gave the website a big boost. A great example is the new revision history, which creates snapshots of subtitle modifications so everyone can see a revision history and compare different versions of subtitles; it works a lot like Wikipedia’s article history.
In the coming months, we’ll be making it far easier to enable, embed, and spread subtitles for videos and there will be lots of website improvements as well. We’re also working on new features: a better interface and tools for translators, a slicker “subtitle me” tab for embeded videos, automatic machine translation for both translators and viewers, additional video formats, and TONS more!
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