Tag Archives: community

Amara Blog Redesign & Intro of CAT

In 2014, we focused on developing the Amara platform (making it faster and even more user friendly), building partnerships, and gaining long-term sustainability.  In 2015, in addition to continuing this work,  we also want to foster greater connections amongst online translation and accessibility communities. We’re starting with this new sub-blog: Community, Accessibility & Translation (aka CAT) – our goal with this space is to explore the values, communities, and issues that drive our work.

Amara attracts a uniquely diverse group of users, and we hope to reflect that uniqueness in this blog. We want to highlight the people who are making a difference, like Dawn, at iheartsubtitles, who is urging creators and producers to budget caption costs into their productions. We’d like to cross-pollinate with other large communities, for instance, the TED Open Translation Project community has published some great tips on language acquisition.

We’re also excited to spread awareness around groups like /r/CaptionsPlease on Reddit, a community of volunteers who help make specific videos accessible, upon request. These are just a few examples of a growing community of allies who are sharing best practices, advocating for a more inclusive world, and working to make the web a better place.

We’ll be doing plenty of writing here. More importantly, we will soon be inviting guest/cross posts as well. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or feedback you’d like to share, please get in touch: blogs@amara.org

New Tools for Enterprise Teams

Managing your Amara Enterprise team has just gotten easier!

Over the past few weeks we’ve been focusing on rolling out an updated set of tools for Amara Enterprise Team Admins.

If you haven’t heard about Amara Enterprise, yet, well let’s just say it’s the easiest way to get your videos captioned and it keeps getting easier.  It allows you to leverage the power of a crowd combined with Amara’s unique, best in class subtitle editor.   You can learn more about how it can help you here.

Several the unique feature sets that the Amara Platform offers, including team membership controls, video organization and quality controls steps have just gotten faster and simpler.

  • Adding videos via RSS Feeds:  Many of our individual users know how easy it is to automatically add their videos to Amara.  They just add their YouTube username and their videos are added.  Now Enterprise teams have this option as well, with a few bonus features.  sciAmara supports automatically importing videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Kaltura, Brightcove, Wistia and any other hosting platform with syndication support for standard media rss feeds.  Add the feed once and your videos are kept up to date as you generate content. This keeps your subtitling and translating crowd busy and your content fresh!feeds
  • Team Video Organizing: If you like to keep your content organized.  Amara has now added a batch move feature, allowing you to organize, reorganize and then shift things around some more.  It’s too easy for those of use who like to keep things grouped.
  • Team Application Processing:  Application-only teams have been a standard part of the enterprise offering, however approving them can be a tedious process.  Not anymore! We’ve added bulk processing so you can see a complete list of your applicants and batch approve those you’d like on your team.
  • Team Messaging: Want to reach out to your crowd in their own language?  Have an urgent need for some French or Japanese translations?  Now you can choose to send email team members based on their language configurations.
  • Quality Control Checks: Amara’s quality control checks allow team admins to approve subtitle content before it’s published.  However there are times when there’s a backlog or a rush and you want your subtitles live, now.  Enter bulk accepting approval tasks.  Get a list of languages awaiting your approval, do a quick check of the latest revision, and publish!


Visit Amara Enterprise, if you’d like to learn more about the best subtitling platform and how we can help you make your web video and audio content accessible.

Subtitles and Captions for Every Video on the Web

Update: Click here to subtitle your video >

Here’s the problem: web video is beginning to rival television, but there isn’t a good open resource for subtitling. Here’s our mission: we’re trying to make captioning, subtitling, and translating video publicly accessible in a way that’s free and open, just like the Web.

Our approach:

  • Make a simple and ubiquitous way to request, create, and translate subtitles for any video
  • Work with others to define open protocols so that whenever subtitles for a video exist, any website or video player will be able to retrieve them
  • Create a community space for people who subtitle video, to encourage contributions and facilitate collaboration

Tools we’re building

1) Subtitle Widget: We’re developing an incredibly user friendly interface for adding captions to almost any video on the web (without the hassle of re-transcoding or re-uploading). We’ll be launching a demo very soon, but here’s a sneak peek:

Universal Subtitles Widget

2) Universal Subtitles Protocol: A new open standard that will allow clients such as Firefox extensions, desktop video players, websites, or browsers to look up and download matching subtitles from a whitelist of subtitle databases when they play video.

3) Collaborative Subtitling Site: An online community for collaboratively subtitling and translating the world’s videos (like a Wikipedia for subtitles).  The site will have special tools for versioning, incentives for different types of collaboration, and all subtitles created here will be available in any context via our open protocol.  The site will exist to encourage dynamics like:

  • Formation of teams for subtitling a program, or a topic.
  • Tracking which subtitling or translation tasks are the most requested, and mobilizing volunteers.
  • Volunteers recruiting their friends for help transcribing or translating a video.
  • Splitting large tasks into smaller parts

Universal Subtitles Site

Together, our goal is for these and other compatible tools to enable a layer of collective action over all the video we watch, one that is working constantly to break down language and accessibility barriers.

Everything will be 100% free and open source, available under the AGPL.

Who we are

Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) is the 501c3 non-profit that makes Miro, the cross-platform, free software video player and downloader.  Universal Subtitles is now one of PCF’s core projects.  PCF’s work on Universal Subtitles has received seed funding from the Mozilla Foundation.

You can help us spread the word!

Get updates and find out first when we launch:

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Follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook

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Retweet Us! RT @universalsubs aims to make subtitling, captioning, and translating web videos easy and ubiquitous! http://universalsubtitles.org/

Bonus: Join the Collaborative Subtitling Design Challenge

Design Challenge
Mozilla Labs is helping us out by hosting the Collaborative Subtitling Design Challenge. While the challenge is primarily directed towards budding designers, anyone interested in design is welcome to participate. To get started, read the brief, check out our initial product concepts, make your own improvements/revision, and then submit your ideas and mockups.

The challenge will help us by bringing fresh thinking to our interface concepts and push us to take the subtitling widget to a higher level of usability. All the best work will be featured/honored by Mozilla.