Tag Archives: translations

amara dev updates 2014-07-09

Amara’s new transcript viewer

Today we started using our new transcript viewer on every video embed on our site. Screenshot from 2014-07-09 22:04:23   The new embedder boasts a sleak design as it displays the searchable transcript.  You can click on any phrase to jump to that place in the video, easily switch back and forth between languages, and follow along as the text progresses.

Finally, the new embedder supports both video and audio files, so we now have video page playback support for mp3 and ogg audio as well.

We’re so happy to have the embedder on our website.  If you’d like to try the new embedder to promote captioning and translation of  your videos, the embed code is greatly simplified. You’ll find it in the usual spot on the video page or in the embed code usage guide.Screenshot from 2014-07-09 22:11:23 There’s a ton of changes in this release to production.  Here’s the complete list.

  • #1529 Replace widget with new embedder
  • #1585 New embedder does not work on Internet Explorer
  • #1566 update loading gif for embedder
  • #1563 Keep thumbnails in youtube videos
  • #1560 Duplicate / in URL in embedder that causes issues on production
  • #1545 Display only one video in diffing page
  • #1542 embedder menu when there are no subtitles
  • #1535 Update the embed code on amara web site
  • #1533 embed controls display html5
  • #1531 embedded video doesn’t display if switching tabs
  • #587 MP3 upload is not working
  • #628 embed MP3 file empty subtitles
  • #678 Layout, timing issue with MP3 audio
  • #1490 Start using the new embedder on amara pages
  • #548 Editor: gracefully process video formats incompatible with the browser
  • #1525 Deal better with videos on https
  • #1414 Teams: blacklisted languages should not be available for selection from the list
  • #1540 Change ‘Tartar’ language to ‘Tatar’
  • #1539 Deleting a video from the site, deletes the billing record

Captioning Brightcove videos with Amara

The Easiest way to get Captions and Subtitles on your Brightcove Videos

Brightcove Customers have a new option for using Captions and Subtitles to reach a wider audience, improve their SEO and improve accessibility: Amara.

Yesterday we rolled out our Amara-Brightcove integration for getting captions directly on to your Brightcove videos.  And we’re boasting that we have the easiest integration around!



All you need to do is fill in a few fields on our team integration page.  Videos are added to Amara, and completed subtitles are synced back to Brightcove.



This new integration is available to Amara Enterprise and Amara On-demand customers.  To learn more and try it out, contact us!

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.

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 arcus.io, 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.

Get involved and help us make Universal Subtitles better!

We’re working on a fresh release of Universal Subtitles right now and we need help with testing. You don’t need to know anything about programming to get involved!

As a non-profit and collaborative project we wholly depend on volunteers at every stage of the process. We already have a fantastic core group of testers, but in order to really get the ball rolling and develop Universal Subtitles to its full potential the project needs more participants. And the best thing is that you don’t need to be a genius programmer to get involved! Indeed, most of our testing scenarios can be executed from the comfort of your own browser and they do not involve much more than a few clicks.

For instance, here is a very easy yet very useful test to execute:

Litmus Testing

  1. Go to litmus.pculture.org and sign in or create an account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Select the recommended test run for Universal Subtitles
  3. Specify your Browser / OS configuration and start running tests from the groups that are listed.
  4. For each test that you run, please mark it pass / fail / unclear. Don’t worry if you can’t run all the tests.
  5. If you encounter an error, please file a bug and provide the bug number in the results and a quick description in the comment.

You can find more information about this test and others on this page, and anyone interested in helping us out should join our dedicated google group.