Creating captions for your videos on YouTube has become much easier thanks to the introduction of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology.Auto-Timing: Upload a transcript (a simple file with the text of what's said in the video), and through speech recognition technology we'll turn it into synchronised captions. Timing is the toughest part of creating captions, but now this should be much easier. The technology works best for videos with good sound quality and clear spoken English.Auto-Captions: We use the same speech recognition technology to create machine-generated captions (which can then be translated into 51 languages). You can see auto-caps in action right now on a range of educational channels, such as UC Berkeley, Stanford, MIT, Yale, UCLA, Duke, UCTV, Columbia, PBS, National Geographic, Demand Media, UNSW and most Google channels, including YouTube's. Click on the menu button at the bottom right of the video player, then click CC and the arrow to its left, then click the new "Transcribe Audio" button. In time, we hope to expand this feature for many more YouTube videos.
Social features like commenting, rating, video responses and even just emailing or IMing a video's link have always been a part of the YouTube experience. So that's why we spend a lot of time here thinking about how to make the site an even more social place. We're especially focused on wanting to make it as easy as possible for you to find the people you know on YouTube and to follow their activity (what videos are they rating? favouriting? commenting on?) by subscribing to their channel; it's a great way to stay up on what they're into as well as discover new content yourself. As you consume these videos and start sharing your own, you in turn "feed" your friends a tasty helping of video goodness. It breaks into this virtuous distribution cycle:
Face facts: in a swimming race against 14-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, you'd have no chance whatsoever...but you may be able to beat him in speed putting! If you can make more than 12 five-foot putts in a minute, you'll have bragging rights forever:This is "The Best of Us Challenge," presented by the International Olympic Committee, where Olympic athletes challenge the YouTube community to compete in some truly unique events. For example, you can challenge American Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson by tapping-your-ears-while-doing-a-handstand. (FYI: she did it 54 times in 30 seconds.) Or take on one of the world's fastest men, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, who balanced a stick on his foot for two minutes and 30 seconds. Six-time Grand Slam winner and Olympic gold medalist Rafael Nadal picked up 24 tennis balls in 30 seconds (making great use of his groin area) — how many can you get?If you've got the moxie to best these world class athletes, check out the The Best of Us Challenge channel on YouTube to learn how to submit your video. Prizes include a trip for two to the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in February 2010 and a trip for two to the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August 2010, as well as T-shirts, video games and posters. Submissions end on Sunday, November 15, so whatever your skill is — putting, hand-standing, hula-hooping, etc. — get out there and show the world your best.Andrew Bangs, YouTube Sports, recently watched "Tiger Woods Golf Swing in Slow Motion"