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Category: Programming Guide Creation

Using Descript to create closed-caption subtitles for technical videos

While I like creating programming video guides, there’s a lot of work around creating and editing them. But, with the Descript app (affiliate link) I just purchased, I’m now able to quickly and easily create closed-caption subtitles for my videos.

This is a capability I didn’t expect to be able to do but is a great addition to make my videos accessible to hearing-impaired people.

 

Creating the transcription

I created a transcription of my new video on the Singleton Design Pattern.

The video is below. If you click on the “CC” button, you’ll see the results of the transcription.

This video is 7 minutes 42 seconds long, and the initial transcription was 1361 words.

It took me 18 minutes to edit the transcribed text and create the SRT (subtitle) file to upload to YouTube.

I’m still getting used to the editor, but I don’t expect to get much faster. Most of the time was spent reading and correcting class, function, and variables names.

Issues with the transcription

As expected, the transcription does not handle names of classes, functions, and variables very well.

In this video, I use a variable named “s_syncLock” and a function “GetLogger()”. I had to manually correct every place in the transcription where I said those names.

However, you can add words to a glossary, and I started putting commonly mis-transcribed words from my videos into it.

One problem I need to get around is parentheses when transcribing functions.

In Descript, parentheses indicate a comment to store in the transcription notes – not something that is included in the output SRT file.

The SRT file is a simple text file. So, it’s possible to manually edit that file and add in parentheses – but I didn’t do that.

Summary

A few years ago, I timed my whole process of creating a programming video – coming up with the topic, writing the sample code, recording and editing a video, and writing the text version to post in my website. It generally took 6-8 hours to do everything for a 15-minute video.

I’m going to review those notes and create a checklist for creating videos (a whole other issue, where I want all my processes to have checklists). But I expect I’ll be able to optimize that process now and reduce that time noticeably.

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