Guest blog by Thomas Logan and James Herndon www.equalentry.com
If you frequently watch video content on the web, you may have noticed the recent increase in the availability of captions. Sometimes they are part of the video itself, while other times they are created by voice recognition software during playback. In either scenario, the increased visibility of captioning technology is a result of The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which requires VoIP providers and manufacturers to make their services and equipment more accessible to web users with disabilities.
Another reason for the increased availability of captioning support is that it makes the internet more accessible to all users. Because captions transcribe a video, video content is more easily searched. Additionally, because captions are synchronized with the video itself, the caption transcript can serve as links to different segments of the video. You no longer have to watch the whole thing to find the segment you want to see, which is especially useful with long videos.
A great example can be seen on an Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview page for Windows 8. On this page, video captions are not only displayed in the video itself, but also in a sidebar. The user can scroll through the captions in this sidebar, and click on a caption to begin playback from that location. Watch a demonstration at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=36WVM5SjXco.