I just read on Google Blogoscoped that in some circumstances, you can now search the audio of selected videos loaded into Google Video. In particular, you can search election speeches of the candidates for specific words (try it out here). Every time there is a “hit” in the video for your keyword, a yellow mark appears on the video timeline.

I did a search for the keyword “math” in the video collection. When you hover your mouse over the yellow mark, you see the text of the speech at that moment.


One can only assume that Google has processed the audio through a speech-to-text program and are actually searching the transcript of the videos for the keywords you choose. As a side benefit, wouldn’t it be cool if one of my students could search my collection of videos for a key phrase, like “logarithmic differentiation” and see every instance of it?

I think this means that Google is pretty darn close to being able to automatically caption videos. If nothing else, hopefully this means that cheap captioning services are just around the corner.

If putting your video lessons on Google Video or Youtube meant they were captioned, would you do it? Release your content to the world?

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