Nov 10, 2014 · 3 min read

Australia’s PM, Tony Abbott, on this week’s G20 summit in Brisbane and his automatic craptions that state “it’s the most important mating ever held”. Well I guess the automatic craptioning means I’m no longer worried about him #shirtfronting Putin!


If Google and YouTube aren’t going to do the right thing on accessibility, then it looks like it’s going to be down to you and me.

My name is Michael Lockrey and I’m a captioning evangelist. I’m also profoundly Deaf and this means that I simply cannot watch YouTube videos when only automatic craptioning* is provided.

So I decided to do something about it and is the result.

It’s completely free and open source and I guarantee that it’s the easiest way to fix up the automatic craptioning* on YouTube.

Why? Because there’s absolutely ZERO learning curve involved!

With it’s easy for anyone to simply roll up the sleeves, paste in the YouTube URL and get to work.

Other solutions such as Amara and DotSub are great (and even YouTube’s own captioning and subtitling workflows are ok) but there’s a substantial investment in time and energy that are necessary to learn the workflows and processes of each solution.

Here’s our complete instruction manual:

  1. Paste in the YouTube URL at
  2. Once the video player has loaded, begin making edits to the automatic craptions*
  3. Edits are made by selecting the “CURRENT caption” text box and as soon as you’ve selected it, the video player will pause automatically.
  4. You can save your edits by using SHIFT + ENTER
  5. Rinse and Repeat until you’ve done Google’s job for them!

Here’s the screenshots illustrating the main steps above:

Step 0 — stumbling across yet another YouTube masterpiece with “automatic craptioning” only.
Step 1 — after pasting in the YouTube URL and getting the “green light” you ready to roll. Click the green button.
Step 2 — select the CURRENT captions in the yellow text box and make your changes. MAKE SURE YOU SAVE THEM using the SHIFT + ENTER key combination. You can then download the corrected captions and give them to the content creators.


This is only the beta version and there’s likely to be some “bugs”.


It also isn’t designed to work on mobile devices yet but we plan to release a mobile version in the near future that will enable automatic craptions to be fixed in planes, trains and automobiles.

We will also be rolling out the tool to other non-English languages that YouTube supports and providing a tool that enables a corrected set of captions to be re-synced by a Text-To-Speech service (TTS) so that the timings are improved, as it’s so important to have an accurate starting point when you use TTS services.

There’s also some videos that Google and YouTube simply don’t add automatic craptioning to — I’ve no idea why but it surely can’t be due to quality control issues as they’re all inherently crap.

Please let me know if you encounter any issues as we really want to improve this tool so we can overcome one of the biggest accessibility issues facing the web today.

Footnote: Special mention and thanks must go to Mike Ridgway (who drilled the original concept for into me) and Yoann Sheraf on the programming that has made it a reality.



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    Provider of captioning and audio description services.

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