YouTube to begin slowly rolling out multi-audio track and captioning features

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

YouTube has announced that its multi-audio track feature could be rolling out to everyone in the coming year alongside other accessibility features for the platform.

Announced through a blog post, (Thanks, David Tisserand) YouTube revealed that its multi-audio track feature could be becoming available to users in the next year. Additionally, there are updates to captions on the way with YouTube stating that improving accessibility is a top priority.

In the blog post from YouTube, the company stated “We hope to roll this feature out more widely in the coming quarters.” Having this available to more channels would mean that users can upload one main video with multiple audio tracks rather than having to upload multiple videos and promote them all individually.

Last year, Ubisoft was the first video game studio to make use of YouTube’s multi-audio track feature due to it only being available to a small number of creators. The company’s audio-descriptive track was created in collaboration with Descriptive Video Works. This feature allows users to upload different audio tracks of their uploaded media, and in Ubisoft’s case, this was to allow an audio-described track to be available directly within the main trailer page.

As for the other accessibility features, YouTube has announced that starting from now, all creators can enable live auto-captions for any live streams that are in English. This was previously locked to channels with over 1,000 subscribers. YouTube looks to expand this feature to support all 13 automatic captioning languages.

Additionally, auto-translation for captions on mobile will be rolling out later this year for both Android and iOS devices. The feature is currently available on desktop only. Another feature heading to mobile later this year will allow users to search for keywords within a video’s transcript.

And then to wrap up the post, YouTube announced that it is still working on the Subtitle Editor feature that is due to be heading to the platform and will have updates in the “coming months”. This will appear as a new “Channel Permissions” available through the YouTube Studio, allowing creators to “delegate caption/subtitle creation on their channel to those they trust”. Last year, YouTube faced backlash after removing the Community Captions feature.

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Ben
BaylissEditor-in-ChiefHe/Him

Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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