Xbox got access to the audio tracks feature on YouTube, and used it to add audio description to a video. The first video of Xbox with audio descriptions is the video welcoming Activision Blizzard King to the Xbox family.
In case you missed it, after a long process involving court cases and regulatory bodies, Microsoft completed the 69 billion dollar acquisition last week. Activision Blizzard King brings a wide range of well known IPs under the Xbox umbrella. Such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Candy Crush, and classics such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. While some have concerns about competition, others have hopes for better working conditions and accessibility. Wherever you stand, there’s no denying the deal is an interesting one.
The dream has (finally!) become reality. Audio descriptions available as an alt audio track on YouTube. First one is a big one welcoming our new family.Sean (Jordan) McIntyre (@zentertainment on X / Twitter)
YouTube audio tracks
Audio tracks on YouTube is a feature that still slowly seems to be rolling out to channels. It allows multiple audio tracks to be added to a video. This can allow for voice overs in multiple languages, similarly to subtitles. As Xbox shows with this video, and Ubisoft did before, it can also be used to add audio descriptions.
Having different language tracks and audio descriptions on one video makes it easier for people to find their preferred audio. For channels it also streamlines the publishing process, making it unnecessary to upload many different versions of the same video.
Now, Xbox is not the first to use this feature. We reported in 2020 that Ubisoft used audio tracks for the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Story trailer. New or not, it’s great to see more channels getting access and using this feature to improve the accessibility of their videos.
To access the audio description, click the settings button shaped like a cog. This is also where you can choose the subtitles. The audio track feature works in a similar way. In the case of Xbox’s video, it allows viewers to choose between English original, and English descriptive.