Three Reasons to Choose Crowdscriber Over YouTube Community Captions

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Crowdscriber is a free transcription/translation platform that combines A.I. speech recognition with the amazing ability of people and their innate penchant for language processing. Here are three reasons to choose Crowdscriber over YouTube Community Captions. 


 Crowdscriber aims to make YouTube a more accessible place for many, and also help YouTube producers reach a broader market with their content.

Note: really sorry if the animated gifs are annoying. I wanted to demonstrate some features, but not annoy the heck out of you. I’ve found this extension for Chrome to be super helpful in situations like this.

Why Crowdscriber?

Wait, doesn’t YouTube already have a Community Captions feature?

What does Crowdscriber do that is better?

This is a question we hear a lot when we tell people about Crowdscriber. The answer is: Why yes it does! They actually introduced this feature after we were well underway on Crowdscriber. I remember thinking to myself “Oh no! We’re doomed, all that time and effort we put into Crowdscriber was just single highhandedly squashed by YouTube!!”. As it turns out though, all of our hard work really had paid off.

The YouTube solution for Community Captions is, in our opinion, an overly simplistic tool for the monumental task that transcription can often be. It provides a no-frills solution for subtitling that we find is often confusing to manage.

The three major ways that Crowdscriber beats YouTube Community Captions are in the areas of CollaborationTransparency and fan-based Adoption of content.

Three Major Ways Crowdscriber Beats YouTube Community Captions

1. Collaboration

Transcription Workflow

Transcription Workflow

First things first, one thing we have taken seriously from the time of Crowdscriber’s inception, is that in order to produce high-quality subtitles, fast and with minimal burn-out for transcribers we need to implement a stellar collaborative workflow.

We asked ourselves: How should content producers chose a video to subtitle? How will they let others know they can help? Transcription is tedious, how do we make it easier?

The YouTube Way

For YouTube, their solution for collaborative subtitling is called Community Captions:

YouTube Community Captions

Turn on Community Captions in YouTube

To leverage YouTube’s built-in Community Captions, a content producer either turns on the feature for all the videos in their channel, or they can pick and choose the videos which should be open for community transcription. After that, you kind of have to just wait and see if people will help you out.

The Crowdscriber Way

In Crowdscriber, collaboration is baked right into our workflow. Once you find a video that you’d like to have subtitled, you simply choose the language and then copy a link that is generated. This link is meant to be distributed amongst your fans, your staff, or on crowdsourcing websites like Fivr and upWork.

Creating Link Distribution

Creating Link Distribution

To demonstrate how this works in Crowdscriber, let’s imagine that after our content producer has chosen a video to subtitle they decided to post the link on their Twitter feed, here’s how that’d look:

Crowdscriber Tweeting Link

Just post the link to Twitter. A nice preview of your video will be displayed

Leveraging Speech-to-Text

Let’s say a follower wanted to help and clicked on the link, then what? Well, the transcriber is then brought to a page that asks them for their email address, this is to curb “caption vandals” and spammers.

The transcriber will then be emailed a link and when they click that link, they’ll be asked to transcribe a two minute chunk of the video (more on that below).

Also they’ll be asked whether or not they wish to leverage any auto-captions (speech-to-text) that are available for this video in an effort to save them time.

Crowdscriber's Awesome Chunks

Crowdscriber Logo
Crowdscriber Chunks

Crowdscriber Chunks

A core premise of collaboration in Crowdscriber is the concept of a “chunk”. Transcription is a very tedious and time consuming task (some might say mind-numbing).

For instance, transcribing a 1 hour video, from scratch, could take as long (or longer) than 5–10 hours of work. This is why Crowdscriber takes this daunting task and breaks it up into small bite-sized chunks of only 2 minutes.

Not only does this “chunking” provide a transcriber some form of relief that they are only responsible for a small portion and not the whole video, it allows many transcribers to work on a video in parallel. This drastically reduces the amount of time it takes to subtitle an entire video.

Contrast this to YouTube’s Community Captions. Well, I don’t think you can actually! From my own playing around, it seems as though transcribers can work on the same video in parallel, however they somehow have to coordinate which parts of the video each person will subtitle.

Otherwise, if they all work on the same portion of the video someone ends up clobbering someone else’s work. That’s not good, and won’t be very encouraging to anyone who’d put the time into helping you subtitle your videos.

As a side note, Crowdscriber allows a transcriber the ability to subtitle as many chunks of the video as they’d like. So, just because we’re dishing it out piecemeal, doesn’t mean a transcriber can’t go ahead and subtitle an entire video themselves if no one else is doing so.

Check out this great platform for transcribing and captioning videos and audio. This is a podcasters and Youtubers dream!

Click to Tweet

2. Transparency

One major advantage we’ve built into Crowdscriber is the ability for content producers to monitor the progress of transcriptions. 

At any point in time, they can peek in on the subtitling process for a video and see how much is left to do. A producer can even review, edit or contribute their own chunks of work to the process.

Crowdscriber Transcription Interface

Crowdscriber Transcription Interface

Contrast this to YouTube Community Captions. As far as we can tell, once you enable a video for Community Captions, you just kind of have to sit back and wait until the entire video has been transcribed.

We couldn’t find a way to figure out how much progress has been made on a transcription. It leaves us with a feeling of “will this every get done?”

3. Adoption of Content

In YouTube Community Captions, you have to enable it. Meanwhile, you may have fans in Korea that want non-english-speaking Koreans to enjoy your content as they do.

In Crowdscriber, anyone can sign up for an account and “adopt” someone else’s video by typing in a YouTube video link. They’ll instantly be able to start transcribing or translating the video, they can even solicit help from others by pasting their transcription link to Twitter, Discord, Facebook, etc…

Crowdscriber Sign-Up

Adopting Content

Claiming a Crowdscriber Chunk

At this point you might have asked yourself “How does the original content producer then use the subtitles generated by adoption?” The answer is by clicking on a claim link!

Once the fans of a video are done with their transcription, they can send the content producer a link. The link will allow the owner, and only the owner, the ability to claim their subtitles; so it is safe to tweet this link.

It really is that simple!

Claiming a Crowdscriber Chunk

Claiming a Crowdscriber Chunk


There are many more features available in Crowdscriber and I urge you to go discover them yourself! The platform is free to use, so head on over and sign up for an account.



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About the author 

Craig Tataryn

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