Farmer Update April 2nd – lecture videos

I’ve been criminally bad at blogging in this class, so here’s a review: my part of the project is captioning three lecture videos by James Farmer, ranging from half an hour to just over an hour. I spent February and the first week of March using the Youtube auto-captioning tool and then correcting them (or just transcribing from scratch in the case of the video for which auto-captioning refused to work.) These are poorer quality recordings than the Reflections lectures, and no current captions or transcriptions exist, which means both that captioning is more necessary, and that it is far more difficult.

Where the coronavirus got in the way (less so than for my other group members, but still) is that the original plan was to download the subtitles as .srt files and insert them into Premier Pro. Originally, I thought I might be able to do a version of this in iMovie, the only video editing software I currently have access to, but that quickly hit a barrier.

The back-up plan was always to embed the YouTube videos as they are, but I also discovered that Omeka’s Universal Viewer plugin won’t necessarily support the captions if they’re not burned in. As of yesterday, I’ve reached out to Angie Kemp about next steps, and we’ll be coordinating on which Omeka resources will be most effective; it turns out there’s a specific Youtube Embed plugin that might work better than just Universal Viewer.

The good news is that I’ve finished filling in gaps, correcting mistakes, and making sure subtitles are readable and grammatical for all three videos! It was a much easier process than I’d initially assumed it would be. Over the month I spent transcribing these videos, I hadn’t realized I’d grown much more accustomed to hearing Farmer’s intonations and turns of phrase, and phrases that I’d had to relisten to ten times became immediately evident. That’s a pro of transcribing several videos of the same person, as opposed to videos of different people, which we are about to undertake. With that said, this has been a hugely rewarding experience, and I look forward to finally visiting it.

I might make a blog post next week about the more emotional, less technical aspects of doing this section of the project.

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