Canvas Studio not showing auto caption request for YouTube Videos?

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Hi: Was testing out to see what CS does with a captioned YouTube; it doesn't show the existing captions nor does it give me the option to auto caption? Looks like this:

and the YouTube Link was

It's already captioned in YouTube, but I wanted it captioned in CStudio so I could put questions in it for students.


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Good evening, @amg ...

You are correct that Canvas Studio does not allow you to auto-generate closed captioning text for YouTube videos you add to your Studio library.  It's my understanding that auto-captioning is not possible because of some legal/"Terms of Service" reasons ... much of which I am unfamiliar with.  I've heard that if you absolutely need captions, you can try to contact the owner of that video to see if they have the caption file (SRT or VTT file) that they would be willing to send you, or you may need to create captions on your own.  Another option is to just send your students out to YouTube to watch the video and turn on the captions there.

When you watch YouTube can usually tell if the captions have been auto-generated or if the captions have been thoroughly reviewed by the owner.  If the captions are being generated almost word by word "on the fly" as you watch the video, then they are auto-generated.  If the captions appear in blocks of text where it's not generating text word by word, then those captions have been added by the owner.

I hope this information will be of help to you.  Take care, stay safe, and be well.

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Hi @dj_hawkins. A few years ago when it was still Arc I submitted a help request on this issue. Here's what I heard back from Instructure:

This is a limitation of Youtube captions which, in general, cannot be extracted from a video without unsupported third party software. The video is not being re-uploaded from YouTube onto Arc, it is merely being embedded from YouTube which is why the captions stay with the video on YouTube. This also means if the original uploader were to remove the video, it would no longer be viewable in Arc. Because of usage rights, YouTube does not allow for any native downloading of user content, from anyone besides the original uploader.

You're right about the tech. Even though it's not that hard to bring captions over (I made a video on how to move captions from YouTue to Studio), there is a rights issue that prevents it from being done by Instructure. 

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Hi @dj_hawkins,

unfortunately, pulling YouTube captions to Studio is merely a matter of YouTube's Terms of Use rather than the tech. What @ProfessorBeyrer points out is accurate, we embed YouTube media instead of uploading them (therefore those don't count to any storage).

Even though there are services existing to download media and/or its captions, they exist only for personal use. We are not allowed to do so or officially integrate with them, and in best case we would only have a very limited set of media where we have prior written permission from YouTube and, if applicable, the respective rights holders (ToS.) Our understanding around using YouTube media in course building is that Youtube gives teachers opportunity and freedom to quickly find any content they need. That's a very strong statement. Therefore working towards a set of media where we have prior permissions would not be ideal.

Short-term, we don't have a recommended solution, there are workarounds as you can see from the responses. I believe Gregory's solutions seems to be a great one to display captions for YouTube media and enjoy Studio's features at the same time.

Long-term, the solution might just be integrating with another video platform that provides valuable educational content and doesn't apply so strict ToS about the captions. If there is such service in your mind, we are more than happy to explore that as we are making Studio integrable with custom services easier over time. For example I have seen SchoolTube coming up in other conversations. Vimeo is already integrated and we have it on our radar to carry over captions as well.



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