Watching foreign language videos can be a challenge without live captions or translation. Although most YouTube videos have live captions, this feature does not work outside of the service. Google is aiming to solve this problem with the new Live Captions feature which offers dynamic translations of videos across all sites.
Live Captions is an accessibility feature that generates real-time transcripts to allow users to enjoy the videos regardless of their language. You may have used subtitles on YouTube to watch videos in a language different from yours. However, this feature does not work outside of YouTube.
Chrome Live Legend will make it easy for anyone consuming audio / video content without missing out. Let’s take a look at how live captions work in Google Chrome, where it will work, what types of media are supported, and how to enable the feature.
Before you start, update Chrome
Make sure you are running the latest version of Chrome browser on your Windows PC or Mac. Google Chrome version 89 and above supports the live caption feature. While Chrome should update automatically, there are ways to check for Chrome updates and install them manually.
While Android users got Live Caption in 2019 and it’s still unclear when will it be available for iOS and ChromeOS.
Where will live captioning work
Live Caption supports audio and video playback on any site you open in the Chrome browser. In addition to working on audio-video content posted on websites and social media platforms, this feature will also support audio content like podcasts and radio.
You can open audio or video files stored on your local hard drive in Chrome to enjoy live captions generated in real time and on the device while audio is playing. This means that the live captions work offline without the need for an active internet connection.
Since all live captions are dynamically generated on your computer, no data is sent to Google’s servers. Finally, web-based audio and video chat applications are also supported. This means that you can now engage in meaningful conversations with your family and team members.
While there is no mention of what audio and video file types are supported, expect all popular file formats to work. There may be a few exceptions, but Google is adding this with future updates.
Enable live captions in Google Chrome
Now that we know how live captions work in Chrome browser, let’s see how you can enable them. The feature is not enabled by default as is the case with most accessibility features. It is optional.
Step 1: Open Chrome browser and click on the three-dot menu icon to select Settings.
2nd step: Click the Advanced option in the left sidebar and select Accessibility. You should display the Live Caption option on the right. Activate it.
The Chrome browser will start downloading the files needed for speech recognition.
It shouldn’t take more than a few moments. You won’t see a pop-up asking for permission. These files are part of the installation of Chrome on your Windows or Mac PC. Once these files are downloaded, you can just start using the feature.
Open a web page that contains a video or audio clip and play it. Live subtitles will appear as soon as the audio starts playing.
The captions will appear in a box at the bottom of the screen that you can move if you think it’s obstructing your view, preventing you from seeing what’s on the screen. Lowering the volume or muting the sound will not turn off live captions. Useful in environments where you don’t have headphones with you and can’t turn up the volume either.
Customize live captions in Google Chrome
Windows 10 bundles the options to customize the way text appears when using the Live Caption feature in Chrome. When you click the Closed Caption Preferences button in Chrome, it opens the Windows Settings menu on a Windows PC.
From the Captions settings, you can easily change the font type, size, color, and effects. There is a live preview option to see what the captions will look like in real time.
Also on Guiding Tech
Live captions are a useful addition for watching videos or listening to audio in any language in Chrome. It is specially designed to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Besides that, you can still use Live Caption to watch videos or listen to audio in different foreign languages. This feature is exclusive to Google Chrome only. This means that Chromium-powered browsers like Opera or Edge won’t offer it.
Looking for a Chrome extension to identify fonts when surfing online? Here are five great choices for Google Chrome extensions from the Chrome Web Store.
Last updated on April 8, 2021
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