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Save your old YouTube annotations!
Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Winter 2019 - Save your old YouTube annotations!
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tl;dr: YouTube is getting rid of annotations. If you have any in your videos, I made a tool that converts them into subtitles instead.

On January 15, YouTube is getting rid of annotations. (Not those info icons or end cards, but those boxes you could place anywhere on screen and put any kind of text into.) As of 2017 you can no longer add new annotations to your videos, and in less than two weeks, they'll be deleting existing annotations as well. If you still have old videos that make heavy use of them (for commentary or corrections), that's really unfortunate.

There's at least one way to preserve your annotations: with this online tool I made, you can convert annotations to subtitles. Enter a video URL and you'll get subtitles in the form of an .srt file, which you can upload on YouTube. That way, they'll sorta kinda live on.

There's still manual labor involved (uploading the .srt file on YouTube), and it's not exactly what subtitles are for, but I figure it's better than nothing.

I know there's probably not a lot of people that would benefit from this anymore, but it can't hurt to get the word out just in case. If this is something you care about, give this tool a try and let me know if it worked or didn't!

Here's the source code, by the way.

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Sounds great if you have a channel that used annotations a lot back in a day. I notified a certain person who I know did that, and is currently reuploading all their videos.

Still, I think it was stupid of YouTube to remove annotations like that, especially considering they are one of very few ways to add content into the video after uploading it.

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Yoshiatom's Post
It sucks that Youtube is killing off annotations (but seriously, when was the last time Youtube made a good decesion) so I'm glad to see this is a thing. I know a few people who made game playthroughs with annotations so this should be useful to them.

Shame that they can't be fully replicated (due to the lack of positioning, colouring etc.) but it's better than letting them die.

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It sucks that YouTube decided to completely nuke the old annotations we all love and know instead of at least making them work on mobile devices. This is one of so many bad decisions YouTube made, just like when they added speed adjustment option for videos, then removed it and now it's available again.

When I find a video that uses annotations and I feel that needs annotations on my channel, I may give it a shot. It's amazing how you managed to do this.
I have a Discord server as well!

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Basically, I believe in peace and bashing two bricks together.
Yeah, it really does stink that YouTube's getting rid of annotations. I think I have something like 1435 videos that contain YT's annotations, and I'm sure there are tons of other people who have dozens or hundreds of annotated videos as well, which will all be ruined.

I've been putting a lot of effort into trying to preserve annotations on some of my more important videos in some way, and this tool might make that more convenient for a good number of them. I've already used it to just simply save some videos' annotations into text files, which'll help me re-annotate those videos with VideoPad later.

However, how do you actually upload the .srt file to one of your videos? I decided I wanted to try that out on my first episode of the Drive the Desert Bus SMW hack since that video has relatively few annotations that would probably work just fine as subtitles, but couldn't figure out how exactly to put the .srt file into the Subtitles/CC editor.
What would be Someguy712x's videos without their annotations? Even if i personally have no use for this, i still admire that you programmed something like that. Youtube's decisions suck sometimes and it's sad we need to rely on community members like you, to save old content, which would be mercilessly deleted by them.

Thank you very much again, for creating this tool. I'll inform a few Youtubers i know about it. Hopefully they'll make use of it, to save their old videos' annotations.

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Well, I was going to send this to ORKAL/GoldS for him to use on his Sonic 3 Glitches & Oversights videos, but it seems like those have already been converted to subtitles. Still though, there's probably plenty of other videos that will benefit from this. Nice work!
Originally posted by SomeGuy712x
However, how do you actually upload the .srt file to one of your videos? I decided I wanted to try that out on my first episode of the Drive the Desert Bus SMW hack since that video has relatively few annotations that would probably work just fine as subtitles, but couldn't figure out how exactly to put the .srt file into the Subtitles/CC editor.

Either it's a really long-winded process or I'm making this too hard (probably the former given Youtube's UI), but here's a way that I have found to work:

  1. Go to YouTube Studio (top right corner on any Youtube page)
  2. Click "Transcriptions" in the menu on the left
  3. Select a video
  4. If needed, select a language
  5. Beneath "subtitles", click "add"
  6. Click "upload file"
  7. Select "subtitles file" and choose an .srt file
  8. Click "publish"

(this is assuming you're using the new YouTube Studio, which is still a beta or something. The first few steps are just a way to get to the old studio, since the new one doesn't seem to have a subtitle feature yet.)

Also, thanks for spreading the word, everyone! #tb{:D}

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NIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE! #smw{:TUP:}

About a month ago, I remember mentioning something to SomeGuy712x about how there really should be a way to turn video annotations into subtitles. This tool that does exactly that! Surprised YouTube didn't even think to do this.
Twitter
This is a great idea to combat a terrible decision on YT's part. I'd love to spread it around outside the site since others could certainly use it but I don't know if you have a twitter to properly credit you.
Originally posted by Giftshaven
About a month ago, I remember mentioning something to SomeGuy712x about how there really should be a way to turn video annotations into subtitles. This tool that does exactly that!

I thought of using some external application to extract the annotations and I wanted to tell him about it, but I forgot about it and what it was called (and I'm not sure if its results would be good either).
That doesn't mean this tool isn't useful, it is, thanks!

Originally posted by Giftshaven
Surprised YouTube didn't even think to do this.

Nah, YT is mostly about adding features no one will use or removing the useful ones. They rarely do something good.
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Originally posted by FPzero
This is a great idea to combat a terrible decision on YT's part. I'd love to spread it around outside the site since others could certainly use it but I don't know if you have a twitter to properly credit you.

I don't, but there's a link to my website on the tool page so it might not matter much. Thanks for finding this useful!



Annotations weren't ever really fleshed out in all this time (they never worked on mobile devices because of touch interfaces getting in the way) so it's not much of a surprise they're removing them at least. Blame the rise of mobile I guess? (Though why they never made at least text-only annotations show up on mobile devices is beyond me.)

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Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
I don't, but there's a link to my website on the tool page so it might not matter much. Thanks for finding this useful!

I'm gonna do my best even though I don't have many followers. https://twitter.com/FP_zero/status/1081309984292519938
Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
Either it's a really long-winded process or I'm making this too hard (probably the former given Youtube's UI), but here's a way that I have found to work:

  1. Go to YouTube Studio (top right corner on any Youtube page)
  2. Click "Transcriptions" in the menu on the left
  3. Select a video
  4. If needed, select a language
  5. Beneath "subtitles", click "add"
  6. Click "upload file"
  7. Select "subtitles file" and choose an .srt file
  8. Click "publish"

(this is assuming you're using the new YouTube Studio, which is still a beta or something. The first few steps are just a way to get to the old studio, since the new one doesn't seem to have a subtitle feature yet.)

Alright, I think I've figured it out with those steps (BTW, I'm still using the old studio). But, with this .srt file, apparently there's an "Error on line: 81", and one of my annotations about 28 seconds in didn't get converted into a subtitle. Looks like I can fix that manually, but I have to know that an annotation has gone missing in order to do so.

So, looking at the text output for the annotation converter on that video, it put that annotation at the bottom for some reason, looking like this:

"21
00:28.000:00,000 --> 00:33.000:00,000
Oopsy! If you let the bus hit either side of the road, you get towed back to start, so be careful!"

I don't know why it was placed down there, instead of just after this annotation:

"6
00:00:23,500 --> 00:00:27,500
Note: The bus is always veering to the right, so you have to keep compensating."

Also, what's with the extra ":00,000" after the times of that annotation? Is that what's causing the error?

(BTW, here's the video link to the Drive the Desert Bus video of mine that I'm trying this with.)
Originally posted by SomeGuy712x
So, looking at the text output for the annotation converter on that video, it put that annotation at the bottom for some reason, looking like this:

Ah, it looks like the timecode was in a different format for that one annotation for some reason. I made it account for that now. Thanks for giving me a testcase! #tb{:)} Please give it another try and see if it's fixed now.

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Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
Ah, it looks like the timecode was in a different format for that one annotation for some reason. I made it account for that now. Thanks for giving me a testcase! #tb{:)} Please give it another try and see if it's fixed now.

Alright, now the annotation is in the proper spot, and I see this in the text output:

"6
00:00:23,500 --> 00:00:27,500
Note: The bus is always veering to the right, so you have to keep compensating.

7
00:00:28,000 --> 00:00:33,000
Oopsy! If you let the bus hit either side of the road, you get towed back to start, so be careful!"

That looks correct to me!
I've never been a "has videos on YouTube" person and much less an annotation user, so I can't test it out. But just considering it works, your tool is so handy you should spread it as much as you can. There's many, many people who would benefit from it (many Touhou video makers come to mind!). Really nice work!

[insert rant about YouTube/Google]
I didn't know YouTube was getting rid of annotations until you pointed out (fuck Google/YouTube), and that coming from someone who uploads videos occasionally. I'll test your tool later, but I hope you spread it as much as you can to those who want to keep their annotations in their videos, as it's really handy.
Wow no way, Youtube gets worse.
I had no idea that annotations are going to be completely removed but I guess it's unsurprising. YT just never changes for the better. I'm sure people will got a lot of use out of this tool!

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Forum Index - Sunken Ghost Ship - C3 Museum - Winter 2019 - Save your old YouTube annotations!

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