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November 12, 2012

New feature! Closed captions and transcripts


We now have the ability to display closed captions in our HTML 5 player, as well as show the full transcript of a course in English (optionally translated into over 50 languages) on a new Transcript tab for a course!

Playing with closed captions enabled

You may have recently noticed the addition of a CC icon next to many of our courses. You’ll continue to see these pop up as we fine tune and upload the transcripts for our courses. If a course displays the CC icon (and if you have a current subscription) you will be able to watch the course with closed captions turned on.

Closed captions icon

You’ll also be able to view the entire transcript of the course by clicking the Transcript tab on any course with the CC icon.

Transcripts tab

What about non-English speakers?
We provide translations of our English transcripts in a variety of languages, courtesy of the Google Translate service. We store your language preference with your user profile, so you only need to select a language once, and from then on, you’ll always see closed captions and transcripts in that language. You can switch languages at any time, and we will remember your preference.

Language translation

How do I use a course transcript?
When you select a course that has the CC icon on it, you’ll see a new “Transcript” tab appear. Click that tab and you’ll see all of the modules for the course listed, and each clip in a module will have a big paragraph of text under it that is the transcript for that clip’s video. If you hover your mouse over the text, you’ll notice that the paragraph is broken up into smaller timecoded blocks of text. By clicking on one of those blocks, our player will fire up and start playing that clip for you. If you’re using the HTML 5 player, it’ll even seek to the time code and start playing right where that line of text occurs in the video!

How can I access closed captions in the player?
First of all, make sure you’re using a player that has caption support. As of this writing, only our HTML 5 player supports captions. Next, make sure the course you are watching has the CC icon on it. That tells you that a transcript is available. When you bring up the player, you should see a CC button in the control bar at the bottom of the player. Just click that button to turn on closed captions. Easy!

When will my favorite course have its transcripts ready?
Transcribing a course is a big job, and we are hard at work getting this done for as many courses as we can. Please be patient with us. We are committed to transcribing any new courses that come out, but we may not get to some of our older and less popular courses for quite some time (if at all).

Which players can display closed captions?
We have a number of players, but right now only one supports closed captions: our HTML 5 beta player.

Why can’t I see the transcripts for a course that is marked with the CC icon?
Our normal paid subscribers should be able to see transcripts for any course with a Closed Caption icon. Some of our free subscribers (MSDN starter subscriptions, for example) only have access to a subset of our courses. The rule is this: if you are allowed to watch the video for a course, you are allowed to see its transcript. This applies to free trials as well – once your trial minutes run out, you’ll no longer see transcripts for courses.

About the Author

is the Chief Technology Officer for Pluralsight. As CTO, Keith makes sure that Pluralsight's content delivery platform doesn't get in the way of your learning! He strives for less friction and more consistent quality every day.