Is giving up on video captions?

Hate what you love

Today I was editing captions for one of my video lessons on, where I teach people to make game art and games. I was trudging along, editing the captions Windows Speech Recognition had built for me in Camtasia. Then I realized I was starting to hate this.

Captions are the right thing to do

I took on captioning for all videos I make starting a couple years ago. At the time, with Camtasia 6, I had to use a special caption exporter tool to make a caption file out of my Camtasia projects. It was worth it, though, because YouTube could use the captions. I’ve always preached about accessibility in web development, so I felt it was the right thing to do with my video lessons.

Going out of business helps no one

Fast-forward to today, as I’m working hard to transition from a freelance coder to a revenue-earning educator. As I strive to teach people to make game art and games in interesting ways, I certainly do not suffer writer’s block. Just reading off to you my terse notes about ideas would take a few hours. The problem is, post-production on videos is taking far too long. Captioning is the bulk of that time. If I can’t move forward more quickly in creating lessons and promoting them, I will not be able to help anyone make games, because I’ll have to go back to hourly coding just to pay the bills.

Is anyone even using my captions?

I have no idea how many people turn on the captions when viewing videos on The captions do not show up by default, but I also am not able to capture analytics on how many people turn them on in the JW Player I use. On Udemy, captions are added as “Open Captions,” meaning they are burnt in to the videos. Again, no idea how many people appreciate them. To date, my videos are the only ones I have seen on Udemy that even bother with captions.

This is a no-brainer

In conclusion, starting tomorrow, I will not be including captions in anymore videos. If someone starts complaining about it, I might budge and revert that decision. I’m pretty sure noone will say a thing, though.


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