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YouTube Brings Automatic Captions, Location Tags to Live Streams

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YouTube is making its live videos more enticing with a few improvements announced yesterday. First, live videos can now take advantage of automatic caption creation in English, something that's been available to on-demand videos since 2009. While YouTube isn't making any big claims about the level of accuracy streamers can expect, it says its live automatic speech recognition (LASR) technology will produce error rates "approaching industry standards." While captions likely won't be perfect, they'll help the hearing impaired enjoy live events. Look for this feature to debut in the coming weeks.

People creating a live stream or on-demand video can now add a location tag to their creations. Viewers can then click the tag to find other videos made in the same place. They can also filter video search results to show only videos created in a certain location.

The biggest new live feature is for people watching the stream after it's finished. Part of the fun of watching a live stream is watching the comments scroll by, as viewers react to the host in real-time. Now, people watching a live stream after it concludes will see a replay of the chat scrolling on the right side of the video.

YouTube is right to make improvements: A recent report from Openwave Mobility shows Facebook live videos are more popular with mobile viewers in some regions. YouTube needs all the help it can get to stand out.

"With live streams, you’ve found more intimate and spontaneous ways to share your thoughts, lives, and creativity," wrote Kurt Wilms, YouTube live video product lead, in a blog post. "Take these features for a spin and show us your world!"

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