Day 5: Apple Clips with Live Titles

I had a completely different blog post written for today but saw a bunch of tweets about Apple Clips that were mentioning VoiceOver, Live Titles, and Captions that piqued my interest and had to try it out myself.

What is Clips and how can it Create Accessibility?

Clips is a new app from Apple that is available for download on iPhone and iPads. It is a video creation tool with different filters, graphics, music, and text available. It was the captioning feature, that is referred to as Live Titles that intrigued me. Live Titles will transcribe or auto-caption what is said in real-time, not after the fact. You even have choices on the appearance of the Live Titles. Clips allows you to create a video, see the captions in real-time, and then edit those captions prior to sharing to different platforms.

How it Works with Live Titles.

  1.  Download the Clips app from iTunes. It's free though I did have to upgrade to 10.3 first.
  2. Click on the Speech Bubble at the top and Choose how you want Live Titles to Appear.

  3.  Begin Recording by pressing the Hold to Record Button at the Bottom.
  4.  Release Button when recording complete.
Just 4 steps to record with Live Titles! The auto-transcriptions were pretty accurate on my first several attempts. However, I tested this at home and was in a quiet environment.  I imagine that environmental factors, articulation, and audio quality will influence the accuracy of Live Titles. There's plenty of other features such as the filters, graphics, and text that can be added to your video though I did not explore those much. You can even mute the microphone icon and Live Titles, if enabled, will still appear without any audio.

When I made this screen cast demonstrating Clips, I had errors in the captions which led me to investigate the editing process. 

Sadly, while the recording and enabling of Live Titles in Clips was super easy and intuitive to figure out, the editing process was not!  Following the recording of your video in Clips, you can play it and when you pause, an audio icon, editing icon (scissors), and a trash can appear on your screen. In my mind, I thought the scissors would be about editing but no amount of pressing the scissors and then tapping the on-screen captions proved helpful. The 5 steps below is what I eventually figured out.

How to edit Live Titles.

  1. Play your Video
  2. Pause your Video
  3. Click on the Captions, not the scissors. Lesson learned. They are unhelpful unless you want to clip your video.
  4. ALL the Captions appear on a screen separate from your video that resembles a basic text editor.  Make your edits here.
  5. Click Apply
This is only 5 steps but the interface leaves a lot to be desired! Since the text exists away from your video you don't have a way to pair the audio and the text together easily while editing. It would require going back and forth and repeating these 5 steps multiple times to ensure accuracy. The interface lends itself to correcting spelling errors or adding punctuation. But, it's not user-friendly to ensure accuracy or to insert text that Live Titles failed to transcribe as I demonstrated as I attempted to edit the Live Titles.

I think Clips has promise in creating more accessible media with the addition of Live Titles. I love that the captioning is live and creators can get that instant feedback during the creation process. My fear is that with the editing not being streamlined to make necessary corrections to these Live Titles, media produced using Clips with Live Titles will be inaccurate and frustrating for caption users. Or, creators will just not use Live Titles to begin with. On the bright side, it's nice to see these technologies evolve and continue to improve over time.

If you try out Clips with Live Titles, I'd be curious to hear more about your experience. How accurate were your LiveTitles? Did you try editing? How did it go? And if students create using Clips with Live Titles, how was their experience?

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