Last year, YouTube introduced automatic audio transcription for videos, called Closed Captions. Powered by Google’s automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology, YouTube captions enabled people with hearing disability or non-English speakers to watch and understand videos on YouTube. Along with automatic captions, Google also enabled automatic machine translation of the same allowing videos to reach an even wider population.
Videos that have captions are marked with a red colored button that reads CC. Captions can be turned on and off by clicking on this button. Translation options and other captions settings can be accessed from the same button.
YouTube captions, however, works only when you watch the videos on YouTube. A video embedded on a website loses the captioning feature. Also videos downloaded from YouTube does not carry captions. If you have downloaded such a YouTube video and wish to download the captions you can use the YouTube Caption Downloader addon for Firefox.
YouTube Caption Downloader adds a “Download caption” link just beneath the “Embed” button on a YouTube video page as shown above.
Click this link to download the caption as an SRT file. SRT is a subtitle file format which you can play along with the downloaded video on any subtitle supporting video player like VLC media player, GOMPlayer etc.
YouTube Caption Downloader works fine with videos that has a single caption. But when a video contains multiple captions in multiple languages, the downloader will download the caption file of only the first language.
In the example shown above, YouTube Caption Downloader downloaded the German caption file because it is the first language that occurs in the drop down list, even though the selected caption for the video was English.
This is a known bug. The developer promises to take care of this issue in later releases.