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Google today rolled out its live caption transcription feature to version 89 of Chrome browser for desktop, as first spotted by XDA Developers.

chrome-live-captions-feature-google.jpg

Previously only available on some Pixel and Samsung phones, Live Captions uses machine learning to create a real-time transcription for videos or audio played through the browser, making online media more accessible for members of the Deaf community and other people with hearing loss.

Once enabled, Live Captions appear in a box in the bottom of the browser whenever you play audio or video that includes people talking. We tried it on YouTube videos and Spotify podcasts, and it worked well, although the words do appear after a slight delay and aren't always 100% accurate.

It's also worth mentioning that the feature only seems to work for spoken English at this time, but otherwise it's generally pretty good at transcribing speech where captions may not have been available. Here's how to get it working.

How to Enable Google Chrome's New Live Caption Feature

  1. Launch Google Chrome on your desktop.
  2. Click the customize button in the top-right corner of the browser window (the vertical column of three dots).
  3. Click Settings in the dropdown menu.
    2how-to-enable-live-captions-chrome.jpg

    Click the Advanced heading to expand the section, then select Accessibility.
    Click the switch next to Live Captions to enable it. If you don't see the option, make sure you're updated to Chrome 89 (Settings -> About Chrome). If the browser's already up-to-date, quit the app and then relaunch it, and you should see the new Live Captions setting appear.
    1how-to-enable-live-captions-chrome.jpg
As soon as you enable Live Captions, Chrome will begin downloading speech recognition files, a process that should take only a few seconds. Once it's finished, you should see an automatic transcription whenever someone is talking in video or audio that's being played back through the browser.

chrome-live-captions.jpg

You can expand the live transcription box to make it larger by clicking the small chevron at the bottom of the overlay, and drag it around the screen for better positioning. Captions will also appear if you mute the audio or have the volume turned down, allowing you to follow videos or podcasts without distracting anyone in the vicinity.


Article Link: Google Chrome for Desktop Gains Live Captions Feature for Audio and Video
 
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Chafka

macrumors member
Aug 29, 2007
90
13
This isn't too surprising to me. About four years ago when I was working through my Masters degree, I would upload my interviews to a private youtube channel for transcription (got done in about an hour I think it was). Same tech, same company and they have had a chance to refine it by now so I am sure it is much faster (obviously). Really cool stuff though, and really convenient.
 
I'm not necessarily a Google fan, but it's hard for me to ignore the advanced technology at Google. As I'm flopped down on my sofa, I have a number of HomePods scattered around my flat, combined with a few Google/Nest products. I'm constantly testing Siri against Google Assistant and the results are always interesting.
 
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Jakuta

macrumors newbie
Aug 26, 2003
28
71
New York, NY
I feel for corporate workers who are forced to use Chrome when there are so many other stable chromium choices.
Agreed, I use Chrome only for work because Google's crap services are well integrated. However, even at the office, I use Edge for anything not work related. Still can't believe I enjoy using a Microsoft browser, but they put in the time to make Edge a really nice product.
 

Jakuta

macrumors newbie
Aug 26, 2003
28
71
New York, NY
This isn't too surprising to me. About four years ago when I was working through my Masters degree, I would upload my interviews to a private youtube channel for transcription (got done in about an hour I think it was). Same tech, same company and they have had a chance to refine it by now so I am sure it is much faster (obviously). Really cool stuff though, and really convenient.
Exactly, Google has had on-demand transcription in YouTube for years. They are just reusing that technology in their web browser.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2014
8,537
9,325
Should've included a video with this article so we can test.

Hoping it also does live caption translation if you're watching a foreign language video.
 
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ian87w

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2020
4,384
6,299
Indonesia
This would be difficult to copy by other browsers, unless Google allow others to tap into their transcribing system. Nobody has the amount of data like Google who can create a good enough machine services like this.
 

mazz0

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2011
2,856
2,807
Leeds, UK
Aside from Edge no corporation is going to choose some fellas on GitHub maintaining some hacked together browser over Google support lol
FYI: I used to share your opinion on sigs saying what products people have, but turns out in the technical/support forums it's used to put peoples comments and questions into context.
 

rictus007

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
347
835
So now they will track users based on the transcription of the videos that they are watching?
 

IllinoisCorn

macrumors 6502a
Jan 15, 2021
641
816
Agreed, I use Chrome only for work because Google's crap services are well integrated. However, even at the office, I use Edge for anything not work related. Still can't believe I enjoy using a Microsoft browser, but they put in the time to make Edge a really nice product.
Edge is really solid. Much better choice for users than Google. I can't imagine IT departments balking at Edge like they'd do with Brave if you asked if you could switch from Chrome.
 

mi7chy

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2014
8,537
9,325
Edge is really solid. Much better choice for users than Google. I can't imagine IT departments balking at Edge like they'd do with Brave if you asked if you could switch from Chrome.

Windows desktop is the corporate standard so little resistance to switching to Edge if they're not already using it. Brave is like malware so a definite no.
 
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