New Editor Feedback


Amara is in the process of switching to a new subtitle editor that is easy to use and also very powerful for professional work.  It is currently in beta but will become the primary editor soon. Take a look below to see how it works, and what's to come!


Advantages and features that will be available in the released version.

(most features are available now!)

  • Side by side comparison of any language / revision with your working vision.
  • No more artifical line-length limitations on upload.
  • Support for HTML5 video (mp4, webm, ogg), Youtube, Vimeo, and Brightcove videos, oga and mp3 audio formats.  (Currently dailymotion users will need to use the legacy editor.  Wistia users should add the html5 (mp4) url)
  • Localized interface.
  • Functionality from  the old editor (magical autopause may be delayed)
  • Clickable shortcuts
  • Additions keyboard shortcuts and help.
  • New reset functionality, for timing or text.
  • Ability to revert to the last saved revision.
  • Auto-save (every minute)
  • Ability to copy subtitle timing from reference to working version.
  • Ability to lock reference text with target translation.
  • Style guidelines (team configurable) available in editor view
  • Better cleaner and clearer dialogs
  • Improved recovery (in the case of a save error)
  • Help gutter for each subtitle showing the number of lines and characters / line and reading rate (characters / second).
  • New user help prompts at the start of each subtitling stage.
  • Button to switch back to legacy editor.


Editor





Help prompts for subtitling staging:






Amara Style Guidelines (configurable for Teams)






Add a new language dialog







To use the new Amara editor:

  1. Find a video without subtitles or add any supported via the front page of Amara.org.
  2. Click ‘Add a new language’ on the video page.

  3. When the editor opens, look for the link to ‘open in beta editor’ on the bottom right.  

  4. This will open the video in the new editor.  



Navigating in the new editor:

  • Use the Tab key to start and stop playback
  • Use hot keys "Shift + Control + ," to skip backward 4 seconds
  • Use "Shift + Control + ." to skip forward 4 seconds
  • Use "Shift + TAB" to quickly jump back 2 seconds
  • Click on a subtitle line to edit it.
    • The active sub displays on the video
    • A helper tray displays for active sub, showing:
      • start + end time
      • number of characters
      • character / second rate
      • characters / line if a multi-line text


Editing subtitle lines:

  • Click + to add a subtitle below the current line
  • Click x to delete a line
  • Type ESC to delete a selected blank subtitle line
  • Shift-enter will add a <br /> in your text - to split lines of text


Once all the text is typed into subtitles, click Yes, start syncing, to go to step 2, where you will add times to the subtitles.




Syncing the subtitles to the video


In step 2, play the video and press the down arrow to insert the subtitle at the right moment.

Syncing controls:

  • Down arrow to start sync
  • Up arrow to end sync
  • Down and hold to move start time of current sub
  • Helper prompts remind you of the action and display current location.



 The right side panel indicates when all lines are complete and synced.


 

Once all lines are timed, and there are no blank lines, you can move to the next step by clicking Start reviewing



Watch the video again, adjusting the timing using the timeline and fixing any typos.


Click Complete when done to save the completed version of subtitles.

 


If you need to exit the editor before subtitles are completed:

  • Clicking Exit will NOT save changes
  • Clicking Save, WILL save a new version of subtitles.
  • Both Exit and Save give you the option to return to the full (old) editor.


Adding a new translation:

  • When you open the new editor to make a translation, you can see the original language on the left side of the screen and the space to translate it on the right, below the video.
  • Use the menu on the left side to select the reference subtitles language and version.



  • The translation controls are the same as the transcription controls described above.
  • You can add and remove lines as well as change the timing as appropriate.


Keyboard Controls:

  • Tab key will start and stop playback
  • Shift + TAb to skip back 2 seconds.
  • Use hot keys "Shift + Control + ," to skip backward 4 seconds
  • Use "Shift + Control + ." to skip forward 4 seconds
  • Shift + Enter to add a line break. 
  • Enter to add a new line (in fast typing mode, timeline hidden)


Working Offline:

• Download the subtitle version that you want to use for offline work

• When editing be sure your edit confirm to the standard for the subtitle format type you are using.

ex: for srt format subtitles, italics are denoted as <i> italics </i> and you must properly close the tag. Unclosed tags won’t be parsed properly.  Lines with * italics * will remain unchanged.  


• When you have completed the editing, upload the subtitles via the amara ui.  

If you have removed lines from the translation choose  

in the upload dialog.  Otherwise your subtitle timings will be offset by the blank lines.


After uploading a new version carefully check your subtitles for any errors before continuing.  It is much simpler to correct errors before further edits are made and can prevent you from losing work.



1 person likes this

Thank you for this tutorial about the new editor. It should be possible to record the text as audio comment of one or (better) several video tutorials which could easily be subtitled in English by reusing the same text. Then users could translate the English subtitles in other languages, and the translations could be downloaded as transcripts (.txt) and edited to produce other translated written tutorials which could be linked to in comments here.

But a few things should be fixed first in the editor itself:

"Keyboard Controls" section (top left):

It still indicates the now obsolete keyboard shortcuts:
shift + space play / pause the video
shift + tab move to the previous subtitle
tab move to the next subtitle


These should be changed to the one indicated in this tutorial (Tab for "play / pause the video"), and the down arrow for start subtitle and up arrow for end subtitle  should be added there, as well as the shortcuts for  skipping back by N seconds, and those for moving to the previous and next subtitle - when these shortcuts get implemented. Could this list of shortcuts be made "pop-upable"?

Then in the same section, the "Learn more or leave feedback" link should lead to this tutorial instead of opening another copy of the editor.

Download file format:

When saving fails or when the editor is being left inactive for too long, one of the options is downloading one's subtitles, with the indication: "Copy the subtitles above and save them to your computer. You can upload them later." But the only format offered seems to be a kind of XML (TTML? The first line says tt xmlns="http://www.w3.org/ns/ttml", but TTML no longer appears in the droplist for uploading subtitles in the main page for the video, nor for downloading  them from the subtitle pages). So the download popup should indicate what extension should be used in saving the subtitles to the computer.

 

And now a question:

The legacy (present) editor allows users to move back and forth between transcribing and syncing what has been transcribed. This is very useful in long videos: user A transcribes a bit, does Save and Exit, user B syncs what is transcribed, does Save and Exit, user C (or A or B) continues to transcribe, etc. That's great because some people are better at transcribing and others are better at syncing. Moreover, when incomplete subtitles get synced, it's easier to find from which point the transcribing should continue.

However, with the new editor, it seems impossible to go back to plain transcribing once the syncing has been started.  Could we have this possibility back, please?


 

Regarding going back to typing mode:


It's not so obvious in the UI yet.  But if you hide the timeline - you are effectively back into Typing mode, where hitting enter will add a new line, and using the up / down arrow keys will not affect syncing.  Show timeline, to go back into syncing mode.

Great! Thank you: I was feeling like a fish in a fyke net ;-)

 

Is there any reason why the development team has not yet carried out Claude's simple and self-evident suggestion that references to Shift+Space, etc., be removed from the help text on screen?  These indications are very confusing, create the impression to users who are not in the know that the interface is fundamentally broken, and lead one to believe that there is no work being done on the interface at all -- so why play with it.  At least that's what it says to me.  Please.  Can we get this fixed soon?  Today, maybe?
Please keep one feature from the old editor: have a left-hand key assigned to changing lines. In the old editor it's TAB. If you really need it for play / pause instead, so be it, but have another one on the left hand side available. It makes it very cumbersome when I have to move around using only right hand, and for that moving it from mouse to keyboard and back. Try going from line to line changing a word here and there and you'll see for yourself.

 

Happy to see changes being rolled out.

A. The new editor seems easier to use now, though navigation commands still don't work for me (Mac OS X, Firefox 30.0 and Swiss French keyboard) except tab for play/pause that does work.

-> Could you fix these navigation commands, please?

B. it remains easy to goof the correspondence with the original subtitles when using it for translation by skipping a line. I did when continuing the English subs of Naufrages en Méditerranée, à qui la faute? (...) yesterday, though I fortunately noticed the error before saving.

-> What we really need is the possibility not only to unlock the original subtitles, but to relock them accurately after making them face the corresponding translated subs, especially for long videos (this one is only 15 minutes).

C.  I had to  switch to  the new editor for continuing the English translation (or continue the translation from the video with the legacy editor, but that's a pain in the neck) because I had made some minor corrections in the original French subs of the same video with the legacy editor, even though the number of subs remained the same (I only adjusted some timings and corrected one transcription and the spelling of some names). This means that the Italian translator will be in the same situation should s/he try to update the translation according to the changes I made in the original.

-> Could you please specify what changes to the original subtitles should be avoided lest they prevent other people to continue translating from them with the legacy editor, which remains more user-friendly?

 

A. The new editor seems easier to use now, though navigation commands still don't work for me (Mac OS X, Firefox 30.0 and Swiss French keyboard) except tab for play/pause that does work. 

-> Could you fix these navigation commands, please?


Created a ticket here: https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/issues/1069  

B. it remains easy to goof the correspondence with the original subtitles when using it for translation by skipping a line. I did when continuing the English subs of Naufrages en Méditerranée, à qui la faute? (...) yesterday, though I fortunately noticed the error before saving. 

-> What we really need is the possibility not only to unlock the original subtitles, but to relock them accurately after making them face the corresponding translated subs, especially for long videos (this one is only 15 minutes).


https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/issues/950  - is one of the top new editor tickets we are working on.

C.  I had to  switch to  the new editor for continuing the English translation (or continue the translation from the video with the legacy editor, but that's a pain in the neck) because I had made some minor corrections in the original French subs of the same video with the legacy editor, even though the number of subs remained the same (I only adjusted some timings and corrected one transcription and the spelling of some names). This means that the Italian translator will be in the same situation should s/he try to update the translation according to the changes I made in the original.

-> Could you please specify what changes to the original subtitles should be avoided lest they prevent other people to continue translating from them with the legacy editor, which remains more user-friendly?


And change to the timing (adding or removing lines, changing the timing, or uploading a new version) of the source language will cause the  translations to be 'forked' and therefore require the new editor.  


We are working on this ticket that should simplify updating the timings on the translation:

https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/issues/1044 

 

Thank you for the updates, Janet, and for the links to the github tickets showing which issues already on the developers' radar.
Then as you wrote in the Make the new editor the primary editor github "metaticket", all the the github tickets concerning this transition are listed in https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/issues?milestone=6&state=open. Just another thing about the mentioned metaticket: you also wrote:

"Link to the original new editor spec: https://docs.google.com/a/pculture.org/document/d/1X1fgMw7Y2RSW-g2as2dXvY51guC0j9cIRxMgJuFmL5U/edit#"

But this doc is private. Could you make it publicly viewable, please?

 

Claude - that's a link to an internal working doc mainly as a reference history for the developers working on the ticket.  The actual changes we are working on are in the tickets that are all public on gh.

Replying here to Safe Tex' The new editor is absolute rubbish.

True, the new editor still has usability issues - in particular, you're right in pointing out that navigation is still problematic  - but developers are working on them: see the list in https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/issues?milestone=6&state=open, and maybe add your contribution to some of them.

However, you'll find explanations illustrated by screenshots e.g. about going from transcribing to syncing in the first post of this topic. And then, as to: "Tell me one thing that was better", here are three:

  1. The implementation of the new editor eliminated the Abominable Rollback And Upload Bug (see A roll back destroys Spanish subs and messes up most other subs for PSY's Gangnam Style video,
    History of revisions messed up by the software and Critical issue with uploads and rollbacks: software deletes/mangles subtitles and revisions): that's a big plus, I think.
  2. With the new editor, you can independently synchronize translations while still seeing the original subtitles. Whereas with the legacy editor, you can only do one or the other.
  3. In the new editor, you can get a "helper tray" (see first post) for each subtitle, giving its exact length and the exact length of its lines if there is a line break: useful if you are making subtitles with strict length requirements.


Hello Claude

If I had known that it was gonna be you who answers, I would have tried harder to curb my big mouth.

Ok, some of the answers you give I'm not very clear on and I'll try to look again to understand but even if the new editor has taken a few steps forward, it has taken as many back.

Couldn't the roll back issues have been fixed irrespective of the editor?

And couldn't the improvements like the helper tray (which I didn't even spot) have been added to the old editor?

When I have time, I will come back and read the posts about the new editor and see what others think

and sorry about the hard comments but I'm right out of xanac !

Regards

SafeTex

 

Hi SafeTex

Don't worry: I've been very big-mouthed  before being put in charge of giving first simple answers on this forum last Summer :D

And the issues you raise are really important, because the strength of Amara is in enabling easy collaborative captioning and subtitle translation of any online video. YouTube's captioning tool is already easier to use than Amara, because it allows copy-pasting a plain transcript and piggybacks on Google's voice recognition for the syncing. Ditto for YT's "request translation" feature, which uses the Google Translator Toolkit. But the former is not collaborative and only works if the video is in a language supported by the voice recognition, and both are limited to YT videos where the captioner - respectively, the initiator of the translation - is the person who uploaded the video.

I.e. Amara remains far more wide-ranging, but it must also remain fairly easy to use.
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