We are creating some How-To Videos for Luro. Exciting to be at that point in product development, but it would be nice if our videos had captions from day one to set a precedent. We could pay to have them all transcribed, or pay for some automated caption service, or even upload them all to YouTube and get transcriptions once those finish processing… but ughck, those options are extra work and not “lean” in spirit.

That’s when we noticed Slack started adding transcriptions for any video we upload. We had transcriptions! In the spirit of patching the Web, I wrote a one-liner console script to yoink those VTT transcriptions from Slack for Web with a little URL hacking.

Find the uploaded video in Slack, click “View Transcript” in the caption below the video, then click the “Expand” button to see the video and the transcript side-by-side. Then put this in the console:

$('video').poster.split('/').slice(0,-1).join('/') + '/file.vtt'

⚠️ Warning: Auto-captions —what the deaf community lovingly refer to as “auto-craptions”— have limitations. For example, it transcribes our “Luro” as “Laura” and is entirely wrong and non-sensical at times. I point this out to show that you’ll need a human in the mix to proofread and fix captions. Be extra alert when dealing with technical content.

Anyways, hope this is helpful.