YouTube to COMPLETELY remove annotations on January 15

Chances are this only concerns me, due to my heavy use of annotations on YouTube way back, but making a public announcement thread anyway just in case. :monster: All annotations are going to be DELETED on January 15.

Google the topic and you'll find a number of articles from the end of November talking about this change. There appears to exist a tool to extract annotations from videos: I really need to arse myself to use it this weekend. :wacky:

So many of my FFVII videos rely on annotations. Plenty of them are going to be incomprehensible now. :mon:
Oh shit Shademp, I know how much you've used annotations on your videos. Good things there are ways of exporting them - I hope they're exported with time stamps, maybe there's a way of importing them into a video program? Someone on YT should definitely be looking into that right now!

Do whatever you have the energy to do, this is YT being an ass, nothing you can help ❤️
Thanks Fangu <3

I'm lucky to have caught wind of this change at all. I only found out about it just now because of this person I follow on twitter:

In the same vein as this dude created annotated longplays, I made my (unfinished) Dirge of Cerberus run with annotations. This was to make the content more informative and interesting without having to embed text bubbles or voiceover in the recordings. The only alternative now would be to add subtitles as commentary, though they'd technically be faux-subtitles since nobody is actually speaking the lines.

I am not surprised at the current events of course. I've known that mobile doesn't support annotations, plus annotations have also had a bad rap as annoying pop-ups. There's also the fact that creating dozens and dozens of annotations is extremely time consuming. Despite this my love for the feature persisted. :lol:

The Twilight Mexican

Ex-SeeD-ingly good
TresDias, Hawkeye, El Diablo Gato, Martha Jones, Ariadne, Squall of SeeD, Squall_of_SeeD
This sucks.

I mean, in general, I hate annotations as much as everyone else, but for the videos that made excellent or extensive use of them by design, this is tantamount to digimurder. =(
A kind soul by the name of "FlourHome" took it upon himself (completely on his own initiative!) to screen record the videos from my unused FFVII scenes playlist so that I might reupload the videos with annotations embedded. I can't thank FlourHome enough for their generosity and hard work. Now I'm following instructions from FlourHome on how I might record the remaining videos on my channel that employ annotations.

I also tried out the Mass Annotations Downloader and I'm quite happy with the result. The program downloads the annotation data in .xml form which includes annotation text, time stamps, window size, text size, window color etc.

For those not in the know, here is a video that's a prime example of how important the annotations are for my "unused FFVII scenes" videos.

While modding the game to unlock the dialogue I was adamant about inserting as little new data/choreography as possible. I wanted the players to see the state in which the unused content exists on the disc. This is why I allow empty text windows to remain empty: I want to show that translations were never added. By using annotations to include translations of Japanese-exclusive dialogue, I got the best of both worlds. I simultaneously showed how incomplete the hidden content is while also fleshing it out with translations and commentary.

Of course some of this functionality will now be lost since, in the screen recorded re-upload to come, the annotations will be embedded and not possible to turn off. On the bright side this re-upload will ensure that even mobile users can see the annotations.

If you enter the video editing window devoted to annotations, all you get is this message (translated from the Swedish version of the message) :
Annotations will disappear after January 15, 2019

What changes? In November 2018, we announced that we will remove annotations in videos. You will no longer be able to create or view them.

Why? Annotations do not work on mobile devices, as most viewers now use to watch videos.

What you can do: Instead of annotations, you can use cards and end screens that work on both mobile devices and computers.

  • Cards display similar videos, channels, websites, polls and much more while the video is displayed
  • End screens can be used to promote things at the end of the video, such as another video or channel subscription message
Cards and end screens are at least five times more effective than annotations to keep viewers on the channel.
Cards are a severely limited format, only possible to use for marketing purposes and not for including informative messages of your choosing.

My disapproval of this change to YouTube remains. :monster:
Thanks to FlourHome's work I have 41 high-quality screen recordings from the "FFVII Unlocked" video series. ALL HAIL FLOURHOME, THE HERO!

The screen recordings have been uploaded and the links in the Unused Text Series have been updated accordingly. FlourHome has been added to the Credits section of the article series. The original videos can be found in this playlist.

While following FlourHome's instructions I found that my computer just isn't good enough to create as high quality recordings. I may proceed to make screen recordings of my Dirge of Cerberus videos (both the All S Rankings run and the DCFFVII Unlocked series) but it's unlikely I'll upload them to my channel. For the l33t playthrough series in particular the quality is already low enough. On YouTube, my screen recordings would end up looking really, really bad. At least with most videos in the Dirge of Cerberus category I can(?) replace annotations with subtitles. Exceptions would be videos like this one where I use annotations to point out very specifically where each online NPC supposed to be.

Yet another challenge is the Japanese version of my FFVII Unlocked series which relies on annotations same as with the English counterpart. Do I make screen recordings, reupload and accept the downgrade in quality? I'm not sure yet. The funny thing is that the view count for my Japanese videos are usually ten times greater than my English videos. While my English videos sport view counts roughly between 100 to 3500, the Japanese videos stand at whopping 1000 - 35000 views each. This is probably due to the videos being embedded on popular Japanese chat boards. ...The main reason I know this is because of the many chat boards I found while digging for Dirge of Cerberus Multiplayer content. :wacky: Fortunately annotations are not nearly as important in the JP videos since, unlike in the English game, there is no abundance of empty dialogue boxes.

All these challenges aside, it's great to know that the most pressing videos have been preserved in a good format.
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