eric-kaiser.net

YouTube Annotation Converter

December 2018 • PHP • finished

After learning that YouTube was planning to remove video annotations (a feature that had been around since 2008 and helped users add commentary, corrections, and interactivity to their videos), I looked for a way to preserve them. I ended up making a tool that converted annotations to subtitles, so they'd at least be around in some form.

You could enter a video URL, and get a subtitle file in the .srt format, which you could manually add to your video. The tool supports annotations that overlap in time, and tries to handle annotations with links gracefully. Since January 2019, when YouTube deleted all annotation data, the tool no longer works.

Check the credits on the tool itself for a list of people I wouldn't have done this without!