• Write captions or edit auto-generated captions in order to make pre-recorded videos easier to understand
  • (optional) Note chapter markers
  • (optional) Note other things that may need additional help to make them accessible, such as images not described in the speaker's voiceover
  • (optional) Help extract information from Q&A videos after the conference


We'll set up a protected directory so you can get a sneak peek at the prerecorded videos, and we'll e-mail you the username and password to use. If slides, scripts, or auto-generated captions are available as a starting point, we'll upload those as well.


We'll e-mail all the captioning volunteers once speakers submit videos.

When you want to caption a video, browse through the protected directory to see which ones are available for captioning. E-mail or send a message to sachac via IRC (#emacsconf-org on IRC) so that we can reserve that one for you. Check out these captioning tips and fire up your favorite subtitle editor.

We find that captioning generally takes between 2-6x the video time if you're an experienced captioner editing auto-generated captions, and can take a bit longer than that if you're starting out or starting from scratch. You can work with timestamps, or you can send us plain text and we'll get them aligned with the videos. It's okay to work in small chunks.

E-mail your partial or finished captions to . When you're finished, we'll send them to the speaker for review and prepare the transcript for inclusion in the wiki.

When the streamer shows the pre-recorded video, your captions will be included below it. They will also be combined into a transcript for the wiki, which will be published when the talk is live. Chapter markers will be listed below videos so that people can jump to specific sections.

After the conference

If any talks weren't captioned by the time of the conference, you're certainly welcome to help caption them afterwards. We'll also extract the Q&A sessions and work on either chapter markers (to indicate when specific questions were answered) or captions for those.

Here's what people said about how most of the EmacsConf 2021 talks were streamed with captions during the conference itself:

  • "I really appreciate the approach of doing things prerecorded and having captions."
  • "The captions for this conference have has an impressive amount of work put into them."
  • "++ to all that stuff. Great job on the captions, and the demonstrated functionality is very impressive."
  • "At first, I thought the captions would be unnecessary, but over time, understanding the accents for various individuals has been challenging, so the captions helped."

Your captions will not only make talks more accessible during the conference, but also more searchable and more browsable after the conference. Thank you!

Check out other ways to volunteer