How to Add Audio Description to YouTube Videos

July 23, 2018 BY ELISA LEWIS
Updated: March 9, 2021

More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day.

person with lightbulb saying e=mc squared over his head

71% of people with disabilities leave a website immediately if it’s not accessible.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to understand these stats and their implication – that it’s a good idea to make your YouTube videos accessible if you want them to reach their full potential.

But how?

Adding audio description to YouTube videos is simple – when you use the 3Play Plugin at least!

Most video players and platforms don’t support audio description the same way they support captions. The audio description embed feature of our 3Play Plugin allows you to easily add audio description to most videos without having to publish an entirely new video. The 3Play Plugin is compatible with most video players, publishing platforms, and LMS systems.

How to Add Audio Description to YouTube Videos

Step 1: Order Audio Description

Begin by logging into your 3Play Media account.

To order audio description, your file must first be transcribed.

From the Upload tab at the top of the screen, select the method you are going to use to upload your video. From Links is a great option for YouTube videos, especially those you don’t own. Copy and paste the video URL, and click Add.

window in 3play account system showing upload from links

Upload your video, and select English Transcription and Captioning in Options. Select Add Audio Description from the Add-on Services portion of the menu.

order menu in the 3play account system with captioning and audio description selected

  • If you already have a transcribed file: If you already have a transcribed file from a YouTube video in your account, simply navigate to the file you want audio description for, click on the file name, choose Order at the top of the screen, and choose Audio Description. Follow the prompts to place your order.
  • If you already have a completed audio description file: If you already have an audio description file from a YouTube video in your account, continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Publish Plugin

Once you have a completed Audio Description file from a YouTube video, choose the file you would like to publish. Click on Publish, then Publish Plugin. The plugin menu will open. Simply select Audio Description and any other features you would like included in your plugin, and choose YouTube as your video player. You will see a preview on the left side of the menu window.

Click on Publish in the 3Play account

Step 3: Copy Embed Code

Simply copy the single line embed code provided, and paste it into the body of your HTML.

embed code URL

Your video will now appear with the YouTube audio description plugin underneath. You can toggle audio description on or off and change the volume of the description separately from the volume of your original audio track. Try it out:

Get started today by ordering transcription and audio description!

Get Started

3play media logo in blue

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