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YouTube to instruction manual converter

  [vote for,

If you want to know how to do something, like put some RJ45 plugs on a bit of CAT5 cable, or make a Pavlova, there a a smorgasbord of YouTube videos to show you. The problem with these though is that many of them aren’t very good. There are lengthy bits where nothing interesting is happening, just as much time is spent on the easy bits as the hard bits, etc., but worst of all, there’s often very little holistic view of the task, how many steps there are, and how far you are through it, such as you get, at a glance, from a traditional instruction manual with a page of numbered photos, each of which has a paragraph of text next to it, describing a step in the process.

Thus, this idea is for a converter, to analyse YouTube instructional videos, transcribing the spoken bits into written instructions and identifying, through analysis of the images and the spoken sentence structure, which key frames should be grabbed as images. The output would be a neat page of images with accompanying text such as you might find in a real instruction manual.
hippo, Dec 23 2018

Safer clipping for [8th]'s ShitZu https://www.youtube...watch?v=DMydVdwmuws
[MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2018]


       Although I see the point in this, and have thought about it considerably over the past ten years or more, and therefore don’t wish to say too much, I agree with the thrust of this intention. A single useful change would be to make YouTube videos accurately indexable such that it would be easy to find what is said inside the video and where it was said, in the same way that an ordinary web site is indexable for search.   

       Another interesting way forward based on your idea would be to have the opposite – a crap instruction manual to YouTube video converter, for incomprehensible and ambiguous instruction manuals containing no actual words whatsoever, which is the common trend these days (no doubt to avoid offending people who don’t speak those languages that would otherwise have been chosen). Leaving out all the body copy in an instruction leaflet should require far more detail and explicit graphical exposition, yet most of the time we’re left with a sequence of diagrams which are sufficiently lacking in detail as to require a textual supplement to explain, only, without that text.
Ian Tindale, Dec 23 2018

       The problem with instructional videos is they rarely, if ever, show any relevance to the watcher's situation. This is because they are recorded under near-optimal conditions.   

       A case in point is the instructional DVD supplied with a set of pet clippers.   

       The subject of the video was a medium-sized, very placid dog. It may have been awash with benzdiazepines, who knows ? But it just sat there, quite calmly, staring into the middle distance, while the presenter dextrously clipped, trimmed, combed and coiffured the pooch.   

       Compare this with the real world situation of a small, strong, wriggly dog that doesn't like keeping still, doesn't want its coat trimmed, and resents being held still. The absolute minimum number of people needed is four; one to wield the clippers, two to try and hold the dog while avoiding the snapping, very sharp little white teeth, and a fourth to stand by with gauze pads, bandages, tourniquets, and a phone with the paramedics on speeddial.   

       Forty minutes of stress and struggle; amount of dog clipped, less than 3%. Two participants retired hurt.   

       You can keep your instructional videos ...
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       the likes is an insufficient barometer, roughly speaking?
theircompetitor, Dec 23 2018

       //we’re left with a sequence of diagrams* which are sufficiently lacking in detail as to require a textual supplement//   

       *assembly is the reverse of disassembly.
bigsleep, Dec 23 2018

       No it isn't. Not for tortoises, anyway; it's a bugger getting the works back in, and they never go properly afterwards.
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       …and any manual that involves giving birth.
Ian Tindale, Dec 23 2018

       Do you say that from personal experience ?
8th of 7, Dec 23 2018

       Odd. I just had to wire up an RJ45 the other day and of course relief upon YouTube to show me the correct wiring scheme.
RayfordSteele, Dec 23 2018

       //Forty minutes of stress and struggle// I think I've found _exactly_ the appliance you need, [8th] - I have furnished a link by way of illustration.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 23 2018

       "I wish I had died not seeing that."
xenzag, Dec 24 2018

       We wish you had died too. But we're not worried, because the GM foods being covertly introduced into the supply chain by huge multinational corporations will soon reduce you to a mindless dribbling imbecile.   

       No-one will notice, of course.
8th of 7, Dec 24 2018

       I think the main problem is that YouTube consists largely of videos made by ordinary people. What we should really do is put the BBC in charge of it. Admittedly there would only be about 25-30 new videos per year, but they'd be much better produced.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 24 2018

       Given the size of the BBC licence fee, it might well work out quite a bit cheaper to have the whole design team come round to your house and do the job for you, while you watch and take notes.
8th of 7, Dec 24 2018

       David Attenborough would have to narrate.
Ian Tindale, Dec 24 2018

       Those may very well be the wisest words you have ever typed, [Ian].
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 24 2018

       Why not Martin Jarvis ? Or Brian Perkins ?
8th of 7, Dec 24 2018

       Because neither of them is David Attenborough.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 24 2018

       Or if David is busy telling us that we’re fucking up the planet, try Norman Lovett.
Ian Tindale, Dec 25 2018

doctorremulac3, Dec 25 2018

       One nice thing about the internet is that you can get feedback. Where you click it to get a copy the page could ask:   

       Did it make sense?   

       Did you actually build it?   

       If so, Can we transport you to our Maker survey where you can give us tips on how to do better.   

       Then you have computer programs winnow in on the most effective document-from-youtube style. This improves things.
beanangel, Dec 25 2018

       Yeh, what's with those surveys that ask you about your future?
wjt, Dec 25 2018

       Someone been letting the air out of the croissants.... Either that, or the digital mice have finally broken in.
xenzag, Dec 25 2018

       I look forward to seeing the instruction manual version of Max's link.
Wrongfellow, Dec 25 2018

       The croissants have gone feral! Methinks the soup dragon may need to be awakened.
xenzag, Dec 25 2018

       Actually, I’ve often thought lately that the nice thing about the internet is that you DON’T get feedback, except a very minor noise level of it.   

       I’ve put up a considerable amount of videos, on YouTube etc., about a wide range of things. By far the majority of them have had no views, and I took them down again after some time. I’ve put out a lot of music, but so far have had about eight listens, if you total it up across the years. I’ve had books out, I’ve designed graphics and I’ve put paintings up on flickr.   

       The fact is, you don’t get much feedback on the internet because nobody gets to see your stuff –  it’s far more diluted than the equivalent old media was back in history. Therefore nobody will spend much time at all with it other than the first 20 seconds or so, if that, then get distracted and move on, equally whether the content is good or crap.   

       This, I’ve learned, is actually highly useful. You can more or less say what you want without inhibition and put it up and be guaranteed it will not be noticed. For example, my series of videos a few years ago “Our Robot Future” which was produced using a proper studio of gear and cameras and lighting and video mixing, started off talking about how robots and AI and automation will replace our jobs, replace our knowledge of how to do those jobs, and feed us with new tech toys and food and medicine and phones while increasingly, nobody actually knows how any of this is made or done (after about three generations). The concept of losing the technical understanding of the whole product in favour of only performing a tiny division of labour slice of it, then pressing a button to operate a machine that can do that fragment of work, gave way to having to point out that belief and cultural stupidity and in turn religion are the greatest threats to maintaining a scientific control over our means of production, faced with robot design of programs, robot marketing of products, robot admin of cost / risk / value and robot acquisition of requirements and robot satisfaction of perceived desires by robot creation of new products.   

       Nobody noticed any of it. That’s pretty good. It means I can get even more savage against religious fuckwits, far more than I imagined I could get away with.
Ian Tindale, Dec 25 2018

       //It means I can get even more savage against religious fuckwits, far more than I imagined I could get away with.//   

       You probably know this, but the internet can easily take you from zero to news item overnight. The following persecution by groups of nutters depends on which groups you bashed to get your notoriety.   

       //Given the size of the BBC licence fee//   

       There used to be a time when morality and virtue signalling were buried in an entertaining story. These days the content is so weak, it only takes a few seconds to notice the foot stomping and ill-informed placard carrying.
bigsleep, Dec 26 2018

       Top down shouldn't really work, although it is good for just 'strait' giving of informing info or a fully working, old guard, crippling technology. If you want truth, though, then local/bottom up is the only way to go.
wjt, Dec 26 2018

       In counterpoint, Ian, once the robots take most of the jobs, all we’ll have left to entertain ourselves with is the pointless cultural crap, religion, soap operas, and bad art.   

       I saw your ‘our robot future’ video and wasn’t sure that you had anything new to say that hadn’t already been observed. Furthermore it was presented outside of any real context. You were like a guy playing a violin in a subway station. Doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, it’s a subway station regardless.   

       Some of your videos I really had no idea what you were getting at at all and couldn’t therefore make any sense of continuing on watching more.   

       It was also extraordinarily dry.   

       If you do another I’d suggest a good copy editor first.
RayfordSteele, Dec 31 2018


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