Changes to transcripts in MS Stream

Microsoft are rolling out a series of changes which will affect accessing auto-generated transcripts of older videos held in Stream.

What is happening and when?

Starting 1 March 2021 , and on an ongoing basis, you may be unable to view, search, or edit automatically generated transcripts for videos which are older than six months - i.e. any videos uploaded from before 1 October 2020.

Please note: this does not apply to:

  • automatically generated transcripts that have been edited 
  • transcripts that have been manually uploaded to Stream (Classic) 
  • videos that have been uploaded, edited, or viewed within the past six months. 

Should I panic?

No. For any videos affected, video owners will continue to have the ability to regenerate the transcripts. 

My video is affected - how can I regenerate the transcript?

If you want others to be able to view, search, or edit transcripts for videos and your video transcript has disappeared, as the video owner you can regenerate a transcript by unchecking and rechecking the ’Autogenerate captions’ option in the update video settings page. 

Afterwards, the transcript will be displayed again in the player page for viewing, searching, and editing.

Are there any steps I can take to avoid this happening in future?

As it is only auto-generated transcripts that have never been edited that are affected, if you make an edit, however minor, to an existing transcript, you immediately take away the possibility of that transcript being removed.

If your videos and transcripts are needed long term, it is highly recommended that you upload them into Mediacentral where they would be held as a permanent record and remain unaffected by this or any future changes that may arise in MS Stream. As the content owner, you can define access levels to your recordings in Mediacentral.

Is this an ongoing change in Stream?

It is, and one which applies to both existing and newly created videos. The six month period is now being calculated on a rolling basis.

For example, if a newly uploaded video with auto-generated transcript goes unwatched in the six months following its upload, the auto-generated transcript could become unavailable. (The video will remain available.) A user with owner rights to the video would need to update the video details to automatically regenerate the transcript.

However, in all cases:

  • videos will not be removed 
  • transcripts that were edited by users, as well as transcripts and subtitle files uploaded by users, will continue to be available 
  • transcripts will be available for download by video owners via the video edit page for all videos
  • users will be able to view closed captions for all videos. 

Help and support

If you encounter any problems regenerating a removed transcript, please raise a ticket with IT services who will be able to walk you through the process.

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