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Captioning Multimedia Becomes Easier

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User since: 14 Dec 1998

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A freeware tool, named Media Access Generator (MAGpie), has been released recently by the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to fill a gap left unfilled by multimedia software developers. The tool assists in the production of captioning of the three most popular video and audio streaming formats, cutting time spent on captioning by around 50%. It is hoped that simplifying the captioning process may encourage more multimedia developers to make their material accessible to disabled persons.

The NCAM believes that the use for MAGpie will extend beyond only hearing-impaired people, providing assistance to childen, people learning foreign languages, and those without soundcards or who are required to have their volume turned off at work. (Personally, I don't think captioning "whaazzzzzuuuuup" will convey the true hilarity of the clip though... ;)

Captions may also enable users to search multimedia.

MAGpie is a PC-only application, supporting Windows Media, Quicktime, and RealNetworks, and is available to download. also have a report on MAGpie if you are interested in a slightly more detailed report.

Are any multimedia developers out there able to spare some time to review MAGpie?

What do you think about captioning multimedia for online delivery? Do the advantages stretch strongly beyond only the hearing-impaired? If you are a multimedia developer, what would it take for you to caption your work? (Personally, I think that having MAGpie available for Mac and Linux would probably be a good start.)

Isaac is a designer from Adelaide, South Australia, where he has run Triplezero for almost a decade.

He was a member and administrator of since its founding in 1998, designed the current site, and was a regular contributor on's direction-setting discussion list, theforum.

On the side, he runs Opinion, Hoops SA, Confessions, Daily Male, and Comments, as well as maintaining a travel gallery at

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