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The following information was submitted by WGBH/NCAM and is used with permission.

Developers of web- and CD-ROM-based multimedia need an authoring tool for making their materials accessible to persons with disabilities. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) has developed such a tool, the Media Access Generator (MAGpie), for distribution in Software Development Kits (SDKs), on the web, CD-ROM and other methods. MAGpie is available free of charge from NCAM's web page at:

Using MAGpie, authors can add captions to three multimedia formats: Apple's QuickTime, the World Wide Web Consortium's Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) and Microsoft's Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI) format. MAGpie can also integrate audio descriptions into SMIL presentations.

MAGpie is the ideal authoring environment for multimedia specialists, publishing companies or service providers who want to add captions, subtitles and audio descriptions to their work. However, others will also benefit from its use. Research performed by WGBH has demonstrated that caption authoring is a valuable classroom activity. Children who produce caption files for short video clips tend to write more, and their writing skills improve more rapidly. MAGpie is friendly to those who are new to multimedia, educators and even to young users.

MAGpie version 2.01 is now available. This version of MAGpie is a Java-based application for Windows and Mac OSX with support for all media types supported by Windows Media, QuickTime, and Real.

Funding for MAGpie 1.0 came from the Trace Research and Development Center at the University of Wisconsin, as part of its Information Technology Access Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center which itself is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Funding for MAGpie 2.01 comes from the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

NCAM and its fellow access departments at WGBH, The Caption Center and Descriptive Video Service®, make up the Media Access Group at WGBH. WGBH pioneered captioning and video description on television, the web and in movie theaters. NCAM is a founding member of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). As a research and development department, NCAM works with standards bodies, industry, consumer organizations and educators to develop and implement non-proprietary technical standards for multimedia, advanced television, and convergent media that ease implementation, foster growth and lay common groundwork for equal access to new technologies. For more information, visit

WGBH Boston

WGBH Boston is the preeminent public broadcasting producer in America. More than one-third of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) prime-time lineup and companion web content is produced by WGBH, along with programming for public radio stations, educational services and outreach activities. WGBH informs, inspires, and entertains audiences around the world. For more information visit