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E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing People.

Recycled TV Captions for Web streaming

Boston, MA. WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) Announces the availability of software which enables closed captions created for broadcast and video to migrate to the Web.

CaptionKeeper (TM) software automatically converts line–21 captions Created for television or video into Web-streaming formats. The software, now available for purchase, uses existing closed-caption data to create caption text suitable for live and/or archived multimedia presentations via RealPlayer, Windows Media Player and QuickTime Player formats.

CaptionKeeper will allow users to:

  • Repurpose existing captions of live or pre-recorded television Programs for Web streaming


  • Repurpose captions of videos archived by universities, libraries and Other public and private organizations for online use (distance learning, Video kiosks, indexed archives)


  • Meet Federal requirements (Section 508, 1194.24–C) by transferring captioned training or educational video content to Web-streaming formats


  • Make multimedia content searchable by using captioning text as metadata


Captioning has become a common feature of many television programs. Voluntary efforts by many television networks throughout the last two decades to provide captions for live and scripted programming have greatly improved access to television for the nation’s deaf and hard of hearing viewers. Regulatory mandates, such as the FCC’s ruling that virtually 100% of broadcast, cable and satellite programs be made accessible via closed captions by January 2006 have also contributed to the growth of the service.

Now much of the video content created for broadcast or cable is migrating to Web sites as streamed video and audio. Sometimes this video is live (national news and sports broadcasts and cable coverage of federal or state legislative sessions), sometimes it is archived material. Most video on the Web, however, is not making the leap from television with captions Intact.

CaptionKeeper is the first software tool of its kind, assuring that an organization's resources aren’t wasted: video only needs to be captioned once, CaptionKeeper automatically repurposes the captions for subsequent online use.

In addition, when large captioned video archives at libraries, universities or other clearinghouses are being digitized for future use, captions can be routinely transferred intact by using CaptionKeeper.

The development of CaptionKeeper follows WGBH’s release of its award–winning Media Access Generator, or MAGpie software. MAGpie is a free tool that enables do–it–yourself captioning and audio description (for users who are blind or have low vision) of digitized media, and is used by people around the world to make Web–based multimedia accessible. CaptionKeeper joins MAGpie as an easy–to–use tool for creating a more accessible Web.

For additional information on CaptionKeeper, including technical specifications and cost, please visit http://www.captionkeeper.org or contact the NCAM via e–mail at captionkeeper@wgbh.org

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