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Re: Agenda

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2000 16:02:38 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: love26@gorge.net (William Loughborough)
Cc: "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 03:44 PM 9/6/2000 , you wrote:
>AS:: "1.2 Provide a transcript for audio content."
>WL: I worry that "audio" content might require some really weird
>"transcript". Music, sound effects, etc. often beggar descriptions, let
>alone "transcripts". While it's probably OK to assume that most users can
>deal with text (although that's not even universally accepted), it would be
>very hard to require that a musical score be furnished.
>I think we'd best talk this one through a bit more.

Here's some thought.

Audio is not a form of content.  Audio is a _medium_ by which
content can be conveyed.  If the audio medium is used, the
content must be conveyed in a manner appropriate for the
medium -- e.g., a "good" soundtrack may include musical
interludes.  However, that music might _not_ be the content.
(In some cases it will be.  In some cases it will not, and is
merely part of the presentation.)

The _content_ must be expressed in a way that does not tie it
solely to the audio medium.  The "audio" adjective on the
word content is both unnecessary -and confusing- as it seems
to imply that ALL audio presentation must somehow be 
transcribed into text, and that should not be the case.

Our general rule should be to provide alternate representation
(i.e. marked up text) for all content which is provided in an
audio format.

Let's say I have a web site which plays the opening theme song
from the Voyager tv show to people with sound enabled.  I don't
need to reproduce that theme song in a musical markup language;
it's _decorative_, although it may be considered "audio content"
by some.  However, it is not the -content- of the site.

If I put a speech online, the _content_ is what was said, and
how it was said.  It is likely -not- the audio recording of the
speech, _even though the speech contains the content_; they are
not one and the same.  Likewise, a transcript may contain the
content, but the content is an abstract beast and it is not 
the transcript any more than it is the recording.

This is not a pipe.

Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                       http://kynn.com/
Director of Accessibility, Edapta                  http://www.edapta.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet      http://www.idyllmtn.com/
AWARE Center Director                         http://www.awarecenter.org/
Vote for Liz for N. Am. ICANN Nominee!        http://www.khyri.com/icann/
Received on Wednesday, 6 September 2000 19:15:54 UTC

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