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Re: SMIL text and audio

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 09:21:17 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199803051421.JAA10140@access4.digex.net>
To: charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au (Charles McCathieNevile)
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Charles McCN has given us an interesting post on the "business
case."  What do others think?  I have just inserted my working
draft of technology futures in the area Charles touches on.

to follow up on what Charles McCathieNevile said:

> As I understand it, it is currently a lot easier and more efficient to 
> transmit text which is converted to audio than vice versa. The 
> deaf-blind, and those of us who are stuck with text-only would probably 
> really appreciate this sort of approach to the technology - speech 
> recognition is possible, but is also expensive in terms of the hardware 
> and software required by an ordinary person. It seems that text will 
> always be ahead of it in price, and easier to transmit, with the work of 
> conversion to audio done by client-side applications.


Text is cheaper to send but that cost is decreasing rapidly.

Audio is much easier on the ear.  Synthetic speech is grueling to
listen to for any length of time.

> The point is that somebody watching a video is likely to have a 
> sound-capable system. Somebody reading the text on an embossing printer, 
> or small slow computer is more likely not to have access to the sound, 
> let alone the additional system requirements to converty it to text.


It's cheaper today to set up for speech than Braille, and people
are investing madly in the ability to bring that audio capability
to market at lower and lower prices.  Audio access devices are
the telephone and walkman; these are cheap.  It's the computer
that is expensive, not the audio.

Computers will catch up.  The disabled should not let themselves
settle into a backwater of un-supported technology.

Al Gilman
Received on Thursday, 5 March 1998 10:28:29 UTC

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