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Re: Captions for audio clips

From: geoff freed <geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
Date: 21 Dec 1999 12:01:13 -0500
Message-ID: <-1266344830geoff_freed@wgbh.org>
To: "Marja-Riitta Koivunen" <marja@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-pf@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
CC: "webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net" <webmaster@dors.sailorsite.net>, "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'pjenkins@us.ibm.com'" <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>, <www-smil@w3.org>
Charles makes a good point.  On the other hand, for maintenance and security purposes, it's also appealing to have the captions stored separately from the SMIL file.  Potential errors can be eliminated by not futzing with the SMIL file if all you want to do is change a single caption. 

I don't think it's a good idea to specify what kind of synchronicity is necessary for specific types of multimedia presentation.  That sounds like overregulation and could limit creativity on the author's part.

geoff/ncam



On Tuesday, December 21, 1999, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org> wrote:
>Yes, it would seem to be a good thing for SMIL to allow text content in teh
>XML itself, using normal SMIL timing and allowing for CSS or XSL as a
>presentation control.
>
>This would achieve all the goals of having text, and allow a SMIL
>presentation to be read sa plain XML without any multimedia
>player.
>
>Charles McCN
>
>On Tue, 21 Dec 1999, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>
>  At 02:41 AM 12/20/99 -0500, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>  >SMIL doesn't provide for timing inside media objects - you can do that by
>  >breaking them into pieces and using explicit timing (that's what would be
>  >good to do).
>  
>  If synchronization becomes so important should we try to talk to SMIL WG to
>  be able to do a SMIL file that contains both the text and timecodes? Or
>  maybe it should be a separate standard? Having one file for each text line
>  that needs to be synchronized is really cumbersome. And if the
>  synchronization changes the files need to change as well. A good tool may
>  help to manage this but still I would prefer the timecodes with the text.
>  
>  Another thing is that the user should be able to control what media is
>  shown. The author design can be a default, but if the author has not
>  thought of every necessary combination, the user should still be able to
>  change it.
>  
>  One question: if we say synchronization is necessary then what is the
>  amount of synchronization that is needed? Every sentence? Every paragraph?
>  
>  I think synchronization is often at least P3 (often probably more) but in
>  some cases I would also like to be able to just read the text and not care
>  about the synchronization at all. Is there a way to have both? A SMIL
>  synchronization file that refers to different text portions in a text
>  transcript file (without forcing it to be divided into several files)? Or
>  just being able to ignore the time codes when reading synchronized text?
>  
>  Marja
>  
>  > The W3C validator should now validate SMIL documents (well, XML
>  >in general in theory, and SMIL is XML).
>  >
>  >I agree that it is at least P2, although I am not sure if it isn't in fact
>  >P1.
>  >
>  >Charles McCN
>  >
>  >On Wed, 15 Dec 1999, Bruce Bailey wrote:
>  >
>  >  Dear Phill (et al.)
>  >  
>  >  IMHO, it is a clear case of P2!
>  >  
>  >  Populations effected:  Persons for whom English is a second language. 
>  >   Persons who are not deaf but have impaired hearing.  Persons with
>  learning 
>  >  disabilities for whom processing auditory information is difficult (but
>  not 
>  >  impossible).
>  >  
>  >  The assumption is that ALL of the above persons might very well PREFER an 
>  >  audio stream for the SAME REASONS everyone else prefers audio over a text 
>  >  transcript.  Is it a useful exercise for use to delineate why an aural 
>  >  presentation is better (in some cases) than a textual one?
>  >  
>  >  >From this perspective, the situation is very analogous to persons with
>  VERY 
>  >  poor vision who STILL PREFER a GUI browser!  We are empathetic / 
>  >  sympathetic to this orientation.  Just as we accommodate the partially 
>  >  sighted, so should we adjust for the hard of hearing.
>  >  
>  >  For the above populations, "unimedia audio" represents a significant 
>  >  barrier to their access of content (we are using RealAudio radio
>  broadcasts 
>  >  as an example).
>  >  
>  >  For the above populations, a separate transcript has so little value as to 
>  >  be virtually useless -- just as access to Lynx is not well regarded a 
>  >  viable option for web surfing by most persons with vision impairments (nor 
>  >  most average people for that matter).
>  >  
>  >  It is, of course, important to have techniques on hand, but that should
>  not 
>  >  influence the assignment of Priorities.
>  >  
>  >  Does anyone have an example of captioned audio?
>  >  
>  >  I experimented with some SMIL file on my local hard drive.  I could get 
>  >  RealAudio (actually a .rm RealMedia file) to play ONLY the sound (with 
>  >  synchronized captions), but I could NOT get rid of the blank video window. 
>  >   Probably I am just doing something wrong, but I did look at the W3C SMIL 
>  >  specifications.  Does the W3C offer a SMIL validation service?
>  >  
>  >  Bruce Bailey
>  >  
>  >  
>  >  On Sunday, December 12, 1999 11:52 PM, Charles McCathieNevile 
>  >  [SMTP:charles@w3.org] wrote:
>  >  > Phill, if you are just reading it then that is the case. However for 
>  >  people
>  >  > who have marginal hearing, having the sound and the captions/score 
>  >  available
>  >  > and synchronized is more valuable than one or the other (similarly for 
>  >  people
>  >  > who can hear, but have difficulty reading). One of the challenges we
>  face 
>  >  is
>  >  > that there are people who are looking for multi-modal support - there are
>  >  > more people with poor hearing than there are with no hearing (and 
>  >  similarly
>  >  > for other disabilities).
>  >  
>  >  On Wednesday, December 15, 1999 11:45 AM, pjenkins@us.ibm.com 
>  >  [SMTP:pjenkins@us.ibm.com] wrote:
>  >  > JW:
>  >  >> It appears to be broadly agreed within the group that a requirement to
>  >  >> synchronize text transcripts with audio presentations should be
>  >  >> established, at least at a priority 2 level.
>  >  >
>  >  > PJ:
>  >  > Where is the broad agreement?  Bruce, Jason, and Charles seem to agree 
>  >  with
>  >  > P2.  I'm arguing for P3, and Robert and Eric seem OK with either P2 or 
>  >  P3,
>  >  > and I haven't heard form others.  I do agree that there seems agreement
>  >  > that we need to make the distinction between multimedia videos and 
>  >  unimedia
>  >  > sounds files in the errata so that WCAG 1.4 doesn't apply to the unimedia
>  >  > sound only files.
>  >  [snip]
>  >  > PJ:
>  >  > but I've heard no supporting rationale or any convincing evidence that
>  >  > suggests that the "value" is more than useful and improves accessibility
>  >  > [P3].
>  >  >
>  >  > Because the deaf,  [learning disabled, or those learning a foreign
>  >  > language] are so comfortable now with synchronized television (and movie)
>  >  > captioning, does not support the argument that they will be comfortable 
>  >  or
>  >  > have significant barriers removed with synchronized captioned audio only
>  >  > files.  Can anyone even show me an sample example, or better yet, a real
>  >  > example on the Web or anywhere?  If we don't add a supporting technique, 
>  >  a
>  >  > checkpoint requiring [even at P3] synchronized captions for audio only
>  >  > files shouldn't even be added to the guidelines.  I've seen natural
>  >  > language courses use techniques of synchronization to TEACH the language,
>  >  > but we're talking about guideline 1 - equivalent alternative information 
>  >  -
>  >  > not "teaching natural languages" or "teaching singing".  We have been
>  >  > talking about ideas and theories, how can we suppose that it fits the
>  >  > definition of "significant barriers".  P3 is still "valuable" and 
>  >  "useful"
>  >  > and "improves accessibility".
>  >  
>  >
>  >--
>  >Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 409 134 136
>  >W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                    http://www.w3.org/WAI
>  >21 Mitchell Street, Footscray, VIC 3011,  Australia (I've moved!)
>  >
>  
>
>--
>Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 409 134 136
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                    http://www.w3.org/WAI
>21 Mitchell Street, Footscray, VIC 3011,  Australia (I've
>moved!)
>
>
>
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 1999 12:07:27 GMT

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