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Re: Meaning of audio track kind 'descriptions'

From: Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 23:05:47 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTinDAKuzuNg0nWdDMMaJuX_9nPOqEg@mail.gmail.com>
To: Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com>
Cc: David Singer <singer@apple.com>, Bob Lund <B.Lund@cablelabs.com>, HTMLAccessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
On Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM, Mark Watson <watsonm@netflix.com> wrote:
>> On Jun 22, 2011, at 8:31 AM, Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> I think you are over-estimating what is done when an audio description or a
>> commentary is produced. I've never seen such a production that mixes more
>> than exactly two sound sources: the main audio and the spoken overlay.
>> Anything else would also infringe on the copyright of the original
>> production, so is very unlikely to happen.
> You don't expect the authors of content to ever provide the descriptions
> themselves ? Don't the BBC already do this for some of their content ?

No, I think it's a different production process, completely separate
from the main content. There may be an occasional exception, but in
general, accessibility content such as captions and audio descriptions
are produced after a piece of content is finished, not as part of the

>> The kinds if goals that you mention for emphasizing individual aspects of
>> the original mix are already addressed in the original mix.
> But that may change for the case of mixing with descriptions.
> But anyway, whilst this argument about mixing is interesting, it's not the
> main point.
> There are clearly two ways in which descriptions could be delivered. We can
> argue about the relative merits of these two ways, and the HTML a11y WG
> could even make a recommendation about which is preferably.

Well, it is stated in (DV-6) of our requirements document,
, so our requirements already say that it is preferable.

> But it seems way beyond our scope to say we are *so sure* about the
> superiority of one approach that the other kind of descriptions can't even
> be presented to the user in the same way as the "preferred" approach.
> If a user asks "why don't the descriptions on this content get enabled
> according to my preferences, when it works for this other piece of content",
> it's not an acceptable answer to say "because the engineers in W3C decided
> not to mark the first kind of descriptions as descritions".

I had indeed made an allowance for this before even though I continue
to believe it is the inferior approach and should not be the
encouraged means.

> There may also be many other reasons why people take the different
> approaches to delivering descriptions. I think if someone goes to the
> trouble of providing them at all then they should be presented to the user
> that wants them in a consistent way, that's all.

I can see the issue of browser default settings and shortcuts, though
a publisher could get around this, too, with JS on their page. But
anyway, I did mention "main+descriptions" could be a solution for
legacy content.

Received on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:06:44 UTC

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