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Re: Audio formats

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2003 08:23:26 +0000
Cc: web@edd.ca.gov, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Message-Id: <C2F8F43E-3C07-11D7-A8BB-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>


you miss out on a valuable possibility. The work of reading the text is 
not 'expensive' if the people involved benefit from the experience, and 
find it empowering.

This will also like auditing, provide a first pass on the readability 
of the text, which other processes generally will not.

Ask children whether they prefer an audio tape by a well known and good 
reader, or a screen reader, and you have you answer.

The assumption that a mechanical reproduction of a voice is superior, 
because the data is 'accessible' is misplaced. They are a separate and 
useful activity.


On Sunday, February 9, 2003, at 05:47 AM, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:

> Yes, DAISY talking books are a technology that enables reasonably 
> useful audio presentation - particularly if combined with well 
> marked-up text to start with (the full text enables searching, the 
> markup makes production easier).
> VoiceXML also provides a reasonably effective approach to managing 
> interactions with Voice output. Although it is not yet mature with 
> respect to mixed input (using browsers that have voice output and 
> text/voice input, for example) it should be practicable to do this. 
> And it probably makes sense to make the effort - if you can get hold 
> of some help for a browser.
> But all of these are optimisations made by providing a second version. 
> Overall it seems to be of minor additional benefit.
> Just using recorded audio and expecting people to listen to it is 
> probably of dubious benefit - it often interferes with people's speech 
> technology. Since people need their speech systems running to get as 
> far as your pages, they are more likely to turn off your audio than 
> theirs - so you would be doing a lot of expensive recording that your 
> stated target audience aren't going to appreciate at all.
> Your advice on having decent structure seems to be more valuable in 
> this case. I would suggest there is little point just recording the 
> audio unless you have some expectation that the work will be done to 
> use it in a more advanced audio format provided (and of course 
> maintained) as an alternative version - a significant undertaking.
> cheers
> Chaals
> On Saturday, Feb 8, 2003, at 05:39 Australia/Melbourne, Madeleine 
> Rothberg wrote:
>> It sounds like you are considering producing audio books. You may be 
>> interested in the Digital Talking Book specification, which provides 
>> a way to mark up an audio book to have navigation within it. If the 
>> audio is combined with the full text of the book, then you have full 
>> text searching as well as audio playback.
>> More info from DAISY at:
>> http://www.daisy.org
>> -Madeleine
>> -- 
>> Madeleine Rothberg
>> The CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
>> madeleine_rothberg@wgbh.org
>> http://ncam.wgbh.org
>> (617) 300-2492
>> On Friday, February 7, 2003 1:04 PM, Webmaster@EDD <web@edd.ca.gov> 
>> wrote:
>>> My department is working on ways to increase accessibility of our web
>>> content.  My advice has stressed the importance of document 
>>> formatting and
>>> tagging that will ensure navigability/usability in conjunction with 
>>> screen
>>> reader browsing software.  I never considered audio files to be a
>>> particularly effective format for improving accessibility of content 
>>> for the
>>> visually impaired user.
>>> One program are would like to deploy audio versions of their 
>>> departmental
>>> forms and manuals (some of which are 50+ pages in length), with the
>>> rationale that visually impaired users can then "listen" to the 
>>> forms.  I
>>> don't consider this to be an effective use of audio technology, 
>>> however I
>>> have also never seen it used in that way.
> --
> Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
> Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Sunday, 9 February 2003 03:21:44 UTC

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