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Re: Audio formats

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003 19:03:25 +1100
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Gary Morrison" <g.morrison@texthelp.com>
To: "Asif" <asif@studynook.com>
Message-Id: <9F4BF22E-43E0-11D7-AA01-000A95678F24@sidar.org>

I had a look at your website using a speech-enabled browser (the 
majority of browsers on the Macintosh are speech enabled already, but 
this is not good enough for serious work if someone has a visual 

I went to the browsealoud site to look at the plugin, and it appears to 
only work on windows. I wasn't prepared to hand over my email address 
without any reference to a privacy policy, and with a promise that I 
would get advertising email, so I didn't download the plugin.

Reading the documentation it also appears to rely heavily on people 
seeing various cues, and then using the mouse to control various 
features. Neither of these are things that people who are blind can do 
effectively except with the aid of a very powerful and carefully 
configured screen reader - at which point they have no need for the 
browsealoud plugin.

I think this is not a very  effective approach - there are numerous 
free speaking browsers for multiple systems, and people who want one 
should get one for themselves that works with all web content. 
Expecting people to download each required plugin for the system that 
each site developer chose leads to mass confusion for users, 
incompatibility problems for site developers, and a lot of time wasted 
all around - if this approach was the best one I would recommend using 
Flash objects, since at least there is a widely installed user base. 
Given that this approach is most helpful to people with cognitive and 
intellectual disabilities one of the most important things is making 
sure there aren't complex download and configuration requirements 
placed on users.

(By the way, I currently don't recommend using flash - except as a 
possible format for an audio file that is not necessary and that the 
user can choose to play or not. I think there are other formats for 
audio that are as well suited to the task - mp3, wav, etc).

just my 2 cents worth


Charles McCN

On Wednesday, Feb 19, 2003, at 07:00 Australia/Melbourne, Asif wrote:

> Just an FYI:
> On my site www.accessibleware.org I use a plug-in from BrowseAloud. 
> Once the
> site is enabled, and you have downloaded the plug-in, you can "hear" 
> the
> site. It requires you to move the mouse or I assume tab, to get over 
> the
> sentence/line of text, and then you can "hear" it. The person to reach 
> at
> BrowseAloud is Garry Morrison <g.morrison@texthelp.com>. Let me know 
> how
> that works out.
> Regards,
> Asif./
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Wednesday, 19 February 2003 03:03:18 UTC

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