[bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

  • From: Krister Ekstrom <krister@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 09 Mar 2006 13:46:30 +0100

Hi there.
At the risk of getting all flamed down here, i'll toss out a few ... what's it called in english ... torches here?...
Personally i don't like special "blind friendly" versions of things that already exist, for example why do a special "blind friendly" recorder? I'd understand the accessibility point, i certainly would, but unfortunately those special gadgets, note not all but quite a few, tend to insult our inteligence by designing their interfaces in a way that at least to me says: "Well they're just blind, so they don't need this or that, so we skip those features and do it very, very basic".
and these so called "blind friendly" products tend to be off-standard and not compatible with anything in the market. A good example, at least up to now are note takers. They are nearing standard now, but we all remember the Eureka A4, the VersaBraille and so on. I for my personal part, if we go back to the subject of recorders won't compromice high sound quality for accessibility, that is if a product is highly accessible but has a poor sound quality i won't buy it just because it's accessible, but if a product has moderate accessibility and a high sound quality i'd get it and figure out what i could do with it. That's why i wonder how good the R1 is and i'm also very curious about the Hi Md-s and Neal, isn't it so that semi- and professional equipment tend to have less complicated menus and gizmos than consumer products and be more straight forward in this effect or am i totally wrong here?

Neal Ewers wrote:

Kai, I'm not necessarily saying that it shouldn't have MP3 capabilities, I simply would like to have it also include .wav files for those who do not want to have to edit their podcasts in a compressed format and thus make it more compressed in the final result. The Olympus recorders, while certainly not totally accessible, are certainly better than most in this regard. I would think it not very much worth the money to simply make an accessible MP3 recorder if it is only going to be some access features added to an Olympus like recorder. Don't misunderstand, I don't expect it to be like the recorders that Dan and I happen to own. I don't even expect balanced inputs. But I think it would be a big job to pull off in the first place, so why not go the extra step and include .wave recording capabilities?

    -----Original Message-----
    *From:* blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Kai
    *Sent:* Wednesday, March 08, 2006 11:32 AM
    *To:* blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    *Subject:* [bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

Greetings Neal et al.
Recording in wav is really nice, but I think being able to record
with mp3-encoding on the fly would be awesome. What would be nice
would be the ability to alter the compression rates.
If you're doing a bunch of sound seeing tours, choose 128KBPS
compression. You'll be able to fit quite a lot of recordings into
one card. That means you can cover an entire vacation with one,
possibly two 2GB/4GB CF cards.
Recording a bunch of orchestral environments? Set the unit to
compress its recordings at a 192/224/256KBPS rate, which will
preserve all those important nuances.
-----Original Message-----
*From:* blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Neal Ewers
*Sent:* Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:22 AM
*To:* blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
*Subject:* [bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

Sam, recording a wave file at a sampling rate of 44100 and 16 bit on
the 4 GB flash card will give you about 6 hours of recording time. And that is in stereo. I don't think that is too shabby for a
recording that is totally uncompressed. In addition, if you dropped
the sampling rate by half, you could still get a better than MP3
quality recording and get twice the time. Plus, unlike the Olympus
recorders, you can always have more than one flash card. Just slip
one out and put in another one until you can get back to your
computer to unload the files.

        -----Original Message-----
        *From:* blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
        [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Sam
        *Sent:* Wednesday, March 08, 2006 10:39 AM
        *To:* BlindCoolTech Email List
        *Subject:* [bct] Recorders for the blind

Hi Guys,
Just a few thoughts that may help on the recorder issue.
I agree that there are many different uses for the recorders and
that will detail what brand / feature set is best.
But, I think that accessibility is the key thing we all need.
Meaning that if a recorder is accessible but, not best suited to
the job at hand ... I may live with it because at least I can
operate the dang thing.
I don't think we can develop a recorder for the blind because we
all have different wants and expectations for the device that
may conflict.
Some have mentioned .wav files but, I personally don't think
that will work well.
First they are large and you will lose lots of record time.
But, this is not about my personal opinion on a feature set
for a digital recorder for the blind.
I think that Larry has done is best to identify a recorder that
is the best all around for the blind at this time.
Meaning that it's accessible and has the main basic feature set
we all need.
Olympus has shown over time to have the beeps we need to at
least run the things in the first place.
I think that if we try to work with Olympus to either create a
version for us or add a few more accessibility details that
would help us that would be great.
I also suggest that we all spend more time finding out why the
hum on the 320.
Is it the mics that are being used, is it other devices that are
close by causing interference, is it truly the recorder?
I don't have these answers yet but, if we could eliminate the
hum that would go a long way.
Reviewing other devices and trying to work with other device makers also is a great idea.
If we develop our own recorder I fear that it will cost an arm
and a leg and be very hard to repair.
Thanks for listening ... all ideas welcome.

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