[bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

  • From: "Don Ball" <dball10@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 15:37:18 -0500

THE ptr2 is an example of to much accessability. The speech intrupts all 
operations and there are to many buttons on the unit that get pressed at the 
wrong times. I bought the unit and haven't spent to much time with it yet 
but don't like it as well as I thought I would. Oh well at least I will be 
able to read books with it.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jenny Axler" <jaxler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 9:48 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

Hi all,  i find it interesting that no one has mentioned the plextalk in
this discussion.  It's not as portable as one might want, but in other
respects it basically does what all of you seem to want.  The only thing I
do not know is how the sound is with a good stereo microphone.  But if one
does not want something quite as bulky, one might think of approaching the
plexter corperation to see if they would develop a model of plextalk that
only recorded on compact flash rather than having both the flash card and CD
as the CD drive contributes to its size and weight.  as for the NLS books,
these are going to be in Daisy Niso format as far as I know on 128 mb
flashcards in a proprietary cartridge.  I still have found nothing out about
the player itself, what the feature set will be.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 5:46 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Recorders for the blind

> Krister, I'll answer your last question first.  Professional versions of
> recorders can have just as sophisticated menus as consumer models and
> sometimes their even more sophisticated.  Take the Nagra for example,
> not the one that was demoed on the podcast.  They make a larger unit
> that has not just one list of menus but the tree level goes at least 3
> deep.  On the other hand, the recorder I have is one list of main menus
> and only one sub level under that.  But don't let that fool you into
> thinking it is easy.  Because of all it does, it has something like 78
> main menus each of which can have 6 or 7 items.  So, I don't think you
> can say that professional recorder menus are more simple.
> I agree with your point about not just making it blind accessible.  I
> hope you read my message on this subject earlier.  Who wants to pay a
> lot more just because no one but people who are blind will want it.  In
> my humble opinion, it should be accessible to everyone thus bringing
> down the cost.  Now, that doesn't mean it can not be accessible.  I
> think lots of people who are not blind might like a talking recorder.
> Of course, they may want to turn off the speech at some point.
> As for how professional it is versus how consumer oriented, my guess is
> that it will not be a high end recorder because a lot of people who are
> blind may not be able to afford it.  However, I think it definitely has
> to be better than recorders like the Olympus, the milestone, and other
> MP3 recorders.  It's a lot of trouble to go to in order to produce an
> accessible recorder only to have it be not all that good sonically.
> So, I'm guessing we're probably talking about something like the r9, or
> the microtrack but with hopefully better mike preamps.  In the end, if
> anyone decides to develop this, it will depend on feedback from people
> like you and others on this list.
> It may turn out that it's just to expensive for APH to do.  I am sure it
> takes a lot of money up front to develop such a recorder.  I suppose one
> thing that might be done is to work with a company that is already doing
> this.  Companies like Sony are probably too big to care, but the
> Microtrack or the Edirol may be companies APH or some other group might
> approach in this regard.  I'm not sure how interested they would be in
> making a recorder that is accessible, because most of their users are
> likely not blind.  So, what would be their incentive to redo what they
> have done and spend more money just to please a hand full of their end
> users?  I don't know.  Anyway, it's nice to hear from all of you on what
> you think is needed.  If anything ever comes of this, we will have
> certainly batted around a number of ideas and that is a good thing.
> Neal
> -----Original Message-----
> From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Krister Ekstrom
> Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 6:47 AM
> To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [bct] Re: Recorders for the blind
> 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 intelligence 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 compromise 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? /Krister
> 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?
>> Neal
>>     -----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.
>>     Kai
>>     -----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.
>>     Neal
>>         -----Original Message-----
>>         *From:* blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
>>         [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] *On Behalf Of *Sam
>>         Bushman
>>         *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.
>>         Sam

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