[access-uk] Re: Internet Radio latest

  • From: "Dave Taylor" <dave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 07:42:59 -0000


Ray, I couldn't agree more. I took Jackie's point that it is nice to escape 
from the computer for once, but as far as I can see, it really is the easiest 
way to do a lot of things. Sure, it only costs a couple of quid to put a decent 
TTS system into most gadgets these days, but until a manufacturer of mainstream 
gadgets does it we're severely limited. Radios on mobile phones aren't the 
easiest to use, though they are namageable, but only any good if you want to 
use the headphones all the time.I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see FM 
radio on future versions of humanware products, the BrailleNote already has 
one, but FM is so limited these days. I really think that a tiny laptop will 
become the way forward for us for most things, using wireless networks. We'll 
essentially have one computer with a huge hard disk, and lots of smaller ones 
around  the house running entirely off the network. I suspect even internal CD 
drives will start to disappear, keyboards will get smaller and battery life 
will increase, so the laptop will become more like the notetakers we are used 


From: Ray's Home 
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 5:53 PM
To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Subject: [access-uk] Re: Internet Radio latest

Graham, agree completely with what you say belowe but one or two thoughts on 
this, and hope Jackie might find them useful too.

If we want an accessible version of the internet radios you can buy at Argos 
with the many stations they offer, then what really is the way forward?

I'm beginning to ask myself whether a pure and simple accessible internet radio 
will in fact appear, or at least one that goes beyond voice tagging.  As I see 
it, you are realy talking here about something that is in essence not far short 
of a regular computer specialised to link to internet audio streams.  So, I ask 
myself, if we want complete flexibility like we're accustomed to on our PCs, 
then maybe a  laptop-like device is something like what we'll end up with.

Then again one of the many specialized portable devices on the market  could be 
adapted for the purpose, or the way things are going, a mobile phone?

On reflection maybe in the TNAUK/Orion option things have been simplified and 
customised to offer what it is believed the market for this device is likely to 
want.  Those wanting something more may have to waite a little longer and 
perhaps for another developer to look at a possibly younger and wider market?  
Cannot help but think of the Guide software as a sort of comparison here, and 
wonder if that model of limitation and keep it easy is what's being aimed at.

From Ray 
I can be contacted off-list at: 

  -----Original Message-----
  From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of 
Graham Page
  Sent: 25 March 2008 5:00PM
  To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [access-uk] Re: Internet Radio latest

  Ray, all I would say about modern voices such as Real Speak is that I have 
worked with a few new access technology users recently.  I am used to working 
with a screenreader and prefer eloquence but many find RealSpeak Daniel better 
despite it being a little unresponsive.  I think that using a high quality 
voice such as this would be a fair compromise that would allow an 
understandable voice to be used while allowing most people to work with it.


  Graham Page
  Home Phone: 0207 265 9493
  Mobile: 07753 607980
  Fax:  0870 706 2773
  Email: gpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  MSN: gabriel_mcbird@xxxxxxxxxxx
  Skype: gabriel_mcbird

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ray's Home 
  To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2008 2:47 PM
  Subject: [access-uk] Re: Internet Radio latest

  Jackie, great news that you'l be doing a review of the talking internet 
radio.  Your comments made me realise that I've probably not understood how 
this thing works, with voice tagging.  I'd sort of assumed there'd be a TTS in 
there.  this seems a serious limitation if adding voice tags is only doable by 
someone running a special program or something, or maybe it is done simply by 
someone hooking the thing up to a PC.

  I can see why they'd want to settle for human voice identification of 
stations if this unit's aimed at older people, though there are good human 
sounding voices these days.  TTS would be so much more flexible and hassel-free 
though in use.

  What I would want is the ability to update myself.  Maybe there is an Orion 
model that does allow for this, but I may contact them to see what the position 
is regarding this.  Maybe you are planning to get an answer to this sort of 

  I don't sub to Brian Hartgen's infotech, but wonder if he's looked at this.

  From Ray 
  I can be contacted off-list at: 

    -----Original Message-----
    From: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of 
Jackie Cairns
    Sent: 21 March 2008 9:44AM
    To: Access UK Mailing List
    Subject: [access-uk] Internet Radio latest

    Hi Listers

    I promised to report back to the group when I had something new to tell you 
about the saga of Internet radio, and more specifically, the device I was 
hoping to allow TNAUK, or Sound Talking, to let me try out.

    Well the Orion Webbox arrived yesterday for me to try out.  I have it on 
the basis I can write a review, which Ted Davis needs to sanction before it is 
published.  Nevertheless, I certainly intend to make it fair and honest, as 

    But my initial thoughts are these.  The box itself is flat, with a speaker 
on the top and five small round buttons, as well as a rotary volume/pause  
control.  All the relevant sockets, including mains, phonos and RJ45 connection 
are on the back.

    When you turn on the Webbox, the lady from Solutions Radio, where the box 
is manufactured in Holland, announces the unit and offers a menu.  This menu is 
full of TNAUK, RNIB, Calibre and other publication choices, but also local 
radio stations and national radio stations.  Of course, I made a beeline for 
these.  On this trial unit, there are lots of national BBC stations that you 
would expect to find on DAB or FM/MW, but some extras.  Local radio stations 
include a selection from around the country.  To be honest, if I was buying the 
radio, I would want its memory filled to capacity with as many stations as 

    The radio, in simple terms, is easy to operate.  You go into menus, select 
what you want, and press the back key to get out of them and return to the 
previous layer.

    Based on what I've seen so far, there is an awful lot of work still to do.  
It's very TNAUK/RNIB/Calibre oriented, and that does worry me considerably.  I 
can see why a lot of people would like to have the entire collection of 
subscription titles from TNAUK on there, as well as a variety of RNIB or 
Calibre books.  But I think the radio side of it - which is my primary interest 
- will lag behind.  Firstly, all stations are tagged, and we know what that 
means in terms of future-proof continuity.  If you want a station included, Ted 
has assured me it can be added, but I have grave reservations about that in the 
long term.

    So folks, while I'm still exploring, and want to write something fair and 
constructive for publication, my advice is hang onto your dosh for now if you 
want more of a radio than a DAISY player full of books and magazines.


    Email: cairnsplace@xxxxxxx
    Skype Name: Cairnsplace

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