Xbmc not working for blind users.

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transcender Offline
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Post: #16
This is a bit intriguing. I am a huge proponent of VoxCommando. While navigating the menus can be a bit annoying via voice commands. particularly with non visual feedback, but I think you would be even more benefit than conventional users by the smart list playback of the media library. I really think VoxCommando could help bridge that gap for you.

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opdenkamp Offline
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Post: #17
I think that you best look into an integration of a TTS engine via JSON-RPC. You probably need to add some more hooks, notifications and texts to JSON-RPC. I've done quiet some work on a TV/DVR system suitable for blind and visually impaired people in the last few months, for my day job (so not using XBMC), and this is not something you integrate (properly) in a few evening hours.

We devs are very selfish, as you already pointed out, because we only work on things we want our need ourselves (and then give everything back to the community so they can use it). None of us is blind or has problems with his sight afaik, so nobody is working on this or will be working on this any time soon. So your best bet is to write support for this yourself, share the code, become a Team member, and keep improving things for visually impaired people ;-)

opdenkamp / dushmaniac

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Traker1001 Offline
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Post: #18
@edit
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-26 13:58 by Traker1001.)
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transcender Offline
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Post: #19
(2013-06-26 19:25)Traker1001 Wrote:  Transcender, I will look into that. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Opdenkamp, Again, My intention was not to insult. It was a frustrated generalization. And I apologize you took it that way. I appreciate everything the Devs of XBMC and its addons have done. XBMC is a very polished wonderful piece of software and you all have done an amazing job. I don't want you to think I don't appreciate what you all have accomplished as I really do. I realize it's not a snap your fingers solution. I just want devs to keep the Visually impaired in mind when developing there software.

I have no experience in developing. However, I have a bit of R&R Leave coming. When I am back home I will have a look at it see if it is maybe something I can learn enough to accomplish. Using JSON-RPC, I would have to create a separate interface altogether to pull guide and video data, format it in a way to provide for the TTS engine, Then translate the any selections back into XBMC JSON command? Is that about right? More or less creating a totally separate interface and running XBMC more as a service.

Traker1001, sure, the VoxCommando forums are lively and the dev is very active. It has TTS support via Windows. My main XBMC machine is a xbmcbuntu machine so I haven't quite figured out an innovative way to get TTS feedback to work. Not sure how much TTS support there is for menu navigation but saying "play movie Star Wars" and other complex phrasing implementation with smart lists I think can certainly assist you. There are many tutorial videos and stuff in the forums to help setup and free demo. I hope this helps.

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nickr Online
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Post: #20
Guys and gals, this thread caught my eye (no pun intended) and my immediate thought was to wonder how relevant XBMC was to visually impaired people. I have been educated to say the least.

I know linux has tts support via festival and related software. How to link it in is a mystery to me. The suggestion on the first page to do it via the web control system might be inspired given that there is quite a lot of TTS support in browsers anyway.

Or is this a skinning problem? How about a basic skin with large lettering (some of the people will be partially sighted as opposed to completely blind) bound into a TTS system like festival. No voice control needed - just tedious reading back of where we are in the menu system.

Or do we need a different paradigm? Voice control? "Play the latest Game of Thrones" or "Go to settings" - those are a tall orders.

However there are plenty of people interested in just this sort of thing. There is a new thread today with someone wanting to control every XBMC box in his house with voice control. "All kids under 10 years old, TV off now, school tomorrow!!"

Being a diabetic and being more prone to eye deterioration than the general population I have always worried about movies and TV one day being out of my reach. The tales in this thread make me less concerned should that evil day ever come. Inspirational. Cheers.

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opdenkamp Offline
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Post: #21
If you want something like TTS, then it doesn't belong in XBMC's core imo. I'd either do this by extending one of our existing interfaces, or by creating a new (binary/python) add-on interface for it, and then write a client or add-on that interfaces with a TTS engine to tell people which item is selected, how many items there are in the list that is selected, etc.

Voice control should not needed cause blind people can use a remote ;-) For people who've got limited sight, a lot of tricks can be done in the skin, by increasing the font size, using high contrast, removing all the fullscreen fanart stuff, etc.

opdenkamp / dushmaniac

xbmc-pvr [Eden-PVR builds] [now included in mainline XBMC, so no more source link here :)]
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Found a problem with PVR? Report it on Trac, under "PVR - core components". Please attach the full debug log.

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(This post was last modified: 2013-06-27 22:48 by opdenkamp.)
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transcender Offline
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Post: #22
opdenkamp, I agree I dont think it really belongs in xbmc's core either. I was just suggesting an accessible alternative may exist. I would agree people could use remotes, however even as a sighted person, navigating several layers of menuing grows tiresome at times and direct launching is something I find value in but I agree its not for everyone.

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byron27 Offline
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Post: #23
I recently downloaded XBMC because I heard of all of the cool video add-ons available to users. I was sorely met with a program that didn't interact with my screenreader. I am partially sighted though, so I was able to tinker without the accessibility support. However, I want to forward the message of XBMC to all of my friends who are also blind. I was thinking... boy, why couldn't we have a grey and blue, boring windows interface that lets us get to all of the meat of the addons without all of the graphics? Then I went Googling and came upon this site. If there are any coders who want to check on the accessibility option, there is a very powerful and FREE screenreader called NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) that most blind people keep as a backup in their bag of tricks. Try downloading that and then running XBMC and you'll see how unresponsive it currently is to a screenreader. Isn't there some way to get at all of that juicy content floating around the interwebs provided by XBMC's add-ons without going full screen and loading up a big GUI?

I will say as a LOW VISION user, the Quartz skin is great for those of us with problems seeing. The Apple TV is very blind friendly so as soon as I saw that the interface was similar I got really excited. Anyway, I'll await replies on this.

Thanks!
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 08:05 by byron27.)
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nickr Online
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Post: #24
(2013-12-05 07:58)byron27 Wrote:  I recently downloaded XBMC because I heard of all of the cool video add-ons available to users. I was sorely met with a program that didn't interact with my screenreader. I am partially sighted though, so I was able to tinker without the accessibility support. However, I want to forward the message of XBMC to all of my friends who are also blind. I was thinking... boy, why couldn't we have a grey and blue, boring windows interface that lets us get to all of the meat of the addons without all of the graphics? Then I went Googling and came upon this site. If there are any coders who want to check on the accessibility option, there is a very powerful and FREE screenreader called NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access) that most blind people keep as a backup in their bag of tricks. Try downloading that and then running XBMC and you'll see how unresponsive it currently is to a screenreader. Isn't there some way to get at all of that juicy content floating around the interwebs provided by XBMC's add-ons without going full screen and loading up a big GUI?



I will say as a LOW VISION user, the Quartz skin is great for those of us with problems seeing. The Apple TV is very blind friendly so as soon as I saw that the interface was similar I got really excited. Anyway, I'll await replies on this.

Thanks!
Weirdly your post comes up only as "I recently downloaded" but when i hit "quote" there is a much longer message.

So I'll post this reply simply so others can see your message.

Is NVDA restricted to any particular OS? If so it'll get little traction on a multi platform project. Also is it open source?

<hr>
Weirdly by the time I finished my post yours now comes up properly!

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(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 08:25 by nickr.)
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byron27 Offline
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Post: #25
That was my fault. I was starting my post and I somehow accidentally submitted a not-so-finished post. NVDA is not multi-platform nor is it open source (as far as I know) but a basic XBMC interface with standard listboxes, trees, menubars, and buttons and such would probably work with any screen reader. NVDA is just a free way for developers to experience any output they may create the way we would. Anyway, I am no developer and a newbie here so I am in no place to tell people how to do things. I only know what would probably work. For an example of something that works great for blind people, check out HOPE by Q-Continuum. It's a Pandora desktop client that is very boring, grey and simple and yet it provides an awesome interface to Pandora for the blind. I know XBMC is way more complicated so I am probably talking out my arse here :-)
(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 08:37 by byron27.)
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nickr Online
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Post: #26
OK I am envisaging a very basic skin perhaps?

However media playing is a very basic function for a computer. There are many programs that do it.

Where XBMC shines is the presentation gui - how that media is organised and presented to the viewer (and I say VIEWer deliberately).

If you want your pandora like frontend, you might as well develop a very simple program that can read a list of videos or music files and play one when you click the right button. Any player would do - mplayer is very controllable from the commandline and is cross platform.

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(This post was last modified: 2013-12-05 09:04 by nickr.)
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byron27 Offline
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Post: #27
That is absolutely true, but the sheer brilliance in which XBMC collects all of these great video sources in the add-on sections is really something and I for one think its a shame that there isn't a way for us blind and visually impaired people to access it. I am certainly not saying that the devs of XBMC should abandon or change anything about your great program... but it would be really cool if there was a version or skin for XBMC for getting these addons to play nice with a screenreader. I'm not a programer or a coder and can't begin to understand the hard work that went into getting this off the ground. But I know that the coolness of XBMC extends way beyond a simple media player like mplayer. I will humbly await your reply but I honestly hope that this thread doesn't go unseen.
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nickr Online
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Post: #28
These screenreaders, do they simply read what is on the screen from top to bottom, left to right or do they just read what is under some sort of 'cursor'? How do they cope with an arrow, or a drop box or other visual elements?

I agree this is important (although sometimes boggle at a the idea of a blind user wanting access to movie playing software, although I appreciate that there are degrees of visual impairment. Without wanting to appear crass or objectionable, the whole idea has a monty pythonish air to it until you appreciate how things are for impaired but not totally blind people).

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byron27 Offline
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Post: #29
Honestly, blind people, totals, partials, and everything in-between enjoy watching movies, TV shows, and web based content. Just because you can't SEE it doesn't mean you don't want to enjoy it. Also, may of us have sighted friends and family members who want to enjoy along with us. And, getting a sighted person to queue up the movie or show isn't the best option. Also, there's plenty of content that is "visual" but has plenty of audio too. For example, news programs, documentaries, drama shows like Law & Order, and movies based on books... which I imagine you probably know us blind people quite like. So as weird as it may sound to you, blind people in fact do WATCH movies and TV shows. You can call it "Listening" if you like but us blind people never say, "hey other blinky dude, did you hear Doctor Who last night?" No, we say watch, even though many of obviously can't literally use our eyes to collect the light photons coming from our screens. :-) Anyway, I'm trying not to sound crass or rude, but it is kind of funny seeing how sighted people reacting to the kinds of things blind people want to do. I guess the same air of silliness that I saw in your comment is the same air of silliness you saw in mine. Can we all agree that we're all silly?
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #30
Interfacing the screen readers to JSON-RPC would probably be the best bet.

You can make easy links to the XBMC wiki using double brackets around common XBMC words: [[debug log]] = debug log, [[Video library]] = Video library, [[SMB]] = SMB , [[userdata]] = userdata, etc
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