Xbmc not working for blind users.

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Anders74 Offline
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Post: #1
Hi! My name is Anders and i am a blind guy who like to testing a lot of software. I have a friend who was sighted but has become blind. He was very dissapointed when i found that xbmc does not work with his screenreader. It is sadly totally inaccessible. I have installed it here and can't use it at all as a blind person. I don't mean to be rude, i just will suggest that the interfaceis being changed so that blind users can use it. I can't even configure it to use it with a web interface. Thanks.
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natethomas Offline
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Post: #2
Well, time for a bit of regrettable honesty. None of the coders on the team are blind. Most of the time, the things the Team codes are things that either Team members or non-Team members who know how to code contribute. Fortunately, this tends to result in a great deal of awesome software. Unfortunately, this means there are occasional gaps in the code. Because we aren't a massively well funded foundation, like Mozilla, or a extremely wealthy company, like Microsoft or Apple, we tend to focus on either items that would benefit the largest number of people, or items that the people who are doing the coding for free want to see integrated into the software.

Unfortunately, to date, no coders have popped up and offered to help make XBMC blind-accessible, and without that kick start, it seems fairly unlikely that the feature will make it into the code. With that said, A: never say never, and B: this is actually a pretty good thread to keep running, because there might be a coder or two out there who will read it and come up with a brilliant way to make XBMC more accessible, which is never a bad thing.

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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #3
It is possible to use some smart phone XBMC remote apps to control most of XBMC. iOS/iPhone/iPod touch devices have text to speech built in, and will work with most of the XBMC iOS remote apps. I'm not sure about Android.
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Banjer Offline
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Post: #4
Umm... is it me or does using a program geared to playing visual content for a blind person sound kinda strange?
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jhsrennie Offline
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Post: #5
Banjer Wrote:Umm... is it me or does using a program geared to playing visual content for a blind person sound kinda strange?

XBMC plays music as well of course.

Actually a blind friend of mine likes watching TV and films. She reckons she gets a good idea of what is going on just from the audio.

JR
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Anders74 Offline
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Post: #6
Banjer Wrote:Umm... is it me or does using a program geared to playing visual content for a blind person sound kinda strange?

Hi! Maybe strange but it works. I normally use vlc but their team as become very nonchalant so i am trying to find something new.
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Anders74 Offline
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Post: #7
Ned Scott Wrote:It is possible to use some smart phone XBMC remote apps to control most of XBMC. iOS/iPhone/iPod touch devices have text to speech built in, and will work with most of the XBMC iOS remote apps. I'm not sure about Android.

Hi Scot! I have seen a couple of such app on ap store. But dont you have to do some configuration on the computer first? /A
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #8
Anders74 Wrote:Hi Scot! I have seen a couple of such app on ap store. But dont you have to do some configuration on the computer first? /A

XBMC would have to be set to allow remote apps to control it (I believe default is off). The initial sources (folders, network drives, etc) would also probably need to be set up through the XBMC GUI at least once (well, technically speaking you can edit sources through an XML file, but that's hardly an elegant solution).
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skybird1980 Offline
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Post: #9
i have an idea for them.
activate the webserver - the website including a remote can be read by screenreaders.
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pru1 Offline
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Post: #10
The blindplayer script was meant for doing what you need, I think. However someone must configure it first through GUI.
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Michael.F Offline
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Post: #11
i don't want to offend anyone.

But most i know are using xbmc because its visually appealing and skinnable.
Where are the benefits of xbmc vs. Windows Media Center, which probably offers support for blinded people.

I think microsoft is responsible to create a good user experience for handicapped people.

Xbmc just isn't the mainstream mediacenter for everyone.
i don't think that people, which aren't very tech saavy could set it up..

But maybe blind people could use it, if someone would explain them the menu tree.. (just an idea, could work well with some simple audio feedback)
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Traker1001 Offline
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Post: #12
@edit
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-26 13:57 by Traker1001.)
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Ned Scott Offline
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Post: #13
Accessibility for the blind is certainly an important issue for XBMC. I'll admit, I was one of those people who originally thought that XBMC just couldn't really fit this role, but since then I've been convinced otherwise. Plus, there are many changes happening to XBMC's guts under the hood that will make using alternative interfaces and feedback easier for everyone, like changing settings. JSON-RPC could be used to interface with screen readers and such. I think we're closer to this goal than some of us realize, but yeah, it will still take some more work.

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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HenryFord Offline
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Post: #14
(2013-06-25 05:56)Traker1001 Wrote:  Sadly many many developers seem to think, "I am not blind, Why should I care." Unfortunately, While I don't agree with this selfish attitude, I can't fault or force anyone.
Please, distance yourself from such harsh assumptions. In reality - I'd assume many developers aren't blind themselves and they do not even know people who are blind. It is, nevertheless, regrettable that handicapped people get overlooked, but please - you are not doing yourself any favour if you assume that this happens because the devs do not care or because they are selfish and even worse: Do it on purpose. I just think that for a lot of people this just is "out of scope": They simply do not think about that, because they never had to experience this challenge first hand or at least from a friend/collegue/etc..

I for one am with you - but I have to be honest first: I was also one of those people who even thought "Isn't that stupid? Watching videos when blind?" - I know that this was ignorant today, but I didn't in the past - I really thought I'd give a valuable opinion when saying things like that. This is just to show you that never experiencing the issue at hand leads to the ignorance you are talking about. Over the time, I came to another, different opinion which is in line with yours.

XBMC is making huge steps towards accessibility and as Ned, I think at some point we will certainly profit from the new possibilities XBMC includes today. There is a long road to be gone, certainly, but rome wasn't built in one day either. I think it's an ambitious project, and it should be realised eventually. XBMC is gearing more towards this today, and in the future I'm sure we'll see accessibility done just right!

Need help? Check out my XBMC Frodo Guide. It contains full featured guides to Sickbeard and CouchPotato as well.

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Traker1001 Offline
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Post: #15
@edit
(This post was last modified: 2014-04-26 13:58 by Traker1001.)
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