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Best internet radio for the blind

Posted by dotireland 
Best internet radio for the blind
December 03, 2007 09:12PM
Hi All,
I would like to get some advice on internet radios. I want to buy my fully blind father a internet radio as he loves to listen to the radio but he cannot get his favorite stations here in Ireland:angry: So I need some advice on what is the best internet radio available that would have a remote control & is user friendly. Please Please Please help:cheer:
ajs
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 03, 2007 09:28PM
You might find some useful information amongst these discussions to start with. Click here.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 03, 2007 10:32PM
I am in the middle of arranging an Internet radio to be installed for my (sighted) pensioner mother, she has never used a computer. Chose the Intempo GX-01 due to it's mid price point of 120 GBP and it has a (rather small) remote. It has 3 preset buttons too which I thought was important if the remote goes doolally. In addition to this it has an Ethernet connection as a backup if the wifi goes wrong as it often does. The next up with a remote is the Roberts. It seems to have just one button/rotary control to do all functions and no simple preset buttons on the case. Maybe a remote is not essential as there is at least 1 model out there with 5 preset buttons. With the Intempo, beware of the previous batches that had a crackling noise fault (see other threads). New batches are fixed.

Post edited by: buglawton, at: 2007/12/03 22:47
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 04, 2007 11:12AM
I'm not convinced that any Internet Radio currently sold is particularly suited to fully blind users (Reciva technology or otherwise).

The systems all seem to have a visual display which scrolls through options. There is no option for auditory or tactile feedback to say which has been selected.

The menus can be dynamic; so they can change if the content changes. Therefore the user cannot count "N clicks" on the scroll wheel or push button (difficult in itself) because the number "N" can vary.


So, the blind user is pretty much reduced to only the preset buttons (typically 5 or 10), and thus the live streams from those stations.

If there is a sighted person who can carry out some setup tasks, the presets will work OK. But the advanced features (such as listen-again) will not be available.
If that is acceptable, I would consider if a remote control is useful or not. If the person can reach the radio from where they are using it, arguably a remote is just another thing to loose.
Having decided on remotes (or not, I would tend against), its a matter of which radio has the best tactile button combinations. Or which could have its buttons marked with tactile raiser marks.


The alternative would appear to be a computer suitably configured for a blind user. It can be done, though its a very long process of finding the right software (and possibly hardware) to give audio description of the options available, and configuring the user account to only have the software required (eg. audio player).


- Nigel (professional background: User Interface designer )
ajs
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 04, 2007 12:19PM
I agree with nigelcliffe with regard to a specially configured computer, which could have favourite websites, (ie and radio stations), operated with speech activation etc.

As per my earlier link and previous posts, I suggest you contact the RNIB, who have been very helpful to my mother. Although she has partial sight she has found all sorts of gadgets from them useful.

Have a look at this pc from RNIB. Click here
ajs
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 04, 2007 12:57PM
nigelcliffe wrote:
Quote

The alternative would appear to be a computer suitably configured for a blind user. It can be done, though its a very long process of finding the right software (and possibly hardware) to give audio description of the options available, and configuring the user account to only have the software required (eg. audio player).

....Again, I agree. Even a cheap old spec pc would probably be able to run some specific dedicated software. For example, I've got a very old laptop, purchased from ebay for £25, (Windows95). I bought it to use specifically for midi keyboard tutor software. I've configured it to only boot up the software to run my keyboard music lessons.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 04, 2007 05:51PM
For software designed for blind/partial sighted, try Webbie (www.webbie.org.uk). Also worth considering it look for less confident web users.

The radio player interface is arguably better than the BBC's for a sighted user, let alone blind !


- Nigel
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 18, 2007 09:08PM
I think you are correct about the lack of suitable radios for blind/partially sighted persons. My wife is registered blind and has difficulty with all the internet radios around the house (A&E, Soundbridge and Magicbox adapt)unless the interface is 100% reliable and,as you say, does not require her to work with dynamic menus. The best overall radio seems to be the Soundbridge that is connected to a Quad 303/33 via the CD input and which only requires one button to press as the amplifier is on all the time, pace the green lobby!. The situation is analogous to a cooker. The best cooker is the AGA which was designed for the blind. It has no controls and is on permanently. So long as it is serviced annually it continues to work. My wife knows it is on because she can feel the heat!
Another thing to remember is that touch discrimination can deteriorate both with age and other conditions so when We think that a 'remote' is easy -try to use it with your eyes shut!It seems a pity that designers do not take into account such issues and usually assume that a sighted person will be present to sove the issues. My wife wants her independence not a technical nursemaid!! I am delighted to read your question that shows there is someone with insight.
Charles
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
December 21, 2007 12:32PM
I'm pretty sure the BBC Radio 4 programme In Touch, for people who are blind or partially-sighted, has covered this. Their web site is www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/intouch.shtml. They have factsheets on the topics covered.

They also have a link to ACB Radio at www.acbradio.org/pweb/, which seems to be a specialist site on the subject.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 01:45PM
You Could try the Sonata Internet Radio from The British Wireless for the Blind Fund www.blind.org.uk it uses a spoken playlist and is completely accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 02:48PM
I have just stumbled across the following http://www.talking-newspapers.co.uk/products/internet-radio-for-the-blind/

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The Reciva wiki provides valuable information (registering your radio, My Stations, My Streams, My Podcasts, AAC+, presets, advice to broadcasters and more).
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 02:55PM
Duplicate editedl

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 03:57PM by Professor.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 02:55PM
Quote
lumunawi
You Could try the Sonata Internet Radio from The British Wireless for the Blind Fund www.blind.org.uk it uses a spoken playlist and is completely accessible to blind and partially sighted people.
They are very good. Everything you would normally see in a display on a Wi-Fi radio is spoken. Once set up by a sighted person, they are very easy to use by the unsighted, (Or they will manage your playlists for you) but expensive.
http://www.stationlist.net/ For those wondering what James Cridland is up to!
http://www.blind.org.uk/radios_sonata.html

http://www.blind.org.uk/downloads/manuals/sonata.pdf

_______________________________________________________________
Apple iMac 2.66 dual core. OS X 10.6.6. Airport Extreme.
_______________________________________________________________

 At one time I suffered from Kleptomania but now I take something for it. !



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 03:05PM by Professor.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 03:49PM
I would recommend a radio with as many preset buttons and operating buttons as possible. My Avox Petite has six preset buttons on the set, and 10 presets on the remote.
If your Dad is like most folk, he'll probably have less than ten stations he listens to on a regular basis, so a remote with 10 presets should do the trick. Another important feature is that the radio automatically plays the last station when turned on, this is not the case for all radios. So in theory, once the radio is set up and the 10 preset stations are programmed, he'd only have to turn it on and wait for the last station to play (only takes a few seconds with the Petite if you select the always-on wireless feature), and then he could select any of the 10 stations and adjust the volume from the remote.

PS: the Petite has its buttons and volume wheel on the top, which I should think would be handy for the blind, I see it is available from Amazon UK for 89 BP:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Avox-Technology-GmbH-petite-Internetradio/dp/B002VKSXTW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1294242670&sr=8-1



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 03:53PM by keenite2.
Re: Best internet radio for the blind
January 05, 2011 07:21PM
Just another hint:

In the Sharpfin Google Groups I became aware of a difficulty with that 'long press' preset storage procedure for the blind. You may override that in my experience with a learning remote:

If you let it learn the '1' for instance, don't keep that key pressed during the teach-in, only touch it once at the original remote. So the learning device will not learn the repeating feature of the '1' and holding that key down in later use will not repeat it and so not store the just playing station in error to that (other) preset if you only want to change stations.

You then may store presets only at the radio or with the original remote. As a benefit you may select a remote with a very good tactile layout, perhaps a minimalistic one (Power, Vol +, Vol -, 1 to 10) or customize a bigger one leaving critical keys off.

(Vice versa you have to hold the volume-keys down while teaching them in, as you will want them to repeat at the adapted remote as well.)

Just an idea: If you create macros (sequences of key presses) at the learning remote, you may be given the chance to reach deeply nested menu items unfailingly with a single keypress. If the radio doesn't have a 'Top Menu' button: just a couple of 'backs' or 'ups' should bring you there - but the AVOX Indio petite has...

AVOX Indio Petite - v257-a-865-a-407 @ Fritz!Box 7270 v3 - 74.04.86
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