Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Talk-o Tuesday

Psalm 89:15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
Intel has debuted a text reading device in the UK. A friend found this interesting enough to share with me, since he’s from them parts. Thanks Q.

This text reading device, to my knowledge is not as smart as the Victor stream but still, the way I see it, is that technology is finally catching on that there are people who can’t see or have the ability to read.

We sighted people take advantage of our ability to see. Only recently have I come to understand the nighties dilemma when it comes to not being able to see.(I lovingly call my blind beau a nightie so take no offense, please.) There are also people with low-vision who can’t see the screen even with visual enhancement tools. I’m glad to read that some, in the tech world, are showing signs of developing things for the blind, visually impaired, or the dyslexic folks of society.

I’m thinking, they are not doing this for money, they are doing this for human beings and that in of itself is remarkable because how many big-wigs out there care for something other than their pockets?

Speaking of pockets, this little device is the size of a paperback book? In the picture on their website, it shows the device looking smaller than a paperback, but I’ll take their word for it since the creators know what size they made it.

I wonder also about the publishing world. When we get our work published into a book, do we have any say whether we want this made available to the blind? I see all kinds of books available for download but what warrants ‘available for the blind’ or MP3 usage of our stories?

I’m thinking we should make it a clause in our contracts with the publishers. Sure we want our work in Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etcetera, but maybe we can also say, “I want this to be made available to the blind!”

Are the techno geeks the only ones going to step up to the plate and offer devices to the blind? When can we as writer’s make a difference also?

Now there is food for thought!


R said...

I think most literary works are becoming more and more widely available in an audio format, but they are just so expensive, when done well. I was shocked that a one cd short story of Stephan King's was like thirty bucks. And my Harry Potter audio books were anywhere from 60 to 80. Like Stormcrow has made us all aware, the Talking Books narrators and production often leaves a lot to be desired. So what I would like is for audio books to at least be the same as regular books. I don't understand the price gouging, not one little iota. Sure, its a production, but come on.

And even downloadable books on like audible.com don't sound as good as a cd recording. I've listened to some audio books with actual sound effects, it was a Jason Bourne novel I think. That was cool!

joni said...

Well there ya go. They are taking advantage. I think, that they think, those yuppie joggers are the only marketable people for the audiobooks and someone needs to make them aware that the blind are in need of these books. Sometimes it's their life. Well, you know what I mean. :-)

Hmmm I'll see if I can blog enough to get some real people to do theses audiobooks! If I scream loud enough, someone is bound to hear. :-)


benning said...

It probably depends on the cost/price of manufacturing and marketing such a 'reading' device. If a company can make some sort of profit they will go ahead. If not, then the technology will lie fallow.

As far as the downloadable books - when I could afford it, and had a longer commute, I was an audible.com member - first you need to get the unabridged versions of the books. After that, I wouldn't care about music, sound effects, and such. I want the story. That's what I'd get if I was visually reading. My imagination supplies the rest.

Possibly it's an idea to look at the cassettes of audio books and simply transfer those to an mp3 file for your iPod, etc.

joni said...

WOW Benning! Great info!
You've been making your rounds on the blogs eh? (drums in the deep, reviews in the deep and this one)???

Sheesh and I didn't even beg! lol

Thanks for stopping by. Your presence is missed! :-)


benning said...

Why not visit, eh? :)

I use MSreader on my pooter for ebooks - I have three other reader programs, too - and it has a 'reading' tool that reads the words aloud. I don't know if this only works one-word-at-a-time, or if it can march along. I usually turn it off, along with the volume contril.

Might be worth a look-see.

joni said...

He has a program called JAWS that reads for him. Which is kinda cool. Good thing he's a smart techie kinda guy because he's basically taught himself how to use it.
He loves the audibooks. He can download them, put them on his MP3, he's quite nifty! ;-)
I just like hearing the techno voice say 'odd' words. I don't think they taught these computer voices enunciation in the right places. lol