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Wiki > Main > DocsIndex > BlindFAQ (r17)

Frequently Asked Questions for Blind and Visually Impaired Rockbox users

This is an attempt to answer questions frequently asked by blind Rockbox users. The Rockbox team are justifiably proud of Rockbox's role in making the Archos Jukebox the only "off the shelf" hard drive based MP3 player that offers accessibility to the vast majority of its features to the blind, but there are several unique situations that blind users have to contend with.

This document is a work in progress. It focusses on Rockbox on the Archos Jukebox although ports for other players are available too. Feedback, additions and comments are most welcome.

How extensive is Rockbox's support for blind users?

The Archos Jukebox is an embedded device and as such there are space limitations to what can be done to support blind accessibility within Rockbox. All of the configuration options have voice prompts, and Rockbox can speak directory and file names, but in general informational messages displayed on the screen and detailed debugging information are not available to blind users. For the Recorder, specifically, the quick settings menus are not spoken - although they can still be used by memorising what each key does while in these modes. Sorry.

Rockbox is however fully usable and configurable by the blind, and many sighted users are using the voice user interface by preference so they can operate their Jukebox without looking at the screen - while driving, for instance (isn't that reassuring?).

Are there audio files discribing the use of Rockbox?

There's an MP3 file by Scott Howell discribing use of Rockbox on the iPod Video at Rockbox on the iPod Video

How do I tell what type of the Archos Jukebox I have?

There are two basic shapes that the Jukebox models come in. All the Jukeboxes have rubber bumpers on the corners. If you can close your hand around it, you have an Ondio, Archos' flash player.

If the Jukebox is roughly rectangular, with cylinder shapes with bumpers at either end to either side on the front then this is either a Jukebox Player or a Jukebox Recorder version 1. The cylinders contain 2*AA NiMH rechargable batteries each. The Player has two buttons towards the left side of the unit and a big circular four way button towards the right side. The Recorder version 1 has three buttons in a horizontal row towards the middle of the unit in addition to on and off buttons to the left of a four way circular button array with a small play button in the centre.

If the Jukebox has a more rounded contoured feel to it and no obvious battery compartment, then it is either a Recorder version 2 or an FM recorder. There is no way to tell the difference bettwen these models from the outside without sight, but installing the FM recorder version of the Rockbox firmware is safe, and if the unit is an FM unit there will be an "FM radio" menu item.

Where are the buttons located on the Archos?

Player

Holding the Jukebox in front of you there should be two buttons to the left of the unit and a single multi-way circular button to their right. The buttons are as follows.

Button Location
On Small button, left hand side, higher of the two buttons
Menu Small button, left hand side, lower of the two buttons
Play Large circular button on the right, push towards the top
- Large circular button on the right, push towards the left
+ Large circular button on the right, push towards the right
Stop Large Circular button on the right, push towards the bottom

Recorder version 1

Holding the Jukebox in front of you, there should be three rectangular buttons in a horizontal line towards the middle of the unit, and below this to the right there is a circular four button array with the circular play button as a fifth button in the centre. These are the navigation controls. Below the rectangular buttons and to the left of the circular buttons are two small round buttons one above the other.

Button Location
On Top of the two buttons located below and to the left of the horizontal rectangular buttons
Off Bottom of the two buttons located below and to the left of the horizontal rectangular buttons
Play The small round button in the middle of the large circular button array
Right Right of the play button
Left Left of the play button
Up Above the play button
Down Below the play button
F1 Leftmost button in the row of three rectangular buttons
F2 Middle button in the row of three rectangular buttons
F3 Rightmost button in the row of three rectangular buttons

Recorder version 2 and FM

Holding the Jukebox in front of you, there should be three rectangular buttons in a horizontal line towards the middle of the unit, and below this centred on the middle button there are four radial arc shaped buttons placed in a cross formation with the circular play button as the centre of the cross. These are the navigation controls. Below the cross and to the left are two other buttons.

Button Location
On Leftmost of the two buttons located below and to the left of the navigation controls
Stop / Off Rightmost of the two buttons located below and to the left of the navigation controls
Play The round button raised slightly higher than the others in the centre of the navigation controls
Right Right of the play button
Left Left of the play button
Up Above the play button
Down Below the play button
F1 Leftmost button in the row of three rectangular buttons
F2 Middle button in the row of three rectangular buttons
F3 Rightmost button in the row of three rectangular buttons

Ondio128 FM and SP

Holding the Jukebox in front of you, with the carved side to the lower right, in the center are the 4 navigation keys with a groove in the middle. They are placed in a cross formation, left/right on a longer horizontal axis, up/down on a shorter vertical. A bit below and to the right is the mode key, with a tactile "hump".

Button Location
On/Off Topmost at the upper side
Stop / Off Rightmost of the two buttons located below and to the left of the navigation controls
Right Right of the center groove
Left Left of the center groove
Up Above the center groove
Down Below the center groove
Mode left and below the down button

Where are the jacks and connectors on the Archos?

Player and Recorder version 1

On the bottom side panel of the unit, there is a long rectangular socket which is the USB connection. To the left of that is the line-in jack. To the right of the USB socket is the AC adaptor jack. On the top side panel of the unit, there are two jacks. For the player, the jack on the left, near the left upper bumper, is the headphone jack. The one on the right is the line-out jack. For the recorder, the one on the left, near the left upper bumper, is the headphone jack. The one on the right, near the right upper bumper, is the digital (SPDIF) line-in/line-out jack.

Recorder version 2 and FM

There are four sockets, two on the left side of the unit near the lower left corner, and two on the right side of the unit near the lower right corner. On the left side, the jack that is closer to the corner is the line in jack. The jack which is further away from the corner is the headphone jack. On the right side, the jack that is closer to the corner, and is part of the lower right bumper, is the AC adaptor in jack. The socket above that, which is small and rectangular, is the USB jack.

Ondio128 FM and SP

The Ondio FM has 2 jacks on the upper side. The left one is headphone out, the right one is line in. The SP cannot record and is missing the line in jack. A plastic plug replaces it. The USB jack, which is small and rectangular, is on the right side, upper part. The lower part has a carved out area with a slot. This is where an MMC card can be inserted. Such a card has one cut corner, which must face downwards for proper insertion.

How do I install Rockbox with speech support?

The QuickStart document is intended to be accessible to screen readers, and contains all the steps necessary to getting a working speaking Rockbox setup. This provides a basic but functional voice setup. Instructions for creating directory name files are given in the VoiceFiles topic in the documentation pages.

Rockbox "officially" includes speech support since the 2.3 release version. Speech will not work with older releases than this.

I followed the instructions in QuickStart, but I still don't get spoken menus. What now?

By default Rockbox has Voice Menus enabled, but sometimes, usually due to upgrading from an earlier version of Rockbox, these are accidentally turned off. Try turning the voice menus on by stopping playback, turning the unit off and on, then using the following key sequence. Make sure to wait a second after you hit the menu or F1 button. Ondio models have no F1 button, instead hold the Mode button for about a second (long keypress is menu).

Model Key Sequence
player menu, +, +, play, -, play, play, -, play
others F1, down, down, play, up, play, play, down, play

Press the 'menu' (player) or 'left' (others) key four times to exit the menu and return to the file selection interface.

If this doesn't help then the settings can be reset on any Jukebox model by stopping playback, turning the unit off and on then using the following key sequence. Make sure to wait a second after you hit the menu or F1 button.

Model Key Sequence
player menu, +, +, play, - 4 times, play, -, play, -, -, play, play
others F1, down, down, right, up 4 times, right, up, right, up, up, play, play

Press the 'menu' (player) or 'left' (others) key four times to exit the menu and return to the file selection interface. Spoken directories and files are off by default, but you should be able to use the spoken menu to access the voice settings and turn them on.

I still don't have any voice prompts after resetting the settings. What do I do now?

Be sure to make certain speech is not working by turning the unit off then on. It's possible that the voice file is too big to fit in the memory of your Jukebox. Unfortunately, there's no easy way for the software to report this error. You might try looking for a smaller voice file and retrying the install.

How do I let Rockbox speak directory and file names?

The current Rockbox release (and daily build) has a feature, originally called "Talkbox", where Rockbox looks for a small mp3 clip on the disk accompanying directories and certain types of files. These mp3 clips are intended to contain offline-generated voice samples of the names, allowing your device to "speak" directory and file names as you navigate the file structure. Certainly this sounds superiour to the spelling which Rockbox can do on its own. These clips can be automatically generated by the text-to-speech engine that is most likely already present on your computer. This is a one-time process (although it may be updated at any time if you add or delete files from your device) that must be performed while your device is connected to the host PC. See the VoiceHowto for details on this.

What is the layout for the Virtual Keyboard?

Archos recorder:
ABCDEFG !?" @#$%+
HIJKLMN 789 &_()-`
OPQRSTU 456 |{}/<
VWXYZ.,0123 ~=[]*>
iriver:
ABCDEFG abcdefg !?" @#$%+
HIJKLMN hijklmn 789 &_()-`
OPQRSTU opqrstu 456 |{}/<
VWXYZ., vwxyz.,0123 ~=[]*>
   €
   
   
         

How do I flash my Jukebox for the first time?

This is currently a little challenging for blind users, since the flash packages don't yet have built in speech support. Please note that there is a small risk associated with flashing Rockbox, and you should study the entire FlashingRockbox document before deciding if it's right for you. The main benefit of flashing is faster boot time - it's not essential to the Rockbox experience and can safely be skipped.

The procedure is documented at the BlindFlashing page.


Credits: The instructions for resetting the settings and the text about the location of the connections were provided by AmanSinger, the instructions for re-enabling voice menus and flashing by JoergHohensohn. Any mistakes or inaccuracies are most likely the fault of ChristiScarborough.

CategoryFAQ: Frequently Asked Questions for Blind and Visually Impaired Rockbox users

CategoryBlindUsers: Frequently Asked Questions for Blind and Visually Impaired Rockbox users
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r17 - 19 May 2007 - 23:18:38 - MarianneArnold

Parents: DocsIndex
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