I just wanted to take a quick second to say "THANK YOU!!!!!" to all the
developers and individuals who have worked on the rockbox firmware to date.
I can't profess my gratitude enough; I am a totally blind user who
originally started using Rockbox almost three years ago on the Archos
Jukebox, and while there have been bugs at times, I have been more than
willing to be patient with the developers who have worked so hard on making
these fabulous products speak, simply because they want to. My patience has
paid off; I now use an iPod 5G, 60 gig, (I guess it is the video, but since
I don't give a damn about video I'm not sure what my particular unit would
do with those types of files and I really don't care too much.) I've been
running with the new daily builds and updating regularly, and I use the
Eloquence Reed voice for my menus and have the directories/filenames voiced
using Neospeech Paul. I can't speak for anyone else, but I love this device
more and more with each day that passes, I find the interface very easy to
use now that I have gotten used to it, and I've also been able to convert
more than a half-dozen other blind people and convinced them to go out and
purchase iPods on the spot; one gentleman whom I met at a conference
recently saw me demonstrate this product and was back with a brand new unit
within an hour. "Make it talk like yours does!", he said to me, and so I
pulled out my laptop and did just that. It took him a few hours to get used
to the wheel, and he agreed with me that it is not the easiest interface to
get used to, however by 11:30 PM, he had it mastered, and throughout the
subsequent three days it was all any of us could do to get him to take his
headphones off. He grew to love the iPod design very quickly, and like me,
has scrapped the Archos completely now. I use mine daily, for everything
from work-related stuff to listening to podcasts, to blasting myself out at
4:30 in the morning while I'm drinking my first cup of coffee. I know it
isn't perfect, there are still bugs and I've gotten pretty adept at having
to go in and reset my settings at startup when Rockbox loses them
periodically, etc., but as was the case with the Archos, I'll be patient; I
know with conviction that it will pay off. You guys have already come so
far in just the last couple of months...
I'm not going to say usability was easy - I had a little bit of a learning
curve - and the product was not stable for a long time, however it has
become so much more solid and speaking only for myself, I am very satisfied
with all of the fantastic work you guys have done/are doing, and I love
knowing that there is an entire community of people out here smarter than I
am, so that when I do get stuck all I need do is hit the website and I will
undoubtedly find the answer I need.
I've never had any sight, nor do I expect to, so for me this is a tremendous
step in the right direction, I love this player! I'm a little bit more
techie than a lot of people so I had a good idea what to expect from the
development process, but to date I've never been disappointed for long. Let
me rephrase that - I have never been as disappointed as I was when the iPod
was first released, and I discovered that without speech, it was completely
inaccessible to me. Rockbox has made a tremendous difference, and I just
wanted to let you guys all know what a fantastic product this has turned out
to be for me thus far. I'm sure it will only get better.
Thanks again, so much, to all of you developers out there for doing such a
great job; what would we have done without you? If not for Rockbox, we'd
all have these nice, completely inaccessible players/recorders. Keep up the
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of Mark
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:22 AM
Subject: Re: Alternative UI for blind users?
I think that one of the reasons that the scroll wheel can be tricky to use
for a blind user is that it is quite sensitive. In other words, you only
need to move your finger from, say, 3 o'clock to 3.30 o'clock on a clock
face to get one "move". It's quite easy to move two "moves",and easy to do
My preferred solution would be to lengthen the rotation required for one
move. Thinking about how a finger moves on the wheel, I'd say that one
"move" should be somewhere between 45 degrees and 135 degrees.So if I move
my finger from 1 o'clock to 4 o'clock, that'd be one move
Although the idea of having a blind alternative user interface is a good
idea, the problem that I see is that it creates another whole segment of
code development which needs to be supported.
changing the "speed" of the wheel has the advantage of being one single
change that once implemented would enable us to use the same current
interface. This isn't based on some "we should have access to the same
interface as the sighted" line, just that by keeping it as simple as
possible means that we keep Rockbox as a single one-size-fits-most package.
Creating a second interface means that there will be two interfaces to
support, which means that there's at least twice as much work involved. I'm
only suggesting this approach because IMHO I don't think there's really that
much wrong with the current interface that a single change could fix. If
there's enough enthusiasm behind the alternative interface then great.This
is just my tuppence worth.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Aman Singer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "'Glenn at home'" <GlennErvin@cableone.net>; "'Rockbox'"
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2006 1:16 AM
Subject: RE: Alternative UI for blind users?
> Hi, Glenn.
> The wheel on my video Ipod doesn't click at all. I do believe that
> there are some Ipods which have a wheel that does, but I don't know how
> works as I've never used one of those. It might be an idea to make the
> more sluggish, as it were, though but wouldn't just disabling the wheel be
> easier for the developers? Anyone care to comment?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Behalf Of Glenn at home
> Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 11:02 PM
> To: Rockbox
> Subject: Re: Alternative UI for blind users?
> Or maybe another possibility, might be to have a setting in the menus,
> that the user could set the wheel so that it has to be turned 2 or 3
> for each change to occur, so the wheel would move the cursor more slowly.
> I have never tried an iPod, but it seems like something like this would be
> desirable feature.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Aman Singer" <email@example.com>
> To: "'Rockbox'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Sunday, May 07, 2006 7:50 PM
> Subject: Alternative UI for blind users?
> Hi, all.
> I don't know how difficult this would be to implement. I don't
> imagine it would be that hard, as it wouldn't require new drivers/codecs,
> but it might be difficult all the same. What I've been having some trouble
> with is using the Ipod's wheel as a blind person. I sometimes find myself
> overshooting my target and being forced to retreat. I know others have
> suggested a click every time the selection is moved, and this sounds like
> good idea. However, I was thinking we could, if possible, have a mode
> invoked by pressing a few buttons simultaneously. In this mode, the wheel
> would be disabled, and the buttons on the wheel would act as they did on
> Archos recorders. The down button would move down through directories and
> menus. The up button would do the opposite. The right button would act as
> select/play button and the left button would act as a back button. The
> button in the middle of the wheel could be left as it is. The menu could
> accessed by holding one button for a time or by the use of two buttons
> together, as could other generally used functions. To avoid people asking
> "why doesn't my wheel work?", a message could come up every time the wheel
> was used "you are in wheel-disabled mode. To return to normal mode press
> [whatever the buttons you need to press may be]".
> This would have several distinct advantages for blind users, users
> who's motor coordination isn't the best, users with MS or some other
> that hampers feeling in the fingers, users who are using the Ipod through
> thin case or, generally, users who want forceful feedback to selection
> requests. The wheel would be eliminated from the equation, which would
> all such uses easier, at least for new users. In the same way, brushing
> wheel, which I've done once or twice, won't be a problem and won't change
> the selection. Do any of the developers think this would be doable and
Received on Thu May 11 15:11:35 2006