Letter To Tim Cook

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This is Audio Pizza’s open letter to Tim Cook podcast where we discuss the accessibility issues of MacOS, iOS, and the Apple Watch, and ask Tim to listen and react to the unique problems faced by the VoiceOver community.

Dear Tim,

Thank you, as a company, for realy being a pioneer in accessibility, but we would like you to bump it up a notch and make quality a high priority for the accessibility team.

So we had four issues we wanted you to take a look at under the mac. First, there’s the HTML5 rendering engine that we demonstrated in the MacOS app store where the navigation flow is completely broken, which is as if your mouse just jumped randomly all over the screen instead of where you moved it. Second, there is the responsiveness of the action item with the VO-spacebar to trigger buttons, which is as if your mouse button only worked some of the time.. Third, there’s the audio ducking where we loose the VO text to speech volume , which is as if your screen brightness just randomly went dim all day long. And fourth there is the drag and drop / finder issue
where VO is reporting the wrong item under the VO cursor, which is as if your selection in the finder was the item next to the one you wanted.

Taken individually these bugs are serious. Taken together as a whole, they are critical. They have a direct impact on our productivity. We need these fixed. Please, Tim, make it so.

Under iOS we think you are doing a great job with accessibility. But some of the hardware choices you are making affect us more than you may think. There are bluetooth issues where we cannot control VoiceOver reliably with our keyboards. The lack of a headphone jack and the lag we see with your wireless solution fails us.. It’s as if every key you type takes seconds to appear on the screen.
It affects our productivity to the point of making the device unusable. Please try this yourself, it’s easy to understand once you experience it. And finally under iOS consider taking the next step to being an advocate for accessibility. Require your developers to do the bare minimum to their apps if they want to be in the app store by requiring them to use Xcode’s accessibility tools to remove all warnings and properly label standard UI controls. It’s a small price to pay and it makes Apple look really really good as a leader of universal access. Not to mention, quality of the apps in the app store will improve as you educate developers. Since you will happily kill 32- bit apps, how about killing the poorly coded non-accessible apps as well.

And with WatchOS, we are just looking for improvements over time. We thank you for making nit accessible out of the box. We look forward to its future as improvements with both tactical feedback and text to speech evolve. We are very excited about the direction you are taking the Apple Watch.

We respect Apple as a company; we respect you as a person. You are both leaders in universal access and accessibility. We hope you listen to this podcast and reflect upon the management and design decisions you make and how they impact all your users.

Thank you Tim, and I’ll be happy to demonstrate that walking chocolate tour using voiceover for you anytime.

Sincerely,
Scott, Shaun and Garth

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WWDC 2017 Rumours

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With WWDC 2017 just a couple of days away, the Audio Pizza team get together to discuss the various rumours regarding what may be announced at Apples much anticipated event. Shauns lack of funds underlie his disintrest in anything Macbook, while Garth declares a fetish for function keys. Will Apple give a glimpse at the iPhone 8s new design if the much rumoured 10.5" iPad is revealed at WWDC?

Finally just how bad is Siri and can it be improved if given it’s own new shiny home in the form of the Siri Speaker? Garth seems to think it can’t be much worse then what he’s heard of the Amazon Echo.

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Reaper Basics, Tracks, Media and OSARA Configuration

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This tutorial gives a basic overview of the conversion between the windows key map and the Mac key map. It covers the hierarchy of a Reaper project. How to add a track, and insert an audio file on it. There’s also a quick run down of the OSARA configuration dialog. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for things to cover in future tutorials.

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Keyboard Shortcuts

  • CmD+Opt+Shift+P or Cmd+F12 Open OSARA Preferences
  • CMD+T insert and name track
  • Cmd+I Insert media files…
  • Space Play/Stop
  • Ctrl+Space Play/Pause
  • Cmd+Shift+J Report edit/play cursor position Measures and Beats
  • Cmd+Shift+J, J Report edit/play cursor position Time
  • Cmd+Home Go to start of project
  • Cmd+End Go to end of project

Installing Reaper with OSARA and SWS on the Mac

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In this Episode I’d like to give you a very brief introduction to the DAW, Reaper. It is an extremely powerful multi track audio editor that is cross platform, working on Mac and Windows. I will be concentrating on the Mac version however most of what is covered is also applicable to Windows.
You can find download links at the end of this post for Reaper and OSARA. Reaper is the application and OSARA is a plugin created by NVAccess which makes it more accessible – OSARA: Open Source Accessibility for the REAPER Application. I would also recommend installing an additional plugin called SWS which expands the functionality and usability of Reaper, link also below.

Whether you are on Windows or Mac, you will want to install all three, Reaper, OSARA, and SWS. To quickly check you have OSARA installed, hit the up or down arrow once you’ve opened Reaper, if VO reports “No Tracks” then your good to go.

Okay, so all installed? Cool, lets go. You can use VoiceOver to explore the interface, however almost everything you’ll need is available with keyboard shortcuts.

When you start Reaper for the first time, it will prompt you to set an audio device, go ahead and do this. If you don’t do this initially, you can access the preferences by pressing Cmd+P, and going to Devices in the tree view. Whilst in Preferences, I’d recommend going into Paths and setting a location for peak files to be saved.

Shortcut Help

F12 will toggle on and off keyboard shortcut help. This is an invaluable tool both when your new to Reaper or even when you’ve been using it for a while. When toggled on, Voice Over will report the action that is bound to whatever key/s you press. I recommend making liberal use of it.

The Actions List

Pressing F4 will bring up the Actions List. You’ll be placed into a search field that lets you filter the thousands of actions down to the one you’re looking for. Once you’ve done this, you can see the shortcut, or shortcuts that are assigned to it. If there’s not currently an action assigned, you can also add the shortcut from this dialog. The Import/Export button will allow you to import a another key map over your existing one, or save your own key map for a back up, or to share with others.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Command+P Preferences
F12 Shortcut Help
F4 Show Action List
Shift+F1 Help: Mouse modifier keys and action shortcuts

Downloads

Reaper

NVAccess OSARA

SWS Extension

CAVI Training

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Apple’s AirPods – A Voice Over Users Perspective – AP003

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In this post I give my initial impressions on the new AirPods from Apple. I go through the functionality and features from the perspective of a Voice Over user.[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4933167/height/90/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/” height=”90″ width=”450″]

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Apples Mac Event 2016. Touchable, Accessible, Unobtainable – AP 001

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Welcome to Audio Pizza, and our first roundtable. Shaun and Garth are joined by The Dark Kayaker, someone who knows what he’s talking about, this is actually a nice change. We jump into Apple’s recent MacBook Pro event and discuss the implications of the new touch bar enabled Macs, the new TV app and Apple’s new Accessibility website.

http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

[podcast src=”https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/4788897/height/90/width/450/theme/custom/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/forward/render-playlist/no/custom-color/88AA3C/” height=”90″ width=”450″]

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