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Accessible News Stories

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| 16:05 UK time, Tuesday, 2 August 2005

Introduction/Background:

As an accessibility consultant, I tried to tackle the BBC Backstage competition from an access viewpoint. The idea being for a visually impaired user (who may struggle with BBC news stories) to be able to have podcasts of the BBC News stories on his/her MP3 player.

Process:

I'm no techie, and don't really do jargon, and so I'll keep this simple. (If I was a techie I'd be making this - not describing it.)

An assumption has been made that the user has an MP3 player and podcasting software. Here goes:

The feed is provided ready-made in podcast form This is done by grabbing the original RSS feed and processing it with a text-to-voice software package.

The voice data (in Podcast form) is then placed back into a feed ready for the user.

The user selects his/her feed type (what news he/she wants)

The news is then 'read out' to the user using their MP3 player.


Simple! The user signs up once and can access news aurally everyday on the way to work etc.

Options:

Varying voices?

Randomising news?

Pros:

Easy once set up (setup shouldn't be difficult anyway)

Gives another option for impaired users to access BBC News.

Cons:

Could it compete with radio?

Voice software would need to be sourced.


(backstage.bbc.co.uk editor: This sounds very similar to an existing prototype, Rebotocast)

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