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Am I missing something obvious?

Oct 8, 2013 at 2:09 AM
Installed check
Premium spotify Check
Running a screenreader - check and uncheck (neither made any difference
Confirmed by password - check - logged in with Spotify itself
Running Spotify or not it makes no difference I don't get anything after the login screen disappears

This is a WIN 7 machine. There is possibly a firewall issue so tried running by tethering mobile phone - Spotify runs happily but not blindspot - any ideas?
Oct 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM
Ok, seems conclusively Firewall related. I logged in from home and happily navigated my playlists (only the playlists?) and played the lovely PJ Harvey under full control of both the native TTS and NVDA.

Nice one.

A couple of suggestions:
  1. Update the documentation to make it obvious that Alt Shift enter is a toggle eg Play/pause . Took me a while to work out how to stop it as well as start it
  2. Don't give up - this is a nice way to navigate Spotify and I speak as a sighted user.
Oct 9, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Hi kprince,

I'm glad you managed to find out what was causing this issue. There is an issue already raised relating to no playlists appearing after log ins, and in the upcoming release of v1.1, we offer the user a chance to retry retrieving their playlists after we've given Spotify a reasonable time to respond. Hopefully, in the event that it is not a firewall issue, hitting retry will get through to the service.

Thank you for your suggestions! I find it interesting that you're also a sighted user, I have had other potential sighted users ask about the possibility of visual output and am considering it as something obvious that I missed. If you don't mind me going away from the topic a little here, how would you feel about the option to replace the screen reader output with visual popups? Something like a box that appears in the corner of the screen for a short while whenever Blindspot would have otherwise said something with a screen reader. Well that's the lines I'm thinking along right now, at any rate.
Oct 9, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Hi Craig,

Perhaps should transfer to a different thread but here's my initial gut response to the sighted thing.
  1. It would be could to have some visual (but also audible) confirmation that Blindspot is running - whether that is by allowing me to ALT TAB to it or having an icon in either the system tray or the taskbar I don't much care. NVDA is a good example, I know it's running and I can visually access the menus by right clicking it's system tray icon but it's otherwise unobtrusive.
  2. As to having visual feedback that could be useful. My main interest comes from my day job as the Digital Accessibility Manager at the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind so I'm quite accustomed to using screenreaders and the audio out bothers me less than the lack of visual confirmation that it's running. My use case would be the ability to interact with Spotify whilst retaining screen view on what I'm working on. When you get to some of the more complex operations like searching and creating playlists the visual feedbac will be more useful. My only concern with a pop up is for low vision and cognitive impairments. Would either a configurable window or a screen width bar eg the JAWS braille viewer be better for those users? Which does make me think - is the speech picked up and output to braille devices at the moment - I must check.
I'm fully aware this is a work in progress and these are not criticisms but hopefully useful. Take what you want and ignore the rest :) Happy to try things out as time allows too.


PS - you have had a couple of mention in our RNZFB Snippets newsletter - Modesty forbids mention of the author.
Oct 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Edited Oct 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Hi Kevin,

I agree... it is better suited to a topic of it's own, I'm sure there are other people who may have opinions on this. So I've started one here:

As to your suggestions, I've gone ahead and updated the hotkeys list to explain what activating a buffer item actually does, to hopefully avoid confusion. And as for giving up... not yet! There's lots of things I want to try putting into Blindspot first.

Thank you for the feedback on the visuals idea, a task tray might well be a useful indicator. It might also have some other uses for a real menu, should the user want it for anything. Just an idea at the moment, though. I believe the output of Blindspot would go through to a braille display, if the braille display is hooked in through a screen reader (I believe that's how some of them work). As for others, that could be something that needs investigating.

Thanks for letting me know about that article, and to the modest auhtor as well ;) a big part of this is letting people know that there is a more accessible alternative. If you don't mind me providing a correction, the track search is already available, though album and artist are not. It isn't very clear, though, and now you've mentioned it I'll see if I can make this a bit more clear, either in the documentation or in the interface. It's likely there are other people who aren't aware of this, so it will help them also.