Getting Started guide

This page will teach you how to use Blindspot to perform some of the basic functions it has to offer.

Installation

First off, you'll need to get yourself an installer. You'll find one on the project home page at http://blindspot.codeplex.com. There may be other download links around the internet, but using the project home page ensures that you have the most up to date version and that you in fact have the right program, we cannot vouch for downloads from other sites.

You will see 2 possible installer options on this page. One with .NET and one without. If you have a previous version of Blindspot, or else know you have installed something with the .NET framework, pick the one without, as it's a smaller download and will therefore be done quicker. Otherwise, get the one with, as you will need it for Blindspot to work.

Now you have the download, open it up and begin the installer. You will be walked through a simple installer. The installer will mention the .NET framework on the welcome page. If you don't currently have a suitable version of the .NET framework installed, this will be dealt with later.

First off there is the obligatory license agreement. If you are curious or have a legal degree, feel free to look. No hard feelings if you don't, but your installation means you agree and we will take possession of your soul at our earliest convenience. If you want to check if that's a joke, read the license agreement. Hint: It was a joke.

After all the fun of that last section, you get to choose where you install the program. This will by default be set to your program files directory (typically c:\program files). If you want to install this somewhere else, feel free.

Now you get to choose whether or not to make a start menu folder. This will by default be set to Blindspot. Change and adjust to your heart's content. When you're done, hit that install button!

The install process will move along doing it's installer thing. If you're of a curious persuasion, hit the "Show Details" button to see exactly what the installer's up to.

If you do not have the .NET Framework version 4 installed, after a while, a message box pops up telling you you need to install the .NET framework for this application. Press the Yes button to begin installing the .NET framework version 4. This will happen without you needing to interact with the installer and this may take a while, so we suggest making a cup of tea in the meantime. When it is finished, the installer will be done. You may alternatively choose No and install the .NET framework at a later date.

When the installer finishes, you will be taken to the finish screen. If you installed .NET as part of Blindspot, you will be offered the chance to restart now, as you'll need it for the .NET framework to work happily. If you already had it installed, you can leave the box ticked to launch Blindspot straight away after exiting the installer. You can also tick a box to view the Getting Started manual. But considering you're already reading the Getting Started manual, that would just be silly.

First launch wizard

If this is your first time launching Blindspot on this computer, you will be walked through a first time setup wizard. This will help you configure some of the main settings for how you want Blindspot to work. Examples include language, keyboard configuration and what kind of output you would like.

Logging in

When you launch Blindspot, you will be asked to log into Spotify. If you have a valid premium account username and password for Spotify, you can just go ahead and type them in and hit log in.

If you do not yet have a Spotify account, click the link to launch your default web browser on the Spotify sign up page. If you want a free month of premium to see if Spotify premium is for you, you can get one here: https://www.spotify.com/freetrial/. You will not be charged until your trial expires and you can cancel before then to not pay at all, if you find Spotify premium not to your liking. Come back to the application when you have made your account.

If you enter the wrong username and password,, or log in fails for another reason (i.e not having premium), the program will ask you to try again.

Buffers

The interface for Blindspot relies on buffers. Buffers are vertical menus displayed off-screen which you can navigate around and select items from. Each buffer is side by side with the others, and each buffer item is above or below other items. An easy way to think of it is the menu structures of most applications. To move around, hold down shift and alt and press the arrow keys. Several actions will bring up new buffers, such as searches and selecting playlists. You can also get rid of unwanted buffers (excluding the default Playlists buffer and play queue buffer) with the shortcut key: alt shift D.

Getting around

Once you've logged in, the program will go off and retrieve your Spotify playlists. If you do not have any, it will not find any. However, if you do have playlists, it will populate the Playlists buffer with them. If you have playlists and you want to see what's inside one, move to your chosen playlist in the playlists buffer and press alt, shift and enter. This will launch a new buffer for that playlist and put you inside it. After this, it will retrieve the tracks for that playlist and populate that buffer, announcing how many tracks were retrieved when it's done.

Another way of finding tracks is to search Spotify's large library. Press alt, shift and S to bring up the search window. From here, you can search by tracks, artist or album. Select the type of search and then tab into the search text field. Type in your search (i.e a band you like or a song you're after) and hit enter or press the Search button. The search window will close and you'll be put in a buffer for your search. Blindspot will then go away and do the search and populate the buffer when it has results. If there were results for your search, they may return pretty quickly. If there are no results matching your search, the only buffer item in this search will be one telling you as much.

Playing tracks

The important part here. Whether you've gone inside a playlist, an album or have just run a tracks search, you can attempt to play the track. Hit alt, shift and enter to start playback. This will begin playing your music. There may be some tracks on Spotify that, for whatever reason, won't play, but you'll be told this when it happens.

You can control the volume of playback with the control, shift, alt and up and down arrow keys. This will effect Blindspot volume only, not your system or screen reader volume, don't worry. You may also pause the currently playing track by highlighting it again and pressing alt, shift and enter. Activating it again will resume playback.

Whether you've chosen to play a singular track or something from your playlist, the track will be added to the Play Queue buffer. Use alt, shift and right or left in default mode to move across to it, if you have need of pausing it in a hurry, find the top track in your play queue and activate it. If you play a track from an album or from a playlist, all remaining tracks will be queued up after the song you're listening to, in the same way as the regular Spotify client. Once one track finishes, Blindspot will start playing the next one. This allows you to put on an album or playlist and leave it to play itself through.

If you decide to make your own Play Queue, you may queue up a track to be played next using the alt+shift+q keystroke. This will add the track to the end of the Play Queue. This queue will then behave in the same way as an album or playlist, playing one song after the other. You may also move forward and backwards through your play queue. This can either be done using the alt, control, shift and right / left hotkeys, or on a keyboard's next/previous track media keys, respectively. You may also use the play/pause media key to pause the currently playing track, a second press will begin playing again. During playback, you may press alt, shift and N to announce the track that is playing.

Misc

If you want to change your options for Blindspot, whether from what you chose when you first ran the program or to pick more in depth options, press alt+shift+O to bring up the options screen. You will then be able to change the language, automatic updates, keyboard settings, screen reader and visual output settings.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this small guide has walked you through some of the basics of using Blindspot. If you have any other questions, however, feel free to ask them in the discussions. And we also love feedback!

To sign in to Codeplex, you need a valid Microsoft account, such as a hotmail, live or live@edu account. You can then link this to a codeplex username and use discussions and report issues on this and many other projects.

We hope you enjoy Blindspot and happy jamming!

Last edited Nov 18, 2014 at 8:33 PM by craigbrett17, version 9