Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Create a Custom Streaming Internet Station

A new breed of Internet radio stations allow you to create your own custom streaming station, edit it, skip songs at will, share your station with others, and discuss music. Unlike Pandora, which is a veteran in this field and is difficult, if not impossible, to use with screen readers, with no hope for change in sight, Jango, currently in beta, is very user-friendly.

To get you started, here's a little tour of some of their main features:

  • Stations: Play your selected artists (plus similar artists we recommend) To create a new station, just type in an artist and press play. To add more artists, just go to "My Home" and click "Add to Station".
  • Rate which songs to play more (or less): To make your stations even smarter, just click the smilies in your player to rate which songs you want to play more or less. Screen reader users will find three rating links, bad, OK, and good.
  • Tune in to other stations: The faces in your player are other people listening to similar music as > you are. Just click any song to tune in and listen!
  • Play more songs by an artist: If you want to play more songs by an artist, just click the orange "Songs" tab in your player - or any artist photo - and you'll see more songs by > that artist that you can tune in to!
  • More music and people: Don't forget to check out the "music" section, where you can browse by genre and see what's new and popular on Jango. Or click "people" to search for friends and musical like-minds.

Note to people using a screen reader: The site works very well, my only problem is with the volume control. I think they use some kind of slider that JAWS can't access. I have not tried this control with other screen readers, but have no reason to believe that they will work any better. I have emailed a suggestion to the tech folks, hopefully I'll get a response.

Having said that, don't let the volume controls scare you away from the service. It is really cool and I've built one station as of the time of this post. I plan to create others very soon.

Click this link to start building your personal internet radio station at

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