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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Thursday, January 06, 2011

There's Hope for Pandora

Hope is a desktop application for the blind that brings accessibility to Pandora, the popular Internet radio service.

Pandora is an online service that enables you to create and customize your own internet radio station. Through the feedback that you provide, panndora gradually fine-tunes your custom station to meet your specific tastes. Unfortunately, the Pandora service is completely inaccessible, not allowing visually impaired users to sign up or listen to content. Hope enables you to use the Pandora service through an accessible intuetive desktop interface.

When you run the program for the first time, you will be prompted for your username and password. If you already have an account with pandora, enter those details here. If not, you can press the register button to easily create one from within the program. Just provide your email address, pick a password, and answer the other questions. You will be up and running in no time.

Once you have signed in, you will be in your station list. If this is your first time using Pandora, the list will be empty. At this point, you can select the search button or press alt+s. In the Pandora search dialog, you may enter the name of an artist or song and press enter. After a moment, you will be placed in a list of results that match your search term. Select the artist or song that you want to use and press the create station button or alt+c. Pandora will create a station with music that is similar to your selection.

As you listen to your stations, you can provide feedback on which songs you like and dislike. These song ratings are used by Pandora to further customize the station as it learns about the kind of music you prefer to have on a given station. From the now playing window, press the thumbs up button or alt+u to indicate that you really like hearing the current song on this station. This increases the possibility of hearing this song and others that Pandora considers to be similar to it. Pressing the thumbs down button or alt+d indicates that a song really isn't right for you or for the sound that you are working for on this station. The song will be skippd, and it will not be played again on the current station. If you give thumbs down to two songs by the same artist on the same station, that artist will be banned from the station entirely.

The program is a lot of fun, you can spend hours creating your personalized internet radio station and even more fun playing it back for your friends at your next party!

Click this link to download Hope from http://q-continuum.net/hope.

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