Doing the Audio Network

Charles Hallenbeck hallenbeck at
Fri Feb 8 16:31:42 EST 2002

Hi gang,

A new web site catering to the blind has recently opened its
doors. It is called the "Visual Impairment Audio Network" and
seems to be (1) based in the UK, and (2) intended for Windows
users. But Linux people can also access it without too much
trouble. Here is how:

First of all be sure your mime.types and mailcap files are set up
properly so that you can play realaudio links by pressing 'enter'
on them.

Second, as soon as you arrive at the site, press the 'star' key
(*) on your Lynx browser to reload the page with links assigned
to all images. The reason for that is because most of the audio
on the site is placed in "embedded" files which play
automatically for Windows users, and are hard as hell to spot for
Lynx users. Once you do that, the "embedded" audio file will be
the first numbered link on each page of the web site.

Third, some of those embedded files (and some other links too)
have a ".rpm" file type, which in this case does NOT refer to the
Redhat Package Manager. Instead it refers to "Realaudio Plugin
Module" or some such phrase. If you access those .rpm links with
trplayer they will play just like .ram or other Realaudio
formats. I created an entry in my .mime.types and .mailcap files
to feed .rpm links to trplayer, but of course I now have trouble
accessing Redhat Package Manager stuff (which is not a problem,
since I am a Slacker at heart).

Fourth, ignore the junk about typing a particular number to go to
a particular audio source: those numbers are related to a Java
script, again intended for Windows users. Instead just use your
normal techniques for tabbing from link to link and pressing
'enter' on those that seem to point to audio links.

Embedded audio is not that hard to experience with Linux using
the Lynx browser if it is set up properly. I find it helpful to
use the "advanced" user level, which shows the complete URL of
any highlighted link at the bottom of the screen. You can tell
from that URL whether the link you are poised to select is audio,
html, a Java script, tgz, or whatever, and you can make better
decisions about whether to "view" the thing, "download" it, or
ignore it.

Here is the URL to the audio network web site:

Even though they seem to welcome Windows users preferentially,
those of us using Linux can still make the scene fairly

HTH - Chuck

Visit me now at
The Moon is Waning Crescent (11% of Full)

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