Thought some of you might be interested in this FSCast.
Note: The part of the FSCast that pertains only to this Jaws feature is at the bottom, below the 2 links.
New post on Freedom Scientific Blog
FSCast 186, Blindness consultant Joe Strechay, a new Freedom Scientific Training podcast, and a demo of the JAWS feature to prevent speech cut off
On FSCast 186, we meet blindness consultant and TV producer Joe Strechay who helps ensure that blind people are accurately portrayed in media. There’s
news about the new Freedom Scientific training podcast, and Jonathan Mosen drops in with a demo of the new JAWS feature to prevent speech cut off with
Bluetooth headphones and some sound cards.
Click this link to listen:
To read the full transcript click the link below:
Jaws feature part of the transcript:
Over the last couple of months we’ve been talking about the new JAWS feature that prevents speech from being cut off when listening using Bluetooth headphones
or listening on certain laptops. Fortunately, I don’t have the problem. So it’s been really hard for me to demonstrate it. But turns out that longtime
FSCast host Jonathan Mosen does. He has an HP Spectre Folio that shows off this problem really easily. Jonathan was kind enough to send us an excerpt
from his Mosen at Large podcast, where he shows off the new JAWS feature at work. So Jonathan, it’s all yours.
Excerpt from Jonathan Mosen’s Mosen at Large podcast
JONATHAN MOSEN: Let me demonstrate the problem so you can hear what this is like by just running JAWS without this new enhancement that I want to show
you enabled. So I’m going to press a shortcut key that I have assigned to JAWS.
JAWS VOICE: Ows professional. Desktop. Folder view. List view. Not selected. Recycle bin. One of 33.
JONATHAN: There you go. You can actually hear it right away. It sort of said “ows Professional” because I’ve been sitting here with my laptop making
no sound, and it just woke up. Even this pause is long enough for me to demonstrate the problem. If I check the window title, “sktop One,” and you can
hear that it missed the beginning of “desktop.” So it sort of said “sktop One.” I’m going to run Microsoft Word.
JAWS VOICE: tana.
JONATHAN: You can really hear it. My soundcard driver has actually recently gotten worse at this issue, and it’s now hibernating very quickly. I have
my keyboard echo turned off, which probably exacerbates the problem. But I just don’t need my keys echoing back to me. I’m going to type “This is a test”
and now read the current line.
JAWS VOICE: “Is a test.”
JONATHAN: Right? So you missed the first word entirely there.
JAWS VOICE: “Is a test.”
JONATHAN: Is a test. If I do it quickly enough, if I read the same line twice quickly...
JAWS VOICE: “T H I S. This is a test.”
JONATHAN: So as long as I’m quick enough, and I keep the soundcard alive, I can hear what I’m doing. Now, of course if you’re navigating word by word,
this is a real issue. I’ll go to the top of the file and now move slightly slowly, word by word.
JAWS VOICE: [Indiscernible small portions of each word “this is a test”] .
JONATHAN: It’s really difficult to hear; isn’t it. How do we fix this? It’s very easy with the latest build of JAWS to address this. I’m going to go
into the Settings Center. And you can do that by pressing the JAWS KEY with F2 to get to the list of managers, if you like. But JAWS seasoned users,
or those who just are shortcut ninjas will know that you can go into the Settings Center by pressing the JAWS KEY with the number 6 on your number row.
JAWS VOICE: JAWS Setting Center dialog. Search box edit. CTRL+T.
JONATHAN: The first thing we need to do is load the default configuration because this setting applies across the board to JAWS. To do that, I’ll press
CTRL+SHIFT+D for default.
JAWS VOICE: JAWS Setting Center default applications.
JONATHAN: We’re now in an edit field where we can search for JAWS settings. You can fossick around the tree view here to your heart’s content, and you’ll
find just how configurable JAWS is. But I’m going to type the word “cut,” C U T. That’ll be enough. And I’ll press the TAB key.
JAWS VOICE: Search results list box. Avoid speech cutoff when using Bluetooth headphones or some soundcards, not checked.
JONATHAN: And there’s an option here called “Avoid speech cutoff.” And I’m going to press TAB, which will get me into the Help for this feature, and
do a JAWS Say All to hear the full description.
JAWS VOICE: Bluetooth headphones and speakers shut down after a while of not receiving sound to conserve battery. If this checkbox is selected, JAWS
will keep them awake by constantly playing silence. You will not hear anything, but your device will remain active, resulting in more consistent speech.
Note that the battery of your headphone/speakers could drain faster if you turn this on. This checkbox is cleared by default.
JONATHAN: I must say I have not found anything substantial in the way of battery drain by enabling this feature. The HP Spectre Folio laptop that I have
has phenomenal battery life. I mean, depending on what I’m doing, it can be anything from five or six hours if I’m doing really aggressive tasks like
audio editing, all the way through to 12, 13, 14 hours or more if I’m just doing a bit of basic word processing. I’ll SHIFT+TAB.
JAWS VOICE: Search results list box. Avoid speech cutoff when using Bluetooth headphones and some soundcards, not checked.
JONATHAN: And I’ll check this box. And now I’m going to exit Settings Center by pressing ALT+F4.
JAWS VOICE: JAWS Settings Center dialog. You have made changes to default application settings. Do you want to save them? Yes button, Alt+y.
JONATHAN: Yes, I do. I’ll press ENTER to accept.
JAWS VOICE: Document, one word, edit.
JONATHAN: Miraculously, now everything has cleared up. Night and day, mate. Night and day. So if I press the JAWS KEY with T to read the window title...
JAWS VOICE: Document, one word, print.
JONATHAN: And it’s fine.
JAWS VOICE: Document, one word, print.
JONATHAN: I read a Say line.
JAWS VOICE: This is a test.
JONATHAN: And everything is working fine. So it’s a very simple thing. It’s just a little checkbox, but it makes the world of difference to people like
me who are using particular Realtek sound drivers.
One thing to note: There is a tradeoff with this. Because JAWS is sending sound to the soundcard at all times – it’s essentially just sending silence
to keep it awake – that means that the soundcard is always on, so audio ducking is affected. You will unfortunately have to make a choice between whether
JAWS ducks the audio or whether this feature is on.
By “ducking” audio I mean that you can have JAWS now slightly turn down what you’re listening to. If you have music on in the background while you’re
working, JAWS will turn that down a little so that you can better hear your speech. You can’t have that and this feature enabled at the same time. For
me, the user experience has improved so much by enabling this checkbox that I’m glad to forsake the possibility of audio ducking.