Hope is here for managing Internet radio

By Tai Blas
Contributing Writer

Pandora is one of the most popular Internet radio services today. It allows users to create and customize Internet radio stations based on genre and artist preferences.

For example, users can specify the name of a favorite artist, and Pandora will create a playlist containing music with similar characteristics. As songs are played, users can provide feedback as to whether they like or dislike a particular song or artist. Through this feedback, Pandora gradually fine-tunes users’ custom station to meet their specific tastes.Pandora Logo

Unfortunately, if you want to use Pandora on a Windows computer running screen access technology for the blind, it is completely inaccessible.  Blind users cannot sign up or listen to content without sighted help or through an application on the iPhone. However, the majority of blind people do not own an iPhone.

A new program called Hope allows blind users to access Pandora independently with screen access software from their Windows computer. Hope provides a simple interface to Pandora. Using simple hot keys, users can register for free to use Pandora; search for an artist, song, or genre to create stations with similar content; play, delete, or edit stations; listen to stations; and access Amazon or iTunes to buy content that they like.

A “now playing” dialog contains information on the song and an explanation of why Pandora added it to your station, along with feedback buttons and playback controls. All controls within the program have hot keys for quick access.

I have used the Hope Pandora interface with JAWS for Windows version 10 and really enjoy the service. This program couldn’t be easier to use! It is great for users of all Windows screen readers. Currently, there is not a version for the Mac.

Hope can be purchased from www.q-continuum.net for $10. Proceeds fund continued research and development of accessible software.

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This entry was posted in Adapting for Accessibility, Online Tools, Software and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hope is here for managing Internet radio

  1. Curtis Chong says:

    I myself did in fact purchase the Hope program for the small sum of $10, and like the original author, I found the program to be exceptionally easy to use. The one thing that I could not do with the Hope program was to upgrade my Pandora account to the paid service so that I could avoid any advertisements. I had to upgrade my Pandora account through my iPhone.

    On a positive note, very recently, Pandora changed the way in which its system authenticates users. This broke the Hope interface. Fortunately, the developer of Hope sent out a mass e-mail notifying all affected subscribers, and within a week, a new release of Hope which fixed the problem was made available at no charge to the user.

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