Archive for March, 2014

CSUN 2014

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Allison and Robert begin with a discussion of their experience at the
“29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference”

Allison and Robert do not discuss new products but encourage everyone to listen to the vendor interviews done by
Blind Bargains.

While in San Diego, Robert and Allison had the pleasure of spending time with three of their favorite Apple Podcasters. Shelly Brisbin from
Shelly’s Podcast
Adam Christianson from
The Mac Cast
and Allison and Steve Sheridan from
They then play a portion of their CSUN presentation entitled: “Creating Podcasts That People Want to Hear.” Following is a description and a link for each piece of software that is used in the creation and publication of the Tech Doctor podcast.

To record the Tech Doctor podcast over Skype, we use
Audio Hijack Pro

To edit the recording, we use
Sound Studio

To make sure that each podcast participant is speaking at the same volume, we use

To convert the podcast audio file from AIFF to MP3, we use

To upload the podcast audio file to the Tech Doctor website, we use an FTP client called

To edit and upload the Tech Doctor show notes, we use


Music By Ear

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

When thinking of all that is most pleasurable in life, the Tech Doctors believe that the making of music is very near the top of the list.

Everyone is familiar with a handful of famous blind musicians, but how do the rest of us learn to play an instrument?

In this podcast, we talk with Bill Brown who teaches people to play music by ear. Bill’s online music lessons work equally well for both sighted and blind students.

is screen reader friendly and all of the lessons are available as a download. The prices are very reasonable and the quality of the instruction is excellent.

While Bill did not develop his “Music By Ear” lessons originally for people who are blind, he has added introductory courses where he teaches blind people what they need to know to get started with a particular instrument.

The number of different instruments and the variety of songs that Bill teaches is nothing short of amazing. There is something there for everybody.

Finally, if you live in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, and you are eligible for services from your country’s library for the blind, Bill’s lessons are available through your national library service.

Listen to this podcast and take Bill Brown up on the special offer that he made to Tech Doctor listeners. There is nothing more satisfying than learning to play a musical instrument.


Bits and Bobs

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

In this Tech Doctor podcast, Allison and Robert begin by discussing a
blog post
where the author has decided to switch from the Mac back to Windows because of concerns about Mac accessibility.

They then share their opinions about an
that explains how Google has failed developers by not including all of the standard accessibility hooks in the Android operating system.

Next, Robert describes two books that he has recently enjoyed. The first book is by Dave Eggers. It is called “The Circle” and is available on
The second book is called “The Martian” by Andy Weir. It is available from
Before leaving books, Robert and Allison talk about an iOS app that they use to keep track of what they are reading. The app is called “I Read It Now” and the developer has worked hard to make both the
version fully accessible with VoiceOver.

Next Robert talks about an online backup service which he has found to be totally accessible and extremely easy to install and utilize. The service is called
Back Blaze.
In addition to being an excellent online backup system for the Mac, Back Blaze has a fully accessible iPhone app allowing one to view and restore files directly from the iPhone.

In the next section of the podcast, Robert and Allison discuss their favorite RSS clients. Robert describes
for the iPhone,
Mr. Reader
for the iPad and
for the Mac. Robert keeps all of these RSS apps synced using an RSS service called
Feed Rangler.

Finally, Robert and Allison compare and contrast the features an capabilities of current iOS book readers and players with the most current specialized player for the blind called the
Victor Reader Stream.
While Allison and Robert agree that the new generation of the Stream offers a very nice interface to internet radio stations, Bookshare and NFB Newsline, they feel that iOS apps still offer more variety and flexibility. They do not believe that using a touch screen is a significant barrier for most people.