I am quoted in an article by Andrew LaVallee (we talked about different pronunciations of his name) entitled “Deaf Web users fear being left behind as TV shows stream onto the Internet.” The piece describes the demand by deaf people for captions on online and handheld video and how pretty much nobody is meeting that demand.
- I never made any statement resembling the following actual paraphrase from the article: “What’s more, digital videos are often viewed in small windows on a computer or on devices like the iPod that have relatively tiny screens, where captions could be difficult to read.” I told LaVallee, and wrote on Screenfont, that other people use that claim as a pretext not to provide captioning; that caption fonts are the same relative size on small screens as on large; and that the whole idea was bogus. (And, minutes after I pointed out the error, it was fixed! How’s that for working at Internet speed?)
- There is too much of an emphasis on closed captioning, which is, as I am quoted as saying, “fabulously” difficult to do, what with the competing file formats. However, I explained that it’s perfectly possible to bypass the whole problem by providing separate uncaptioned and open-captioned feeds. Replicating the TV model is unnecessary and, I see from the article, is exactly what everyone is doing. No wonder we don’t have any captioning yet.