Ahead of Global Accessibility Awareness Day on May 19, Apple has today launched a new room in iTunes dedicated to highlighting audio-described movies for blind and low vision users.
The room, available at http://www.iTunes.com/AudioDescription, for the first time makes available a listing of all audio-described movies on iTunes in one central location.
Among the hundreds of titles available in the new Audio Description room are Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Martian, The Big Short, The Revenant, Spectre, and The Peanuts Movie. Apple encourages users to check back regularly for new additions.
In other news, Apple has also updated its Accessible Apps Collection, a collection of iOS apps in the areas of Vision, Hearing, Speech, Learning and Literacy, Physical Motor, and Accessible Home with Siri.
What do you think of Apple's new Audio Description iTunes room? Let us know in the comments!
How do you
How do you access audio description category. I mean, I launch iTunes, but where do I need to go to access the audio description category?
Great idea but…
I think this is a great idea as it's an official reference for us to check in one place what films are available with audio description and hopefully it'll highlight it for the film distribution companies also as they are the ones who control if a film will contain AD on itunes, not apple. My concern however is that as the list of available films with AD is different in each country I'm not sure how it's going to work. For example, star wars the force awakens rather surprisingly for a Disney release doesn't have AD here in the UK but I've read on here it does elsewhere. So as long as apple can make a list that is country specific then it'll be great both as a reference and for awareness purposes.
Apple has demonstrated with the Popular Apps Using VoiceOver section of the App Store that they adapt the list of apps to suit different countries. For example, in Australia, some of the apps from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are in the list of apps. To my knowledge, these apps are not shown in other countries. I would imagine that there are other examples of this country-specific availability as well.
Internationalization is an issue
I'm extremely excited about this new website listing audio described movies, that's definitely a big step in the right direction!
However, as was already pointed out here, making this content available internationally is something that Apple should address soon... When Netflix rolled out audio described content last year, this became available on a global level. Even though I'm located in Germany, I could access audio descriptions right from the start without any problems. Sure, the audio descriptions are only available in English, so this might be an issue for those who don't speak the language. Still it's definitely much, much better than having no access to it whatsoever and I think that Apple needs to take this same approach as Netflix.
To my knowledge, there are currently no audio described movies available in the German iTunes Store, which is a great shame. I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed hoping that this will change soon!
Definitely a Step in the Right Direction
I only read about this just a few minutes ago in this week's issue of "Top Tech Tidbits for Thursday," but I think it is definitely a step in the right direction. I also agree about internationalization, and hopefully Apple will address that very soon. I haven't yet watched any movies in iTunes, but some of them were recently added to my wish list with the help of a tutor who works with me. I'm so excited to start downloading and watching them though.
Re: iTunes Audio Description "Room"
getting to list
Absolutely fantastic that Apple has done this. Really exciting. It does not appear you can find the list by simply opening up the ITunes store App. You have to use the web address -- iTunes.com/audiodescription -- Also, if you type in this web address on Safari, it will automatically redirect you into the App even though you cannot simply go through the App to find this room. Thus, I can't see a way you can bookmark this web address since typing in the web address always directs you into the App. So, it's a little hard to get to the room. You can just create an email and send it to yourself with the link so you can just click on it whenever you want to get to the room. If anyone else comes up with any suggestions on accessing the room, please pass along.
If your using Voiceover, you can double tap and hold on the link, and from the menu that pops up, choose "copy link". You could then email it to yourself as stated in the previous comment, or paste it into a note. That is what I did. Other than that, I do not see another way of bookmarking.
Add the link to your home screen, and just press it, and you'll get to the room.
Forget my last comment. It doesn't work. I mean, you can add the address to your home screen, but it will just say blank, and it won't actually take you to the iTunes Store.
doesn't work in australia
This page doesn't work in australia.
I do hope it does soon, cause depending on what you type in iTunes itself, you get different results.
Some aren't even listed.
Home is audeo described here, yet it's not listed as being described.
You have to actually look at the film details to see if it's described.
Listing of Audio Described Movies in US iTunes