Video Description

Other Apple Chat

Has anyone been able to try this new iOS8 feature? I haven't found a video that is optimized for it, even on the Apple website. Might be nice to optimize the video of their last keynote, for example, to showcase how this feature will work. .



Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Monday, October 6, 2014

No I haven't tried out the feature yet.
I have the feature turned on but I am not sure if you have to download movies from the iTunes store for it to work or not.

Submitted by Teresa on Monday, October 6, 2014

I don't imagine this feature is meant to work with the Pixar films that are already available in the iTunes store. Those are description only in the audio track. I have to admit that I've never encountered an Internet video which utilizes this feature, though I've tried exploring it in the audio menu. No descriptive audio track ever appears. I suspect this is some sort of copyright issue that some blindness organizations are working with at this point. Apple would indeed have the clout and resources to work with the production companies to make this available. I don't think it's as much of a technological issue as it is a legal one.

Hi, why would Apple add something such as audio description to voiceover knowing that it is very important to the blind community. But then they don't explain how to use it! I would love to know how this feature works!

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Monday, October 6, 2014

This is pure speculation, so read at your own peril. My assumption is that the "audio description" feature would be the same as purchasing a DVD or Blu-ray with DVS (aka descriptive audio). Whether or not the movie ships with DVS is 100% at the discretion of the distributor; Disney, for example, now includes DVS on all of their releases (and those of their subsidiaries, I believe), whereas WB doesn't seem to offer much by way of DVS. Anyway, if the movie you purchased has descriptive audio available, you would enable it in the audio settings to hear a descriptive audio track. My guess is that the audio description with Voiceover will be the same thing - so when you purchase a movie on iTunes, if the distributor has included a descriptive audio track, you can turn it on with this option. That's just how I assume it'll work.

Submitted by Infoblind on Monday, October 6, 2014

I've used video descriptions at theaters and movie theaters, and it seems like they are just reading the stage directions from the playwright or director, or the screenwriters' scene directions. It's being done, in other words, and it isn't rocket science. Isn't there legislation pending to make this a feature of all media moving forward? I guess I need to check the advocacy forum.

Submitted by Teresa on Tuesday, October 7, 2014

As I understand it, scripts are specially written for audio description, which emphasize visual occurrences in videos. Readers then read them, and they are mixed into the video. They're written to be synced in such a way that they don't interfere with dialog, and sometimes the actions described occur seconds after their description is read.