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Welcome Blind File Sharing!

If you download .mp3s of this podcast, as of the next episode, you’ll find them coming from a new place: Blind File Sharing.

It’s a file storage and delivery service designed with blind and vision-impaired users in mind. That means no graphics, no capchas (those annoying image-based things you have to navigate to prove you’re not a bot), no Flash-y doodads – just simple, accessible, inexpensive ways to upload, store and share your files.

Find out for yourself what their downloading speed is like when you get your MFTB episodes from them. If you’re impressed and curious about the service, visit blindfilesharing.com to learn more.

Full disclosure: a portion of this new relationship involves paid advertising. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please let me know – I’m being very careful and conservative with my first foray into this sort of thing, but think it makes sense, since both MFTB and BFS believe in internet accessibility for everyone. The real test for BFS’ service is in how you use it, so we hope it helps you. Tell us about your experience!

Thanks, everyone, for your support. On with the show… :-)

4 Responses to “Welcome Blind File Sharing!”

  1. Robert Flood Says:

    I was legally blind when I was very young (1950s) and by 1964 a cornea reshaping was performed. It left a scare on my eyes and my life; but I can see well enough now to drive. I find it easier at night though to close my eyes and open my mind’s eye to see all the pictures. This is how I started my life’s entertainment with “old time radio” and for years now TV broadcast audio (mostly PBS).

    I hope others understand that even though I am not currently blind the comforting familiarity of listening helps me at night to rest my eyes that feel so “tired” after working all day.

    I want to contribute and keep this service going and realize it is a labor of love for you so please tell me how I can sign up and keep viewing the movies and TV shows in my head.

    Bob (BoomerBOB) Flood

    PS – Many of the TV shows I first only “heard” until 1964…The first TV show I ever saw fully was “The Addams Family” otherwise I heard shows like Gunsmoke, Have Gun, Will Travel, The Great Gildersleeve, Dragnet, and many other OTR shows.

  2. admin Says:

    It’s a free podcast, Bob. No sign up required…though there is a little Paypal donation button at the bottom of the sidebar. ;-) Just keep coming back to the site for a new episode each Monday, or subscribe up at the top of the sidebar (or through iTunes) so episodes can be delivered to you.

    This podcast is for everyone, regardless of sight. When it’s audio only, everyone’s blind in a way. I know plenty of people who are sighted who enjoy description because they don’t have to look at it – they can do the dishes, drive, walk along the street, or just rest their eyes like you do. So you are in good company.

    Thanks for the kind words, and keep right on listening.

    P.S. The Addams Family was the first tv show you saw after gaining your sight? What a way for your eyes to start! :-)

  3. fastfinge Says:

    Just discovered this website; good job! I’m completely blind. However, I often enjoy watching movies with sighted friends. As many of us already enjoy “classic” movies, the link to find the original movie is appreciated. This way, with a little bit of syncing work, we can have the described audio, and the original picture. It’s not as hard as it sounds; we already do something similar with rifftrax. I don’t know how you do your work; have you ever considered offering an mpg option or something, with the picture included? I suspect this could be easily put together with a package like virtualdub; If someone wanted to go back and do this for previous shows, I assume the creative commons license would allow it?

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks!

    That is indeed the great advantage of described video: that people who are blind or visually-impaired can watch with sighted friends and family, and ideally everyone experiences things at about the same time.

    Because MFTB was conceived as an audio podcast, though with a similar idea – everyone can enjoy it, but *not* have to look at a screen – production is done with that in mind. Although the description is first placed to sync with video, in the mixing process, the video is taken away, and the focus is purely on what sounds best. Usually, that means alterations are made in the soundtrack: maybe some bad sound artifacts (pops and static, etc.) are taken out, maybe a little time is extended to fit a description in better. Depending on the movie, this is done maybe a few times per episode with no more than a a couple seconds changed, but that would make syncing with video a problem.

    There are a few cases where I haven’t cut or extended anything, and two of those cases are available as described video: the two Dick Van Dyke episodes I’ve done so far. You can find them on the blog under the category “video available” here: http://moviesfortheblind.com/?cat=117
    That’s where you can find links to the full-length video with description on Internet Archive and Google Video. If you prefer YouTube, the episode “Give Me Your Walls” can be found as a three-part playlist here (hang on, long address coming…): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e9b8QrOfAU&feature=PlayList&p=1BC5FBCE927EB214&index=0&playnext=1

    I think one of the Andy Griffith episodes I did recently might have no edits, but I haven’t had time to produce it as a described video yet. I’ll let you know when I get on it. As well, I’ll be better about making a note when an episode has no edits, so you can sync it up yourself.

    Speaking of syncing it up yourself, if anyone wanted to try it with one of the edited movies, that’s cool within the Creative Commons licence (it only disallows it from being sold). Let me know you’re doing it, and when you’re done, if you’d like to share it so I can give folks a link.

    A Rifftrax-like option has been suggested by others, and it is something I’m considering for the future. For now, it’s still in the future, but whatever mashups anyone can create that can help more people enjoy description together are definitely encouraged.

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