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Using Winamp with Dolphin Products


(Applies to: SuperNova Access Suite, SuperNova Reader Magnifier, SuperNova Screen Reader)

Chapter 3: Using Winamp

Winamp usage differs significantly from standard Windows applications but, once mastered, is powerful yet relatively easy. You don't use the tab key to explore the app and the arrows, space and enter to interact with controls as you normally would. Rather the usage is based exclusively on Winamp and screen reader hotkeys. Another key difference to ordinary Windows applications is that most Winamp hotkeys do not use any modifier keys such as alt and control. Instead letter and number keys are used directly to control the most frequent Winamp features, making them quicker and easier to type.

Using the Main Window

When Winamp is started the focus is in the main window and the screen reader announces the application title. Individual files can be loaded via the standard Windows open dialog using the L key. Alternatively, entire folders of files can be added using Shift + L while Control + L enables you to add audio files from the Web as well. After you've added files Winamp starts playing back the files in sequence automatically.

The bottom row of letter keys on your keyboard is used to control Winamp playback directly. The X key starts playing back a file from the very beginning while the C key pauses and resumes playback. The keys Z and B enable you to reach the next and previous file, if multiple files are being played and they can also be held down for quicker navigation. Lastly the V key stops Winamp playback completely.

When the high speech or Braille verbosity setting is used, pressing any of the playback keys tells you via Speech or Braille what's going on via prompts such as "Play" or "Pause". Further more, regardless of verbosity, the names of the next and previous file you are switching to are also announced. If you wish the names of keys not to be announced, simply switch verbosity to a level other than high, such as medium or custom.

To control the position in a file you can use the left and right arrow keys to rewind and fast forward respectively, or hit Control + J for the "Jump to Time" dialog box to type in the desired number of minutes and seconds directly. To find out the current time use the read status key, numpad 2 in the desktop keyboard layout, to announce the current time and file duration, among other properties such as bit and sampling rate. Note that whether the unit of seconds is announced depends on your speech verbosity level. On high verbosity times are read out in full. In Braille, the minutes and seconds are separated by a colon, too. If you'd like to know the time remaining in the file rather than the time elapsed, the Winamp hotkey Control + T toggles the time display format. In the speech and Braille output a minus sign in front of the time tells you that it is the time remaining, just as a minus sign is shown in the time display visually for the same information.

Note: If you have trouble hearing the current time or other track properties, you may wish to pause the playback with the C key first, or use the up and down arrow keys to adjust the Winamp volume.

The last thing we'll go through in the main window are repeat and shuffle. To randomize the order in which the files you've added will be played you can use the S key for the shuffle function. The screen reader tells you whether the shuffle is currently on or off. Similarly, the R key, short for repeat, can be used to play the current file multiple times. If you don't want to memorize the keys, you can use the Winamp main menu, alt + F, to choose the options as well, for instance, "Options/Repeat".

Tip: to quickly find out whether the shuffle or repeat function is off, you can use the custom application key number 1, which is shift + numpad 7 in the desktop keyboard layout. the action tells you whether the shuffle, repeat and equaliser are on. On lower verbosity levels, only those features that are on are announced.

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