Audio Player Vanishes

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Posts 6
William McCarty | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Jun 25 2012 9:09 PM

I was listening to a resource using Read Aloud. The pace was a bit fast so I opened the Windows 7 Control Panel and set the speed back a notch. I think I may have moved the panels around a bit at that point, too. When I went to start reading aloud again, the Read Aloud menu item was disabled. I figured that was because the resource was still playing so I typed a Ctrl-R but nothing happened. At that point, I looked for the Audio Player and discovered it was missing. 

I tried playing a different resource and it played okay.

I exited Logos 4 and restarted it. The Audio Player for the resource still wasn't visible and the Read Aloud menu item was still disabled.

How do I recover the ability to read this resource aloud? It's very important to me to do so since I'm having some vision problems that make it difficult to read the resource.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers,

 

P.S. I trying hiding the resource (to delete it from my hard drive) and unhiding it, but Read Aloud is still disabled.

P.P.S. The resource in question is Kaiser's The Promise-Plan of God. It really did read aloud originally. I promise.

Posts 3156
LogosEmployee
Thomas Ball | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 26 2012 4:40 PM

Hello William,

When did you experience this? I wonder if you only recently installed the update to 4.5b? I ask that because as of 4.5b all Zondervan resources have had the "Read Aloud" feature switched off at their request. The book in question is a Zondervan book. I'm very sorry for the inconvenience. 

 

Posts 6
William McCarty | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 26 2012 6:43 PM

Thanks for the reply, Tommy. I don't know when I updated to 4.5B. presumably, my system updated itself within a day or so of the availability of the new release. 

Your news about Zondervan would seem to explain my experience--but only sort of. The resource was recently purchased. One minute I was reading the resource. The next minute I decided to slow down the reading. The next minute I was no longer able to read the resource. I didn't exit or restart Logos during the interval in which the read aloud feature was working and then not working.At the least, that seems to me to indicate a software defect in the logic that recognizes that a resource has been disabled for reading aloud. 

I note with interest the fact that Amazon's Kindle edition of this book, Kaiser's The Promise Plan of God, apparently continues to have read aloud (TTS, "text to speech") enabled. At least. the book's information page makes that representation. Because I'm having trouble with my vision, the read aloud feature is very important to me, representing a good part of the value of the product. Where might I have read the announcement concerning this change? I'm obviously concerned whether I should be purchasing Logos resources if they might, at some future time, unexpectedly cease being readable and therefore fully useful to me. My investment, which is considerable, might become largely worthless. indeed, that may have just occurred. This is of extreme concern to me.

Posts 3156
LogosEmployee
Thomas Ball | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 27 2012 11:53 AM

Hello William,

I understand your concern. I unfortunately cannot at this time comment on the decision or request made by Zondervan, nor can I comment about other products with regards to the "Read Aloud" feature. I am however looking into it for you. In the meantime, and I obviously have no idea to what degree your eyesight has degenerated so please don't take my advice as presumption on my part, we have a few features in Logos 4 that increase both the font size in books but also the font size of the user interface as a whole. 

In the book panel there is a panel menu button in the top left-hand corner. If you click that you'll see a slider bar for the font size of that resource. This will only effect the font size of this resource--not others. To do that you'll need to go to Tools>Program Settings. There you can adjust the default font setting for resources, adjust program scaling, and font size for notes. 

 

Posts 5613
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 27 2012 2:21 PM

Tommy Ball:
I ask that because as of 4.5b all Zondervan resources have had the "Read Aloud" feature switched off at their request.

This is the first I heard of this.  Shouldn't a more prominent announcement of this have been made?

It's also very concerning to me that Zondervan:

  • Would be able to do do this. What other features could be turned off in Zondervan resources if they request? (searching? not appear in Guide windows? font-size changes?)
  • Would want to do this. Read-aloud is an accessibility feature more than anything. Does Zondervan have something against the visually impaired?

I realize that Logos can't answer, but hopefully Zondervan will read.

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 6
William McCarty | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 27 2012 8:26 PM

 

Todd, some months ago Amazon had to deal with multiple publishers who made a similar request concerning the text-to-speech (TTS) function of Kindle ebooks. I think all the publishers have since come around, including Zondervan. The publishers apparently considered that an audio book was a separate product that should entail a separate fee or price. My own guess is that they were persuaded by your argument; namely, TTS doesn't provide the most pleasant audio experience and tends to be used mainly for reasons of accessibility. However, it could be that Amazon's market share was a more effective argument. 

With respect to Logos, I can't imagine that anyone would pay extra for the privilege of having read aloud to them Kaiser's The Promise-Plan of God. So the idea that Zondervan is being denied potential revenue from an audio book would seem to me to be laughable. However, it's Zondervan's opinion that matters, not mine.

IMO your concern about functional downgrade is very real. What if there was suddenly a limit to the number and volume of clipboard operations, just as already exists for the Amazon Kindle? Retroactively imposing such a limitation would be disastrous for users, but I get the impression that Logos' contract with publishers doesn't prohibit such changes. This is a big deal about which much more needs to be said, IMO. From what I gather, the new restriction is new news, even to Logos. As a published author, I understand something of the delights and problems of working with publishers. So I'm trying to avoid pushing Logos staff on this point too hard too soon.

I think Logos is in a position similar to that of their customers and I trust they will do their best to come to some appropriate agreement with publishers. OTOH, I am disappointed in having learned about the problem as I did. Logos has been less than fully transparent and so their corporate image has been somewhat tarnished, IMO. I'm disappointed and, frankly, saddened because I have long held a very high opinion of Logs. Perhaps Zondervan's demand is so recent that Logos hasn't had time to properly respond. I hope that's the case and want to think that's the case even if it isn't.


Tommy, thanks for your kind suggestion regarding Logos' other accessibility features. Unfortunately, none of them solves my problem. I have large floaters in both eyes, including one new one (new floater, not new eye, that is). Exactly how the floaters cause my problem I don't know (if I'm even right in supposing they're the cause), but I tend to suffer fatigue after reading only a few pages. Since OTOH I can comfortably listen to many pages while visually following along in a relaxed manner, the Read Aloud feature is the best solution I've found. 

Thing is, even though I have what I consider a pretty serious impediment, I'm nowhere near blind and so can't expect that Zondervan would afford me any special accommodation. Instead I suppose I will continue to have access only to functions and features available to the general public. So, if a book doesn't have Read Aloud I won't be able to read it beyond skimming here and there. 

I suppose it's obvious that, in the long run, it will be important for Logos to indicate on the description page of each book whether Read Aloud is enabled. I do understand something of the scope of effort that would entail. So I'm not going to pout or throw a tantrum if that information isn't immediately available. Smile

 

Posts 146
Sam Henderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 6 2012 7:41 AM

OK, have I encounter what I think is another example of this kind of limitation on specific resources. I got the read aloud function to read me an article about the worship of Jesus from the Anchor Bible Dictionary. I then went to an article on heaven in the same dictionary and simply could not get the Audio player to work for that article, or any other article in ABD for that matter. However, the read aloud feature has no problem popping up for other resources located in the same or the adjoining window.

Is there some sort of  limit implemented on the Logos ABD for the use of the read aloud feature in a given session? Has any one else experienced this?

 

Posts 10311
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 6 2012 7:53 AM

Sam, you're doing better than me. I couldn't even get 1 to read out loud; no problem with my other resources.


Posts 1691
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 6 2012 11:03 AM

William McCarty:
Logos has been less than fully transparent and so their corporate image has been somewhat tarnished, IMO. I'm disappointed and, frankly, saddened because I have long held a very high opinion of Logs.

I'm very sorry to read that you think we've become less transparent. Nothing has changed here at Logos (same leadership, same philosophy, etc. -- we're simply getting bigger), so I'm curious to know in what ways you think our transparency has changed, so that I can take steps to fix the problems. Our goal is to be completely open.

(If the issue is that we don't proactively get information about changes out, I can understand that. I think that's inevitable as we get larger -- there are hundreds of "new facts" known to the company every day, and many don't seem worthy of a blog post, so it's not easy to get what everyone wants to know, or be updated about, to all the right people.)

Posts 2
Phil Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 10:56 AM

Hey Bob,

I know I'm jumping in here much later, but do agree with the idea behind the transparency statement on a number of issues. When policies are changed (especially retroactively) I think it is worth emailing logos users about it. I would certainly appreciate it. This TTS issue is one. I also was very disappointed in the shift from 4 to 5 as far as what books are offered. I primarily use Logos for it's library functionality and searching. The new base packages, unlike 4, don't offer the same excellent resources that used to be available at lower level packages until you buy one with everything. I talked with someone at Logos about this on the phone a bit and he explained the publishers were the major cause for the shift... it seems this is the same on the TTS issue. Either way, I still feel it would be better for Logos to inform owners about changes and not just put the "positive spin" on it either, but explain how it will affect us.

As for this issue (& it is) I would appreciate getting info from you for who to contact in Zondervan and file a complaint with. I spend a great deal of my day looking at a computer so it is very nice to listen instead of read. Along with this I have regular long commutes while attending seminary and use that time to listen to required reading often which I now cannot do. I prefer the Logos reader over Kindle's, but sometimes my time is more valuable than the comfort of the software if one doesn't function doing what I need at all.

Thanks for listening!

Posts 2
Phil Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 17 2015 11:18 AM

I just sent Zondervan an email stating...

I am a Logos user and through them have a number of books published by Zondervan that do not have the TTS function enabled on them. Upon contacting Logos they said it was not their choice, but yours. The general consensus from online forums is this was decided to make sure your made as much money as possible from audio book versions of the same product. I do understand you are a company and need to make money. However, many of your books do not have an audio book version to even buy such as my current read (Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach). Along with this most of the theological ones are not read enough for you to produce one fiscally. With that in mind is seems you have made a decision that, while possibly benefiting your company in some ways, actually limits the ability of users whether blind, with impaired vision, or simply desiring to listen to a book instead of read it, from having access to what they need or want. I would strongly encourage you to rethink your policy on this (at least for books with no other audio options) and either make audio options for purchase available for all or allow this to be open in Logos (like it is in Kindle BTW).

As a point of reminder to guide as you think this through...
Lev 19:13-15, "13 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning.  14 'You shall not curse a deaf man, nor place a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the LORD.  15 'You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly."

God blesses those who pursue His kingdom and wealth above their own.

I might encourage others to do the same.

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