1 (edited by flackers 2018-05-16 11:11:32)

Ahead of my holiday next month, I was trying to refamiliarise myself with the slightly awkward-to-use overdrive iPhone app for accessing RNIB audiobooks. Thought I'd download an old favourite to test all's working, and chose Discworld 1. It wasn't available, and neither was Discworld 2, but all the others were. Weird, why has everything except the first two been uploaded. So I contacted them to ask why were the first two Discworld books missing?  A very nice lady called me and said none of the Discworld books should have been uploaded in the first place because they don't have permission from the publisher to make them available on Overdrive, so they're taking them all down. Whoops. So you have me to thank if you're a Pratchett fan who uses Overdrive and can't get any Pratchett books anymore. They're still available via snail mail though.

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Another reason I'm glad I still get the RNIB disks rather than overdrive and why the RNIB, and publishers are arse holes big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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3 (edited by flackers 2018-05-16 13:21:05)

I took part in the user survey for the overdrive site, and told them exactly what I thought of it from a screen reader user point of view. My biggest complaint was that the RNIB themselves should control the site and the player software because Overdrives stuff has accessibility tacked on, but blind screen reader users are not their priority.
I've taken part in two surveys: the first about using TTS voices for audiobooks, and the second about using Overdrive to deliver them. The RNIB pulled the same stunt in both  in order to ensure a more positive response from the testers. During the TTS voices survey they said it would only ever be used to read non-fiction so we should only judge it based on that. Within weeks of the survey finishing they were churning out novels read by TTS. And during the Overdrive survey they said categorically this service wil never replace the bookstream service, so judge it on its own merits rather than as a replacement. Two weeks after the Overdrive site opened, the bookstream site was shut down. There's no way they made that decision in two weeks, they were going to do it all along. I was furious. I thought in both cases we testers had been manipulated into giving the RNIB a mostly positive response so they could justify the changes. So if anyone complained afterward, they could  tell them they're out-of-step with the majority opinion. I just feel they're putting profit margins first and blind people second. The overdrive site is full of corrupt books. I've reported umpteen of them myself. And they flog some proper over-priced crap in that shop of theirs. I think the RNIB is now just a commercial venture with the tax breaks of a charity.

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The RNIB has always! been just a commercial venture. It has share prices, a board of directors (none of hwhom are blind), a chief executive officer (all on huge salaries), and a regular financial index.

The fact that Guide dogs is not a Charity, and yet the RNIB is, particularly with how the RNIB are the go to stop for local services is pretty shocking. Someone I knew who used to work for them said they also showed extreme prejudice over blind workers, basically if someone was going to get redundent it was always going to be a blind person, whether this is true or not I'm not sure, though it wouldn't surprise me.

The really! disturbing part about the RNIB is the brain washing over legacy donations. When i was at a so called "information day" an entire two hours was spent on the importance of legacy donations and how people should donate in their will, and during the presentation on talking books their entire focus was on over sixties.

indeed their general focus on the elderly is pretty scary, almost as bad as the fact that they've now started selling commercial recordings made before the 2000's to audible  other commercial book publishers.

I will say in fairness some of their individual departments ar pleasant to work with, EG I quite liked the audio description service and their attitude, but in general the organisation is pretty rotten all around.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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