Automating audio description for live theater: Using reference recordings to trigger descriptive tracks in real time

Dirk Vander Wilt, Morwaread Mary Farbood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Audio description is an accessibility service used by blind or visually impaired individuals. Often accompanying movies, television shows, and other visual art forms, the service provides spoken descriptions of visual content, allowing people with vision loss the ability to access information that sighted people obtain visually. At live theatrical events, audio description provides spoken descriptions of scenes, characters, props, and other visual elements that those with vision loss may otherwise find inaccessible. In this paper we present a method for deploying pre-recorded audio description in a live musical theater environment. This method uses a reference recording and an online time warping algorithm to align audio description with live performances, including a process for handling unexpected interruptions. A software implementation that is integrated into an existing theatrical workflow is also described. This system is used in two evaluation experiments that show the method successfully aligns multiple recordings of works of musical theater in order to automatically trigger pre-recorded, descriptive audio in real time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Audio Mostly Conference
Subtitle of host publicationA Journey in Sound, AM 2019
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages75-81
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450372978
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2019
Event14th International Audio Mostly Conference: A Journey in Sound, AM 2019 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 18 2019Sep 20 2019

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference14th International Audio Mostly Conference: A Journey in Sound, AM 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityNottingham
Period9/18/199/20/19

Keywords

  • Accessible
  • Audio description
  • Blind
  • Musical theater
  • Time warping
  • Visually impaired

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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