Apologies for yet another ‘non-story’ post, however I thought these new features were important enough that I needed to draw everybody’s attention to them. I promise I’ll try to keep these updates brief, and limit them as much as I can, but whilst I’m still getting things set up and working as they should there may be a few more to come yet!
Anyway, this was actually prompted by a reader who had some issues accessing the site using adaptive/assistive technology, and whilst I was exploring the options to make things a little more accessible I stumbled across some fantastic technological advancements which hadn’t been available the last time I played with web development, so I couldn’t resist having a play. 🙂
Firstly, when viewing the site from a large screen device (PC, laptop, tablet etc.) you should now see two small, floating toggle switches on the right hand side – the top option is to enable/disable a high contrast mode, which will hopefully be useful to some readers, and the bottom option will automatically increase the font size on the page to make it easier to read.
More impressively, to my mind at least, is that we no longer actually have to read the story ourselves at all! I may have sold my soul to Amazon in the process, haha, however we now have an audio version of each chapter which has been uploaded so far, which can be accessed using a small in-line player at the bottom of each chapter page. There will even be one at the bottom of this post, if you want to give it a try to see how it works.
It’s powered by a text-to-speech engine, so it’s not going to be as natural as having a living person read it to you, but I’m pretty happy with the end result, and I hope you guys all like it too.
The player widget will only play the current chapter you are viewing onscreen, so you’d need to flick to a different post and then start playing again, but the next idea I’m looking at is to roll them out as a downloadable option (you can actually do this for individual chapters using the button on the left of the player) and potentially a podcast – watch this space. 😉
I should be grateful for the change of policy where the story used to be hosted, as it’s only through this that I’ve taken the opportunity to explore all of these fantastic new ideas which wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. Happy reading/listening.3
Audio Version of Chapter