Audio applications and accessibility

Christian christian08 at
Sat Oct 25 13:44:53 UTC 2008

Hello all,
Yesterday I decided to have a look at the different audio applications that are available for Linux since there are many interesting programs out there like reverbs, sequencers, sound editors and so on.
I first decided to have a go with the graphical tools so on Ubuntu hardy I installed the ubuntustudio-audio as well as ubuntustudio-audio-plugins
However, not very much was accessible.
I have been using Sound Forge under Windows and I have also plaied around with Audacity a little but now I wanted to see if I could do my audio editing needs under Linux instead. I am trying to do more and more under Linux.
There are some command line based tools like Ecasound which I haven't tried as of yet have only installed that.
Another problem which is not related to accessibility is that most of the tools only supports Alsa. I have been trying to use padsp before I start the program, but it works with a few but not all.
Is anyone here like me wanting to use the different audio tools that are available for Linux?
I even posted a message onto the Audacity mailing list regarding accessibility with Orca and Audacity.
Below is the message I got from the list:

On Thu, 23 Oct 2008 15:43:49 +0200
"Christian" <christian08 at> wrote:
> I don't know where else to post this kind of question, but hopefully
> someone on this list is able to help me with this.
> I want to get started with audio editing under Linux. But unfortunatly
> the Audacity sound editor is not that accessible with Orca, the screen
> reader for the Gnome desktop. I am visually impaired.
> There seems to be other alternatives out there and some of them
> requires something called Jack. Where can I get more info about using
> Jack and how it works? I think one other alternative is called Ardour.

Have you tried Audacity Beta (1.3.x)?

Try the links on that page if you are on Fedora, Gentoo, SuSE or Ubuntu,
or try to find the latest 1.3 package supplied by your distribution.  

We did a quick test of Orca recently and found it worked quite well with
the latest 1.3 Audacity code:

JACK ( is a low latency sound server that can be
used on Linux to pass audio from one application to another. Audacity 
does not require it, and in fact does not support it very well at the
End quote
But unfortunatly the preferences window is still not accessible and the first time you run Audacity there is a dialog which is not accessible with Orca.
What do you all think?
I am bringing this up since there are so many great tools for music and audio production which we can't use at the moment and they are free and we need to use other tools for Windows instead.
Another tool I tried is called Ardour. It's like Protools but didn't have luck with it even thoguh Orca read the new project dialog and the preferences as well as the menus.
Best regards and thanks,

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