iBlindTech Democast

Entries in Mac (16)


Reaper's Project Settings and Save Dialog - iBT090

In this episode I take a look into some of the project settings and the save dialog. I show how to set a project such that when you move by bar, or measure, you will move by a minute, and when you move by beat, you’ll move by a given number of seconds. This is a useful way of navigating projects which are not musical in nature, since there is no native keystrokes for this.

If you set the tempo to 60, and the time signature to 60/4, each measure will be a minute long, and each beat will be a second. If you keep the tempo at the same value as the first number in the time signature, you will move by a minute each measure. Reducing these two numbers will increase the length of a beat. So 30, 30/4 will give 1 min per measure and 2 seconds per beat, and 15, 15/4 will give 4 seconds per beat and keep the bar at a minute. Changing the ratio of the tempo to the first number of the time signature will adjust the length of a measure. 60, 30/4 will give 30 second measures and 1 second beats. Once you understand the maths, you will be able to set this up however you like, or just have a play and find something that works for you.

I also show how to set up your project so that any files recorded into the project are conveniently placed into a sub folder in the project folder. This is done by accessing the media tab and providing a folder name in the path to save media files.

Within the project settings, you can also set the default recording format for files recorded into that project.

Prior to looking at the save dialog, I show how to optionally import a collection of files either consecutively on one track or such that the files all start at the same time on individual tracks.

Also covered briefly is the process of rearranging the order of your tracks within a project.

Looking at the save dialog, along with the standard settings of location and name, I cover the options that specify the creation of a sub folder, and the options available for moving the actual files associated with a project into that folder. On Windows, you will need to use your screen reader’s, screen review mode to make these selections. On the Mac, the check boxes are presented to VoiceOver.

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Option+Enter File: Project settings…
  • Command+S File: Save project
  • Command+Option+S File: Save project as…

This post first appeared on Audio Pizza Subscribe on iTunes or by RSS

Click here to play Episode 90


Letter To Tim Cook - iBT89

This is Audio Pizza’s open letter to Tim Cook podcast where we discuss the accessibility issues of MacOS, iOS, and the Apple Watch, and ask Tim to listen and react to the unique problems faced by the VoiceOver community.

Dear Tim,

Thank you, as a company, for realy being a pioneer in accessibility, but we would like you to bump it up a notch and make quality a high priority for the accessibility team.

So we had four issues we wanted you to take a look at under the mac. First, there’s the HTML5 rendering engine that we demonstrated in the MacOS app store where the navigation flow is completely broken, which is as if your mouse just jumped randomly all over the screen instead of where you moved it. Second, there is the responsiveness of the action item with the VO-spacebar to trigger buttons, which is as if your mouse button only worked some of the time.. Third, there’s the audio ducking where we loose the VO text to speech volume , which is as if your screen brightness just randomly went dim all day long. And fourth there is the drag and drop / finder issue where VO is reporting the wrong item under the VO cursor, which is as if your selection in the finder was the item next to the one you wanted.

Taken individually these bugs are serious. Taken together as a whole, they are critical. They have a direct impact on our productivity. We need these fixed. Please, Tim, make it so.

Under iOS we think you are doing a great job with accessibility. But some of the hardware choices you are making affect us more than you may think. There are bluetooth issues where we cannot control VoiceOver reliably with our keyboards. The lack of a headphone jack and the lag we see with your wireless solution fails us.. It’s as if every key you type takes seconds to appear on the screen. It affects our productivity to the point of making the device unusable. Please try this yourself, it’s easy to understand once you experience it. And finally under iOS consider taking the next step to being an advocate for accessibility. Require your developers to do the bare minimum to their apps if they want to be in the app store by requiring them to use Xcode’s accessibility tools to remove all warnings and properly label standard UI controls. It’s a small price to pay and it makes Apple look really really good as a leader of universal access. Not to mention, quality of the apps in the app store will improve as you educate developers. Since you will happily kill 32- bit apps, how about killing the poorly coded non-accessible apps as well.

And with WatchOS, we are just looking for improvements over time. We thank you for making nit accessible out of the box. We look forward to its future as improvements with both tactical feedback and text to speech evolve. We are very excited about the direction you are taking the Apple Watch.

We respect Apple as a company; we respect you as a person. You are both leaders in universal access and accessibility. We hope you listen to this podcast and reflect upon the management and design decisions you make and how they impact all your users.

Thank you Tim, and I’ll be happy to demonstrate that walking chocolate tour using voiceover for you anytime.

Sincerely, Scott, Shaun and Garth

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Click here to play Episode 89


Ripple and Item Editing in Reaper - iBT86

In this episode I cover the basics of editing using items, and the three different ripple modes. A number of other actions are briefly covered as well, such as cut copy and paste, adjusting track pan, soloing a track, and duplicating a track.


  • A Custom: Select and split item under edit or play cursor
  • Command+C Edit: Copy items/tracks/envelope points (depending on * focus) ignoring time selection
  • Command+X Edit: Cut items/tracks/envelope points (depending on focus) ignoring time selection
  • Command+V Item: Paste items/tracks
  • D Track: Duplicate tracks
  • Option+Left or Right Arrows Track: Nudge track pan left or right
  • F6 Track: Solo/unsolo tracks
  • F5 Track: Mute/unmute tracks
  • Option+P Options: Cycle ripple editing mode
  • Option+Shift+P OSARA: Report ripple editing mode

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Click here to play iBT 86


Audio Editing with Time Selections in Reaper - iBT 85

if you’re following these tutorials along on the Mac, make sure you get the latest build of OSARA and update your key map.

In this third of a series of beginner tutorials, we finally get a bit of editing done using time selections. The context sensitive nature of Reaper is discussed along with some further navigational and editing techniques. These include selecting and moving between items, scrubbing, moving by beats or measures, making and refining time selections, previewing your edit and the implications of your zoom factor.

Keyboard Shortcuts Mentioned

  • Left Arrow View: Move cursor left one pixel
  • Right Arrow View: Move cursor right one pixel
  • Command+Left Arrow Item navigation: Select and move to previous item
  • Command+Right Arrow Item navigation: Select and move to next item
  • Page Up Move edit cursor back one measure
  • Page Down Move edit cursor forward one measure
  • Command+Page Up Move edit cursor back one beat
  • Command+Page Down Move edit cursor forward one beat
  • Delete OSARA: Remove items/tracks/contents of time selection/markers/envelope points (depending on focus)
  • [ Time selection: Set start point
  • ] Time selection: Set end point
  • Option+[ Time selection: Nudge left edge left
  • Option+] Time selection: Nudge left edge right
  • Command+[ Time selection: Nudge right edge left
  • Command+] Time selection: Nudge right edge right
  • Option+Space Transport: Play (skip time selection)
  • Shift+Home Custom: Select from cursor to start of project
  • Shift+End Custom: Select from cursor to end of project
  • Option+Shift+- or NumPad- View: Zoom out horizontal
  • Option+Shift+= or NumPad +View: Zoom in horizontal

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Click here to play iBT 85


Reaper Basics, Tracks, Media and OSARA Preferences - iBT 84

This tutorial gives a basic overview of the conversion between the windows key map and the Mac key map. It covers the hierarchy of a Reaper project. How to add a track, and insert an audio file on it. There’s also a quick run down of the OSARA configuration dialog. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions for things to cover in future tutorials.

Don’t forget to get subscribed to Audio Pizza at iTunes

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • CmD+Opt+Shift+P or Cmd+F12 Open OSARA Preferences
  • CMD+T insert and name track
  • Cmd+I Insert media files…
  • Space Play/Stop
  • Ctrl+Space Play/Pause
  • Cmd+Shift+J Report edit/play cursor position Measures and Beats
  • Cmd+Shift+J, J Report edit/play cursor position Time
  • Cmd+Home Go to start of project
  • Cmd+End Go to end of project

Click here to play iBT 84


Installing Reaper on the Mac with OSARA and SWS - iBT 81

In this Episode I’d like to give you a very brief introduction to the DAW, Reaper. It is an extremely powerful multi track audio editor that is cross platform, working on Mac and Windows. I will be concentrating on the Mac version however most of what is covered is also applicable to Windows. You can find download links at the end of this post for Reaper and OSARA. Reaper is the application and OSARA is a plugin created by NVAccess which makes it more accessible - OSARA: Open Source Accessibility for the REAPER Application. I would also recommend installing an additional plugin called SWS which expands the functionality and usability of Reaper, link also below.

Whether you are on Windows or Mac, you will want to install all three, Reaper, OSARA, and SWS. To quickly check you have OSARA installed, hit the up or down arrow once you’ve opened Reaper, if VO reports “No Tracks” then your good to go.

Okay, so all installed? Cool, lets go. You can use VoiceOver to explore the interface, however almost everything you’ll need is available with keyboard shortcuts.

When you start Reaper for the first time, it will prompt you to set an audio device, go ahead and do this. If you don’t do this initially, you can access the preferences by pressing Cmd+P, and going to Devices in the tree view. Whilst in Preferences, I’d recommend going into Paths and setting a location for peak files to be saved.

Shortcut Help

F12 will toggle on and off keyboard shortcut help. This is an invaluable tool both when your new to Reaper or even when you’ve been using it for a while. When toggled on, Voice Over will report the action that is bound to whatever key/s you press. I recommend making liberal use of it.

The Actions List

Pressing F4 will bring up the Actions List. You’ll be placed into a search field that lets you filter the thousands of actions down to the one you’re looking for. Once you’ve done this, you can see the shortcut, or shortcuts that are assigned to it. If there’s not currently an action assigned, you can also add the shortcut from this dialog. The Import/Export button will allow you to import a another key map over your existing one, or save your own key map for a back up, or to share with others.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Command+P Preferences F12 Shortcut Help F4 Show Action List Shift+F1 Help: Mouse modifier keys and action shortcuts




SWS Extension

CAVI Training

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Click here to play Episode 81


Mac Event 2016 - Touchable, Accessible, Unobtainable? - AP 1, iBT 75

Welcome to Audio Pizza, and our first roundtable. Shaun and Garth are joined by The Dark Kayaker, someone who knows what he’s talking about, this is actually a nice change. We jump into Apple’s recent MacBook Pro event and discuss the implications of the new touch bar enabled Macs, the new TV app and Apple’s new Accessibility website.

For listeners hearing this on the iBlindTech Feed, this is a new project Garth is working on in conjunction with Shaun, The Blurred Nerd. Moving forward, to get everything from Garth and Shaun, subscribe to

Yu will still be able to get all the iBlindTech content the usual way, but but if you want one place to get everything from both Shaun and Garth, not to mention other random things that will come up in the feed, get subscribed to Audio Pizza. Check out Apple’s Accessibility Site

Click here to play Episode 75


Metering and Recording Audio with Amadeus Pro - iBT73 

This episode looks at how to record with the Mac app Amadeus Pro. I take a detailed look at the recording dialog and cover * How to pause and resume recording * How to adjust recording levels * how to accessibly meter the recording level to ensure the best possible recording * How to drop and name markers during recording for easy access when editing * How to listen or monitor what is being recorded Enjoy!

Click here to play Episode 73


Star Reapers - iBT 72

A very different episode this time. I’ve recently undertaken the Audio Fundamentals course through The Cisco Academy for the Vision Impaired. I would highly recommend this course if you are at all interested in digital audio production. The course covers a range of topics from the basics of digital audio to working with the multi track digital audio workstation, Reaper.

While the course is taught on the Windows platform, as this is where Reaper is most accessible, Reaper is also available on the Mac. There is an Extension called OSARA which makes Reaper more accessible on both Windows and the Mac. Once again, the Windows version of the OSARA extension for Reaper, has had more development than the Mac version however it is certainly functional. Another extension for Reaper is SWS. Whilst the SWS extension doesn’t improve the accessibility of Reaper as such, it does improve the usability and functionality.

Thanks go to Joe DiNero, Lori Thompson and The Dark Kayaker for their assistance with my final project.

Click here to play Episode 72


Amadeus Pro Settings, Editing Audio on the Mac - iBT 71


Loopback, Accessible Cable Free Audio Routing for Your Mac - iBT 70

In this episode I introduce Rogue Amoeba's fantastic new software Loopback. It allows you to create virtual audio devices on your Mac, combining arbitrary audio sources. For example, you might want to create an audio device which combines the output of iTunes with the output of your mic, this virtual device can than be used as the audio input in applications like Skype. The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, and a free trial version is available from Rogue Amoeba for download.

If you haven't already, please visit iTunes and subscribe to the show or use the RSS link at the top of the page.

Click here to play Episode 70


Tripmode - iBT 68

Tripmode is a Mac app that allows you to control the data that your Mac uses whilst it’s connected to a mobile hotspot, or for that matter, any specific WiFi network. This episode takes a quick look at the app and discusses some of the benefits it will afford you.

Thanks go to Allison Sheridan of the Nosillacast Mac Podcast for highlighting the app, and bringing to my attention. Hope you enjoy the episode, and the app.

Click here to play Episode 68


Aussie Mac Zone - iBT 66

This is an episode of the Aussie Mac Zone podcast which I regularly participate in. It is a weekly news show, and covers mainstream Apple stories from an Aussie point of view. If you’re interested in subscribing click here

Click here to play Episode 66


Mac oS X Security, Kayaker's Top Ten Tips - iBT 65

Although Kayaker's cove could be described as a quaint, warm inlet with calm lapping waves, the ocean can be a dark, violent place with giant rogue waves and swashbucklers and pirates just over the horizon. As is the sea, so goes technology.

Every week there are new stories of data breaches and new security exploits putting your data at risk. You will never be safe. But don't go off the grid yet or pull that boat into dry dock. There are easy things you can do to help reduce your exposure on the high-tech seas, so let's get started! Here's my top ten security tips and best practices list for you.

  1. Don't Run as Admin

    They still call it a personal computer, and many of us still think of it that way. It's my computer, so why would I have more than one account set up on it? Well, that's probably your biggest security risk, and it started from the moment you booted your Mac for the very first time and it asked you to create a username and password. That initial account has what is called admin level privileges and has the potential to tweak just about every file on your computer. Any application you run will have admin privileges, and thus any application you run can change about anything on your system. A malicious piece of software would love to have that chance. I always recommend two accounts on your Mac, one that is your admin account that you set up when you first set up a new Mac, and then a standard account, which is your main account you use every day. I use the user MacAdmin as my admin account, and kayaker as my main account. You would set this up by going to System Preferences, Users and Groups. From there, you should see the Users table and ideally you want to see that you have an account with admin privileges and another with standard privileges. The way you can tell which is which is in the user account info section, where you should find a checkbox that says something like Allow this user to administer this computer. There has to be at least one account that has this ability. If you only have an account with admin privileges, you need to correct the situation. To do this, create a new account called MacAdmin and give it the ability to administer the computer. Then, go to your personal account name and remove your main account's ability to administer the computer by unchecking the checkbox.

    So what does this mean for your day-to-day life? Not much. If you ever are prompted with a dialog to enter admin credentials, instead of just typing your password, you instead need to enter the MacAdmin username and the MacAdmin password. That's about it. This simple step has now prevented what we call an escalation of privileges attack, one of the most common attack vectors for malware.

  2. Time to Give Up Your 1234 Password used everywhere

    If you keep the key to your treasure chest on top of the chest, well, I'm certain Captain Jack will thank you. You are only as safe as your passwords. This is the weakest link in any security system. So you need to make it strong. In fact, you can google “most common passwords” and get a list. Your password better not be on it. So, how do you make a password strong? I suggest that whatever you use, it not be in a dictionary, or in the script of any Star Trek or Star Wars movie. Mixing numbers and symbols in is always a good thing. I also suggest you make it at least 12 characters long.

    Now that you have a strong password, make sure you use it for one purpose. If you have another account, use a different strong password. Hope you just didn't make your admin password the same as your main user password just now. A sad but true fact is that Web developers are lazy. Anyone who stores your password should be saving not the password, but a hash of your password. And I won't go geeky technical here, but in general, a hash cannot be used to figure out your actual password. It is just like what Apple does with your touch ID info: they hash your fingerprint and save the hash, not the fingerprint. Unfortunately, you have no insight as to how any site you visit saves your credentials. So, if bad guys steal data from your favourite gossip site, and that site saved your password as text, and that's the password you use all over the Web, well, there goes your bank account balance.

    I know, I know, you have passwords for every site out there. How on earth can you keep track? There are some great applications out there to help you manage all your credentials. I personally use 1Password by Agile Bits. It's cross platform and secure. Despite the recent news of data being potentially compromised from LastPass, that's another good option. LastPass keeps your data very secure and even if bad guys had their entire database, it's so heavily encrypted that it would be impossible to crack it in your lifetime and that of your great-great-great-grandkids' lifetime as well.

  3. I m the Key Master, are you using the Gatekeeper?

    It doesn't take a ghost to haunt your computer with malware. You can accidentally run an app that installs a demon of a daemon onto your Mac. Fortunately, MacOS has a security feature called Gatekeeper that will warn you if it thinks you might be running an app that you shouldn't. You can find Gatekeeper in the General tab of the Security and Privacy System Preference pane. There, you will find a radio button to complete the sentence: Allow only downloaded apps from, and suggest you use the second radio button, from the app store and identified developers. This is the default setting. But even if you want to run an app that Gatekeeper doesn't know about, fear not. You can easily override the warning by right clicking on the app and choosing open, and then confirming you want to open it on the next dialog box.

  4. News Flash: Don't Use Flash

    This is an easy one. Never never never install Flash on your Mac or PC. That's it. Flash is probably the single largest attack vector of virus and malware out there today. And you can get infected by just visiting any site that uses an ad service that has an infected ad. Bang. Your computer is now compromised. Did I mention to never never never use Flash? But if there is a site that needs Flash that your life depends on, use the Chrome browser and make certain you've done everything else on this list to help mitigate potential damage. Did I mention to never never never use Flash?

  5. Disable Opening of Safe Files

    Safari tries to be helpful and will automatically open safe files. Sorry, there is simply no such thing. A clever JPEG file can infect your computer; a clever PDF file can infect your computer. There is no such thing as a safe file. So go to your Safari preferences and uncheck "Open safe files after downloading." This will mean you will have to go to your downloads folder to open files you have downloaded, but it also means you won't accidentally download and run a maliciously crafted "safe" file from a bad guy.

  6. Disable Auto Login

    You don't sail off the coast of Somalia with a sign that says we will pay ransoms; nor should you make it easy for someone to steal your data. If you turn on your Mac and are brought right to your desktop without having to enter your username and password, you're giving anyone easy physical access to your computer. It's just like leaving your house keys hanging in the lock of your front door. It's easy to fix this in System Preferences, Security and Privacy, General tab. Make certain that your settings are not set to auto login. In earlier versions of MacOS X, this option was found in the Users and Groups or Accounts System Preference pane in the login options section.

  7. Don't Click That Link!

    This is analogous to don't call me, I'll call you. The majority of malware infections are done by phishing attempts. These are e-mails or pop-ups asking you to click on something or install something that will take you to a fraudulent website where bad things will happen. Never click on a link in an e‑mail or click on a pop-up from a browser that asks you to update something. The simple rule is that if you did not initiate the contact, then don't click on any link, even from your mother. But if you signed up for something like a new account from a particular site, and they send you a confirmation e‑mail in the time frame of your interaction with that site maybe asking you to verify your e‑mail by clicking on a link, then that's probably OK since you initiated the contact. If you are uncertain about the validity of an e‑mail, then go to the website not by clicking on the link in the e‑mail, but by typing the address in your browser directly. And don't forget to look for that https protocol, not just http. That S is for ‘securer.’

  8. Certificates and the Price of Free WIFI

    Public WIFI access points are just that: public. Be very careful about sending or doing anything critical over them. This goes for hotels and coffee shops. The risk here is about man in the middle attacks. If you can join a WIFI network, then a bad guy can join a WIFI network. If a bad guy can join, then a bad guy can see all traffic, and if he can see all traffic, he can spoof an extenuation of the network and force you to connect to his computer as your access point. He can then see any nonsecure traffic leaving your machine, and could possibly trick you into letting him see encrypted traffic as well, by issuing you a non-validated certificate. I could do a whole podcast on certificates, but for now, think of certificates as ways to encrypt your data and verify the identity of the website you are connecting to. If you ever see a dialog saying your browser cannot verify the identity or validity of a certificate, do not click Continue or OK if you are using a public access point or are connecting to an important website. The exception to this rule is if you are connecting to a small or personal website. These certificates are often just used for encryption and are what we call self-signed certificates. I have a self-signed certificate for my domain because certificates cost a lot of money to get, and I'm only interested in using it for encryption. Just be very, very mindful of any certificate warning you receive from your browser.

  9. Those Three Security Questions Aren't

    The advent of security questions was to solve one problem only: too many support calls about a forgotten password. It's not about security. Besides, your Facebook page and Google could probably give a bad guy all the answers he needs to take over your account, so don't let it happen. Those answers may be required to set up an account, but you need not be truthful. Make your answers as random as your passwords. Use your password manager to store your answers. Don't make it easy for social engineering to steal your identity.

  10. Stay Up-to-Date

    This may be obvious, but make sure the software you run is up-to-date. That goes for your Mac OS version as well as your apps. If exploits are discovered and then fixed, you need to update to get that fix. But if you are not using the built-in software update mechanism or the app store, just be careful about how you get your updates by making sure you are going to the developer's site directly.

Click here to play Episode 65


A Look at Finder on the Mac - iBT 57

On this episode I take a look at Finder on the Mac. I cover a number of the basic concepts such as copying and moving files, efficient system navigation, launching applications and some useful keystrokes. This is more of an introduction to OSX than an introduction to Voiceover. I hope you enjoy.

Click here to play Episode 57


Podcasting with Amadeus Pro - iBT 37

We leave iOS behind for the first time this week. I wanted to share a demo of Amadeus Pro on the mac. I walk through creating a podcast and editing it. I explain some of the basic concepts with the app and show you some of the preferences I change. I show the basics of editing and putting together a series of audio pieces with AP. I assume you have a basic knowledge of the Mac and cover a number of the keyboard shortcuts used with Amadeus Pro. Hope you enjoy. 

Click here to play Episode 37