Tag Archives: software

My review of “My Poems”, an Alexa Skill enabling the Amazon Echo user to listen to poetry

This review is of My Poems, an Alexa skill which can be enabled for the Amazon Echo, enabling the user to listen to poems, and “pin” their favourites for future easy access.

Back in 2018, I purchased and reviewed the Amazon Echo (Second Generation), https://kmorrispoet.com/2018/09/25/my-review-of-the-amazon-echo-second-generation/. The Echo is a versatile device controled by voice, enabling the user to do many things, including listen to music, enjoy audio books from audible.com and check the meaning of words/have them spelt. In addition the user can enable various skills, including the free My Poems app, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opearlo-My-Poems/dp/B071D96QLW.

As mentioned at the start of this review, My Poems enables the user of an Amazon Echo to listen to poems and pin their Favourites for future easy access. In addition its possible to have a poem repeated and to skip through the poems.

I downloaded My Poems yesterday evening (30 October 2019), and I am enjoying using the app. All of the poems are recorded by actors and thus far I have been impressed by the quality of the readings.

Each time the user hears a poem Alexa gives him/her the opportunity to have it “pinned” to “Favourites”, or to hear another poem. I have already pinned a number of poems and have returned to listen back to them.

On the Amazon website it states that users can request that their poem is added to the My Poems. Whilst it is not entirely clear what this means, I suspect that the user can request that a poem composed by them be added to My Poems, rather than it being a means whereby he/she can ask that a poem (not yet included by, say Shakespeare) be added.

My Poems is an enjoyable way of listening to poetry, and I would recommend to anyone who has access to an Amazon Echo to give it a try.

Kevin

Link, link, link – Is your site accessible?

I am blind, and use Job Access with Speech (JAWS) software which converts text into speech and braille enabling me to use a Windows computer or laptop, (http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/software/jaws/). One of the problems I face when navigating the web is the lack (on some sites) of clearly labelled sharing buttons. For example I have lost count of the number of occasions on which I have come across something along the following lines:
Link
Link
Link
Link
(with none of the links being labelled). In such a situation (assuming that I wish to share the content in question), I have no option other than to click on each (unlabelled) link/button until I locate Twitter, Facebook or whatever sharing option I wish to utilise.

When faced with the above situation, I sometimes give up and click away from the post (or other content) without sharing.

The vast majority of site owners (where unlabelled buttons exist) would, I am sure not wish to disadvantage people with visual impairments and are (in most cases) unaware that their site is not fully accessible.

With this post can I please request my fellow internet users/readers to check that the sharing buttons are labelled correctly so that a user of screen reading software such as myself can easily use Twitter, Facebook and other sharing facilities. There is much good will out there and (as previously stated) I know that the vast majority of site owners wish to make their site accessible to all users. So, if you could please take some time to check the accessibility of your site that would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin