Friday, January 27, 2006

BBC Channels On Emacspeak

Since the BBC's various channels are what I listen to the most, launching BBC channels has always been a couple of keystrokes in Emacspeak. As a first step, directory realaudio/radio contains shortcut files for launching live streams from the various BBC channels.

In addition, module emacspeak-url-template defines a number of Smart URLs for single-click access to BBC programs. The ones I use the most are:

  • Smart URL BBC Channels On Demand, and
  • Smart URL BBC Genres On Demand

These smart URLs prompt for the channel or genre respectively and bring up a Web page that lists the various shows that are available --- note that the BBC archives shows for a whole week. The resulting Web page is easy to browse in W3; the most effective way to skim the buffer is to repeatedly hit i which moves through the various items on the page. Hitting e e (that's the letter e twice) while on a hyperlink will launch the corresponding media stream by calling a context-aware command that knows about transforming the URL to one that accesses the program stream; --- note that simply following the hyperlink will get you first to a page about the program, rather than to the program stream itself.

To find out what channels and genres are available, browse the BBC Web site --- channel and genre names are not hard-wired into Emacspeak since these can change over time with channels and genres being added or renamed.