Rock the Blind
September 6, 2007 10:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm taking a legally blind friend iPod shopping. Any experience with iPod magnification devices needed.

He has inherited spastic paraparesis with severe ocular involvement. He's also been to more Slayer and Jesus Lizard shows than you have, and he has one of the best CD collections around. He can see colors and shapes, and he thinks that the coverflow system might make it easier for him to navigate. I've ripped maybe 80% of his music collection to my iTunes, and it comes to about 26 gigs.

He wants to get his hands on a touchscreen iPod, but I don't think that's the solution, because even if he can navigate it better, it won't hold all his tunes, much less all his audiobooks. I suspect we'll end up getting a 5th-gen iPod with 80 gigs of storage.

So I've nosed around the various iPod add-on sites and found a bunch of options for iPod magnifiers, but I'd like the hive mind to chime in on what works and what doesn't. Especially if there's one out there that can do better than 2.5x, which seems to be the best I've found.

Also, the guy's a jock, so any ideal device will need to be sweat-proof and shock resistant.

I'd also like to recommend to others that they get themselves a disabled friend, because the parking fucking rocks.
posted by BitterOldPunk to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
the ipod UI is pretty easy to use and very easy to memorise.

as long as he is sorting out the playlists on the computer he should be fine with any ipod.

i use a nano for running and i just make sure the playlist is ready for the run.

and as a side note im legally blind as well.
posted by moochoo at 12:51 AM on September 7, 2007

Rockbox has voice menus, and is replacement software for 4th and 5th generation ipods, up to 60 GB. I think it also suuports a couple of other ipod versions.
posted by orthogonality at 12:54 AM on September 7, 2007

If he's a jock he should consider getting a flash-based model (nano, touch, shuffle, iPhone) rather than one with a hard disk (classic).
posted by alms at 7:47 AM on September 7, 2007

I love that you can get a handicapped sticker for being legally blind. My dad almost qualifies.

Seconding alms: if he's going to take the iPod with him for athletic activities, don't go for the Classic. Of course that rules out using everything all at once.

FWIW, with an 'iPod Classic' (it was just an iPod...), I find it very distracting to try to use when driving. I suppose you could memorize it, but with the wheel, it's hard to know how far I've turned. I suppose the touchscreen wouldn't be any easier, but my point is that you can't necessarily use it without seeing the screen.

Do you have album art for all the songs? I don't, so Cover Art shows lots of blanks on mine.
posted by fogster at 8:33 AM on September 7, 2007

it won't hold all his tunes

Does it have to? I just have the podcasts, etc. I feel like listening to on mine, whcih I update frequently.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:06 AM on September 7, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, it has to. He doesn't own (or use, or care to learn about using) a computer, so his iPod is only going to get updated whenever I get around to it, which is probably less frequently than he would like, so all the tunes hafta be on the device.

What I'm really looking for here is advice regarding magnification devices that work with an iPod.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on September 7, 2007

My legally blind colleague says that the interface on iPods is extremely difficult. He's called customer support and been told there's nothing much they can do for him. He wears his thick glasses and still has to use a magnifying glass to see anything. He still loves the device and says its worth it, despite the fumbling. He has heard that the just-announced model will have a better interface for people with limited vision.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:21 PM on September 7, 2007

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