Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Station Playlist Studio add-on for NVDA: cart explorer explained


One of the new features in upcoming SPL add-on 3.0 is Cart Explorer, a way to learn cart assignments in SPL Studio. Below is a section from the 3.0-dev add-on guide (not available yet) that explains how cart explorer works:


Cart Explorer

SPL Studio allows you to assign up to 96 carts, or jingle machines. When the cart command is pressed, Studio plays the assigned jingle. You can also edit jingle assignments while cart edit mode is active.

The cart commands are:

* F1 through F12 either by themselves, or in combination with Shift, Control or Alt (e.g. F2, Shift+F11, Control+F5, Alt+F12).

* Number row from 1 through 9, 0, hyphen (-) and equals (=) either by themselves or in combination with Shift, Control or Alt (e.g. 5, Shift+-, Control+=, Alt+0).

Hint: because Alt+F4 is a cart command, press Control+Alt+X to quit SPL Studio.

To help you learn what jingle will play when a given cart key is pressed, NVDA allows you to explore cart assignments. Press Control+NVDA+3 to enter Cart Explorer. When you press the cart key once, NVDA will tell you which jingle is assigned to that cart key. When pressed twice, the jingle associated with the cart command will be played. Once you've explored the cart assignments, press Control+NVDA+3 to leave Cart Explorer.


Let NVDA learn cart assignments

By default, Studio assigns F5 to a jingle called "Kewel". you can teach NVDA the actual cart assignments for each cart key. Follow these steps to let NVDA learn cart assignments:

1. From Start menu/screen, select "Explore NVDA User Configuration Directory".

2. Once the user configuration folder opens, look for a file named "splcarts.ini". If the file doesn't exist, create a text file named "splcarts.ini". Open either the existing or the new file.

3. For each line, write the cart assignments as follows:


where cart is the cart key and jingleName is the name of the jingle you want NVDA to announce when this key is pressed. For example, the default Kewel jingle (assigned to F5) entry would look like:


Enter your cart assignments, then once you're done, save and close the file.

4. Back at SPL Studio, enter Cart Explorer (if you were in cart Explorer, exit then reenter this mode). NVDA will now recognize your cart assignments and will announce them as you press the newly assigned cart keys.

5. To remove a cart from being announced, open splcarts.ini and remove the entries you no longer need. Save the file, reenter Cart Explorer and NVDA will learn that you have removed an entry from list of carts.

Note: If a cart is not assigned (either not assigned from the beginning or removed), NVDA will announce, "not assigned". Also, if splcarts.ini is not present in your user configuration folder, NVDA will tell you of this fact and will not enter cart explorer.

Hint: if you wish to preserve cart assignments (for example, if you have identical jingle sets in SPL Studio running on two or more computers), copy splcarts.ini from your first computer to the second computer (splcarts.ini will be used in version 3.0 or later).


Go to addons.nvda-project.org, select Station Playlist Studio link, then download the development version to try cart explorer (note: don’t use development version in a production environment; for production releases, use stable version, which is 2.x).


P.S. Blog post requested by an add-on tester.

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