Backtracks Releases New Suite of Accessibility Features for Podcast Player

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The leading podcast technology company partners with digital inclusion experts at Fable Tech Labs to create optimal audio experiences that seamlessly work the way their users do

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Backtracks believes that the future of podcasting will be largely driven and defined by inclusive design and accessible listening experiences

Backtracks, the leading technology infrastructure platform for end-to-end podcast management, advertising and data analytics, today announced a new suite of accessibility features for its podcast player. Backtracks partnered with Fable Tech Labs to test the accessibility of the Backtracks Player with real end users in order to build the technical capabilities that allow people to experience audio content in the ways that work best for them.

“As a technology provider, inclusivity is an integral part of our product development and innovation processes,” said Jonathan Gill, founder and CEO, Backtracks. “We believe that the future of podcasting will be largely driven and defined by inclusive design and accessible listening experiences, which is why it was so important for us to partner with Fable Tech Labs and make sure we were designing practical, useful features that would best suit the needs of our end users. We’re happy to report that the Backtracks Player follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 and we look forward to people experiencing the player’s enhanced accessibility capabilities firsthand.”

Backtracks and Fable Tech Labs conducted multiple rounds of usability testing with multiple testers. The feedback garnered was incorporated directly into developing the accessibility features now available through the Backtracks Player:

  • Assistive screen reading technology, such as NVDA, JAWS, etc. aids in player navigation for visually impaired users.
  • Transcripts, captions, subtitles, or descriptions for audio can be loaded into the Backtracks Player to make audio accessible as text.
  • Users can play, pause, seek ahead/back, increase/decrease volume, and increase/decrease audio playback speed via keyboard only access and interaction to the player controls and media capabilities.
  • Localization and internationalization accessibility support is available through 13 language packs available with the Backtracks Player, including the ability to create new and custom language packs for any audience. For example, screen readers of a visually impaired user that speaks Spanish would be able to interact with the Backtracks Player’s labels and capabilities in Spanish.
  • Colors may be customized to support changes to colors and color contrast for visual assistance, such as variations of color blindness.

All accessibility features added to the Backtracks Player follow the WCAG 2.1 specifications to enable publishers and users to interact with content in an accessible manner.

“In developing accessible and inclusively designed digital products, it’s critical for companies to move beyond the theoretical and understand how people with disabilities will use their products and services,” said Kate Kalcevich, Head of Services at Fable. “The new accessibility features available through the Backtracks Player reflect testing and feedback from assistive technology users through Fable Crowdtesting – an important step in raising industry standards.”

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About Backtracks
Backtracks is the leading technology infrastructure platform for end-to-end podcast management, advertising and data analytics. Through a product suite of turnkey tools and data analytics solutions, the company provides the technology for publishers, brands and advertisers to gain greater insights for engaging, reaching and understanding their target audiences while delivering a superior listening experience to their listeners. Founded in 2016 by engineers Jonathan Gill and Kevin Wright, Backtracks is on a mission to modernize the podcast medium by providing podcasters and advertisers with the tools to measure, discover and monetize their content and data. The company empowers thousands of podcasts and audio partners, including McKinsey & Company, Stratfor, Samsung, Mediahuis, The Memphis Grizzlies, and NASA to manage and monetize their audio content.

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