Spitfire Audio – Abbey Road One, Sparkling Woodwinds & Legendary Low Strings- NO NKS!
Blind customers hoping to add either of these two new product add-ons to the existing Abbey Road Orchestral Foundations library will sadly have to wait a little longer for the essential NKS support they need in order to use either products via Komplete Kontrol.
Despite each product page stating their NKS compatiblity, neither at the time of writing have accompanying NKSF preset files with their downloads.
A Spitfire Audio support team member gave assurance that this situation was being addressed, however given that each product contains a relatively few number of presets, and that the NKS mapping is unlikely to be different from that already offered in the Abbey Road Orchestral Foundation library, it seems somewhat disappointing that blind & visually impaired customers will be kept waiting longer before being able to use their new toys.
Each of the libraries is available directly from the Spitfire Audio website at a cost of £49.00, early adopters of last year’s Abbey Road Road Orchestral Foundations library were eligible to pick either of the products upon their recent release.
Spitfire Audio Software Manager…
The has still been no substantial news regarding the promised accessibility update for the entirely essential Spitfire Audio Software Manager, for which accessibility updates were eluded to early last year.
It is impossible for Spitfire Audio customers to manage and download their purchases without having to use the management software, which is difficult to reliably use with a screen reader.
Both Windows and MAC blind customers need to make use of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology in order to scan the screen to read the contents of the application, and results can often be unreliable, with certain characters and colours not alerting users of status notifications and list navigation difficulties.
Other developers have now notably adopted the Pulse download application, which through having recent updates following consultation with blind community members has become fully accessible to screenreaders across platforms without the need of OCR, and serves as an ideal role model for other companies to follow.
It is unfortunate that despite their otherwise exemplary community values which include support for the Able Artist Scheme, music projects and industry sponsorships that Spitfire Audio are lagging behind with basic disability inclusion such as this, particularly when there seems to be a brand new commercial product released on an almost weekly basis.
Spitfire Audio enjoy a loyal follwoing of blind and visually impaired customers, who all at the end of the day have the same right and creative desires to make music as their other Spitfire customers.
We will of course keep readers informed of any updates to the current situation.