[vlc-devel] Enhancement request for VLC

Peter Ljunglöf peter.ljunglof at heatherleaf.se
Mon Aug 16 12:33:24 CEST 2010

Hi all,

I'm working as a researcher on a center for AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication), i.e., I am developing tools for people with communicative disabilities.

It has occurred to us that a simple enhancement to VLC could be a great help for people who have trouble reading subtitles while watching a movie, for example people with visual impairments and people with reading difficulties such as dyslexia: 

VLC could simply call the computer's speech synthesizer when each subtitle is about to be displayed. It could be switched on, e.g., by an option in the "Video" menu or something else. I guess it's not very difficult, since you already have code for reading the subtitles and displaying them, and since there are simple speech API's for both Mac, Linux and Windows. 

I realize it might sound strange to speak subtitles aloud, and it's certainly not interesting for 90% of the users. But there are people with dyslexia and other disabilities, for which it is very difficult to read the subtitles at the same time as they try to watch a movie.

I made a simple script for Mac which comunicates with QuickTime Player and calls speech synthesis at the appropriate moments, but it only works on Mac, and it is not easy to use for the intended audience. It would be much appreciated if something like VLC could have that feature. Of course you can look at my script, but I guess you don't need it:


If you want to read more about the idea, there is a short research paper available as a download on the project website.

What do you think, is it a feasible extension? I think it would be much appreciated by people in the AAC community.

best regards,
/Peter Ljunglöf

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