(On a dark blue background, the yellow Earcatch logo appears.) VOICE-OVER: Earcatch tells you what you can’t see. (An animation.) The Earcatch app delivers audio description through your smartphone or tablet. Audio description is a technique in which a voice describes what is happening visually. This allows people who are blind or visually impaired to enjoy film, television and theatre. (A happy face is replaced by a question mark.) How does it work? Install the free app on your smart phone or tablet. From the titles in Earcatch, select the audio description you want to use and download this in the app. Bring your smart phone to the cinema or theatre, put on your headphones and select ‘play’ as soon as the show begins. (The screen of a smartphone features a yellow 'E'. A little line is circling around the letter.) Earcatch ensures that the audio description is perfectly synchronised with what's happening. (A cinema curtain opens. Then a clip from Bigfoot Family appears.) WOMAN: A film maker, eh? Why didn't you say so? I like them action movies. Here we go! AUDIO DESCRIPTION: The pilot moves the stick forward and the plane dives straight down. BIGFOOT SCREAMS: Ah! What are you, a stunt pilot? (The film Bigfoot Family continues on a video screen hanging above a sofa.) VOICE-OVER: You can also enjoy Earcatch at home. Watch films and series on television, DVD or video on demand and listen to the audio description using the app. (The video screen and the sofa disappear.) Download Earcatch now in the App Store or on Google Play. Watch together, with Earcatch. (On a blue background, there is the yellow Earcatch logo, which consists of the word 'Earcatch' in capital letters in a rectangle.)
Install the app on your smartphone or tablet. Select the film, series or theatre performance that you would like to watch and download the corresponding audio description. Put on your headphones and hit “play” when it starts. Earcatch will synchronise the audio description automatically.
Even if you suffer from a visual impairment, it’s always nice to go out and do things with friends and family. Until now, going to the cinema together often wasn’t an option. Cinemas had to buy expensive equipment to make films accessible for blind and partially sighted people. This is why Bartiméus Fund and Soundfocus developed Earcatch: so that also people with a visual impairment have the opportunity to enjoy films in the cinema and to take part in society as independently as possible.
Audio description makes films and series accessible to visually impaired people. In between dialogues a voice describes what appears on screen. This extra explanation makes it a lot easier to follow the story line. For example, elements that are described are characters, facial expressions, location and developments in the story.
A suitable smartphone or tablet and headphones. If you’re going to the cinema, make sure your device is sufficiently charged.
Earcatch is suitable for both iOS and Android.
The minimum requirements for iOS: iOS version 9 and newer.
The minimum requirements for Android: Android version 6.0 and newer.
Earcatch runs on iPads with iOS 7.1 or higher. It runs on Android devices from version 4.1 or higher. NB: There are dozens of Android tablets on the market with varying price and quality levels. Earcatch hasn’t been tested on all these devices and it cannot automatically be guaranteed to work.
To download a new audio description you need to connect to the Internet. After that, the audio description will be in the “my films and series” list and can be used offline. This also makes it possible to use Earcatch in the cinema.
There are no costs: both the app and the available audio description are free for the end user.
Yes, since Earcatch listens to the film sound you are not dependent on facilities in the cinema. With the Earcatch app you bring your audio description with you.
An up-to-date list of the films and series is available in the app and also on the website. If you’d like to stay informed about new releases you can subscribe to the newsletter.
As soon as you hit “play”, a unique digital fingerprint is made of the ambient sound. Within a few seconds Earcatch knows exactly which part of the film or series you are watching and it will start playing the corresponding audio description.
Many cinemas do not have Wi-Fi and sometimes suppress the mobile network, so it is useful to download the audio description of the film you choose beforehand.
Definitely. Earcatch only plays the audio description. You will hear the original film sound in the cinema or via your television at home.
No, you are listening to the audio description through headphones or earphones, so it won’t bother others.
Earcatch needs to access your smartphone or tablet’s microphone to listen to the film or series that you’re watching. If you don’t give permission for this, the audio description won’t be able to play. You can give Earcatch permission to use the microphone when you start running the app.
Earcatch continually checks whether the audio description is synchronised. When it does falter, you can always pause the audio description manually and then resume playing it. When the film or series that you’re watching is paused (e.g. for a commercial break) you will have to pause Earcatch yourself.
It’s important that you’ve chosen the correct film or series. If you’ve chosen the wrong title, Earcatch cannot play the audio description.
Sometimes it takes a while for the app to recognise the sound of the film or series. If Earcatch has difficulty recognising the sound, the following might help: