April 27

how to get audio described movies and series

Ranging from paid to free options, there are several ways to  gain access to audio described movies and series. In this post we going to explore the different options which I’m using, or have used in the past.

Why not just the free options?

I belief that the creators of content should be rewarded for the millions they invest in creating outstanding content which ensure hours of entertainment. If we just bypass them by exploring free alternatives, we surely won’t see any content in the future.

Why then the alternatives?

I feel it is important to stress that it is very important that creators of content should be supported in their efforts, although it is very tempting to just jump to the free alternatives. There are, however, a few reasons why people go to the free alternatives. Firstly, because they cannot afford the paid subscriptions. I will rather leave this reason right there and not provoke a debate. Secondly, is because the content on the paid services is not available in their region. This is absolutely one of my reasons. I hate it when I see a series, season, or movie  is only listed as being available in the US only. I know it probably have something to do with broadcasting rights, but it truly mystify me why the American subscribers, in most instances, should have some content before other countries, while we all pay the same subscription fees. A third reason might be that the content is only available on platforms which is not available in their region.

What is audio description?

Audio description is basically voice descriptions of movies and series. According to an information page on the American council for the Blind’s website, the US Federal government described audio description in a notice as follows:

Audio Description. Narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone.  Audio description is a means to inform individuals who are blind or who have low vision about visual content essential for comprehension.  Audio description of video provides information about actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other visual content.  Audio description supplements the regular audio track of a program.  Audio description is usually added during existing pauses in dialogue. Audio description is also called “video description” and “descriptive narration”.

Now without any further explanation, lets start streaming.

Paid options

I know you are just as tempted as I am to skip past this section, but do give it a read.

Netflix

Most people are familiar with the subscription based streaming service Netflix. They provide many audio described content along with the visual so you can enjoy a movie or series with your sited friends. A list of Netflix audio described titles can be found here. The page get regular updates so be sure to bookmark the page. Netflix have three streaming packages which you can check out here.

Amazon Prime Video

This is another streaming service which is based on subscription, rental or purchase. Just like Netflix, you can watch videos along with your sighted friends and family. Due to licensing related issues, some content’s audio description is only available with a rental or purchase. A list of Amazon Prime Video audio described titles can be found here. The page get regular updates so be sure to bookmark the page. You can see Amazon’s prime’s fees here and also read more about their Prime membership here.

The free stuff!

Yes, yes! That is all that you’ve been waiting for. Stuff the things I’ve mentioned about supporting the creators and all that. There are, however,  a few things you need to bear in mind:

  • Most of the content are only available in mp3 format and you won’t be able to enjoy it with your friends and family.
  • The content that are available is only recorded by people, so the best quality isn’t guaranteed.
  • As a result of the files been shared most of the sites might have similar content.

So let’s get started!

Ray Starr’s Audio Vaults

Here you can find and download a lot of movies without subscribing. He have three pages with over 5250 downloadable content. The disadvantage of this site is that everything are pretty much just added to the site in no particular order. The vaults consists of three pages.

Jeff Rutkowski's audio described movies

Jeff’s site is mostly based on Ray’s Audio Vault’s content, with the great advantage that it is sorted alphabetically. This website is a more accessible  alternative to Ray’s website and the page can be visited here.

Audiovault.net

Audio vault is a website which were started after Blind Mice Mart decided that they are suspending the sharing of audio described series. Now the site hosts both series and movies. You have to sign up in order to download any content. The two awesome features of the site is the search function and the click to download option. The only hiccup is that the site don’t have a reset password option, but you can easily reset your password by sending them an email. The website can be found here.

Blind Mice Mart Movie Vault

This is also a website which allows you to download movies. The content are organized with a search feature. The downside is that the downloads is only available via Sendspace. You have to sign up in order to gain access and download any content. At the time of writing the post, Blind Mice Mart was offline. But be sure to check them out here.

This conclude my list of audio described content. If you have any experience with other services which offers audio described content, or wants to add to anything in this post, please share it in the comments. Happy watching!


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