How To: Create Multi-Segment Highlights On Twitch With NVDA
For a while now, I've been creating single-segment highlights on Twitch, using Firefox under Windows 10 and Non-Visual Desktop Access as my screen reader of choice (NVDA, given its free and open source nature).
These highlights often go to YouTube, ones like This fight against the final optional boss of God Of War 2018 being an example. They are often great for those who don't have time or don't want to watch entire streams, demonstrating what you've managed to achieve, funny moments or when a game just out right decides to be frustrating for whatever reason, amongst other ideas.
If you're wondering how to get started with this side of things, first go to your Twitch Dashboard, then find the content button and press it to expand it. Once done, find the "video producer" link, then select the past broadcast you want to highlight from by clicking the highlight link below it.
From there, the process is relatively straightforward and works as follows:
Creating a Single-Segment Highlight
- Once you're in a highlight, find the unmute button (to make sure you get audio to work with) and press it.
- Find the word start or end with Control+NVDA+F and press enter to go to it directly.
Pressing enter on the word (even if you'd just arrowed to it in the standard manner rather than using find) allows you to edit the associated value, setting the start or end point of the clip respectively.
Once both of these are to your satisfaction, hit publish highlights and enter the information on the next screen, then hit save to complete a single-segment video.
Pros And Cons Of Single Segments
This process is particularly useful for highlighting a full stream (to save it for posterity), or as previously stated, for short segments of gameplay that are cool, comedic or anything in between.
Of course, this segment-based approach, as much as it is useful, does have its limitations. Either it means you have a number of short segments from the same stream, or sometimes that streams that are preserved for posterity include irrelevant side conversations that extend the runtime if they go on for a while.
The Way To Get Around This Problem
Visually, it's pretty easy to see how to get around this and make multiple highlights. But as a screen reader user, the number of unlabelled buttons that are on the page makes it very difficult if not impossible to use multiple segments (of any length) in a single video. Until now, that is.
Thanks to Jennissary, a regular sighted collaborator, we discovered that unfortunately, the keyboard shortcuts that Twitch list on their website don't actually work when using a screen reader at least. Thankfully, we discovered what does, namely a method involving the mouse, as described below. Note, make sure your Twitch window is fullscreened by pressing F11, doing this resolved issues I encountered when repeating this method myself:
Multi-Segment Highlighting Process
First, find an unlabelled button on the highlighter page. The important buttons will work with the below method, but there are others that won't necessarily give you anything, so if a button doesn't work, try any unlabelled buttons starting from the one below the word "end" and work your way up. Rough familiarity will come with time.
Then, using NVDA's mouse keys, press NVDA and left mouse to route the mouse to the current navigator object.
Now, to see what the button actually is, press NVDA and right mouse to route the navigator object to the current location of the mouse and have the label spoken for you.
Finally, instead of activating the button with left click, as you'd think would work, you instead need to press spacebar.
What can this be used for?
Adjusting the starts and ends of segments as you go of course (so that you get exactly what you want), this allows for a greater level of control. It lets you create new segments at the playhead (useful if you're watching through a long video and want to start a new segment right where you're watching), split a segment at the playhead (if you want to cut out any irrelevant side conversations by moving the start of the second segment to when that conversation ends), or especially if you have a set of timestamps already and just want to do a no frills edit.
If you'd like further elaboration on how this works, or have specific questions, please feel free to reach out and let me know. I hope this article is useful, but I also hope that at some point those buttons are labelled correctly so that everyone, regardless of their screen reader knowledge, can use this important functionality just as easily as a sighted user.
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