The user interface in SpeakOn is quite simple. There are no title, status, tool or any other bars. A typical task contains two or three controls. You will probably spend 99% of your time in a media task where you will navigate between the Player and Library. All frequently performed operations are done using the control keys. Less frequent operations such as audio and speech adjustments, help, media information, search and quick navigation are done using the function keys. All other operations are done using the Main menu.
A number of keystrokes are available to enable faster operation as follows:
- Starting a media task
Usually you start a media task in the Manager by selecting the appropriate media in the Available media list control. This will start the media task, loading the last played media and the focus is placed in the Player.
You can start the media task without loading the last media played by pressing the * 'Select' [Ctrl + Enter] (0 + 5) key. The focus is placed in the Library ready for you to search for new media.
- Ending a media task
You can end a media task by bringing up the Main menu. You are placed in the 'End task, return to Manager' menu item; selecting it ends the task.
Alternatively, press * 'Nav' [Ctrl + F4] (0 + 1) to end the media task.
- Shutting down SpeakOn
You can shut down SpeakOn from the Manager. When you bring the Main menu, you are placed in the 'Shutdown SpeakOn' menu item; selecting it shuts down SpeakOn.
Alternatively, anywhere you can press [Alt + F4] to shutdown SpeakOn.
- Navigating quickly to your own media
In all media tasks, you can find any media including your own by browsing the Library.
If you want to get to your own media quickly, press the 'Nav' [F4] (1) key. This will take you directly to your own media and the focus is placed on a recognized landmark in the Library.
For example, the above keystroke in the Radio Time task takes you to 'My presets', in the Last FM task to 'My personal radio' and in the Podcast task to 'Favourites' directory.
From the landmark in focus in the Library, you can either navigate Right to browse your own media or you can navigate Up or Down to adjacent places.
Note that once you have started to explore your own media, there is no need to use this feature again as you can simply move the focus from the Player to the Library and the focus is placed automatically where you left off.
- Navigating quickly to the top and bottom of items in menus and controls
The following works in menus, lists, the Player collection and Library tree:
Press the 'Home' [Home] (8 long) key to jump to the top item of menus and controls.
Press the 'End' [End] (2 long) key to jump to the bottom item of menus and controls.
- Finding items in controls and menus
In all relevant controls including the Player and Library, you can find items by pressing the first few characters of the item caption you are looking for; the focus is placed on the first caption that satisfies your search. You can search for other items starting with the same letters by repeating this procedure.
Note that the behaviour of this 'find' feature in SpeakOn for menus is different to that of Windows (XP). In Windows, menus respond only to the first character typed of a menu item or a sub-menu and if a match is found, the command associated with this menu is invoked automatically - this behaviour makes it impossible to search for several menu items starting with the same characters. In SpeakOn, the search behaviour is exactly the same as in controls so that you can search by typing a number of characters and when you find what you want, you can either navigate into the menu structure or 'Select' a menu item.
- Quick menu
In addition to menu item representing operations which are unique, the Main menu also contains menu items duplicating all operations available using the control and function keys. These menu items are clearly indicated with their equivalent control or function keys; a feature very useful for beginners as SpeakOn can be driven and studied this way completely from the Main menu.
If you are an experienced SpeakOn user, you can use the Quick menu which is essentially the Main menu, excluding any items performing commands available with other keys and without any exit and settings items. The result is a minimal version of the Main menu which is very easy to navigate.
You can bring up the Quick menu by pressing the [Application] or [Shift + F10] or # 'Nav' [Shift + F4] keys on the standard keyboard or the # 'Main' (9 long) key in the numerical keypad.