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Visual Verification: Urgent Request to Test Browser Compatibility with Audio CAPTCHA Implementations

August 11, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Recently, we have discovered a rather disturbing trend. Even in cases where sites do provide us with an audio CAPTCHA, it does not always work. In many scenarios, no audio is heard at all! The ability to hear these audio CAPTCHAs often depends on which browser (Firefox or Internet Explorer) and which version of that browser is in use. It is absolutely critical for us to collect some test data in an attempt to resolve this issue in an effective manner. Please follow these steps and report your results as indicated:

  1. Visit Digg – register and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
  2. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question.
  3. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0).
  4. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1).
  5. Visit What is reCAPTCHA? and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
  6. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question.
  7. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0).
  8. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1).

Please provide your test results, along with any potentially helpful additional details, in comments to this blog post. Your active participation in this testing is absolutely critical in order to make sure that the audio CAPTCHA solutions we get are actually workable for the vast majority of blind and visually impaired computer users.

10 opinions on “Visual Verification: Urgent Request to Test Browser Compatibility with Audio CAPTCHA Implementations

  1. 1. done. However, I generally avoid digg because I find the founders offensive, especially to minorities and the disabled. Listen to several issues of diggnation, and you’ll see why.
    2. Yes.
    3. Firefox 2.0
    4. Jaws 8.0
    5. Done.
    6. Yes.
    7. Firefox 2.0
    8. Jaws 8.0

  2. These are my own test results:

    1. Visit Digg – register and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
    2. Were you able to hear the audio? Yes
    3. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use. Internet Explorer 7.0
    4. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use. JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3 and Window-Eyes 6.1
    5. Visit What is reCAPTCHA? and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
    6. Were you able to hear the audio? No
    7. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use. Internet Explorer 7.0
    8. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use. JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3 and Window-Eyes 6.1

    Notes:
    I had to manually enable the Windows Media add-on to get the Digg CAPTCHA working in Internet Explorer 7.0.
    Both audio CAPTCHAs work great with Firefox 2.0.
    There appears to be no difference with the various screen readers.

    These are the kind of test results I need. Once again, your active participation is sought. Thank you!

  3. The short answer is that the Digg audio CAPTCHA didn’t work in Firefox 2.0.0.6, Minefield (Firefox 3 beta – v 3.0a8pre), Flock version 0.7.14 or K-Meleon version 1.1. No doubt there are ways of getting it to work, but we’re not all professional techies.

    I was using NVDA version 0.5 as my screen reader..

    Firefox demanded that I install a plugin – that turned out to be the dreadful Quicktime, which Firefox couldn’t install anyway. Having installed it manually, the audio CAPTCHA still didn’t work. This showed up as many issues with Firefox as it did with the audio CAPTCHA, not to mention having to grapple with the awful Apple web site. I did succeed in signing up with Digg using Internet Explorer.

    reCAPTCHA’s audio CAPTCHA – when I could find it – did work using Firefox 2.0.06., which launched Windows Media Player. A bit better, but still quite tricky.

  4. Hi, I’ve completed the tests, here are my results.
    1. Visit Digg – register
    and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA. Did it
    2. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question. No
    3. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0). Both IE 7 and firefox 2.0, (I tried it twice.)
    4. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1). JAWS 8.0.
    5. Visit What is reCAPTCHA? and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA. Went there.
    6. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question. Nope, but I did open the mp3 file they have, and it played in WMP.
    7. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0). Again, both IE 7 and firefox 2.0.
    8. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1). JAWS 8.0.
    I’ve also recently had problems with google’s audio captcha, which, in the past has worked really well for me. Firefox says that it needs to install apple quicktime on both of the tests, it also says that for google’s audio implementation. Nothing happens in IE 7. Thanks!!
    Noelle Williamson
    http://lifes-adventures.net

  5. Hi, Ok, not sure if the first one published so trying again. Sorry if this is a repeat. I’ve completed the tests, here are my results.
    1. Visit Digg – register and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA. Did it
    2. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question. Nope
    3. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0). Both IE 7 and firefox 2.0 (I tested it twice.)
    4. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1). JAWS 8.0.
    5. Visit What is reCAPTCHA? and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA. Did it
    6. Were you able to hear the audio? Please note the answer to this question. Nope, but I did open the MP3 file and it played in WMP.
    7. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use when attempting to solve this audio CAPTCHA (Firefox 2.0, Internet Explorer 7.0). Again both firefox 2.0 and IE 7.
    8. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use (JAWS 8.0, System Access 2.3, Window-Eyes 6.1). JAWS 8.0.
    Also, I’ve recently had problems with google’s audio captcha, which worked really well for me in the past. I’ve tried it in both firefox 2.0 and IE 7, (the version of IE 7 that I have is a version provided by qwest, my ISP.) With google’s implementation, as well as on both tests, firefox said that it needed to install apple quicktime. I know that I’ve had google’s audio captcha work without quicktime, but it won’t work in firefox without some sort of plugin. Also, on all the tests as well as google, nothing happens in IE 7. Thanks!!
    Noelle Williamson
    http://lifes-adventures.net

  6. Using some older technology my results were perfect. It appears that new browsers and or screen reader technology (but I am more suspicious of browsers by far in this case) are breaking things that use to work!

    1. Visit Digg – register and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
    2. Were you able to hear the audio? Yes
    3. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use. Internet Explorer 6.0
    4. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use. JAWS 5.10
    5. Visit What is reCAPTCHA? and attempt to solve the audio CAPTCHA.
    6. Were you able to hear the audio? Yes
    7. Please indicate the name and version of the web browser in use. Internet Explorer 6.0
    8. Please indicate the name and version of the screen reader in use. JAWS 5.10

  7. Apparently there’s a plug-in for Firefox which can solve the screen images without an audio option. The plug-in is called WebVisum, as I understand. There’s a review of it here: http://www.marcozehe.de/ I understand there’s a similar work-around for Explorer which is more complicated. This seems like a better solution to me than the audio captchas because some sites I use often have no audio option.

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