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NLS Factsheets

Digital Audiobook Players

2014

Introduction

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), Library of Congress, makes available two models of digital talking-book players to its network of cooperating libraries for distribution to its readership. Both models—standard and advanced—are compatible with the ANSI/NISO Z39.86 and DAISY 2.0 standards for digital talking books. The players have rechargeable batteries and offer readers high-quality sound, advanced navigation, and variable speed controls. NLS players are available only to individuals who cannot see to read regular print or handle print materials and who are registered for the free library service. These individuals may choose to purchase commercial digital talking-book players that are also authorized to play NLS produced talking books and magazines. Some commercial digital players are available for other audiobook formats, but are not compatible with NLS materials.

This publication provides basic information about each product, but capabilities and supported formats of players change frequently. It is therefore recommended that individuals verify features such as search functions, note-taking abilities, variable playback speeds and other features before purchasing.

Contents

Disclaimer

With the exception of the two audiobook players described on page 2, items listed in this factsheet are not part of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) program. Their listing does not imply endorsement by NLS. Only the audiobook players developed by NLS and those listed on pages 3–7 are compatible with NLS digital talking books. Prices frequently change and should be verified with the supplier before ordering.

NLS Digital Talking-Book Players

Name Digital Standard Player (DS1)
Producer NLS
Price Free to users of the talking-book service
Supports NLS digital talking books, Learning Ally
Supported file formats AMR-WB+, DAISY 2.02, MP3, MPEG, RIFF, WAV
Media Flash memory
Features Large buttons, braille letters alongside the controls, sleep timer, built-in audio instructions
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 6.2" x 8.8" x 1.7"
Weight 2.52 lbs.
Distributor(s) NLS cooperating libraries
Name Digital Advanced Player (DA1)
Producer NLS
Price Free to users of the talking-book service
Supports NLS digital talking books, Learning Ally
Supported file formats AMR-WB+, DAISY 2.02, MP3, MPEG, RIFF, WAV
Media Flash memory
Features Large buttons, braille guides alongside the controls, sleep timer, allows bookmarks, built-in audio instructions
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 6.2" x 8.8" x 1.7"
Weight 2.52 lbs.
Distributor(s) NLS cooperating libraries

Commercial Players Compatible with NLS Digital Talking Books

Name Apex Braille Note
Producer Humanware
Price $5,495.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NLS digital braille books, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AMR WB+, ASX, BRF, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, HTML, M3U, MP3, OGG, OPML, PLS, TXT, WAV, WMA
Media 8 GB internal memory
Features Refreshable braille display (some models), QWERTY or braille keyboard, Windows CE and KeySoft operating systems, internal software, word processor, Wi-Fi capable
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size .78" x 9.61" x 5.63"
Weight 1.79 lbs.
Distributor(s) Humanware
Name Apex Voice Note
Producer Humanware
Price $1,995.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AMR WB+, ASX, BRF, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, HTML, M3U, MP3, OGG, OPML, PLS, TXT, WAV, WMA
Media 8 GB internal memory
Features QWERTY or braille  keyboard, Windows CE and KeySoft operating systems, internal software, word processor, Wi-Fi capable
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size .78" x 9.61" x 5.63"
Weight 1.79 lbs.
Distributor(s) Humanware
Name Book Port DT
Producer American Printing House for the Blind
Price $449.00
Supports Bookshare, Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AMR-WB+, DAISY, MP3, OGG, TXT, WAVE, WMA
Media SD-memory card
Features Ability to play NLS cartridges without an additional attachment; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable; built-in speaker and microphone; ability to create digital talking books using the device; supports up to 32 GB SD-memory card; USB port; CD-ROM containing software, books, and user guide; AC adaptor with braille label
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 8.62" x 6.69" x 2.20"
Weight 2.86 lbs.
Distributor(s) American Printing House for the Blind
Name Book Port Plus Player and Recorder
Producer American Printing House for the Blind
Price $329.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NFB-NEWSLINE, NLS digital talking books, podcasts, web radio
Supported file formats AMR WB+, ASX, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, HTML, M3U, MP3, OGG, OPML, PLS, TXT, WAV, WMA
Media SD-memory card
Features Speed, volume, and navigation controls; built-in speech and voice synthesizer; built-in speaker and microphone; automatic start and stop; supports up to 32 GB SD-memory card; USB port; CD-ROM containing software, books, and user guide; AC adaptor with braille label recording; automatic headings; allows bookmarks
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 4.80" x 2.1" x 0.62"
Weight 3.9 oz.
Distributor(s) American Printing House for the Blind
Name BookSense
Producer HIMS Inc.
Price $299.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NFB-NEWSLINE, NLS digital talking books,
Supported file formats BRF, DAISY, DOC, HTML, MP3, OGG, PDF, RTF, TXT, WAV, WB+, WMA
Media SD-memory card
Features Allows bookmarks, built-in speech synthesizer, internal stereo speaker and stereo microphone, reads in two voices (male and female), sleep timer, alarm clock, supports stereo and Bluetooth headset, voice controlled
Operation Rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (included)
Size 4.25" x 1.85" x 0.75"
Weight .25 lbs.
Distributor(s) HIMS, Independent Living Aids, MaxiAids
Name BookSense DS
Producer HIMS Inc.
Price $199.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NFB-NEWSLINE, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats 3GP, ASF, BRF, DAISY, FLAC, MP3, MP4, OGG, TXT, WAV, WMA, WMV
Media 4 GB internal memory
Features Allows bookmarks; built-in speech synthesizer, microphone, and FM radio; records in MP3 format; reads in two voices; voice controlled
Operation Rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (included)
Size 1.77" x 0.63" x 3.82"
Weight 0.143 lbs.
Distributor(s) Independent Living Aids
Name BookSense XT
Producer HIMS Inc.
Price $449.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NFB-NEWLINE, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats BRF, BRL, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, HTML, M4A, MP3, MP4, OGG, WAV, WAX, WMA, XML
Media 8 GB SD-memory card (included)
Features Allows bookmarks; built-in speech synthesizer, internal stereo speaker, FM radio, and stereo microphone; 4 GB internal memory; reads in two voices (male and female); sleep timer; alarm clock; supports stereo and Bluetooth headset
Operation Rechargeable battery pack or AC adapter (included)
Size 1.85" x 4.25" x 0.72"
Weight 0.143 lbs.
Distributor(s) Independent Living Aids
Name Braille Sense U2
Producer HIMS Inc.
Price $5,595.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, NLS digital braille books, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AC3, AMR-WB+, ANSI/NISO Z39.86, ASF, ASX, BRF, BRL, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FLAC, HBL, HPF, HTML, M3U, MP2, MP3, NIMAS 1.1, OGG, PDF, PLS, RTF, URL, TXT, WAV, WAX, WMA, WMV, ZIP
Media 256 MB RAM; 36 GB flash
Features Perkins-style braille input, Windows CE operating system, video output, internal microphone, internal GPS, FM radio, carrying case, earbuds, file manager, Excel viewer, word processor, Dropbox capability, schedule manager, address manager, scientific calculator, database manager, YouTube streaming capability, Media Player FM Radio, built-in web browser, e-mail capability, RSS reader, Google Talk capability, Twitter-reading capability
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 9.8" x 5" x 1.5"
Weight 2 lbs.
Distributors HIMS, Beyond Sight
Name Braille Sense U2 Mini
Producer HIMs Inc.
Price $3,995.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally, NLS digital braille books, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats ASF, BRF, BRL, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, FLAC, HBL, HTML, M3U, M4A,  MID, MP3, MP4, NIMAS, OGG, PDF, PLS, RTF, TXT, WAV, WMA, WMV, XLS, XLSX, XML
Media 32 GB Flash
Features Perkins-style braille input, video output, Windows-based operating system, YouTube streaming capability, Excel viewer, RSS reader, Twitter-reading capability, built-in GPS and compass, word processor, external media controls, IMAP and POP3 e-mail access, online assistance
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 6.7" x 3.5" x 1.0"
Weight 0.93 lbs.
Distributors HIMS, Beyond Sight
Name Braille Sense U2 QWERTY
Producer HIMS Inc.
Price $5,595.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, NLS digital braille books, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AC3, ASF, ASX, AMR-WB+, ANSI/NISO Z39.86, BRF, BRL, DAISY, DOC, DOCX, EPUB, HBL, HPF, HTML, M3U, MP2, MP3, NIMAS 1.1, OGG, PDF, PLS, RTF, URL, TXT, WAV, WAX, WMA, WMV, FLAC, ZIP
Media Internal RAM memory, flash memory
Features Qwerty keyboard, Windows CE operating system, video output, internal microphone, internal GPS, FM radio, carrying case, earbuds, file manager, Excel viewer, word processor, Dropbox capability, schedule manager, address manager, scientific calculator, database manager, YouTube streaming capability, Media Player FM Radio, built-in web browser, e-mail capability, RSS reader, Google Talk capability, Twitter-reading capability
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 9.8" x 6.2" x 0.8"
Weight 2 lbs.
Distributors HIMS, Beyond Sight
Name Milestone 312 Voice Recorder and MP3 Player
Producer Bones
Price $449.00
Supports Audible, Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AA, AAC, AAX, DAISY, MP3, WMA, WAV, TXT
Media 1 GB internal memory
Features Bar-code scanner, color identifier, ear buds, internal memory, FM radio, alarm clock, sleep timer, six voices, eight languages, internal speaker, allows bookmarks, USB cable, male and female voices, built-in microphone, text-to-speech software, voice recorder, supports up to 32 GB SD-memory card
Operation Rechargeable battery or AC adapter (included)
Size 3.35" x 2.13" x 0.55"
Weight 1.7 oz.
Distributor(s) Enablemart, Independent Living Aids, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology, LS&S, MaxiAids, Perkins Products
Name Plextalk Pocket
Producer Shinano Kenshi
Price $349.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats ADPCM2, AMR-WB+, BRF, BRL, DOC, DOCX, DAISY, HTML, MP3, PCM, OGG, TXT, WAVE, WMA
Media SD-memory card
Features Allows bookmarks, built-in speaker and microphone, supports up to 32 GB SD-memory card, sleep timer
Operation Rechargeable battery or AC adapter (included)
Size 4.4" x 2.2" x 6"
Weight 3.9 oz.
Distributor(s) AbleZone Inc., Access Ingenuity, Active Forever, Adaptive Information Systems Incorporated, A.T. Kratter Co., Blinksoft Inc., Boundless Assistive Technology, Cadan Computers, Cohen Technologies Inc., E.M.VITU Inc., EnableMart, Ferguson Technologies Inc., Freedom Scientific, Independent Living Aids, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology Inc., Learning Ally, LS&S LLC., MaxiAids, Perkins Products, PLEXTALK, Serotek Corporation, The Sound Professionals Inc., Woodlake Technologies Inc.
Name Plextalk PTR2 DAISY Player and Recorder
Producer Shinano Kenshi
Price $995.00
Supports Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats ADPCM2, DAISY, MP2, MP3, PCM
Media Compact-flash memory card (included) and CD
Features Allows bookmarks, built-in speaker and microphone, sleep timer, tools to record and edit DAISY books, removable cover to access advanced navigation keys
Operation Rechargeable battery or AC adapter (included)
Size 8.07" x 6.5" x 1.96"
Weight 2.07 lbs.
Distributor(s) EnableMart, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology Inc., Learning Ally
Name Plextalk PTN2
Producer Shinano Kenshi
Price $375.00
Supports Audible, Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AMR-WB+, DAISY, DOC, MP3, OGG, TXT, WAVE, WMA
Media CD, USB, SD
Features Numeric keypad, built-in speakers, sleep timer, key describer, mask for the keypad
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 8.62" x 6.69" x 2.2"
Weight 3 lbs.
Distributor(s) EnableMart, Innovative Rehabilitation Technology Inc., Learning Ally
Name Victor Reader Stream
Producer Humanware
Price $369.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, NFB-NEWSLINE, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats AMR-WB+, BRF, DAISY, DOCX, EPUB, HTML, MP4-AAC, FLAC, MP3, OGG, SPEEX, TXT, WAV, XML
Media SD-memory card
Features Wi-Fi capable, Internet radio, built-in clock, allows bookmarks, built-in speech synthesizer and microphone, flexible speed and tone controls, built-in user guide
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 4.5" x 2.4" x 0.7"
Weight 3.9 oz.
Distributor(s) EnableMart, Humanware, Independent Living Aids
Name Victor Reader Stratus
Producer Humanware
Price $455.00
Supports Learning Ally, NLS digital talking books
Supported file formats DAISY, MP3, Z39.86
Media CD, flash
Features Large buttons, sleep timer, bookmarking ability, built-in user guide, carrying handle, speaker and headphone jack
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 8.7" x 8.5" x 1.9"
Weight 2.1 lbs.
Distributors EnableMart, Humanware

Commercial Players Incompatible with NLS Digital Talking Books

Name ClassMate Reader
Producer Humanware
Price $259.00
Supports Audible, Bookshare, Learning Ally
Supported file formats DAISY, HTML, MP3, NIMAS, OGG, RTF, TXT, WAV, WMA, XML
Media SD-memory card
Features Text-to-speech converter, highlights text on built-in screen, study tools, bookmarking capability, built-in stands
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 3.54" x 6.1" x 0.98"
Weight 10.7 oz.
Distributors Humanware
Name DM-4 Audio Recorder/Player
Producer Olympus
Price $299.00
Supported audio distributors Audible
Supported file formats DAISY, MP3, WAV
Media Built-in memory
Features Built-in microphone, color LCD screen, supports SD-memory cards
Size 4.47" x 1.79" x 0.59"
Weight 98 g
Distributors Amazon.com, Olympus
Name Tomboy Digital Talking Book Player
Producer MaxiAids
Price $359.00
Supported file formats DAISY, DOC, MP3, TXT
Features Built-in recording capability, built-in radio, USB port, personal calendar feature, sleep timer
Operation Rechargeable battery
Size 5.25" x 2.25" x .58"
Weight 3.6 oz.
Distributors MaxiAids

Where to Find Digital Audiobook Players and Additional Products

AbleZone, Inc.
3456 Rochester Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
866-663-2253 toll-free
info@ablezone.com
www.ablezone.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Access Ingenuity
3635 Montgomery Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
877-579-4380 toll-free
www.accessingenuity.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Active Forever
10799 North 90th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 767-6800

Or

9299 West Olive Ave., Suite 604
Peoria, AZ 85345
(623) 215-8470
800-377-8033 toll-free
cs@activeforever.com
www.activeforever.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Adaptive Information Systems Incorporated
1611 Clover Ln.
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 758-0933
877-792-4768 toll-free
www.adaptiveinformation.org Link outside of Library of Congress

American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
(502) 895-2405
800-223-1839 toll-free
ATIC@aph.org
www.aph.org Link outside of Library of Congress

A.T. Kratter & Company, Inc.
12062 Valley View St., #109
West Garden Grove, CA 92845
(714) 799-3000
www.atkratter.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Blinksoft, Inc.
DBA I Can See My PC
Business Office
12 East Rolling Acres Dr.
Weaverville, NC 28787
(425) 430-8800
866-206-7249 toll-free
info@blinksoftinc.com
www.blinksoftinc.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Boundless Assistive Technology
Boundless AT Sales Office
6455 SW Lakeview Blvd., Suite A
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
866-606-8551 toll-free
Sales@BoundlessAT.com
www.boundlessat.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Beyond Sight, Inc.
5650 S. Windermere St.
Littleton, CO 80120
(303) 795-6455
www.beyondsight.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Cadan Assistive Technologies
4131 Old Sibley Memorial Hwy., #200
Eagan, MN 55122
(651) 457-3534
800-370-0047 toll-free
sales2@cadan.com
www.tfeinc.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Cohen Technologies Inc.
2 North William St.
Pearl River, NY 10965
800-228-7798 toll-free
www.lvpshop.com/store Link outside of Library of Congress

E.M.VITU, Inc.
299-B Peterson Rd.
Libertyville, IL 60048
888-367-4004
www.emvitu.com Link outside of Library of Congress

EnableMart
School Health Corporation
Customer Service
865 Muirfield Dr.
Hanover Park, IL 60133
888-640-1999 toll-free
www.EnableMart.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Ferguson Technologies Inc.
205 Joliet Ave. SE
De Smet, SD 57231
605-854-9280 toll-free
info@fergusontechnologiesinc.net
www.fergusontechnologiesinc.net Link outside of Library of Congress

Freedom Scientific
11800 31st Ct. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
(727) 803-8000
800-444-4443 toll-free
www.freedomscientific.com Link outside of Library of Congress

HIMS Inc.
4616 West Howard Ln., Suite 960
Austin, TX 78728
888-520-4467 toll-free
sales@hims-inc.com

Humanware
1 UPS Way
PO Box 800
Champlain, NY 12919
800-722-3393 toll-free
info@Humanware.com
www.Humanware.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Independent Living Aids
137 Rano Rd.
Buffalo, NY 14207
800-537-2118 toll-free
855-746-7452 toll-free
www.independentliving.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Innovative Rehabilitation Technology Inc. (IRTI)
13453 Colfax Hwy.
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(530) 274-2090
800-322-4784 toll-free
info@IRTI.net
http://store.irti.net Link outside of Library of Congress

LS&S, LLC
145 River Rock Dr.
Buffalo, NY 14207
(716) 348-3500
800-468-4789 toll-free
www.lssproducts.com Link outside of Library of Congress

MaxiAids
42 Executive Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
(631) 752-0521
800-522-6294 toll-free
www.maxiaids.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Perkins Products
37 Fifield St.
Watertown, MA 02472
(617) 972-7308
perkinsproducts@perkins.org
www.perkinsproducts.org Link outside of Library of Congress

PLEXTALK
6065 Bristol Pkwy.
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 693-7600
support-northamerica@plextalk.com
www.plextalk.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Serotek Corporation
43 Main St. SE, Suite 508
Minneapolis, MN 55414
866-202-0520 toll-free
www.serotek.com Link outside of Library of Congress

The Sound Professionals Inc.
3444 Sylon Blvd.
Hainesport, NJ 08036
(609) 267-4400
800-213-3021 toll-free
sales@soundprofessionals.com
www.soundprofessionals.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Woodlake Technologies, Inc.
666 West Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 733-9800
ralph@woodlaketechnologies.com
www.woodlaketechnologies.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Where to Find Books in Audio Format

Audible
One Washington Park
Newark, NJ 07102
888-283-5051 toll-free (U.S. and
Canada only)
(973) 820-0400 (International)
www.audible.com Link outside of Library of Congress

Audible is a commercial audiobook vendor.

Bookshare
480 South California Ave., Suite 201
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 352-0198
(650) 475-1066 fax
membership@bookshare.org
support@bookshare.org
www.bookshare.org Link outside of Library of Congress

Bookshare provides digital books free to all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities, as well as to other qualifying individuals for a membership fee. Books are available for download in audio and braille formats.

Learning Ally
20 Roszel Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 750-1830 studio line
866-732-3585 toll-free main line
info@learningally.org
www.learningally.org Link outside of Library of Congress

Learning Ally is a private, nonprofit organization that lends recorded textbooks and other educational materials to people who cannot read regular print because of visual, perceptual, or other physical disabilities. It requires a registration fee and an annual membership fee.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
Library of Congress
1291 Taylor St. NW
Washington, DC 20542
(202) 707-5100
800-424-8567
(202) 707-0712 fax
(202) 707-0744 TTY
nls@loc.gov
www.loc.gov/nls

NLS is a free service of the Library of Congress that provides braille and talking books to patrons with documented visual or physical disabilities that prevent them from reading regular print. Materials and equipment are circulated through a network of cooperating libraries and made available online through the Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) site or the BARD Mobile iOS app.


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Posted on 2014-07-01